Indianapolis, Indiana.
February, 1981.

Since I went to high school 30 minutes away from where we lived, I spent many evenings driving home with my father after he finished work. At the end of a long day, my father desired silence and had no patience for any of the rock I favoured. On the rare occasions he did allow the radio, it had to be set to news or the 1001 Strings station. On one of those rare occasions, I was scanning through the few FM radio stations available in Indianapolis at the time, when the strains of the beautiful mandolin solo near the end of Rod Stewart’s Maggie May fell out of the car’s speakers. Knowing my father’s especially strong dislike for Rod Stewart, I quickly scrolled past, until my father spoke.

“Wait. Put it back on that classical guitar.”

“It’s not …”

“Put it back there!”

“… Maggie, I wished I’d never seen your face …

“What the hell is that? Change the station.”

I moved the radio dial to the 1001 Strings station.

“Who was that?”

“Rod Stewart.”

“He’s a pervert. I don’t know how anybody can listen to that trash.”

“Nice solo, though.”

My father never responded. We drove the rest of the way home in silence, while 1001 Strings played their arrangement of Here Comes the Sun.

 

Postscript:

Yea, my dad had no fondness for Rod Stewart. He once heard Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? on the jukebox of a local pizzeria and about lost it. Of course, now I sit in a millenial coffee shop and wonder how anyone thinks some boy singing in a register he has been trained to reach over a monotone synth track is music. But, then, I’m right.

Stereo story #526

 

 

 

Freelance writer Marcus Woods has spent his entire life in the Midwest United States employed as a firefighter, then an entrepreneur, while gladly working to raise five sons to be responsible men.