Fast Company

Fast Company's Father's Day Contest: Win a Pair of $495 Ceramic Speakers by Joey Roth [UPDATED]

Just tell us what song reminds you of your dad, and why.

Joey Roth Ceramic speakers

Update: After some hijinks, our comments system is working again. If you submitted by e-mail, we've got your entry. But if you'd like, you can re-enter it below in the comments to share with everyone. Thanks! 

Father's Day is coming up fast--June 20th to be exact--and FastCompany.com is here to help, with a super-swank gift for dear old dad: We're giving away one pair of Ceramic Speakers designed by Joey Roth.

You might have seen these on the Web---they've been all over the place. CrunchGear calls them "a true high-fidelity audio solution."

They usually retail for $495, but you can win them for your dad for free. All you have to do is respond in the comments with the name of a song that always reminds you of your father, and a story about why. The prize goes to whomever has the best story (as chosen by us).

No novels please--limit your entries to 250 words or less. Remember that if you haven't commented in the past, your story will have to be greenlit by our moderators before it appears on the site (from then on, you'll be able to jabber away to your heart's content).

We'll select the winner on June 15th at 10 a.m. EST, so that the speakers can arrive on your father's doorstep by the 20th.

Contest Rules

Joey Roth Ceramic Speakers

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77 Comments

  • Janine

    When he he bacame a foster/adoptive dad he didn't sing lullabies. Instead he modified the first verse of  "It was a good day" by Ice Cube to sing to the kids at night. Lines turned into "and mom can read all night." Little heads would bob and shoulders would move to the sound right after story time. As a competitive spoken word artist and performer changing into a father was a huge commitment that he never looked back on or regreted. His nights of going to shows lessoned as he found it more important to be home to tuck his kids in. He's not my dad....but he's my children's father. In generation of dad's who have left their children he has stepped up and claimed them as his own with everything in him. "It was a good day" the day he became their father and the day they became his kids.

  • Joshua Rohlik

    Jimmy Buffett's "Volcano". Growing up in Ohio, our closest beach was the state park on Lake Erie, so dreams of hot sandy, tropical breezes were a daily event, especially when the snow lasted into May. Every year it seemed, we would head down to the Southeast someplace, whether it be Kiawah Island, SC or maybe Sanibel/Captiva Islands, FL. I would be safe to say that Jimmy Buffett was playing the entire road-trip to our destination. Why I picked "Volcano" is it happened to be the first song my older sister learned the lyrics to (probably from hearing it so often). So now whenever I hear a Jimmy Buffett song I think of him, but when I hear "Volcano", it makes me think of all the great family vacations we had along with all the good time spent together...

  • juepucta

    Anything from (The Stones') Beggar's Banquet. He gave me that tape as a kid ans was important in forming my musical tate. Now why his tastes have become so crappy, i don't know.

  • Autumn Salamack

    My song for my dad would have to be "Man Smart, Women Smarter" by the Grateful Dead for several reasons. 1) My dad is a total Deadhead. He may live in Orange County and talk about his dog way too much these days, but at heart he's an old fashioned Deadhead wearing a suit. 2) My dad also instilled in me a belief that I could do whatever I wanted in this world provided that I work hard and know what I want. So growing up singing "that's right the women are smarter" at concerts with my dad was good reinforcement. 3) My dad I take an annual camping trip together every year, just the two of us. When we approach the gateway to Yosemite the Grateful Dead always provide the soundtrack, and that's one of my favorite memories with my dad. He loves music - especially music that lets him dance in a way that only other Deadheads can appreciate - and I love my dad!

  • Laura Latka

    Louis Armstrong.

    When I hear his scratchy crooning, or the beginning notes to 'What a Wonderful World' or 'Mack the Knife', there's one person I think of...my dad.

    Growing up, I remember dancing on my dad's feet while he whirled me around the kitchen, Louis playing on the record player. Later, on road trips or at wedding receptions, Louis was always the one that got the music turned up or my dad out on the dancefloor. Driving from Maine to North Carolina to tour colleges, Louis accompanied the two of us on thousands of miles.

