Did your dad inspire your music taste? Vancouverites share their stories

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Do you remember your dad playing a specific band all the time while you were growing up, and maybe you thought, ‘Ugh. He’s SO embarrassing.’

Now you’re an adult. Maybe you’re a dad or a mom yourself. And you find yourself listening to those same bands.

As you rock to Steely Dan while dropping your kids off at school, you suddenly realize: Dad, you had pretty good taste in music.

Maybe a song reminds you of a specific memory from your childhood. Or maybe there’s an album that you and your dad would always listen to together.

Here are some stories about the music Vancouverites found out they love, all because of their dads, as submitted to CBC’s The Early Edition for the annual Father’s Day contest.

‘My cool dad in his little blue car’

“In the year 2000, I was 12 years old and in the full throes of puberty, with a mouthful of braces, a burgeoning rock polishing hobby and an oboe that I played in the school band.  

Not your stereotypical ‘cool kid.’

On Wednesday afternoons, I used to play in the honour band which held a practice at the high school near my house.

I was a bit of a shy kid, still in elementary school and nervous about going up to the high school where all the older kids were for my band practice.

Sometimes, if my dad was around, he’d drive me up the hill for honour band.

An important piece of context here is that my dad used to drive a violently blue, Mr. Bean-style Austin Mini Cooper named Pypp.

My dad’s a tall guy and barely fit into the car, but he absolutely loved to rip around town in that thing.

He also loved making a bit of a scene, and he loved the song Mustang Sally by The Commitments.

At that time in my life, my preference would have been to slip into the school for band practice unobtrusively.

But it’s just not possible to go unnoticed when you roll up in my dad’s style.

I’ll never forget climbing out of that car, clutching my oboe, with the deafening guitar riffs of Mustang Sally pouring out of the open door behind me, while the teenagers milling around outside the high school stared at this bright blue, toy-like car, vibrating with music and containing my six-foot-two-inch father folded into the driver’s seat like some kind of oversized spider and grinning like a fool.

And you know what?

I felt pretty cool.

These days Pypp is long gone and I don’t find myself rocketing around North Van too much anymore.

But I’ve held onto the lessons my dad taught me, particularly that life’s a lot more fun when you don’t care what other people think. I’ll forever associate Mustang Sally with my cool dad and that little blue car.”

— Sarah Chaster (winner of the contest).

Listen to Sarah’s story and find out why she won the Father’s Day contest:

Sarah Chaster is the winner of The Early Edition’s annual Father’s Day Contest. 1:57

The summer of Zeppelin

“In the spring of 1970, my ‘hip’ parents began frequenting the coffee houses on 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, Vancouver, to hear live local music. It was at one of these venues where they befriended a rock group called Tomorrow’s Eyes⁠ — four young men from Reno, Nev., who were all draft dodgers.

Long story short, the “boys” (as my mother affectionately called them) moved into the basement of our Burnaby house for the summer.

My father must have been influenced by the musical taste of the “boys” as he switched up his music and began playing Cream, The Byrds and other rock music that I had never been exposed to.

But it was Led Zeppelin 2 that changed it for me. He spun that vinyl LP on the large console record player in our living room all summer long. Every time I hear Jimmy Page’s opening riffs of Whole Lot of Love I fondly remember my father and that summer of 1970.”

— Laura Reid (contest runner-up)

Open roads and a ‘lil country music

“My music memories of my dad revolve around driving. For years my dad was the ‘driver’. My mum never particularly liked to drive so my dad was always behind the wheel. The best times were our family road trips down to Seattle. For some reason my dad ONLY liked country music, so when he drove, those were the eight-tracks that we plugged in. 

A lot of the music were the storytelling kind of songs by artists like Tom T. Hall and Bobby Bare. But the album I would ask to hear again and again was Wanted! The Outlaws by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings in their prime. Songs like My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, Heaven & Hell and Me & Paul, which six-year-old me HAD NO IDEA was about a drug bust. I thought it was just about friends!

There is something elemental about music and how it takes you back to places in the past. These songs still take me back to sitting behind my dad as he drove us through the night heading somewhere exciting.

My dad’s eyesight is gone now and he hasn’t driven in years. But when I mention it he smiles broadly and we reminisce about what great times those were.”

— Alex (no last name provided)

With files from The Early Edition

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