Hawksley Workman,
The TVD First Date

“I grew up in the deep sticks in rural Canada, and our closest record shop was also a Radio Shack electronics store.”

“My dad was a big record buyer and would get paid on Fridays and come home with a load of records under his arm. What he couldn’t find in stock at our small-town shop, he’d order, often coming from the UK, R&B rarities and such. His arrival home from on Fridays became quite anticipated. I had started to dig into his collection at a young age and started to sniff around the new offerings when I was 9 or 10. He liked pop music and disco, so there were offerings from the Bee Gees and early Elton John.

I remember a red vinyl dance compilation with a tri-fold album cover that I’d prop up like a voting booth and stick my face in to pretend I was in the studio or at the concert. I learned of the deeper satanic elements while listening to The Beatles 45s that I’d play on 33 and lay out album covers on the carpet in the living room in mathematical orders of favourites.

One Friday in particular my dad arrived home late with only one album, John Lennon’s Double Fantasy. My brother and I were already having dinner, frozen fish sticks and peas. Without words my parents embraced and wept in the doorway my dad still holding the plastic wrapped vinyl. It would be years later that I’d put together that it must have only been a short time after Lennon’s murder and the feelings were still raw.

Eventually my brother and I started playing the drums like our dad. The three of us would take turns playing drums in front each other along to records. There’d often be a new single that would get a workout on drum nights with the needle dropping repeatedly to the beginning as we drummed along trying to decode some of the rhythmic mysteries.

A few times a year we’d all be loaded into the family car for the 3 hour drive to Toronto. There, we’d go to the temple of recorded music, Sam The Record Man on Yonge Street. In room after dingy, strange room, my dad would pour over bins of records, always emerging with a stack protected like a baby bird under his wing. I remember getting home after one of these trips and we’d no sooner be back in the woods in our house and my dad would be spinning his new treasures. James and Bobby Purify, “I’m Your Puppet.” The Rockford Files theme song and Blue Oyster Cult.

Music was constantly being played in my house. As a kid I thought this was normal, we all think what’s going on in our homes when we’re young is “normal” I guess. I realize now a love of music was ignited in me in those years in the late ’70s and early ’80s. A sense that recorded music was nuanced and layered magic that could only be decoded with repeated listens.

This love still burns brightly today. Streaming will never replace crossing the threshold of the front door of your house, and without even putting the milk away first, lurching towards the player, thumb nailing the sleeve open to spin the day’s freshest catch.”
Hawksley Workman

Median Age Wasteland, the new full length release from Hawksley Workman is in stores now via Isadora Records—on vinyl.

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PHOTO: DUSTIN RABIN

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