Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fighter Pilots (UPDATED)

Both my father and my step-father were US Air Force officers - fighter pilots - as well as best friends. My father and my step-father's wife died the same year a few months apart, so my mom and step-dad got married. They had known each other since before I was born, and I had known him all of my life, of course, so it was a natural: He just went from being "Uncle Joe" to being "dad" (I called my father "pop" and reserved that honor for him).

Those Greatest Generation guys rocked: My father was flying a P47-D Thunderbolt in WW II before his twentieth birthday, then he was recalled for the Korean Conflict and made the USAF a career. Later, he flew combat missions for the CIA in Viet Nam (It's all still classified: I have only the vaguest idea what he did there), and he finished up his career as the Station Traffic Officer at Yakota AFB, Tokyo, Japan (Which was the busiest Air Force base in the world at the time).

Joe remained in the service after WW II and was one of their top test pilots - he called General Yager "Charlie" - and he went on to be an Air Commando (Along with my father) and later had a brilliant stint at the Pentagon as one of their movers and shakers.


This is a different kind of piece than I usually post here, as it is something that I improvised and recorded in a single take: There is no sheet music for it. I'm basically exploring E Lydian, E Aeolean, and some secondary subdominant implications that they share. I'll probably explore it a bit more and flesh it out some, but I really like the feel I captured, though the timing is a bit rugged in places: I'll have to play it to a metronome some eventually.

The 5.1 MB MP3 is HERE


UPDATE: If you don't want to download the piece, you can listen to it on the web directly with your browser here.

I liked it so much I made it the bumper music on MySpace.


This will go on a CD I'm putting together entitled "Heavy Nylon" along with the title track and the "crowd pleaser" pieces I play in my set: Classical Gas, Desert Song, Spanish Fly, A Day at the Beach, Eu So Quero Um Xodo, Mood For a Day, Yankee Doodle Dixie, and Stairway to Heaven. I might put Sonata One on there as well.


This piece is dedicated to the memory of Lt. Col. Hobart G. Pepper Jr. and Col. Joe C. Vaden, both of the United States Air Force. I loved those guys.

Not my pop, but some Republic P47-D Thunderbolts snuggling up for a pose.




Blogger John Lanius said...

Very cool. I'll have to do the P47 in a Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake posting. And I may "borrow" the extra serving of cheesecake for the post, too.

9:28 PM  

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