I remember the first time I laid eyes on Lubbock
A flat land forever like it never ends
Halfway through high school
Trying to be so cool
But mostly so shy
I was slow making friends
Talking one day with a kid who grew up here
I wondered aloud if I’d ever fit in
He said “you’ll do okay here, for as long as you stay here,
But trust me on this one, my friend:
You’ll never get used to the wind.”
Freezing one day, in a heat way the next
The only thing certain, is it’s gonna change
I’ve seen it rain mud, the snow mixed with thunder
And nobody here even thinks that’s so strange
We’ll now you talk about your indecent exposure
This west Texas weather leaves a mark on your skin
Eventually turns into west Texas leather
From out of the miles that you’ve been
And I’ll never get used to the wind
Well I’ve heard it scream like some old wounded panther
Sometimes it moans like it’s calling your name
But Maines boys they sang about panhandled dancers
and it comes roaring in like the devil’s freight train
But on that rare occasion, when it’s perfectly calm
You know it won’t last, it’s just the eye of the storm
So we all go outside, and just stand around breathing
Inhale. Exhale. No choking or wheezing.
Well I’ve gotten older, maybe a little bit wiser
I’ve had to learn how to bow and to bend
I’ve felt like a king and I’ve lost everything
But always come back here to mend
Yeah I’ve made my peace with these dusty high plains
I’ll be here when my trail finally ends
Yeah I love this old town, and if anyone wonders
Your honor, I’ll proudly defend
But I’ll never get used to the wind.
No I’d like to but I can’t pretend
I’ll never get used to the wind
In Loving Memory
Mark Taylor Paden
August 23, 1948 – January 7, 2021
Mark Taylor Paden of Lubbock, Texas died on January 7, 2021 at the age of 72. Mark was born on August 23, 1948 to Bill Woodrow Paden and Marceline Townsley Paden in Lawton, Oklahoma. Mark’s father was a Colonel in the Unites States Army, so the family moved several times throughout his childhood. Mark spent years as a child in Panama and Lima, Peru, and remained fairly fluent in Spanish. The family moved to Lubbock in the mid-1960s, where Mark attended Monterrey High School. Mark stayed in Lubbock to finish college when his parents were transferred to Washington, D.C. in 1968, where the Colonel served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel at The Pentagon. Mark attended ROTC while studying at Texas Tech and enlisted in the Army in 1971. His enlistment took Mark and his new little family of 3 back to his birthplace in Lawton, Oklahoma where he served as an instructor in the Pershing Missile program.
Mark’s lifelong love affair with music began as a child, with the purchase of a drum from a Sears & Roebuck catalog around the age of 14. He soon traded in the drum for a guitar, and there it began. Mark began playing music professionally while still high school. While stationed at Ft. Sill in Lawton, OK, he met acclaimed songwriter and lifelong friend, Phil Sampson, and became the guitar player in Phil’s band, The Medicine Park All-Boy Derelict Band. It was during this time that Mark earned the nickname “Chops,” which makes complete sense to anyone who has had the pleasure of hearing him play guitar.
Mark and family moved to Nashville in 1979, where he became a staff songwriter for Tree Publishing (now Sony-Tree). Mark has a published catalog of songs with BMI from this period of his life. When the family moved back to Lubbock in 1984, Mark recorded his first solo album at Caldwell Studios, “Hot Biscuits,” with his band at the time, which included the late, long-time good friend, Gary Hurt. For anyone familiar with Mark’s song, “I’ll Never Get Used to the Wind,” Gary is the friend referenced when he first arrived in Lubbock as a teenager. Mark toured with Marty Haggard for some time before becoming the bass player in the Lubbock Texas Rhythm Machine, the Cactus Theater house band, in 1995. Mark was a proud and beloved member of the Cactus Family until the end of his life.
Mark loved life and taught his daughters to be fascinated with the world. He taught them to listen carefully, to be kind, and the importance and rarity of unconditional love. He taught his daughter Amy carpentry and the art of stained glass. He taught both of his daughters the love of music, but his daughter Cathy is a very talented musician herself, and the two sang together throughout Cathy’s life from an early age. Mark loved donuts, ice cream, and Necco wafers. He loved home-cooked food. He loved puns and great lyrics. He dearly loved a good bean recipe.
Mark began teaching guitar later in life and he was a proud and patient teacher. Many of his students became close friends, young and old alike. In the words of one of his best friends and students, Richard Bowles, “Mark was thoughtful, humble, intelligent, and so full of love for family, friends and music. Mark’s legacy is the love others had for him as a person and for his music.” We are so very lucky to have his songs, and the images and videos of him to enjoy forever. When you miss him, listen to his beautiful voice and instrumentation in the music he left us with. He is always with us in the music. He will be forever missed.
Mark’s life will be celebrated in song at The Cactus Theater on Sunday, June 13, 2021, 6:00 PM. All are welcome to join. Please make any donations in Mark’s honor to Operation Pawprints.