What Should Have Been

TGIF, except the Alleged Artist has more to say…

I’ve mentioned a couple of times in the course of this series of posts how I lost my dad at a far too early age, just before I turned 18. I have no doubts that some of the things I still struggle with today can be traced back to that. My mom was the one who was around most of the time when I was growing up, with my dad working during the day and only getting involved when the situation called for it. But despite showing some faults that I’ve taken on myself, he was a very good man and father, and he instilled some really important values in me before he departed this Earth. He also set me on my educational path into aerospace engineering – I was destined for CU-Boulder already by the time he passed away. That turned out to be an incredible career.

But in the 1990’s, I was keenly aware of his absence, knowing there were a number of situations in which he could have given me some fatherly advice, and also knowing he would have been so proud to see me successfully complete the path he started, stumbling at times though I did. All of that led to another song I wrote in the mid 1990’s that didn’t find a home until the “Release” rebirth: “Should Have”.

I had actually recorded “Should Have” in the 1990’s, with backup vocals even. A good friend of mine had also lost his dad and was really moved by it, which committed me to giving it a more lasting place in the annals of Tastiera, once I was able to recapture who I was in the early 2000’s – and of course it was extremely important to me personally. When it finally received its rightful place on “Release”, it was amid the backdrop of a much simpler musical approach than I had taken with earlier Tastiera albums, so there were no backup vocals, and the instruments were fairly bland. There was no way this song wasn’t going to be on “Origin Story”, but it needed punching up. Once again, enter modern technology.

Soundwise, the only thing that’s preserved on “Origin Story” from the “Release” version is the vocals. “Release” was recorded digitally, with the music preserved as MIDI data. So even though I was using different software back then, I was able to import all the musical information into Apple Logic Pro. I then assigned all those notes to newer and better versions of each instrument – bass guitar, piano, strings, drums… and most importantly the electric guitar sounds. The 2004 version of my synthesized electric guitar sounded just fine on some songs like “Butterfly” and “The Speed of Lies”. But they just annoyed me on “Should Have”. Incredibly, when I remixed “Should Have” for “Origin Story”, the first combination of new electric guitar and new amp/pedal simulation was perfect. That plus the other instruments give the song enough energy that I didn’t feel compelled to add backup vocals back in; it’s exactly where I want it to be. And to that, I can say nothing other than, “Thanks, Dad”.


Today it rains, like it’s never gonna stop
So I turn my eyes to every single drop
Looking for a piece of you, falling down from where you’ve gone to
Well I don’t even know if I believe that stuff is true

Still it rains, but now the water’s in my eyes
Down it comes – guess all the tears haven’t been cried
Just how long do you think it will take, before the thought of you doesn’t break my heart

You should have been there – you would have been so proud of me
You could have smiled, and I would have waved my hand

Another good rain – everything looks and feels so green
Time to return to that thing I call my life
And all those dreams you placed within my reach, and all the pride you felt for me
And every single smallest moment that you’ll never ever see

You should have been there – you would have been so proud of me
You could have smiled, and I would have waved my hand

You might have been there, looking down from where I couldn’t see
You might have smiled, but you never told me where you’d stand

You should have been there – you would have been so proud of me
You could have smiled, and I would have waved my hand

You should have been there – you would have been there
If you could have been there – oh what should have been

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