Today we are releasing the title track to our record, Hollywood Park, five weeks early. There are many reasons for this: we had to push the release date due to the Covid-19 crisis, we’re all locked indoors so we think it’s best to share as much as we can at this time, etc.. But this song is very very special to me. I’d like to tell you why.
I think for those of us still around to think about it, nothing ever really ends. Life always changes, it becomes darker then lighter, harder then easier. And once you start to anticipate those things, it suddenly it changes in some new, unexpected way, becoming redder, say, or oranger, hotter or colder. Then it’s mostly grey for years on end followed by a brief time where you may lose the ability to sense color or temperature because it’s all changing too quickly so instead you wrap yourself up in sounds and feelings instead of sights or sensations. Then that too ceases and suddenly life is a huge mountain of rock jutting up into the sky. Then it’s a river you float down, a free fall through the air. Then it just becomes something abstract and formless, a hum or a buzz, then a dark room where nothing moves or makes a sound. We share nothing with the dead because they aren’t able to think or feel these things, they have removed themselves from this journey.
But somewhere in the endless variation of experience is a place for memory, a place where reality exists as a touchstone for something else. And so we abandon reality and commune with dreamscapes instead, inhabiting them like lost children looking for home in a strange part of town. And it is there that the dead congregate, alive and awake, such is the endlessness of life that unfolds both inside and outside the mind.
That’s where I find my Dad, waiting for me in a room a thousand feet beneath Hollywood Park — the racetrack where we spent so much time together, the one he visited the day he got out of prison with his brother, feeling free with a cold beer and great big blue sky over his head, the one he returned to after 15 years of trying to change, the one we went to as kids where he taught us to be men, whatever that means. It was torn down after he died and it doesn’t exist anymore which means it has become a memory too. But I still go there. Because he’s still there sitting with his cowboy boots kicked up on a table in a bright room a thousand feet beneath it. He’s got his hands behind his head as he leans back with that cackle of a laugh, the crow’s feet, the tan, weathered face and deep voice reasoning with me about my life, my goals, my dreams, my relationships, the family, my own death where I will meet other people in other strange rooms in a dark part of their imaginations years after I die. And there we are still inseparable. I bring him with me, a piece of my imagination as I become a piece of someone else’s.
None of this is adequate in any real psychological sense and I’m not saying we transcend death through love or anything so syrupy. I’m saying some people walk the earth together. It’s nothing they’ve chosen. It just works out that way. I don’t know what I would have become had he not been there. Something more broken perhaps.
But I was lucky. I walked the earth with my Dad at my side. I did and I do and always will.
I wrote this song for him.
It’s called “Hollywood Park.”
You can listen to it HERE.
1 – Los Angeles, CA – Hosted by Book Soup – Tickets
2 – San Francisco, CA – Hosted by Book Smith – Tickets
4 – Brooklyn, NY – Hosted by Greenlight Bookstore – Tickets
5 – New York, NY – Hosted by The Strand – Tickets
6 – Washington, DC – Hosted by Politics And Prose – Tickets
7 – Providence, RI – Hosted by RiffRaff – Tickets
8 – Boston, MA – Hosted by Harvard Book – Tickets
9 – Austin, TX – Hosted by Book People – Tickets
11 – Chicago, IL – Hosted by Book Cellar – Tickets
12 – Denver, CO – Hosted by Tattered Cover – Tickets
13 – Seattle, WA – Hosted by Elliott Bay Book – Tickets
The beloved independent north east record/book store chain Bull Moose is offering an exclusive Album/Book bundle. Only 500 copies of this limited edition White Wedding and Silver Lady Haze 180 gram vinyl are available.
Check out Indie Bound for other independent stores near you.