On the occasion of Father’s Day, which also syncs up with the season that is most suitable for long humid nights of Springsteen on the speakers, which also happens to kick off the time of year we lost Dad a few summers ago, I get to thinking about this piece written by good friend and frequent Inverted Soapbox dropped-name Barry Schwartz three years back. The piece first ran in the now-defunct Stylus, a densely talented, scrappily vibrant but under-appreciated web music mag that was tragically truncated well before its energies had run out, where Barry was writing about Born in the USA for a regular Stylus feature looking at the “why” behind albums that sold 10 million+.
Not only is this one of the best things Barry has ever written (disposing of passive-aggressiveness here to say: BARRY SHOULD STILL WRITE MORE), it’s one of the best things I can ever remember reading about fathers and sons; something that hits the rare balance of poignancy and anthropology. It kinda rips me up a little bit.
I’m guessing I can run the whole thing here since Stylus is now just a rotting husk (original link here) on the interwebs not even relegated to a proper 404 burial. Thanks to Barry for this one and the implied consent to republish here. And thanks to Dad, for all his great Vietnam stories, and for being the kind of guy Springsteen wrote about, just trying to do right by his family. Happy Father’s Day:
|By: Barry Schwartz
Published on: 2007-05-08
The Diamond is an apt name for albums certified for 10 million + sales by the Recording Industry Association of America. Each entry in this series will pose the question: why should we separate art from commerce?
Most likely I don’t know your father, but the laws of average suggest he’s probably a lot like mine. Mine’s named Mark; he’s from Syosset, Long Island; married his high school sweetheart when he was 20; commuted to the city everyday until he was 40, owning and operating a bridal gown business with his father on 38th and Broadway. In the early ’90s the garment industry went completely to hell so now he sells Toyotas. Continue reading