My father died in a Phoenix area hospital on September 1, 2015. This album is about my summer in Phoenix, about me trying to keep my Dad alive.
We didn't get along, not very well. I hated my father at times, and didn't like him much. He was angry, loud and self-righteous. If he felt threatened, which was often, he would put you down. I will not offer excuses for him. He was an original, and he had his moments.
When I was thirteen, we went to Jewel-Osco for some food and Jewel's manager accused me of stealing candy. I vehemently denied this, because I did not steal candy (that time). Dad had my back.
Once, at the Venice pier, I laid into a fishermen for pulling the stinger off a sting-ray. I called the fisherman an asshole. The man was angry, but Dad had my back.
When my mother died, I needed my Dad. And, for the first time, due in part to his disability, he needed me. We drove from Miami to Chicago to Miami in the summer of 2011 so I could help him dismantle his garage and clean up his apartment. It was good. We talked. It was a break-through. He didn't understand me, and I didn't understand him, but, sometimes, we found common ground.
When I was fifteen, I gave him a copy of Slayer's Reign in Blood. He loved it. This surprised me. No one in my family gave a shit about metal, but he understood.
Bill Bendell, you fucker. I love you.
released October 22, 2015
Justin Bendell: MUSIC + LYRICS + SHODDY PRODUCTION
all rights reserved