I drove down to Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, for a music festival I learned about just a few days ago. Shakemore is organized by David Fair, a founding member of Half Japanese and brother off Jad Fair. Half Japanese is one of my favorite bands ever. I was so excited to see them. Danielson was also playing, so it was exciting for me.
Shakemore is a big party. It is organized by a bunch of people in Maryland who are friends of David Fair. It is like a big family reunion with Half Japanese at the center.
When I was Miles’s age, I had a cassette with Charmed Life by Half Japanese on one side and an REM album on the other. I listened to Charmed Life over and over again. I loved it and Iove it still.
Throughout the day, I kept thinking that Miles would have loved it too. Miles loved Daniel Johnston. He also liked Jad Fair a lot. Fair and Johnston did an album together and Miles really enjoyed it. I like that Miles and I enjoyed the same music, and Jad Fair is a common touchpoint. I got to meet him and I told him how much his music means to me and that it is a good connection with my son. He thanked me.
The whole day, I was thinking that Miles and I could have had a great day there, enjoying the dozen and a half bands and getting into the Half Japanese set. It would have been the last thing Miles and I would do before he left for college. We could have had a fun time in the sun, listening to the music. He could have taken his skateboard with him and skated on the concrete surrounding the venue. We could have walked down the road with a new friend to get food at the little diner down the way. We could have laughed. To him it would have been a fun time, but he might have been looking ahead to more and bigger adventures just around the corner. For me, it would have been a last moment together as dad and son, enjoying the last few days before he left the house and moved out on his own to become more himself. I regret we could not go together.