Life is funny. You never know what a day will bring. You also never know the imprint you leave on someone’s life.
I received this note Monday:
“My name is David Pregler and Friday I learned about the passing of your father and wanted to send my condolences.
Your father was a very important part of my life and I have written a little something about my time with him on my Facbook page if you care to see it.
Thank you for your time Julie, and I do pray you have peace and comfort.”
I went to his facebook page and with David’s permission, I wanted to share what he wrote about my dad.
“This is probably the worse news I have seen in a very long time and I am at the point of tears. I have only felt this feeling of being kicked in the gut like this only once before in my life.
This man, Tony Caire was such an influence on my life and I had been trying so hard to catch up with him again and now this. This has left me utterly heartbroken and saddened with the fact that I will never get a chance to speak with him and tell him what he meant to me.
I met Tony way back one day at Nic-O-Lake Records on Nicollet & Lake Street in South Minneapolis. It was a while after my brother Mark died and music on my AM radio was all I had to take my mind off of that. Tony, through his words and kindness helped me so very much during that time in my life.
Tony became dismayed by who owners of Nic-O-Lake and decided he was going to take a chance and open his own record shop across the street and just down the block. That became The Main Record Shop. And it was so funny because when I came into the store he would always say David, my main man !
Heck, I was hanging around so much that he used to let me do little odd jobs here and there around the record shop to not only take my mind off of things but to make a couple dollars. Running for coffee, sweeping floors, putting records in the bins.
He taught me to delve deep into the meanings of a song and to enjoy every single minute of music because it was something that is forever.
We were both very big fans of The Beatles and we would press each other to do our best to emulate the vocals that The Beatles were doing.
Together with his “friend” Sandy who would drop by from time to time we would sit in the record shop, Tony with his acoustic guitar in hand playing along with the record and we would continue to sing our heads off hitting those 2 part harmonies in Beatles tunes like no one else could. Yes, we even amazed ourselves at times. Will never forget “You’re Gonna Lose That Girl” just for that reason alone. How we marveled the day Hey Jude was released to the stores. We noted how compressed the grooves fitting the entire 7 minute and some odd second song on one side of a 45. And wow…The Bealtes had their own record label now with that big green apple.
One of my best memories was just sitting and listening to Tony do one of his favorite songs, “The Year Clayton Delaney Died” He loved the storytelling style of Tom T. Hall.
Tony always, always had a smile on his face even in not so good times when business was not all he had planned it would be. And he always had time to sit down with me and talk about life and of course music. Heck he even tried to teach me how to throw a “throwing knife” in the back room…Never could get that but he just laughed and said keep trying Dave.
I was recently asked by Paul Geiger from WGDY radio if because of my singing, I read music and I replied no, I listen to something a few times and can pretty much do it. THAT was Tony ! That was something he taught me to do.
This man was so talented in so many ways…and did so many things for the music scene in Minneapolis.
Sadly one day he told me that it was the end of the line for the record shop. It just was not doing what he had hoped it would do and sadly had to close it down for good.
It was a very sad last day and life, well it got in the way and we lost contact….
Over the last few years I had tried with no luck to find information about Tony. I wanted so much to be able to tell me how much he meant to me, how much of an influence he made on me musically, and how much I had valued his friendship back when I really needed one.
Now…I look up towards the Heavens, tears running down from my eyes hoping that he is looking down upon me knowing how heavy my heart is today and how sorry I am that I never did get to simply say, “thank you Tony” …
Perhaps one day I will see you again my friend.”
I think my dad knows David. Thank you so much for sharing.