My Musical Roots: Fats Domino

Oh, but I remember my brother playing Fats Domino's 45s. Although he was only seven years older than me, Rick was of an entirely different generation. While the 60s loomed ahead for me, in the 50s Rick was all about Elvis, Conway Twitty, The Platters, The Ventures, and Fats Domino.

I wasn't all that fond of Elvis. Even when I was still in the single digits age-wise, I felt there was something pre-fab about him. Something contrived and manufactured. Later, I learned that it was his manager, Col. Tom Parker, who castrated him, musically. But Fats Domino was a different matter...

He played what my mom called Boogie Woogie (which he did, sometimes) and his records were allowed on the family hi-fi because his was "real music". Yeah, Fats was like a member of our family, and I grew up seeing his beatific smile, his beautiful hair, and hearing his smooth voice nearly every day of my young life. I love Fats. His sweet face still makes me smile and feel all happy inside.

MAIN INFLUENCES: Rhythm and pacing. The piano as a viable instrument with the discovery of a leading left hand, and, again, just as Joe and Eddie reaffirmed for me a decade later, the joy that music brings. But most importantly, he taught me that words really matter.
“Something that happened to someone, that’s how I write all my songs. I used to listen to people talk every day, things would happen in real life. I used to go around different places, hear people talk. Sometimes I wasn’t expecting to hear nothin’, and my mind was very much on my music. Next thing I’d hear, I would either write it down or remember it good.” Fats Domino
Bless you, Fats!