Monday, December 29, 2008

Paul Genova 1954-2008

Most often my musical touch points are bands, albums, and songs. But there are a few instances in my life when the touch point is a person from my past. Paul Genova was such a person. And sadly, he passed away on December 13, shortly before the winter Solstice and Christmas.

I first met Paul when I was perhaps fourteen. He was my youth advisor at our church and I also babysat for his two youngest kids. As a budding music fan, going to Paul and his wife Noel’s house to babysit was a revelation. There was all of this amazing music I had never heard—bands like Love Tractor and Pylon. And Paul was cool. He was one of the first adults that I really felt like I could identify with and talk to. Paul never condescended. He truly listened and cared. And looking back now, he has had a profound impact on the man I’ve become, especially as a father.

I know where I believe Paul is now. But wherever his spirit is, I know there’s music.

And thanks for everything, Paul.

I don’t know if Paul ever listened to Gas Lamp Anthem. But the band’s song “’59 Sound” has been in my head every time I think about him.

Well, I wonder which song they're gonna play when we go.
I hope it's something quiet and minor and peaceful and slow.
when we float out into the ether, into the Everlasting Arms,
I hope we don't hear Marley's chains we forged in life.
'cause the chains I been hearing now for most of my life.

Did you hear the '59 Sound coming through on Grandmama's radio?
Did you hear the rattling chains in the hospital walls?
Did you hear the old gospel choir when they came to carry you over?
Did you hear your favorite song one last time?

02 The 59 Sound.mp3 -


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