Happy Father’s Day: ZAC’S DAD ROX album review
Back in 1987. I was living with my mom in Ohio, a child of divorce and honestly more concerned about transformers and Thundercats than my parents deteriorated marriage. What can I say I was 7. Anyhow, while all that was going on, my Dad lived with my sister in New Jersey. During that summer he recorded, as he was want to do from time to time, a few songs onto his tape deck to cassette. In 2000 I stumbled upon this while looking through his music collection (which included Please Hammer Don’t Hurt’em and Otis by Mojo Nixon), I listened to the tape and figured out a few things. In some of the songs there’s a bird singing in the background. We had a pet bird when I moved in in 1988 named Bird. Later on we bought another bird and my dad took me out to see Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, we named the birds Bill and Ted. Somehow, I surmised that this tape had been record during the summer of 1987 when my sister and I were in Ohio with my mom.
Anyhow, like I said I found this tape. Of course I took it to the comic shop I worked at and one of the guys (Jeff Schomber) that hung out there converted it into a cd for me. And made copies. In 2001 I lost my CD collection which was gigantic. In this collection was my only copy of the album that became known as ZAC’S DAD ROX. Years went by, and I got in touch with my friend Pete Hagen. He had a copy of the CD! and he sent it to me via email. That’s how it came to you.
About this album: Needless to say as children we tend to know little about our parents and as we grow up we begin to understand them and see them not just as parents but as people with struggles as real as our own. People of emotion and of flaw but also people who know a hell of a lot more about life and commitment and suffering than we do. Will Smith is wrong, parents do understand, it’s the kids that don’t get it. So at 20 this 14 track tape gave me some real insight into the man that is my father. The funny thing is I bet he sat down and just picked a few songs to play on the guitar not really thinking about composition of set list or of when to do a sad song and when to do a fun song. ZAC’S DAD ROX ebbs and flows rather well for an album with no real forethought aside from here are some songs I figured out.
About Steve Clark: Through the perspective of a son, it’s easy to say you know your father. Minus I suppose my mom he’s the person I’ve know the longest in my life. You take all those memories and it’s hard to pick the best ones. The year he coached my Little League team (the only year I was any good) Buyer’s Electric. The time when I was 8 and he woke me up at 4am to show me that he found the Magic Sword in the NES Classic The Legend of Zelda. The time he drove my friends and I to Race Street in Philly to play our first Magic: The Gathering Tourney and we listend to Cake’s Frank Sinatra. Driving me to get my Driver’s License. Picking me up from the hospital after I’d ripped off half my face. Not to mention the advice and wisdom he’s passed down over the years. He was the first person I saw play music live. His music choice helped influence mine and gave me an ear for understanding how to have a dialogue about other people’s music. He taught me to look out for my friends and to give more than you expect to get. His positive attitude (even when things weren’t working out in his favor) showed me that life is a comedy you might as well chuckle and sing. He also taught me to not put up with bullshit people, and that there are times when you just have to move on. I mean he’s a dad, that’s want they do. Without his support I’d virtually be lost. I always know that when everything else is screwed I can land at home and figure my stuff out, get on my feet and start over again.
So listen to the album, rock out, share it with your friends, and if I can get him to come play in the city come out and see him. Happy Father’s Day, Dad