My song of the day is Calling Elvis by Dire Straits. Why? Because it reminds me of the best father in the world.

I was reading an old interview with Britt Daniel of Spoon about what his early musical influences were and it inspired me to reach back to my younger years to identify what it was that ignited my obsession with all things music.

I think I was seven the first time my father taught me to use the turntable. I found myself sitting on our family room floor surrounded by vinyl for four days. I resume that position every time I visit my parents now.

There are also specific songs that immediately thrust me into a trip down memory lane.  Fleetwood Mac’s Second Hand News, Steve Miller’s Abracadabra and anything from Sly and the Family Stone all had significant air time in the Cadmus house, by request of me and my sister. As I grew older I came to appreciate the entire library stored beneath the stereo in our wood paneled great room.

Then there was the day that dad brought home the speakers.

It was a perk that came with working for a record label. These speakers were taller than me. State of the art. It was my first introduction to what a sub woofer was. Mom hated them of course. They were not necessarily something easily blended in with the family room decor. But wow, when dad cranked it up, the house shook and I became acutely aware of my chest cavity.

Dad tends to go through phases of obsession with certain songs (I tend to take after him) and we quickly learned that Pam Tillis’ Put Yourself in My Place and Dire Straits’ Callin Elvis took advantage of everything those speakers had to offer. Hence, they were on repeat for a least a few weeks.

I must admit… Dad had a nasty habit of blaring those songs out at ungodly early hours (ok, it wasn’t that early, but I was a teen. I slept a lot.) I’d often roll down the stairs, disheveled and grumpy, prepared to gripe at my pops for literally blasting me out of bed (believe me, with these speakers even Pam Tillis could “blast” people). But the pure joy I could see on his face, sitting in his favorite spot on our 1983 sectional, perfectly situated within the musical cone the speakers created would stop me from doing anything to dampen his moment.

The speakers have gone to the graveyard of memories past, AKA my sister’s basement. Hell, now days a couple of 2 inch Bose puppies can recreate the magic. But I get it now. Life is stressful, crazy and sometimes maddening. Nothing let’s me remove myself for a moment like cranking it up to obnoxious levels, sitting in the middle of my couch and staring ahead imagining those hideous speakers in front of me while I think of nothing but the pounding in my chest and the peaceful smile on my father’s face.

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