Jun 09 2008

They Don’t Write ‘Em Like That Anymore

Published by NukeDad at 2:30 am under Dad-isms

Nukeboy1 has been blinded by the light.  Well, sort of.  He has taken up the guitar for the second time.  The first time was 2 years ago when he was 8.  This time he’s a little more serious about it.  His turnabout can be explained in one compound word: Rockband.  He got it for Christmas, and has been rockin’ out ever since.  So much so that his guitar will only strum “up”, the “down” strum is broken.  So, since the guitar doesn’t work properly anymore, he has picked up the drums.  His buddies have Guitar Hero III or Rockband, and they talk about it endlessly.  “Dude, I could so kick your butt on ‘Highway Star’”.   “I nailed Weezer on EXPERT last night!”  Overnight they are getting an education into old school music and what rock and roll really means.

The coolest thing for me about all of this, is that he is getting a glimpse of some of the music I grew up with.  I’m obviously biased, but I think I grew up at the perfect time.  I had my older sister, who turned me on to all kinds of music.  Usually just by playing it in her room while I sat in the hallway outside her door; silently.  Listening.  Taking it all in.  I learned about Moody Blues, Gino Vanelli, Carole King, Boz Skaggs, Chicago, Todd Rundgren and so many more.  My brother got an 8 track stereo system for Christmas one year (Yes! I’m  THAT old!), and I learned about Bachman Turner Overdrive, Led Zepplin, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steve Miller, The Doobie Brothers and the list goes on and on.  Once I started my own collection, I soon left my older siblings in the dust as my collection grew and grew.  In 1981 I bought my first stereo system.  That same year my album collection grew to 300+ lp’s; much to my Father’s chagrin.  He thought I should save my money for a car.  I thought I needed to rock.  By 1984 I had amassed over 450 lp’s and put a stereo system in my VW Bug that once caused my Father to walk out of the house, knock on my window, and tell me to “TURN THAT CRAP DOWN!”  I had to smile after saying “Yes, sir”, and watching him walk back inside.  He heard my car stereo (windows closed, no less) inside the house?  Cool.

By the late 80’s my lp collection was north of 600 and my CD collection had blossomed to a little over 150.  There was some duplicity there but, hey, you can’t buy the brand new CD technology and NOT buy The Wall.  Sure, I had it on LP, but on CD it made me even more Comfortably Numb.  I had a nearly photographic grasp of all music released from 1972 to about 1994.  Albums, bands, who was in each band, what they played, what side a song was on, which number it was on that side, the year it was released, who wrote which song, on and on.  My friends used to call me “Shrevie” after the character from “Diner“.   I don’t think I was as fanatical as he was, but, then again….I could get lost for hours inside my favorite record store.  I’d look for deals and bands that I could “discover” in the cut-out section.  I’d scoff at those who only bought cassettes.  Fools.  I’d buy my own blank tapes and mix tape myself into a coma. 

Nukeboy1 doesn’t have that same opportunity.  The music he had been listening to before his “Rockband Epiphany” was the manufactured artists that all seem to sing on each others songs: T-Pain, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Timbaland, Flo Rida and many others.  I’m not dissing these artists, and I’m not turning into an old fuddy-duddy; it’s just not my cup of tea.  It pisses me off because kids today don’t have near the selection or choice that I had.  Sure, you could say that I’m no different; that I’m a “victim” of what was being forced down my throat when I was a kid, but the difference is; I had more avenues to explore than American Idol and itunes.  Record stores, bootleg tapes of up and coming bands, independent radio stations instead of “Clear Channel listen to what we tell you to listen to” stations.  I had a choice.

Music has been, and always will be, subjective.  Abortion, politics and music are three subjects that can garner the most emotion and fanaticism when debated.  Of the three, music is the only one where you can at least find some common ground with someone who doesn’t share your point of view.   You may think their Slim Whitman fetish is asinine, but they may scoff at your Black Sabbath affliction.  If you both can share a beer over side 2 of Back In Black; then it’s all good.  Sorry, I forgot we don’t have “sides” anymore.