    Years later, my dad held my hand and led me to the dancefloor at my wedding, to dance to Louis again. I teared up as he spun me around, thinking of the hundreds of times I've listened to Louis with my dad, and how his songs have spanned my life.

    On good speakers, a car stereo or just my dad's old record player (which has now been banished to the garage), Louis Armstrong always sounds good, as long as I'm listening to him with my dad.

  • Matthew Resnick

    My Dad, my uncle and I, on vacation with just the three of us for the first time in our lives, found ourselves in a mall parking-lot after a movie. It was around 11 at night, and as we get into the car, I ask my Dad why it smells like garbage. He explains that since he didn't pay for the service at the cabin he rented, he has to stash the garbage wherever he can find a place. We slowly drive around the parking lot, looking for a garbage can that is dimly lit so we could do it discreetly. "Radar Love," by Golden Earring comes on. My 63 year old, father (who is a doctor) is peering over his steering wheel as we creep through the parking lot. As we pass by garbage cans, my Uncle says things like "Nope, not that one, it's too dangerous." Dad turns the volume up on the song. We all started drumming to the song and laughing at the absurdity of the situation as we cruise for another few minutes. Then he slammed on the breaks, said, "Go Son, Go," I popped out, made the drop, and we flash out of there.

  • Kathy

    The song that reminds me most of my dad is "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. From the time I was a little girl, I remember him singing it to me with Louis' gravely voice and everything. Sometimes when we were in the car together it would come on the radio and we would sing together. But the moment that really put this song to the top was at my wedding. We didn't have a daddy/daughter dance song picked out before the wedding. However, "What a Wonderful World" was one of the songs the singer did, so together we picked that song. And what a wonderful world it is!

  • Ina

    Whenever I hear Kelly Clarkson's song, Breakaway, I think of my dad. He "grew up in a small town" in Ireland with five brothers, and his mom died of a brain hemorrhage when he was just eight years old. Just as Clarkson makes references to "Dreaming of what could be/ And if I'd end up happy/ I would pray" and "So I'd pray/ I could break away," my dad also always prays, and attends mass daily at 7 a.m. He decided to "spread his wings" by coming to America in his early twenties with only a few hundred dollars in his pocket, no bank account to tap into, and with no promise of shelter. Sometimes he had to "sleep under a palm tree" for a few hours in the afternoon because he worked during the day as a furniture mover and as a painter at night. He realized that making the voyage to America was not a guarantee that he would achieve the American dream — he truly needed to work hard. So that is exactly what he did. Twenty years later, he still works all day and well into the night because he is paying for a college education for my sister and I so we do not have to struggle balancing a job with school, and so we can graduate debt free. As a single father, my dad never spends any money on himself. He allots all of his disposable income to enriching the lives of my sister and I. I can only hope that I can begin thanking him by winning this contest.

