Dad used to play records with guitar tunes over and over and learn them by ear, Tom Jones, Presley, Maori party songs, and ballads with big vocals. This was when he was at his happiest. Doing something he really loved.
Now that I’m older, it brings a smile to my face but also makes me a bit sad to know he gave up up his other dreams to become a husband and father of six.
It was rare to hear records played at our family parties – it was always about dad playing guitar with an aunty or uncle unexpectedly blowing me away with their incredible and booming voices. It wouldn't take long for everyone to be singing and letting it all out (whether it was a celebration or a funeral).
Dad didn’t need an excuse to pull out his guitar and start strumming. He made it a massive and very memorable part of our lives.
I love this photo of my dad on guitar with my late Uncle Joe entertaining their friends. It was taken in the '50s. I'm rapt that I still have his jacket (which is older than me!)
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