The cobwebbed Flippist studio was in use again this weekend. A certain young Mr. Lee (progeny of my late friend Frankie Paradise) came over to record some demos. In the same basement that his father used 20 years ago, he laid down some nice, home-grown tunes in a Dylan-country-folk vein. Of course, to hear the new generation take up the musical quest is bittersweet for me. The successes and failures we (the band members) experienced before Mr. Lee was born are distant now, but still capable of evoking strong feelings. Mr. Lee has to deal with those kind of issues now, and is off to a good (good meaning rocky, bumpy and confused - it can be much worse) start, with a dozen meaningful, fine songs (even the grammar is proper!)
We led parallel lives, Mr. Lee's father and me. Went to the same school, were in the same band for years, had similar interests, had kids of the same age who played together. But the years always change things. He couldn't make his family work. I was lucky (or maybe I'm just dumb enough not to wreck everything) and kept mine. Mr. Lee's father has been gone for nearly a decade now, dead in a motorcycle crash. As the young Mr. Lee left today, he spoke of getting a motorcycle.