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Ian Compton | Father and Son


By. Ian Compton




Hello everyone! My name is Ian Compton and I am new to the community. I was lucky enough to get on board at the Don Thomas Sporthaus Rail jam in Birmingham this year. As many people know I ski, but what people may not know is that my dad is a musician. This year his music played a huge role in my ski season. I found it influencing my style, attitude and personality on and off the slopes. For all those who are curious, my dad’s name is John Parker Compton, singer, songwriter, and guitarist who co-founded the acoustic band APPALOOSA with violinist Robin Batteau in the late ’60s. Both musicians had been heavily influenced by the folk scene in their hometown, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Here’s a little bit of information about my fathers career…


As the 1972 press release for Compton’s solo album, To Luna, tells it, John Compton showed up at producer Al Kooper’s Columbia Records office in late 1968, hoping to show Kooper his songs. Uninterested, Kooper told the kid (Compton was 18) to come back some other time. But a little while later, Kooper came in on Compton and Batteau performing for the office secretaries. Won over, Kooper recorded their demo, and within a year the newly signed musicians had an album out, the self-titled debut from their group Appaloosa. Also including bassist David Reiser and cellist Eugene Rosov, Appaloosa was joined in the studios by members of Blood, Sweat & Tears, and by Kooper himself. A year after Appaloosa’s 1969 release (which was produced by Al Kooper) on Columbia Records, a 19-year-old John Compton got to take the stage at Fillmore East Theater the last weekend of December, along with the Allman Brothers, and Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Appaloosa soon gave way to a duo project of Compton & Batteau, and the two musicians recorded Compton & Batteau in California for Columbia Records. By 1971, Compton was on his own with a new LP, To Luna, but after this, it would be over 20 years before he returned to the studios. His return was marked by 1995’s Mother of Mercy, which was followed by a six-song self-released recording of Compton on a Vermont radio station.



My Fathers career has really pushed me to follow what I love to do and travel as much as possible doing it. This year I was lucky enough to travel around the United States skiing and filming in locations from Vermont to California. Some of the places I filmed at were close to where my father used to record in California, which was really inspiring. Not many parents would embrace the thought of their kid traveling across the country and skiing for the majority of the year. I am lucky to have a dad who has already lived the life I want to live. Even though it is hard for them sometimes for example when I don’t wear a helmet… they are supportive.


This summer I compiled the footage I had from my past season and thought it was fitting that I put it to my father’s music. I used to be a pretty heavy follower of incorporating rap into my edits, but now I will never use anything else besides my fathers tracks. His song inspire me unlike any other genre out there, and the end result is something that I am very proud of. Being able to have all my highlights of the season set to a song performed by my dad is something not to many people can do. It took me 21 years to find out how lucky I am, and so I plan on sticking with it for a while. I am so happy to be apart of and hope all who read this enjoy the edit, make sure to be on the look out for some more Ian and John Compton collaborations…


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