Me, my dad and John Lennon

He would be 72 years old today. How wonderful it would have been to have him over the course of the last 30 years to share his thoughts, his art (although I don’t love his art) and music. Could you imagine how many followers this guy would have had on twitter!! Their is NO ONE like him in today’s world. I’m not sure there were many people like him back in the 60’s and 70’s!

But this post is not so much about John Lennon.

It’s about me and my father forming a bond that I never imagined would be there just by listening to music. When I was growing up, there was no Kidz Bop. The only thing to be heard in my father’s car was Oldies 98 and Sports Radio. Of course if you ask Reece, he’ll tell you the only thing you hear in my car is much of the same. Like father like son I guess.

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Like many other Philly Western suburban families we took a vacation each year to the Jersey shore. We would leave at 5 in the morning to beat the Saturday shore traffic. We also took 2 or 3 trips to Florida, always drove. My two brothers usually fell asleep, Kevin would be asleep before we would be off our street! Chris would stay awake more often but he had a walkman and was able to tune us out. My mom was never one to stay awake.

Me on the other hand would be wide awake, excited with anticipation for the events of the coming week. My dad would often put on a Beatles tape. We would listen to each song together and he would ask, everytime, “Who is singing?” He would explain Paul has the pretty voice and John has the raspy voice. If it wasn’t pretty or raspy than it was either George or Ringo. RIngo’s voice is just odd and very easy to detect. If it didn’t meet any of those characteristics than it was George. John was by far our favorite. Paul was and still is my dad’s least favorite. I have come around on Paul but by no means do I enjoy his voice anywhere near as much as I do John’s.

I recall so many trips on the AC Expressway listening to Sgt. Peppers, Abbey Road, The White Album, all of them over and over again. I remember heading South on 95 for hours, but what seemed like just a few minutes, listening to Rubber Soul, The Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be. Over the course of a few years I eventually could detect who was singing after just a few words. Each year I would look forward to spending those few hours with my dad and the music.

Those family trips have been over for years but the memories will never be forgotten. Now; Clarissa, Reece, Tatum and I have our own family trips. Things are a little different, it’s rare to hear The Beatles and more common to hear Kidz Bop and things of that nature. But that doesn’t mean the opportunity isn’t there for us to bond. Within the last hour we booked “another” trip to the Orlando area. This is Tatum’s 4th time…she’s 2 years old. I’m already looking forward to spending time alone with my family listening to music as we travel up and down the East coast.

This Saturday Clarissa and I will celebrate our 5th Anniversary. We made it 5 years depsite her being a Paul fan! Six years ago this coming Thanksgiving, I wept my way through asking my father to be my Best Man. It was the second easiest decision I ever had to make, second only to asking Clarissa to be my wife. It’s not always smooth, he’s my father as well as my boss, we have our disagreements from time to time. But overall my father and I are very respectful, caring and interested in and towards one another. And there is no question in my mind that the time we spent together listening and talking about the music of The Beatles shaped one of the most important relationships of my life. Happy Birthday John Lennon and thank you.

Keith Laskey

“Before you go to sleep, Say a little prayer. Every day in every way, It’s getting better and better.”

-John Lennon- Beautiful Boy

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