  • Marjory

    Every time I hear the song "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac, I think of my dad. Four years ago, I packed up all of my potential, a suitcase filled with shoes, some dresses for the sun and I moved from Boston to California in search of a new life. I had graduated from college and although my degree told the world I was educated, deep down inside, I was terrified. I was literally on my own for the first time in my life. My life begins as the song begins, "I took my love and I took it down / I climbed a mountain and I turned around / And I saw my refection in the snow covered hills / Til the landslide brought me down." This line speaks of someone who is climbing up the hill of his or her dreams, all along knowing that a whisper; a pebble; a teardrop could suddenly bring everything down. "Oh mirror in the sky / What is love? / Can the child within my heart rise above? / Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides? / Can I handle the seasons of my life?" As the song continues, I also continued questioning my own strength and whether I could handle life without family to prevent my fall. As I tried to balance my dream of living in LA with the realization of the hard road, which lay unpaved ahead, I began to doubt my decision. I questioned whether I was prepared to deal with the broken dreams I saw scattered throughout the streets: like the homeless man sleeping in front of a Mazarriti dealership, I felt broken. I wonder, "Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides / Can I handle the seasons of my life... I don’t know"... I really didn’t know. However, my dad never said it would be easy and he bestowed upon me a quiet sense of kindness, and humility that helped people relate to my plight.. He has always told me that if I cannot handle the changing tides, then I can always come home, but if I never tried then I would live with regret. "But time makes you bolder / Children get older / and I’m getting older too." So with each year that I stayed and faced all of the challenges the city of angels presented me with, it got a little bit easier. "So take this love, take it down / Oh, if you climb a mountain and you turn around" When I hear this line, I know that no matter what season it is of my life that I do not have to be afraid of failing. If everything around me changes the one person who will always be on my side is my dad. He remains on of the strongest, funniest and most welcoming men I’ve ever known. Not to mention terribly good-looking to boot. So I’ll take his love and when I’m climbing a mountain or the corporate ladder, I know many things may bring me down, but I can always find my dad by looking straight ahead, into my reflection. "If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills" There I see him, in my reflection, which is built on strength within my heart and the ability to believe in oneself. See my dad gave me the most powerful gift you can give any child...the strength to believe in themselves. So it’s never about money nor a fancy car that saved my dream of living in LA, it was seeing "my reflection in the snow covered hills" and knowing "the landslide may bring me down" but I will always get right back up because I believe in my dreams and so does my father!

    To my dad, I love you and I'm a better person because of you.
    Marjory Dingwall

  • Simon

    Strangely enough the song that reminds me of my dad is Tarzan Boy by Baltimora. Why? Well, it reminds me of sitting in the back seat in the car on long trips while listening to it on the radio... but it definitely is definitive of the type of music he liked. Italian based pop. That's right - I said it. I dare you to listen to this song and not be: a. taken back to the 80s b. get your groove on. :-D

  • Ronald Carter

    "Many a tear has to fall but it's all in the game ...
    All in the wonderful game that we know as love ..."

    "It's All In The Game" - Tommy Edwards

    My father died when I was 3 (I am 55 now) and this song, from the year he died, always returns the few, short and bittersweet memories I have of him.

  • Tom LaPlante

    Dan Fogelberg - Leader of the Band
    "His gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand"
    "I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go
    I thank you for the kindness and the times when you got tough
    And, papa, I don't think I said "I love you" near enough "

    Typically, one doesn't appreciate their father (or mother) until one is much older or the parent has passed away. In some ways this was true of me, but I'd like to think that as I got to be 40+ I did begin to understand, appreciate and learn from my father's wisdom.

    My dad was not my biological father as he adopted me and my sister out of Korea in 1962. Back then it wasn't "in vogue" to adopt third world kids that were mixed-blood or had handicaps (my sister had polio). But he told us the story of the first time they met us, he and mom looked at each other and immediately said, "these are our kids". I was almost 6, half Korean, so there was no "hiding" that we were not born from them, but he was and always will be my dad.

    These lyrics highlight how gentle he was at guiding my soul and it's not until I was well over 40 that I truly began to understand his methods much less his heart. I think I can count the times on three fingers that he every raised his voice to me or spoke crossly at me. Yet, he had this uncanny ability to "be right" and guide me along the journey to manhood.

    When it came time for me to go off to college was the first time I ever saw him cry --- that brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Yet, he was truly happy for me that I was going away to college. He was not educated, but one of the wisest person I've ever known. That freedom (and joy for me) I can never repay other than to hopefully pass it on to my children.

    His teachings were from example, kindness, love as well as providing wisdom when asked. There were times he did give me "tough love", but never scolded, lectured or criticized me. I got those lessons and can still remember them quite well.

    His biggest lesson/teaching being full of love and happiness --- that love and happiness comes from within yourself. And for that I can never repay, but only to pass it on.

