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“Don’t die with your music still in you…”

Wayne Dyer

No matter how long you have been on this planet, there’s something you still need to do.

I remember when my father started going through old papers, notebooks and letters he had stored in my aunt and uncle’s basement in Crestline, California – 5000 feet up in the San Bernardino Mountains

I found that odd, but I knew what he was up to. He had recently emerged from the hospital after suffering a fall in the shower and developing subdural hematomas, which rendered him incapable of doing basic things like using silverware, holding a cup of tea (his favorite) or even walking.

He had fully improved by the time decided to get rid of that stuff.

I couldn’t have been more than twenty, and I just watched him as he discarded item after item. It was as if he had an agenda, and it seemed to me then that he had a taste of his own mortality and wanted to make sure he “cleaned house.”

He died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm soon after that. That day also happened to be my 21st birthday – the day my twin brother and I were set to party it up. Our friends had a limo ready for us. Let’s just say that was a bust.

The above is not so much a digression as it is a story about what my father felt he had to do, and I kind of wish I had those discarded items to shift through to make better sense of his life and the man he was.

Do the Thing

But this post is not just about getting your house in order before you die; it’s about making sure we don’t depart this mortal coil with our work unfinished – our purpose unfulfilled.

I’m going to be 57 in July. That number is almost unbelievable – and if I let my thoughts run rampant, I am afraid that they will take me to a place of regret – the cursed domain of “should-haves,” “would-haves” and “could-haves.”

I have written before about the value of reconnecting with our inner 12-year-olds to see what resonated with us then. Forget the conventional wisdom that a pre-teen doesn’t yet have the ability to intuit what they want from life. I have a feeling that we all have an inkling of what moves us long before that. It’s only after repeated exposure to those who tell us to stop daydreaming that we begin to lose – or sublimate – our innate and God-given talents.

Look at the people who told you to grow up. Did their lives show any indication of fulfillment? Of joy?

Probably not.

Chances are good that somebody else told them to grow up, thereby continuing a generational beat-down – a downward spiral of error, if you will.

Conform or die.

Always remember this obvious fact: Death is not the exclusive domain of the old. The bell could toll at any time. Earl Nightingale, the Dean of Personal Development, once said something to the effect that if we are on course, the end could come like a snapped piece of film in a reel as we are going about our business.

What do you need to finish?

What do you need to start?

What thing have you talked about for years, for decades, that you never got around to starting?

Believe me, the urge to complete that thing will not stop dogging you. No matter how much you try to avoid it.

The result – bitterness. Regret. Failure to launch. The void.

There is something inside you that needs to be realized – something dear to you that you have cherished since you were little. It is my hope that you dust that off and begin in earnest to nurture that.

From my heart to yours: Start the thing. You will be glad you did.

After years of hemming and hawing; after false starts and heaping helpings of procrastination, my brother and I finally launched our podcast…

Episode 46 – "Hermit Crab Hermitage" Yale Brothers Podcast

A venerable Myrtle Beach gift store turns 75. Isolation tanks. Exploring London in 1980. Concert memories in Los Angeles, wah pedals, regrets and so much more – including a deep dive into the cassette archive. Above: Missy, who was constipated. SHOW NOTES: 0:00 – "Caprice" by Chris Yale – circa 1981 3:50 – Greetings and about the song / Original band, Yale / KROQ / Tascam 144 Portastudio / Eurythmics / Springsteen Nebraska 5:34 – The Gay Dolphin turns 75 / Seashells / Tchotchkes / Shell wholesalers / Beachwear Stores / Hermit crab hermitage / Are crabs still a thing? 7:58 – The crow at our last gig / Chris' spirit animal 9:00 – More Gay Dolphin 9:35 – Hobcaw Barony / Legends in Concert / Brookgreen Gardens / Vereen Memorial Gardens / Wishing Tree / Goat Island / Bird Island 12:08 – Roger's daughter went to Ireland, but her luggage stayed in Amsterdam 12:33 – Isolation tanks / "Altered States" / Sensory deprivation / Ego / Tripping in the tank 15:09 – Tours of the mind 15:22 – Exploring London in 1980 / The White House Hotel / The stolen Gideons Bible / Dad wouldn't let us go to Paris / Gilles and Maryanne Kohler / Our gone-too-soon friend Pascal and his guitar sound 18:14 – Les Pauls versus Strats and Telecasters 19:23 – Roger wanted to hitchhike to NYC at 18 – working odd jobs in towns along the way / Chris' similar plans 20:23 – Losses and regrets / X-Men number 1 and other comics 23:35 – Artists we've seen the most / Springsteen / Elton John 24:10 – Sparks at the Greek / Tears for Fears at the Forum 24:47 – The Roxy / Chris with The Real Impossibles / Marc Platt / Kenny Rankin / Thomas Dolby / Bob Seger / The Rainbow 25:57 – "Hey baby – we have beer and pot." / Guilty by association / Asking for the sale 27:44 – Chris' earbuds / Revolver / Rubber Soul / No music while reading or writing 28:55 – More Beatles talk 29:50 – Crybaby Wah Pedal / Wah Wah Watson / More Beatles 30:52 – COVID-19 is going up again 32:55 – Stupid motivational sayings / Bob Dylan "Man of Peace" / "Curators" / 15 Inside / The hubris of youth / Entitled little pricks / Grownups suck 35:48 – Our gig at North Myrtle Beach RV Resort and Dry Dock Marina / More about the place / What goes on in those campers  37:04 – "If I Had a Rocket Launcher" / Bruce Cockburn's last name is not pronounced like it's spelled, and no wonder / Dick Butkus / Unfortunate last names 39:38 – Missy was constipated / Parting shots / Roger lost a bet / "Life By the Drop" / "Key To the Highway" / James Coburn
  1. Episode 46 – "Hermit Crab Hermitage"
  2. Episode 45 – "Tripping at A&M"
  3. Episode 44 – "Silver Bluffing"
  4. Episode 43 – "Somerset Coward"
  5. Episode 42 – "Our Pal the Parking Meter"

The first time we tried this, embarrassingly enough, was in 2008, when podcasts were still gaining steam and long before they became ubiquitous. Over a period of a years, we made several more stabs at this – and then we just stopped.

Some earlier attempts went up on SoundCloud, sort-of complete but not quite actual episodes. But we had stories to tell…

And we still do. Stories about growing up in Hollywood in the late 1970s and early 1980s – a period when the town was what my brother called “beautifully grungy” – well before a Build-A-Bear Workshop appeared across from the Chinese Theater.

We lived at the foot of the Hollywood Hills at Franklin Avenue and Orange Drive, in an apartment building wedged directly in between the fabled Magic Castle and a 40-unit hotel our father managed called The Magic Hotel. The hotel is now called The Magic Castle Hotel.

At that time, not only the names of the buildings were magic. Our young lives were as magical as could be.

This podcast will be cathartic for us, and I hope the stories of twin boomers coming of age in lotus land will strike a chord with those curious enough to have a listen.

But we’re not just about looking back. Expect to hear original music in each episode and updates on what’s going on with us now in Myrtle Beach.

Still 12