The summer before my Senior year in high school was a sad time. My Father died. I'll spare the details but I can say that if you want to really mess up a seventeen year old stick him in this situation. I realized years later that the preceding few years weren't so good either with him being sick and all. We as humans have an infallible nature towards optimism. Things will always be alright. It takes the finality of death to really pull the rug out from under you.
That year in high school I really dug into my instrument. I locked myself away for hours and jammed to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, Kiss, Zeppelin, Van Halen, and anything I could get my ears on. We didn't have a lot of money in my house so I bought very few albums. When I did get to buy music it was from the cutout bin. (another fortunate event as I'll describe later). I do remember having a boom box with a tape player/recorder. It was cool because you could play your favorite station and record it. I was into the album rock stations (remember those?). I used to record and play along whenever I could. I hope my kids read this and understand just how hard it was back then to get access to music. I'm amazed with how available music is now with downloads and you tube.
The sadness was unbelievable and you really don't get a grip on how deep it is until years later. In a way I can be thankful for it now. I spent so much time just trying to make it through life and my friends and my music helped life make some sense to me. It's funny; that's still true today.