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.