2017. It’s hailing. I’m carrying my heavy guitar and my red vinyl record case to the tram stop, wondering if I’ll be able to make ends meet this month. I’m feeling tricked. By my father.
(around) 1980. My parents drag an abundance of vinyl cases (the red one’s among them) and bags across the threshold. After a long train ride they enter their tiny apartment in Vlaardingen for the very first time. My dad will start his first job as a teacher soon. It’s as though life’s only just beginning for them.
The first thing my father does, is unpacking his records and record player. “The Kinks..Again?”, my mother exclaims. In the following weeks they decorate the apartment with photo wallpaper and start buying furniture. A few years later ‘Waterloo Sunset’ is flowing into my baby ears while I’m sitting on the red vinyl case in front of a wall of dunes and sea. I hum along. With ease, because it’s one of the songs that have been on repeat almost daily since the day I was born.
The years after this can be summarized as follows:
“I’m going outside to find my friends, dad.”
“No Daisy, we’re going to the record fair in a few minutes.”
“Dad, I’m going upstairs to do my homework.”
“No wait! I just got the new Neil Young album. Let’s listen to it!”
“I’m going to the movies with my boyfriend tonight.”
“Why doesn’t he just come over? Does he know The Kinks?”
“Dad, I wrote a song!”
“That’s great! Can you play it for me?”
I miss the tram by a hair. I’m trying to prevent the rain from seeping into the red vinyl case. For a brief moment I curse all the times my dad played his favourite records for me. He tricked me into musician life! He introduced me to brilliant bands, encouraged me to start one of my own when I was only thirteen and was slightly disappointed when I took a detour by doing a Master’s in Media Studies.
The rain has stopped. A tram is arriving. I get in quickly. My father always insisted I chose to do exactly that which I really loved. Just now I come to realize how exceptional that is.
And while the sun’s coming out faintly and the tram’s making its way through heavy traffic, I decide to give my dad a call and invite him over to play records.