Opinion: Thank you letter to my dad

Ryan Meyer

All of my columns so far have been about music that I love and obsess over, but I wouldn’t have such a passion for it if I didn’t have my father educating me on the finer aspects of the art form. In fact, he’s the one who taught me that music is an art form.

This Thursday is my dad’s birthday, so this column is a thank you to him for everything he has shown me. Without my dad, I never would’ve picked up the guitar or listened to anything besides the radio. He showed me how much more fun it is to be an active listener and look for the nuances buried beneath the layers of sound. My dad taught me to appreciate intelligent lyrics. He bought me a shelf for my burgeoning CD collection, and then helped me advance it far beyond the term burgeoning. I trust my dad’s taste so much that for Christmas every year, I ask for “CDs from Dad.” He hasn’t let me down with one yet.

There are some songs I remember hearing in the car at such a young age that it makes me wonder if my dad was trying to brainwash me all along. If he was, it worked. “Bad” by U2 sticks out. “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” by Bruce Springsteen, is another.

One of the most important, thoughtful things my father ever did for me was make me a CD mixtape to play every night as I fell asleep. Now THAT’S brainwashing. I still remember sitting on the ground next to him as he picked the songs on the desktop in our old house. “Clocks” by Coldplay, “1234” by Feist, and “I’ve Got the World on A String” by Frank Sinatra. None of these really fit into my current preferences but to this day the first couple seconds of each song bring me back to an easier, more innocent time.

I’ve been tough on my dad for a long time, but as I get older, I appreciate more and more all that he’s done for me. Through all our disagreements, music has always been the one thing we could change the conversation to and bond over. I’ve been working on returning the favor by trying to introduce him to musicians I discover on my own. Unfortunately, he knows them half the time.

As I’ve gained more and more knowledge about music, I’ve branched out and developed my own tastes. But without the base my dad created, I never would’ve traced my way back, or forward, to discover the hidden gems I love. He couldn’t have planned it any better, because I’ve never loved music, and my dad, any more than I do right now. Thank you, Dad. Happy birthday.

 

Ryan Meyer is a freshman journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]