Today, November 20th, is Joe Walsh's birthday. He's just a young thing of 65, and since he decided on a life that is clean and sober, he's in great health mentally and physically. Everyone who saw him this August at the L.B. Day Amphitheater, knows that he delivered one hell of a great show.
Today would have been my Dad's birthday as well. He was MUCH older than Joe, and wasn't a musician, but he could whistle. He also put up with all my childhood, adolescent, and young adult loud music passions. I actually got him into listening to MY music somewhere along the line. I also listened to his country and western when we were in his truck. One time when he was working on some honeydo that Mom wanted out in his shop, I walked in and he had Judas Priest's "Living After Midnight" just cranked to maximum volume. When I commented that I never thought he listened to KGON other than when I was on, he said, "It's the only music I can hear over the drill." Always the joker, that guy, and always my biggest fan. The picture here is when I was just a little stinker.
Until today I never realized that Joe Walsh and my Dad shared a birthday. November 20th just has always been Dad's day to me. That's one of the reasons I love doing Connect the Classics. I like to start the set with a birthday celebration if possible. It would have also been the late great Duane Allman's birthday, but he left us way too early on his motorcycle. I know Dad liked the Allman Brothers music. I mean Jimmy Carter loved the Allmans! It's also the birthday of Dr. John, who I got to meet and introduce on stage at the 2008 Bite of Portland. What a lovely southern gentleman. God, I love his voice!
Dad was the oldest of 9 kids, and one of the people who came from Oklahoma to California and then up to Oregon with his family during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. They were from the Eastern part of the state, and his father wanted to build. Two of my aunts worked in lumber mills, and several uncles all worked in the logging industry. My Dad followed his heart and went into building after dabbling in a few other businesses. I just watched the Ken Burns documentary on The Dust Bowl last night, and I kept thinking about Dad. What a wonderful and remarkable man with the biggest heart in the world.
I just have a feeling that if all these musicians would have known Dad, they would have all gotten along. Who knows, maybe he and Duane are swapping stories right now.