Nobody’s Fault but Mine

I was cruising along towards Whole Foods for non-toxic, pricey groceries and my iPod was spitting out one of its 6,565 downloads.  I sat up a little when I heard the faint whining vibrating strains of Led Zeppelin’s Nobody’s Fault but Mine and cranked up the volume in my ecologically irresponsible cream white Volvo SUV (I secretly call her Pearl).  She doesn’t have a boom box, but Pearl’s windows were throbbing.

My father loved music, and he recorded hours and hours of it on a pair of large reel-to-reel tape recorders, whistling the tunes as he worked. Snug in their boxes, systematically and meticulously labeled, the numerous reels filled the shelves in his corner of the den, and Mom and Dad would sip cocktails while listening to “Barbara’s Favorites.” Competent and comfortable dancers, my parents frequently ended up in each other’s arms, tripping the light fantastic.

Dad’s taste in music ran to dance tunes, easy listening, and the long-haired: Mantovani, Bacharach, Roger Williams, Strauss, Big Bands and the Three B’s. An opera aficionado, Dad regularly rousted us cranky and drowsy from our beds on an early Sunday morning with the mournful wails of Madama Butterfly or the insane laughter of Pagliacci. I shunned opera music for decades afterwards.

His tepid love affair with the music of the British Invasion was limited to Beatles Muzak, so in 1968 Dublin, as we cousins swam, twisted, frugged and shimmied to Yummy Yummy Yummy I Got Love in My Tummy, Dad and his brother enjoyed a musical moment, inspired not so much by love in the tummy as a bellyful of Uncle George’s potent Irish coffee.

My father climbed the stairway to heaven 7 years after they released their first album, but I’ll bet he’d neither heard of Led Zeppelin nor heard their music. If he had, I’m pretty sure Dad would have run from the room, jamming his fingers in his ears and lamenting the collapse of civilization.

However, Pearl and I know better.

2 comments on “Nobody’s Fault but Mine”

  1. What an amazing photo! Wish I could’ve been there to witness the “concert”! So much talent in one family!!

  2. I love, love this! The photo is wonderful; the topic fun; but what I really love is your style of writing! You are enormously talented! And I miss you!

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