My dad passed away last month, and rather than list facts here—that he was born in Kentucky to a German sharecropper and his wife, that he grew to be a successful man with a wife and six children, etc—I mention his love of music. I am grateful to my dad for many things, but I am most grateful for the love of music that he passed along to me.
In the earliest days of our family, Dad had an electric guitar and amplifier, and he enjoyed playing for fun. We watched Johnny Rivers on television and listened to Duane Eddy records on the stereo, and Dad thought Chuck Berry was the greatest. When I was six, he taught me to play “Secret Agent Man,” “What I Say,” and the Bonanza theme song on guitar, and I played those songs over and over. He sold that guitar one day and never played again, but he bought one for me soon after, and I’ve been playing ever since.
I recall the times Dad drove me and my musical equipment around to practices. I remember him taking a vacation day to watch my band play in a school talent show. I hear him singing as he walked through the house, and when I’m enjoying a tune, I tap my foot like he always did. I think of my dad every day, especially when I play guitar. Life’s better with music. Dad taught me that.
The Jerrys played on Thursday Night Live at WZRD Chicago 88.3 FM on April 26, 2018. The 10-song set included new music from The Wind Cries Jerrys, covers of songs by Tommy James & the Shondells and The Kinks, and power pop songs pulled from the Jerrys’ catalog:
1. Be Yourself
2. Anna Marie
3. I Even Love You More Than Elizabeth Hurley
4. Ann Taylor Girl
5. New Wave
6. Hanky Panky
7. Space Cadet
8. Chicago USA
9. Every Girl
10. Where Have All the Good Times Gone?
Those familiar with the Chicago punk scene will recognize the drum head as the one used for Silver Abuse, as Robert Porche also plays with that band. Stay tuned for a new and improved drum head, as well as a possible live album later this year from The Jerrys.
While visiting my brother last month, I played his Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar. For a few seconds, anyway, I felt like George Harrison. Note to self: Next time I visit Todd, be sure to take some Fender medium picks and leave a few there.
(Photos by Holly Schwartz)
Howling little tune from 1966: “Li’l Red Riding Hood.” I used to wait by the radio for this one.
It’s Johnny Rivers on Hullabaloo! My dad and I used to watch Hullabaloo, which ran on NBC from January 1965 through April 1966. Repeat episodes aired in summer 1966.
The first prerecorded tape I ever owned was Time Peace: The Rascals’ Greatest Hits. I wore it out on my Radio Shack mono cassette player.
A dandy Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones
The Who when they were still known as The High Numbers
This is what Saturday mornings looked like when I was a kid.