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Entry date: 10-27-2023 – The Father Figures Part 5 – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Tonight’s the night. The last show. Final bows, and all. Part of me wishes this feeling would last forever and part of me is ready for it to be over. I’m a bundle of joyful nerves. I feel confident and lucky to be playing with two people who have helped me be a much better person, let alone a much better musician. So many lessons learned that got us to this day.

Yesterday I was thinking a lot about the hard work that has got us to this point. If I could boil it down to three lessons, they would be these:

Communicate with your bandmates (or any partner you have in life)

Be humble as often as possible

Know when to listen and when to turn your ears off

We’re old guys to be playing the music we are playing. We know this. I’m excited about what the next generations are bringing to the table these days, truly, but I feel like we were constantly trying to lead by example during our days as a band. We wanted the scene to thrive, and we wanted to be part of what was (and is) happening musically in this town.

I know I have felt a certain responsibility to protect and nurture the music scene in Phoenix for quite a while now. I think Bobby and Michael feel the same way to whatever extent they are comfortable with doing so. Michael is such a quiet leader. He does his thing by example and knows when to offer up his words of wisdom. Bobby is a bit more vocal, but I’ve also always admired his ability to nurture relationships with people in the scene in his own way, as well. I love that we have mutual friends who go to him for advice and help.

The past is in the rearview, I know. I will continue to tell this story for a bit as there is a lot more to share. As I’ve been thinking about those early days, little bits and pieces keep coming back to me. The Father Figures were a lifeline for me. I was not in the greatest place emotionally during the first three years we were a band and if not for Bobby and Michael, I fear I would have gone done even darker and more dangerous paths than I did.

If the music wasn’t there for me, I don’t know what I would have done. We had some great ups and some tough downs. One of the downs we laugh about now.

We played the HOCO fest in 2011. Tons of killer bands on the bill. We should have been great, but we were awful. Discombobulated, rushed, and just bad. It was maybe our worst show out of the now 100 we have been part of during the last 14 years. The SoCo Mofo came out to play, though.

That was our nickname for Michael when he would drink Southern Comfort. We all got a little tipsy that night, I think. Hotel Congress messed up my reservation, so I had to stay somewhere else but other than that, we survived our worst show and lived to laugh about it.

We played Tucson a few more times. Once with JFA at Skrappy’s that was a lot of fun and we also played a show at their Buffalo Exchange, too. It was an art show thing for our buddy, ROGO.

On the way down to one of the Tucson shows, we came up with a great idea for a traffic app called, “You’re Fucked.” Basically, it would have been an app that whispered to you, “You’re fucked” when you hit a lot of traffic. We laughed about that while we sat in a traffic jam that seemingly lasted from Chandler to Casa Grande.

These are the type of things that I think of today. I am thankful for all the experiences. I’m going to try not to cry later, but I might. Actually, I’m not going to put any effort into either crying or not crying. Whatever happens, will happen. I hope everyone comes out to celebrate with us and have fun.

See you tomorrow.

We spun records together, too.

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