  • A. Nevels

    When I was about twelve, I got bored one summer day and snuck my dad's old guitar out of the closet. I'd had some lessons in the past, but had gotten burned out somewhere in between learning “Wipe Out” and “Buffalo Gals”. I found an old chord book and got cracking on the basics. When my dad came home, I wasn't sure what he'd think of me making such a ruckus on his baby (I had a Sears Special lying around somewhere), but he was proud and elated. I remember him sitting down, picking up the guitar, and mesmerizing me with a soulful rendition of James Taylor’s "Fire and Rain". He played it just like the record which I’d heard so often, and man, was I jealous. My mom later divulged, blushing, that he played it for her over a picnic just before he proposed. Turns out it’s his bread and butter.

    I’ve never stopped playing guitar since that day and have always thought about him every time I’ve heard good ol’ “Fire and Rain”.

  • Jennifer Stieren

    "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin

    If you don't know the song, it's about a child who wants to be just like his Dad, and when he grows up, his father realizes that his child is just like him, too busy for them to spend time together. Not only does it remind me of listening to the song with my Dad. It is quite a literal reminder for my Dad and I to make the time to spend time together. Dad, if you're reading this comment, I love you and we'll get together soon, and "You know we'll have a good time then"

  • Sanjay Monie

    "Ordinary Day" by Great Big Sea

    Picture this, an elderly Indian man in his 70s, sitting in his home in Mumbai, India with a Sony discman on his lap and Bose headphones attached to his ears, gently bopping to the sounds of a Celtic band from Newfoundland, Canada. That’s my dad who, on one of his visits to the US in the 1990s, was drawn to the song “Ordinary Day’ by Great Big Sea, which happened to be playing on my stereo. Although never more than a casual listener of music, he instantly became a major fan, asking me to burn him multiple CDs of their music, which he still listens to routinely to lift his spirits.

    Now, my last name is Monie, the result of a spelling change by my grandfather of the Indian name ‘Mani’, but purely by coincidence, it also happens to be an ancient name of Norman origin from the British Isles. So I don’t know whether my father in India is channeling some imaginary ancestral connections in his appreciation of jigs and reels, but whenever I listen to “Ordinary Day” by Great Big Sea, I’m taken back to that moment. The moment when a relatively unknown band from a far-flung seafaring province of Canada cut across generational, demographic and geographic borders to acquire senior Mr. Monie as their number-one fan in distant, dusty India.

  • John McKinven

    Khachaturian - "Sabre Dance"
    My father was a Magician. His specialty was levitation and recreating illusions from the past. He built the arcane mechanisms in the basement. I got to watch and help. There are no "Magic Trick Parts" stores, so everything was invented. I learned how to use materials and tools at his knee. He would only perform for other magicians at Magician conventions and I was his assistant at 13. I realized later, that had I screwed up my role, the illusion would have gone awry, and he would have been deeply embarrassed to a very tough audience. But he trusted me, and only me, to help. The touch of a magic wand could convey no greater gift... "Sabre Dance" conjures up my Dad every time I hear it because it is the quintessence Ed Sullivan-style magician's music for silk production or endless rope tricks. We always laughed whenever we heard it.

  • Bryan

    The first time I remember hearing Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" was back in 1977 or 78, when my dad took me on an errand to take trash to the dump. It was such an ordinary day, but made special because it was just me and Dad in that yellow pickup truck. The song was playing from his 8-Track, and I recall being so impressed that my dad knew all they lyrics, and could even do a pretty impressive Robert Plant scrawing,..."And then they WIND on down the road...." giving way to his Bonham-esque solo on air-drum set magically before him. In that moment, my dad WAS a rock god, and I was filled with awe.

    "Stairway" is the background tune in the soundtrack of my life because it wasn't just present, but prominent. It was there the night I watched my dad and his brother debate whether it or "Battle of Evermore" was the more epic. The medium had shifted from 8-Track to vinyl so they could most accurately assess each candidate's epic-ness. I don't know they ever reached an accord, but I remember seeing their bond and thinking that this is what brothers who were friends did when they were together. Looking up at my older brother who had just punched me in the neck for disputing his claim that he REALLY "invented" The Incredible Hulk made me wonder if we'd ever be friends like that.

