Quantcast

"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" - A New Series Created By William Mesnik, The Mind Behind “Mesmerized”- EPISODE # 11 - "A CONVERSATION WITH MY FATHER" - FEATURING THE ALBUM "TEA FOR THE TILLERMAN" By CAT STEVENS IN HIGH DEFINITION WITH NARRATIVE

Download Share
Runtime: 40:35 | Views: 110 | Comments: 0

“CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL” – A New Series Created By William Mesnik, The Mind Behind “Mesmerized”- EPISODE # 11 -A CONVERSATION WITH MY FATHER

EPISODE #11 TEA FOR THE TILLERMAN by Cat Stevens (A&M, 1970)

Yusef Islam, aka Steven Demtre Georgiou, aka Steve Adams, aka Cat Stevens was very popular for awhile in the early 70s, racking up a couple of triple platinum albums and many enduring hit songs, starting in 1966 with I Love My Dog, which reached number 28 on the UK singles chart. He wrote Here Comes My Baby for the Tremeloes, and The First Cut is the Deepest, which has been covered by Rod Stewart and Sheryl Crow, among many others.

But it was after contracting TB in 1969, after months in the hospital and a year of convalescence, that the direction of Cat’s life and music would change radically, taking on a tone of spirituality and deep reflection. With a clutch of new songs (which became the album Tea for the Tillerman), recorded in a stripped down, more honest fashion, Cat Stevens’ influence began to spread around the world. I was one of the people whose lives were touched by this zen-like album, and it urged me to think about, and act upon hitherto un-thought-of existential issues, – most significantly the need to confront my father about my future.

Leon was a tough WW2 sergeant, a Jewish, Gary Cooperish, “silent” guy. He couldn’t express emotion, and, instead depended on logic and determination to get through the gauntlet of life’s challenges. As the years progress, I realize more and more that I am my father’s son – with some modifications. (In reaction to my parental affection deprivation, I vowed to be a much more loving dad to my kids). Back then I was terrified of him, unable to say no to his demands and ministrations. He disdained my artistic aspirations, more out of a world wary practicality than outright dismissal. I knew that I would never be pursuing the law career he had chosen for me, but I didn’t have the guts to tell him. I even took the LSAT, trying to buy myself some time before the inevitable conflagration.

Cat Stevens’ song Father and Son gave me the courage I needed to have that difficult conversation.

“How can I try to explain? When I do he turns away again, It’s always been the same, same old story. From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen, Now there's a way
And I know that I have to go away, I know I have to go.”

Cat made me realize that even though it was going to be hard, it was necessary to let him know where we stood.

So, I told my father I was going to be an actor, not a lawyer, and his reply? “Well, don’t expect any help from me.” That’s it? Alrighty then! A weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I started working immediately in my chosen field, and I haven’t stopped since. We eventually came to a meeting of the minds, and when he died, at 96, a much more emotionally responsive guy, we were closer than we’d ever been. We just needed to grow up, I suppose.


By Rich Buckland 05/24/2021 03:42 PM

Recent Comments

There are no comments yet.

Post Your Comment





Post comment