Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts: Songs For Family

Regular readers (both of you) might have noticed that something was missing a couple of days ago.Every Monday at 8 a.m. Pacific time, there’s a new Why It Matters piece waiting to be ignored. Sometimes it’s a short story, others it’s a think piece, poem, anecdote or maybe a true tale of liquor, lust, and primary gray Camaros. I rarely miss a Monday.

My “Monday story” process looks something like this: Think for a few days, draft a piece longhand, then type it up. When Sunday arrives, edit the sumbitch, add a cover photo, and schedule it to post. Routine is important. I get antsy when my routine is disrupted.

But this Sunday my daughter invited me to lunch, and not just any lunch. Her plan included a four hour drive along the winding roads of Mendocino County, destination Fort Bragg. I don’t get much time with the kid these days–she’s moved on to friends, boyfriends, and other distractions. Kids grow up and move on, that’s just how it is. Minutes later we were in the car, headed up I-5 and talking about whatever came into our heads.

By the time we arrived at and then enjoyed the beach, it was dinnertime. We dropped into North Coast Brewing’s taproom for dinner and a Pranqster, and then it was back into the car for the four hour drive home. On the way back we listened to whatever music she wanted, but I could tell that she was going easy on me. Hers was a compromise playlist with emphasis on “show me something new, Dad.” We rocked some Queen deep cuts, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, Stevie Wonder. At one point she played “Cats In the Cradle” and I fought the urge to turn into a puddle.

When all was said and done, ten hours were missing out of my Sunday. There was no time for editing a cruddy WIM piece for the sake of adhering to a deadline that I set for myself years ago and feel bad if I miss, even though it doesn’t really matter much.

Family moments. You have to grab them when they present themselves.

Anyway, let’s get to the music:


“Family Affair,” Sly and the Family Stone.

“Southern Family Anthem,” Shooter Jennings.

“We’re A Happy Family,” The Ramones.

“Family Tree,” TV On the Radio.

“Family Snapshot,” Peter Gabriel.

“Back to the Family,” Jethro Tull.

“Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family,” David Bowie.

“Family System,” Chevelle.

There you have it: Eight songs for the people who know you better than you know yourself. What did I miss? I’m listening.

10 replies »

  1. My only direct experience with parent/child relationships is the dysfunctional one I had with my parents, plus a lifetime of observation. I have two observations to share: 1) No parent feels he/she has done an adequate job in rearing their children. 2) Judged from my ivory tower, I can confidently say that you have done a better job rearing your offspring than 90% of other parents. Please do not diminish this compliment with any yeah-but-I-shouldas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are so many takes on family time. The piece you wrote sounded very Ozzie and Harriet-ish. It’s sad but 75% of the people I know well, fit into e Bud Aungst file. So, Lucky you. Me? we were so dirt poor I fit into the “Dolly Parton” category. We had no choice but to have family time 24/7.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was a Sunday well spent.

    “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” – The Hollies
    “The Captain and the Kid” – Jimmy Buffett
    “I Still Can’t Say Goodbye” – Merle Haggard
    “The Breath You Take” – George Strait
    “Grandma’s Hands” – Bill Withers
    “My Father’s Eyes” – Eric Clapton
    “Family” – The Rolling Stones
    “We Are Family” – Sister Sledge
    “Mother” – John Lennon
    “Former Lee Warmer” – Alice Cooper

    Liked by 1 person

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