Darkness rollin’ in: I nearly always start with just pencil and paper, no guitar, bass or piano. And as I say words like “nearly" and “always", I'm referring to this new process, learning about my inner music, my own process of creation.
This time i sat at the end of my bed before midnight on November 22nd, the night before the morning my dad was killed 9 years ago. I sat with the words and the feelings and “put” them to guitar just before midnight again on December 20th, the night before the first day of winter, my dads birthday. When i wrote the words they flowed out faster than I could write them as i sat at the end of my bed, thinking of his loss…again.
He was killed almost 10 years ago, suddenly being rear ended while driving to work on the highway just before 4am. When my dad was hit by the truck in the fog, chances are he didn't feel much. He was found far from his vehicle, i don’t like to think how he got there, but its haunting. Ropes from the back of his small pickup truck were hanging in the nearby trees. The long black streaks spanning hundreds of feet on the highway from the 18 wheeler braking prior to impact…thats part of the darkness rollin’ in.
If you haven’t suffered loss like this, I can’t comfort you and tell you it feels better, and thats pain. When you loose someone you love, and someone that is loved by so many, the void cuts deep and you just want to forget. Sometimes you can forget, when you remember its worse. When its sudden, and unexplainable, its just…sudden and so unexplainable.
I never met my biological father, being born in England as Gary Birkhamshaw, raised by my mom on a council estate. We moved to the US in the 90’s in a back and forth pattern for a few years, 6 months here 6 moths there as we didnt have permanent residency. Going into my teens I met George Upton, my mom tells a story that I asked her to get married to George. Fortunately they had been up to something behind the scenes, unknown to me. George gave me all the love an attention a boy without a dad could have ever wished for. I was officially adopted and become Gary Upton when i was 13. He was my sons Pappa for 5 years, absolutely adored by his grandson. My moms best friend. George Upton was my only dad, my father, he was killed just 16 years later, far too soon and far too young at the age of 52.
Darkness rollin' in echos just some of these feelings of loss for all...