Richard McDeid along with his son, Mason, have seen close to 1,200 bands together — creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Mason battles cerebral palsy but that does not stop him from seeing shows with his father.
The two share a special bond, but not just over music.
“In the past 23 years I have helped him through, and nursed him back from, 132 surgeries and many more near-death illnesses,” says Richard, “It has always (been this way), since he was 4 or 5 years old. I’m a single dad, raising him and his little sister, who is off at college now.”
Richard shares how Mason was just a baby when he started to fall in love with heavy metal music.
“From when Mason was a baby, right up to a toddler, all he did was cry. One day, I arrived in from work and his mom took some time out. He would simply not stop, so I put him in his chair and turned on the Metallica ‘Binge and Purge‘ VHS tape.”
“A few minutes later I was washing the dishes and noticed he’d stopped crying. I checked on him and he’d fallen asleep. This was the very first time he’d done that without someone holding him. Afterwards, it started happening in the car whenever Metallica was on. He would calm down and relax. At first it was only Metallica and then grew to other bands as he learned to recognize them, he instantly responded and it grew from there.”
Richard then decided to start a mini-festival to raise awareness for his son.
“Last year Mason had been hospitalized and things were pretty bleak, as his temperature reached 107.9. Mason is a fighter and a true champion and, by definition, a champion is determined not by how many knockouts they have, but on how many times they get up after being knocked down.”
“Mason is living proof of that.”
“In 2017 we were going to have the biggest, loudest birthday party in December for him but, even though we were home, he was still too weak. The next available date was in March 2018 and I realized that March was also National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.”
“Mason was still not 110%, but we had 10 bands playing and so many of Mason’s friends and supporters from the metal scene came out. All those people were nothing but positive, and it was a turning point in his path to recovery.”
“Turns out he recently won an award for the best show of the year, and it means so much as our music scene is behind us boys; we are very lucky to have met so many loving, caring metalheads.”
Currently, the pair are starting a company where Mason will always be able to sit up front at concerts.
“We are starting a company called The Best Seat in the House as Mason is always up front. A press photographer once told us that we get to go places and get shots that they never could, so it seemed like a perfect fit. Mason now acts as a music correspondent, doing the two things he loves the most; listening to live music and meeting new friends.”
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