My Father The Mortician

Breigh February 25, 2010 6

The Morticians
My father (seated center) and his band, The Morticians, in the ruins of Moxham’s Castle (1966)

Today an old friend of the family posted these photos of my father and his band, The Morticians, on Facebook.  They were taken in the mid to late 60’s.   I’ve heard a lot about the band my father played in when he was a teenager, how popular they became and all the fun they had (well, I’m sure he left some of it out, he WAS a teenager in the 60’s!), but this is the first time I’ve seen photos of it.  He used to tell me all the time about how they had their photo taken in the ruins of Moxham’s Castle after it burned to the ground in 1966.  I’ve never seen either of these photos until today.  I find it so cool!  Apparently  they used to arrive at their gigs in a hearse, which I’m sure must have added just the right amount of drama to their performances.

The Morticians
My father (left) with his teenage band, The Morticians.  Canadians might know the man next to him (James Flynn) as the Canadian entertainer Jimmy Flynn.

If you are anything like me, you find it very cool when you see photos of your parents when they were young.  Especially if it’s one like this, that you’ve always heard of but have never seen.

My father is a musician, so growing up I always heard a lot of stories about the different bands he’s been in.  I would hear all about how my Nana used to drive him and his band mates to their gigs, all the crazy things that would happen with the people in the crowds and all the antics he and his band would get up to.   It wasn’t just family telling the tales either! More than once I’ve met someone’s parents for the first time and listened to them tell me about how they saw my father play at some time or another.  I once even had to sit through a friend’s mother gushing about how much she loved The Morticians and how cute my father was.

When I was growing up my father was in a band called ‘57 Chevy.  I always felt so cool when we’d go to some event that my father was playing at.  I loved to listen to him sing, and I still do.  There were bands before ‘57 Chevy though, and I didn’t get to witness any of those.  They were just like family folk tales to me, I knew the stories by heart but sometimes it seemed so hard to imagine my dad as ever being a teenager, it was hard to believe it was all real.

dadguitar2 dadguitar

My father is passionate about  music and I love that about him.   I could sit all night and listen to him play the guitar and sing.   I love that he has something in his life that he feels so strongly about and that he is so good at, and I wish like hell I’d taken advantage of it when I was young and learned to play the guitar.   He tried to teach me when I was a teenager but when he told me I had to cut my nails, it was game over.

tamdad

Anyway, I love my dad.  I loved getting a glimpse into his past and seeing him at a time that I know everything was exciting and new… before mom, before me… when he was just a teenage boy in a band.  I especially love getting to see the Moxham’s Castle photo shoot that I’d heard so much about.

It’s been over 40 years since those photos were taken and he’s still as dedicated to his music as he was back then.  I’m so proud of him and even though most of the songs he’s written make me cry, I can’t wait to get home in October and have him play for me again.

6 Comments »

  1. Michele February 26, 2010 at 4:22 am - Reply

    Wow. That is just. incredible. LOVE it. Love the family folklore.
    .-= Michele´s last blog ..Happy Day 31 =-.

    • Breigh February 26, 2010 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Yeah me too :) I was SO excited when I saw my dad’s friend had posted these on FB.

  2. Kara February 26, 2010 at 5:11 am - Reply

    How neat to have the pictures to accompany it all!
    .-= Kara´s last blog ..When Brothers Attack! =-.

    • Breigh February 26, 2010 at 9:19 am - Reply

      Yeah, I love old photos. Even ones that I forgot about from when I was a kid. Maybe it’s because I love photography, but I’ve always wished people took more photos of things. It’s a way of keeping a record really…

  3. Alison February 26, 2010 at 11:24 am - Reply

    That’s so cool! Those castle photos are fantastic, too! It’s always interesting seeing photos of parents before they became parents.

    I know what you mean about wishing you’d taken more advantage of your dad’s skill when you were younger. My dad was a professional photographer for most of my childhood, and he taught me some stuff, but now I wish I’d followed through and learned more of the technical stuff. I always have him in the back of my mind when I’m framing a shot, though. “Get closer. Move around for different angles. Look at the edges, not just the center.” ;)
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..For Reals =-.

    • Breigh March 2, 2010 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      Oh wow, yeah I can see how you’d probably wish you’d paid more attention. I was never really into music so it wasn’t so bad, even though I sort of wish I had the skill now. Photography is different, I wish I had someone close to me that had a lot of knowledge. I’d pick their brain nonstop haha

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