Tom entered the engineering booth to an intoxicating sound of jazzy blues. Matt was exceptional at mixing styles and making them sound amazing. It was why he was the go-to musician. Tom smiled.
Legends like John Kay, Robby Krieger, Michael Monarch, Michael Allsup, Duane Allman, Eric Clapton, and Jorma Kaukonen, among others, had taught Matt guitar. In doing so, they had created one of the best. He’d learned blues from B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and many other greats as well. Jazz was just something he picked up on easily. The mix made him one of the most versatile.
And the bassists for most bands had also taken time to teach Matt their instrument. As had the drummers. Over time, he had learned that his voice meshed well with any style and had lent his vocals to the background of many of the albums and songs he had been privileged to record on. As a child, his high tenor held well within the choral sounds and brought the female and male backing vocals together.
As he now entered his teens, he wasn’t singing as much. This was because of the changes his voice was going through. Still, he knew that things would soon even out and he could return to singing. He’d said that he would give it a year or two to do so. That should be enough time.
As a teen, he was also starting to spend more time in the engineering booth learning the recording, mixing and mastering that went into production. Everyone was eager to teach him. He was the most attentive student and had a natural ear for the ‘right’ sound. He could pick it out of the air when most of the veterans would still be straining their ears to hear it.
But at the moment, he sat in the sound booth playing his guitar. The music was entrancing. Intoxicating. It wound itself around the listener’s brain and wouldn’t let go. It was almost as if he added a touch of magic to his music.
Tom closed his eyes. It was so soothing. So beautiful. So melodic.
He wished it would go on. Still, even the boy wonder had to eat. He smiled. He thought of Matt as the boy wonder out of respect. After all, Matt was a musical genius, a prodigy.
Prodigies didn’t come along very often. At least not ones who weren’t willing to squander their talents or listen to others tell them how the world ran. Those willing to run the world were a rare breed indeed.
The music stopped, but the spell it had weaved still lingered.Tom opened his eyes and smiled. Too bad Natalia wasn’t here to hear this. She would be so proud of her son.
But she had chosen to lose herself in the hippie lifestyle. She had chosen to let Matt live separate from her and maybe it had been for the best. After Trent’s death, she had gone over the edge. She had literally went wild. Crazy. Mental.
Of course, she hadn’t just lost Trent. She had also lost Matt’s little brother Michael. A miscarriage caused by the news of Trent’s death on the field. But everyone had felt the loss.
She had run again, as she had with the first trauma she’d suffered. Instead of staying and allowing those around her to help her cope, she had run. And she had dragged Matt with her. But Tom had been able to find her in Selma when he was sent there to cover the civil rights march going on.
Then, she had followed him to California, into the hippie commune movements. He had been sent there to investigate the communes and do a write up on them. Of course, the assignment had been a three-year one. He was supposed to infiltrate, become a member, and interview as many as possible. And he did.
Natalia, even though she knew he was happily married, had made moves on him at that point. He had tried, as gently as possible, to squelch any notions like that from her. Although he loved her, he looked at her like a father looked at a daughter. Not a lover.
Still, she did not understand. And though he was still allowed to help with Matt, she seemed to cool toward him. And their friendship seemed to become less like a friendship and more of an acquaintance-type relationship. Cordial, but distant.
A tear formed in his eye. It was sad. She fell, headlong, into the hippie lifestyle from that point on. Now, that lifestyle was dying. What kind of backlash would hit those who had lived it? What would grow out of it?
He shook his head. Now, Matt was having to make grownup decisions on what to do where his siblings were concerned. Right now, it was Star and Rainbow. the poor girls were caught in the middle of a drug-induced battle between Natty and her current lover. Matt was swiftly reaching the boiling point where his slow temper was concerned and the one who was caught in the cross-hairs was his mother’s lover. Tom would hate to be in that man’s shoes when Matt went after him.
He snapped out of his thoughts as recording wrapped up. Matt emerged from the recording booth and looked at him. “Looks like you were lost in thought, Pops. Something on your mind?”
Tom nodded. “Not anything you can fix. Just remembering better days.” He looked at the bag in his hand, then changed the subject. “Got you some Chinese.”
Matt’s eyebrows rose. “Moo goo gai pan?”
Tom smirked. “No, thought a little Chinese guy by the name of Han would make you a great meal.” he chuckled as Matt gave him a perturbed look. “Of course I got you moo goo gai pan.”
Matt crinkled his nose. “Smart ass.”
Tom smiled. “Of course. I want to have you trained right. Can’t have you growing up without a sense of humor. Serious only gets you so far.”
They laughed as tom took the takeout boxes out of the bag and handed them to Matt, along with chopsticks. Once Matt was situated, Tom removed his own meal out of the bag with his plastic fork and spoon. Matt might be able to eat with those infernal sticks, He thought to himself, but I’ll stick to utensils I understand.