    Perfectly, Plant plaintively echoed, "and it makes me wonder."

    I dubbed "Stairway" off the vinyl onto a Zeppelin cassette tape of my own mixing. It gave way to "Black Dog," which led to "When the Levee Breaks" and "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp." In this, "Stairway" was the patriarch to its classic Rock progeny that followed it wherever I brought the tape.

    In August 1992, I came returned for my last summer at home. It culminated with a family reunion in the mountains, where my dad and uncle made time for another series of addressing the imponderables of life. That night, I brought out a cherished new purchase...The Zeppelin Box Set on CD. A new medium for a timeless treasure. I placed the 3rd of 4 CDs into the player and queued ahead to "Stairway."

    As Page began to strum, I sat down next to my dad in the cool of the night and said, "Dad, I have a question I've been wanting to ask you."

    "Okay..." he said, inviting me to continue.

    "When is it that you know you're not a kid anymore...you know, that you've become a man?"

    That night, Zeppelin accompanied us in the most beautiful conversation that could take place between a man and his son who have become deep friends.

    Today, Zeppelin resides on mp3 on my son's iPod. The volume always goes up a couple of notches when "Stairway" is played. And inevitably, I can hear my own son scrawl out..."and as we WIND on down the road!"

    and it makes me wonder...

  • Alison Dingwall

    Dire Straits’ Money for Nothing will forever remind me of sitting in the backseat of my dad’s 2 door, 1985 VW Golf. I was seven years old, my sisters were 5 and 8, our feet barely reached the floor. My dad would turn the radio up and we would sing out loud, rewinding the tape after the last chords to start again. We had just immigrated from Liverpool, England to the suburbs of Boston. For my seven-year-old mind, the song was about moving house, specifically, microwave ovens, refrigerators and color televisions (which made the refrain my favorite part of the song). I also always felt a bit sad for the baby who got a blister on her little finger and thumb, although in writing this comment, I read the lyrics and now know the line is “Maybe get a blister on your little finger, and not “baby got a blister on her little finger”. I have this song on my iTunes play list and when it plays I can’t help but sing at the top of my lungs, smile and think of my dad.

  • Chris Hutchinson

    In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly

    In the mid-1970s my dad was an Intelligence Officer in the US Air Force and his position took our family to Germany.

    Outwardly our lives were very ordered and defined by formal relationships. My dad went to work like clockwork, varying his routine slightly to shed would-be spies, and was often in military exercises for days at a time. My sister, brother, and I went to school, and my mom stayed home and kept us clean and fed. We were a conventional family.

    However lurking beneath my father’s conventional exterior was a spirit that would not be tamed. My dad handbuilt some huge speakers and bought the best stereo and turntable we could afford. About once a week – usually Friday or Saturday night and much to the chagrin of our next-door neighbors – he would put on In-A-Gadd-Da-Vida.

    As loud as possible.

    The walls of our old house would pulse and rattle to the song and I can remember I couldn’t even hear myself yell. The song seemed to emanate from inside my chest, and eventually I got so I could channel the famous drum solo on just about anything – my bunk bed, school desks, whatever could thump.

    As my brother and sister and I danced around like small Tasmanian Devils, I would glance at my dad. He always had this subtle smile. I think he knew he was imprinting on me a spirit that would not be tamed.

    “Dontcha know that I love you, Dad?”

  • Vladimir P

    "Go West" by Pet Shop Boys was a very popular song in the mid 90's in Ukraine. My father always pushed me (sometimes physically) to learn English in the hopes that some day we will make it to the West and find a better life. During those difficult times, he somehow managed to find a few British magazines for me to translate and lyrics to "Go West" were on the first articles I translated to Russian. When I was twelve my father had a job offer in the United States and I remember that song playing on the radio as he was leaving home. I did not see him for a year, but because that song was always on the radio, I did not feel like he was ever away. To this day that song reminds me of the sacrifices he has made to give his kids a chance at a better life.