Sunday, June 21, 2009

Famous Fathers for Fathers Day

In honor of Fathers Day, here are some famous fathers and why they should always be remembered and revered and this holiest of holy days:

Al Hendrix, Father of Jimi Hendrix

Known for his generosity and kindness, Al Hendrix raised Jimi, and his older brother Leon, as a single father from the time Jimi was 10 years old. He gave Jimi a ukele, then eventually an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar which Jimi took to immediately. Jimi never took guitar lessons but just developed his technique on his own. Al was always supportive of his son's desire to play music and express himself creatively. Al was also a retired war veteran and spent most of his working years as a gardener. After Jimi died, Al fought for control of Jimi's recordings and legacy and eventually won all rights to Jimi's name and music in 1995. He founded Experience Hendrix, a management company dedicated to preserving Jimi's legacy. He was also instrumental in getting archived material out to the public of many of Jimi's 'lost' recordings. Al was a great father and was dedicated to both of his sons until he died in 2002 of heart failure.

Gene Simmons, KISS

I have been a fan of KISS for 30 years and Gene has always been my least favorite character. Yes he was kind of evil as 'The Demon' and had a cool tongue and spit blood and breathed fire and all that. But, he was just sort of so over the top that he became a distraction to the music and the rest of the band. Later as he become more well known for his business dealings and his ability to brand KISS into one of the most recognizable names in pop culture, every time you heard him speak or read about him, he was always bragging about how many women he has slept with or how much money he was worth. I had written him off as just a greedy, selfish rock idiot.

Jil and I then started watching Family Jewels which is a reality show based on Gene's family: his girlfriend of 25 years Shannon Tweed, his son Nick and daughter Sophie. After two or three episodes it becomes clear that Gene in addition to being greedy and a blowhard is surprisingly, a fantastic father. He is self-deprecating when he needs to be, very open in communicating how he feels towards his family and how much they mean to him. And, very meddlesome (and caring) in trying to arrange dates for his daughter and helping his son Nick form a rock band. What you quickly learn from this show is that this guy really just wants to be the best dad possible and he takes it seriously. I read just recently a quote that says the definition of a man is that he takes his life and the lives of those he loves very seriously. Who knew? Gene Simmons, awesome dad.

Karsten Solheim, Father of the Ping Putter

Is there a better putter on the planet than a Ping Putter? No. Lots of good ones out there and even Tiger's putter, which is a Titleist, is made after the Anser 4 model which Ping made back in 1985. Karsten is the father of this wonderful club and named it after the nice little 'ping' sound that you get when you strike your ball in the sweet spot. His company now makes all kinds of golf stuff including the G2 Driver, which new father Grant Rowan hits very hard and very long. Thank you Karsten for making all of our golf lives a little bit ping-ier.

Bill Gates, philanthropist, billionaire and Father of the Xbox

An invention is good and valuable if it's value is made known immediately. The Xbox, which Bill didn't really invent but he is the Father of Microsoft so therefore pretty much the father of the Xbox, is a fantastic device which becomes useful the minute it's plugged in. Why? So your children can spend hours entertainng themselves with Halo, Deadrising, Street Ball 4, Ghost Recon and Guitar Hero while you and the spouse get busy with other 'things'. I mean, getting some time with your lover is a tough thing to do when you have kids. Especially during the summer months when they are home a lot. But, rent them a new game from Blockbuster, take them down in the basement, and turn it on. Then go get your spouse turned on and you will have 15 mintues of uninterupted love time. I say 15 because I've heard some guys can hang on that long. I think it's a myth myself. Anyway, if you only need five minutes, get the Xbox and distract your kids. Thanks Bill Gates!

Finally, Father Time

This guy is a real asshole. He is not kind, generous or attentive. He sets his wheel in motion and then lets the rest of us panic and flounder about trying to make the best use of our time until he takes it away, using his half-brother the Grim Reaper, another asshole. These guys make us feel guilty for not using every minute of our lives as productively as possible. They know that the time we have is finite and that we won't get any more. So if we are not utilizing the time alloted to us, we are therefore wasting time. And wasting time, to Father Time, is a bad, bad thing. He makes us realize, after we waste time, how precious our time on Planet Earth is and how we need to seize that time or forever feel regret as we look back and think of the things we should or shouldn't have done with our time. Father Time really at his core essence, doesn't care what you think of him. His love is not based on whether you are happy. His love is based on the complete awakening that each of us has one day, that one moment in our lives where we look in the mirror and finally understand with awful certainty, Fuck, I Am Going To Die. At that moment, Father Time is your best friend.

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