History of Fathers Resources International - Part Two
By Danny Guspie
PROLOGUE: Part 2 - The Apple does not fall far from the tree
“The Beatles: An Authorized Biography” by Hunter Davies spoke to me like no other book I’d ever read before. I was a well read kid at that point, having read everything I could get my hands on from the moment I could read which would be somewhere around age four when my mother taught me the alphabet with a set of plastic letters that had magnets and a board to move them around on…
The Book: A wondrous tale happy, sad and true (or at least so I believed at that age…) that I related to. Mainly because of John Lennon’s family history, there was something very familiar and haunting about it, despite many things that were not held in common between our respective families. It was his quintessential Rock n’ Roll vocal – he seemed like the real deal (at a time when my family seemed like a charade…). I could not only hear his pain, but I could feel it – it gave expression to my own.
So began a love affair of a different sort, one of a young boy who’d found a kindred spirit, who wanted to know why he’d been so deeply affected by this story. It was not to be the first or the last time John Lennon would profoundly shape my development and independence in the same way Elvis Presley did for Lennon at age 15…
Arguably, Lennon’s music and the Beatles were the most influential aspect of my young life, helping me to feel hope, happiness and providing a language to articulate express and begin creating my own identity during my family crisis and resulting divorce. I always knew my parents were troubled from age 1 onwards. But at age 9 I became extremely cognizant that the end of my family was nigh.
John gave me an outlet. A very healthy one. He taught me how to transform pain into art. Music has always been my greatest outlet to expression. But John taught me how to scream. Really scream in a Rock n’ Roll way - Once I heard his first solo album when I was 12. I began my own form of primal therapy. When I heard him sing “Mother” I finally felt I wasn’t the only one who felt the same pain over a family that had large problems.
I absorbed Rock n’ Roll totally. It gave me a reason to get up everyday. Even today Little Richard’s “Wop bop a loo bop a wop bam boom…gets me “rockin’” I’m sure anyone who hears me play today, and who has heard my songs can easily see that John Lennon and Keith Richards made a huge and everlasting impression on me musically.
So I began playing drums and songwriting, and emulating John. Within 12 months my parents separated and ultimately divorced and I became a latch key kid, living with dad first then Mom, then on my own. So began my lifelong journey with divorce - But before I left home, I became a full fledged drop out. Spare was my favorite class in High School (with “high” being the operative word….)
At age 14 I was playing guitar, hooky on a daily basis, had done an enormous amount of drugs of all sorts and on weekends go to watch the film Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter” - 35 times to be exact at CineCity. I was also fanatical film watcher at the “Original 99 cent Roxy Theatre” long before the Rocky Horror Picture Show destroyed and closed that theatre down for good. It was a good place to hang and get high with minimal fuss and forget the mess my life was because of my own unhappiness with my family.
Next – Lost and Found