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Entry date: 10-25-23 – Father Figures Part 3 – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


What a crazy sports night in Phoenix last night. The Diamondbacks are in the World Series? Holy crap. I did not see that coming. I am happy for the town tonight, for sure. Kevin Ginkel was on fucking fire last night. Great stuff!


The Suns looked sloppy but good. It was nice to see them beat Chris Paul. I sure did like him as a Suns player, but I have instantly reverted back to not being a fan. Some players have that unique talent, I suppose. When they wear the jersey you root for, you like’em, but when they don’t, they can eat shit. I’m definitely back to the CP3 eating shit team.


The World Series, though. Wow. I know what we’ll be doing at Valley Bar while we are soundchecking and such. We’ll be watching the score and the game as much as possible. I doubt the game will be over by the time we start the show, but I’ll be taping it.


*****


In the summer of 2009, Bobby, Michael and I were pretty excited about our new band after that first show at the Ruby Room in July. We started getting a bit more serious about songwriting and such and even talked about adding a singer. Looking back, that would have been weird, but we did jam with our friend, Cean.


I didn’t really want to be the lead singer of another band at that point. I had pretty much had my fill of doing the whole bass player/singer thing after about sixteen years of Hillbilly and almost ten years of Pinky at that point. Also, to be honest, I didn’t think I was good enough to be the singer of my new band. I thought I would hold us back from being as good as I thought we could be.


We tried out Cean and it was clear that the vibe was best with just the three of us. It was nothing Cean did. It was just we were already a cohesive trio and Bobby and Michael told me they believed in me. It helped me up my game, too, to know they had my back.


We played a fun show at George and Dragon next, and there was a definite buzz in town about The Father Figures. I can’t even describe how good that felt. I had a similar feeling with North Side Kings, in a way, because people really liked that band, but with Hillbilly and Pinky, I had never felt like we had truly arrived or were thought of as one of the better bands in town.


Those feelings of inadequacy were probably just my own insecurity, but playing with Michael and Bobby helped my confidence grow a lot. I knew early on that The Father Figures could become one of the best bands in town. I think we achieved that goal, too, pretty quickly.


We weren’t super voracious about shows, at first, although I wanted to get out and play quite a bit. We continued to write songs and we really started creating what was to become our sound and style. The first batch of songs that we had were more things that we had brought to the party from before we got together, but as we started practicing regularly, we started crafting some of the songs that made the first record really special to me.


The coolest part about those first couple of years was getting to know Bobby and Michael so much better. We really clicked and for the most part, we had a blast making music together. We learned to communicate with each other, which is so important for any band, and to trust each other.


We had a rule, for example, that if one of us wasn’t feeling a song or a riff after giving it a few goes, we would drop it and move on. This really helped us grow a writing team. When I think of the songs on the first record, I can think of moments where one of brought in a good riff and the others jumped aboard and made it that much better.


I had come up with the song “Caviar” which is a really fun bass riff to play, but Bobby and Michael helped me make into one of my favorites by introducing some dynamics. They also gave me room to move around and try some different things in the song that took it from being a fun little riff to being something catchy and cool.


Having two other people to rock with who wanted to write and contribute was, and still is, so fun for me. We got to be like an old married couple, but instead of finishing each other’s sentences, we started finishing each other’s songs.


In 2011, we put out Lesson Number One. Our buddies Rob and Pat helped us put it out on their AZPX Records label and we had one helluva party at Rip’s in Phoenix. I was plenty nervous that night, but it felt so good to rock the hell out of all the songs on the record. People came from out of town to see us and I really feel like that night cemented us as a good, solid band.


I still enjoy listening to Lesson Number One today. We had people making videos for us and skateboarding to our tunes. It was a blast, and I was loving being in the band. We were working on our next batch of songs and the future seemed very bright.


See you tomorrow.



Our first appearance at George and Dragon. I feel like we may have played there one other time.

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