Vin Maskell
Melbourne, February 2018
Great Ocean Road, February 16 1983

My youngest son knows his music. Buys records,  mainly new bands. Well, new to me. King Gizzard And The Wizard Lizard, The Murlochs, Sufjan Stevens, Panda Bear, Mac Demarco, LCD Soundsystem. My son is indirectly keeping his old man in touch with what’s going on. The nights that he’s home for dinner he provides the soundtrack. Vinyl via the  old Pioneer stereo.

Reuben has ears for the past too.

“The White Album,” he said one night. “Fair bit of filler on it.  But I’m keen to learn more about George Harrison.”

“All Things Must Pass,” he said a few nights later, “I think I’ll buy a deluxe edition.”  Triple album.

I’d Have You Anytime, My Sweet Lord, Wah Wah, Isn’t It A Pity, What Is Life, If Not For You, Beware Of Darkness…

I wondered what to say.

As much as I can remember, my oldest brother had All Things Must Pass in his small record collection.

My brother died young. Not even twenty-one.

All things must pass.

I think the triple album found its way to the family beach house by The Great Ocean Road.

There was a huge fire. Ash Wednesday, 16 February 1983. Three thousand properties destroyed. The beach house just one of them. Disappeared.  Seventy-five people killed.

All things must pass.

My father started re-building within weeks in a landscape of dust and ash.

Ten years later, November 1993, my mother died in the new beach house. A few weeks after heart surgery.

All things must pass.

Dad died there alone, seven years on. The neighbours wondered why he hadn’t come to church.

All things must pass.

My son, nearly twenty-one, already knows of some of this but I tell him again, in just a few words. I don’t want to steal his thunder, I don’t want to get in the way of his anticipation of hearing more of George Harrison.

All Things Must Pass.

I’d Have You Anytime, My Sweet Lord, Wah Wah, Isn’t It A Pity, What Is Life, If Not For You, Beware Of Darkness…

A deluxe edition? “I’ll go halves, “ I said to my son. “We’ll buy it together.”

A few months ago Reuben came home with a second-hand copy of the triple album, bought at a record shop in Fitzroy.

I offered to pay my half.

Reuben declined.

All things must pass.

From  brother to brother.

From father to son.

From son to father.


Vin is founding editor of Stereo Stories and director/MC of Stereo Stories In Concert.

By |2018-10-31T09:12:06+00:00February 16th, 2018|General|14 Comments


  1. Chris Phillips February 16, 2018 at 6:18 am - Reply

    So beautiful as always, Vin. Poignant word economy. Always in awe of your skill & heart on a page.

  2. Louise February 16, 2018 at 8:08 am - Reply

    Thinking of you today. And George, Margaret, Mark and Ron.

  3. Joren Timberake February 16, 2018 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    Love this story, I have very fond memories of the old beach shack and sharing Russian blintzes with John and Jan. I loved spending time with Mark but I didn’t do it often enough unfortunately. I know that Pat still misses him to this day. Probably they way I miss Jan. Thank you for another wonderful story. xx

    • Stereo Stories Admin February 16, 2018 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      Thank you Joren. I always wonder if I should write yet another story about Mark. ‘Wonder if I’m being – not opportunistic – but, well, repetitive. I think F. Scott Fitzgerald said most writers only have a few stories in them, and they then find different ways of telling the story.Regards to Pat.

  4. Bruce February 16, 2018 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Superb Vin. Just beautiful.

    And my favourite solo Beatle album too.

    • Stereo Stories Admin February 16, 2018 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      Thanks Bruce. You could say the story only took a few hours to write. Or you could say it took many, many years. I’m looking forward to re-hearing All Things Must Pass, and not necessarily with too heavy a heart.

  5. David Oke February 17, 2018 at 8:19 am - Reply

    Thanks Vin. So many things I can make a connection to. A high school buddy had All Things Must Pass and I remember being at his place to listen to it. My first experience of a triple album. Years later I bought the CD version in Athens, Georgia. It has since disappeared into the labyrinth of someones bedroom. The coast. The loss of both parents at the same location. Ash Wednesday fires. The delight of one of your kids awakening in interest to the great music from last century. Some great work Vin.

  6. Debbie Lee February 17, 2018 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    This story is very close to some of my fave poetry repetitions. Poignant and concise. Wishing you many happy memories re-listening to the album with your son too.

  7. Spiri Tsintziras February 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    Exquisite story Vin. Just.lovely.

  8. DBalassone February 17, 2018 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Beautiful Vin, just beautiful. Strangely enough (and I’m not just saying this) I’ve been listening to George almost non-stop over the past 3 days. How weird is that? There is something undeniably spiritual about his songs. The album you mention is breathtaking, but also ‘Long, Long, Long’ from the White album and later tracks like Abandoned Love, I Don’t Want to do it, Never Get Over You, etc. Oh man, the sound of the slide guitar!

    • Stereo Stories Admin February 18, 2018 at 7:42 am - Reply

      Thanks Damian. My son went to Greville Records about a week ago to buy the deluxe edition of All Things Must Pass that he’d seen there on a previous visit. “Bloke bought it about an hour ago,” said the man behind the counter. So Reuben came home and played the George Harrison sides of The Concert for Bangla Desh, which I think belonged to my brother and – obviously – didn’t end up down the beach house. I better look up ‘Long Long Long’ and others. Thanks again.

  9. Mick Jumpertz March 5, 2018 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Vin, I hope you and Reuben have tracked down a copy of All Things Must Pass. It’s a cracker of an album. Very heartfelt, just like your beautiful piece on this page.


    P.S. There is a karaoke version of What Is Life on the deluxe edition!

  10. Stereo Stories Admin March 6, 2018 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    G’day Mick,
    Reuben came home last week with (yet another) King Gizzard album, plus a second-hand copy of All Things Must Pass. Both albums bought from a shop in Fitzroy whose name escapes me. (No, not Polyester.)
    As for the notion of a karaoke version of What Is Life, no one – i can assure you – would want to hear me sing.

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