daphne · journal

Widowhood Season 8.5: The child is father of the man

Surf’s Up, The Beach Boys, Surf’s Up

Back in the days before music was easy (and free) to obtain, if you damaged your copy of an album, you pretty much lost your ability to hear that music until you obtained a copy again.

Both Kevin and I grew up listening to The Beach Boys. However, I wasn’t really exposed to anything post-Pet Sounds until I met him. Surf’s Up was one of the songs that made Kevin cry sometimes when he heard it. It had touched him deeply when he was a young man, and it took quite awhile for him to track down the album again after his copy was destroyed (Vinyl exposed to heat, sigh.).

In the late 90’s, he was able to obtain a new vinyl copy of Surf’s Up. I was quite used to Kevin introducing me to music, but this was different. He was introducing me to music he was reuniting with for the first time in his adult life. I soon grew to love this album as much as he did. I’m absolutely giddy that it’s now available via the wonders of streaming music.

Kevin was his own variation on the Tortured Genius motif. He was a weird, brainy, scrawny, smart-ass kid being raised (alongside his older brother) by his Mom. His folks split up when he was 7. This definitely had a huge impact on him as he grew up. He was the lone intellectual in his household, as his brother and mother were more concerned with outward appearances. His Dad was the one he got the “maker” mindset from, but visitation weekends and “working vacations” weren’t exactly quality time.

Kevin’s curiosity and ability to learn things quickly and independently served him well as an adult. It’s how he got his job at Roland and how he became the go-to-guy when it came to vintage synths in his 20’s. His 30’s and 40’s were spent working on all sorts of gear as well as spend hours giving advice to others in forums or via email. I honestly wish he’d have been able to spend his 50’s building up his own line of Eurorack modules, but that wasn’t meant to be.

I can’t help but think if he’d been nurtured more as a kid, he’d have had a better foundation to build his tech business. He was supported, sure but being nurtured is a whole different plane. It’s what helps propel people into greatness and helps them not be such tortured souls. Again, unfortunately, that as not meant to be. At least in this universe.

I must say I’m enjoying this particular type of writing exercise. It gives me an outlet to think about Kevin during the time of year he’s in my thoughts 80% of the time anyway. It’s also making me realize that music was our primary love language. These 14 examples are only a drop in the bucket when it comes to the songs that my soul will forever associate with Kevin. I may have to do this every year, as I know there are enough songs to write about in batches of 14 to last me several more years.

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