By Bridget Fahey Hodder
Artwork by Josh Evans
Ever since I could hit things with spoons, I have loved music. It can express something words cannot, but it can also shape who you are.
My friend’s dad, who was also a friend of mine, passed away this year after a very brave battle with cancer. He was a brilliant father, husband, musician, friend, and Vespa enthusiast. I had known him and his daughter since I was ten and had had the privilege of getting a few guitar lessons out of him.
The lesson I remember the most, and which always makes me laugh, is when he just yelled “Arch your bloody fingers!” at me because I was in a terrible punk band and could only play three chords.
His daughter and I remain close friends to this day. We created many bands over the years but the one I remember fondest was our folk/punk duet. Rarely did we play a gig in a proper venue, preferring to do alleyway shows for our friends in car parks, parklands, and gazebos, under bridges and on top of picnic tables. These shows would always be free, never had a proper schedule, and many of the attendees would bring their own instruments to play.
These days I play guitar and sing in a band called The Folko-oh-noes. I have also incorporated my love of music with my love for comedy. I am involved in three different shows in the Adelaide Fringe and although the workload is overwhelming, it is exactly what I want to do.
My friend’s father not only taught me a few guitar chords but he also showed me that you can never have enough instruments and you can never stop learning. I have now taken up, not only guitar and bass guitar, but also the mandolin, the ukulele and the harmonica. The ukulele travelled all over Europe with me. It even saved me when I ran out of money and had to busk in Munich, Amsterdam, and Venice. Granted, we mainly used the proceeds for beer, but hey, that’s Europe.
He will be missed and frequently thought of whenever I watch Father Ted or Seinfeld. I’d like to dedicate every hint of sarcasm, dry wit, and tune I play (well) to him because I’d be a very different person if he had not been in my life.