Nukeboy1 has inundated me with questions the last week and a half on all things “Classic Rock”.  I’ve shared as much as I know with him.  His curiosity and quest for knowledge is mind numbing.  Why can’t he tackle fractions like this?  I already know the answer; for the same reasons I couldn’t.  He’s got the fever.  I did what any responsible parent should do; I dug out all of the CD’s and went through them with him.  He picked out a starter stack of about 25 CD’s that he is presently working his way through.  Little does he know that my list for him grows exponentially each day.  I encourage each of you to do the same.  Dig out the old albums, dust off the turntable, dig the cassettes out of the attic (if they haven’t melted) and let your kids discover the same way you discovered.  Make suggestions, let them know that there are plenty of choices out there.  The dialogue that it opens up may surprise you; and place you back on common ground.

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11 Responses to “They Don’t Write ‘Em Like That Anymore”

  1. Mr Ladyon 09 Jun 2008 at 3:25 am

    I think I am your older sister. Just sayin’.

    PS: Floyd on anything but a scratched album is WRONG.

    (NukeDad) Did you know that the girl in the hotel: “Wow, look at all these guitars!” was Toni Tennille from The Captain and Tennille? She sang some back up too.

  2. Mr Ladyon 09 Jun 2008 at 3:25 am

    Alan Parsons, doubly so.

    (NukeDad) He worked on “Abbey Road” and “Let it Be” for the Beatles, then Produced the biggest selling album of all time (until SNF Soundtrack), “Dark Side of the Moon” for Pink Floyd. It was in the Billboard top 100 for like, 7 years.

    Mr Ladys last blog post..Karma is a Fickle Mistress

  3. Mr Ladyon 09 Jun 2008 at 3:26 am

    Genesis? Don’t get me started, dude.

    (NukeDad) I didn’t have too! You did just fine all on your own!

    Mr Ladys last blog post..Karma is a Fickle Mistress

  4. Sueon 09 Jun 2008 at 8:18 am

    I remember ’sides’! My parents didn’t let the old stuff die and I grew up with it all, even 8-tracks!!! They didn’t part with their old super-huge console multi-media stereo until after I graduated high school in ‘98. I’m feeling nostalgic now. Oh man!

    (NukeDad) Nostalgia, that’s what’s it all about!

    Sues last blog post..67% Addicted to Blogging

  5. Momo Falion 09 Jun 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Can I tell you how cool it is that my nine year old daughter knows Barracuda? Heart was the first concert I went to…when I was 10. I never thought my kids and I would have similar taste in music!

    (NukeDad) I knew (hoped) that Nukeboy1 and Nukeboy2 would come around. Now he wants to go see his first concert. Should have taken him to Van Halen when they came through, just couldn’t justify the ticket prices.

    Momo Falis last blog post..And, He’s Faster Than Big Brown

  6. tomon 09 Jun 2008 at 1:45 pm

    My poor kids have been innundated with Sinatra, Louis Prima, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Stan Goetz, Walter Wanderley and a gazillion other old Jazz and 60’s pop stuff. That, and they know all the words and tunes to old Disneyland attraction themes. Michael can sing “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” completely, though he’s never set foot in Florida. As for the other stuff… The Police, Asia, Journey, Kansas, ELO, Boston and all the others I listened to… I never bought a bit of it. My buddy did, and I just hung around with him a lot.

    (NukeDad) Good job Tom! Make sure they are well rounded. My parents had lots of Dino, and Herb Alpert, and my Dad was also partial to Caruso. Let them listen to it all and make up their own minds. I think it’s funny that since they’ve heard some of the older stuff, that they don’t even ask for the “Now” station when we get in the car. It’s like it never existed. It comes on TV, and they change the channel. The Honda Odyssey van commercial comes on with “Barracuda” by Heart, and they crank the volume.

    toms last blog post..Quoth Michael (IV)

  7. soge shirtson 09 Jun 2008 at 7:49 pm

    I’m so glad rock band and guitar hero have brought back good music to the forefront. I can’t stand modern music.

    (NukeDad) Amen! There’s a couple of songs that are OK, but most of it is forgettable

  8. big sison 09 Jun 2008 at 9:48 pm

    I’ll start something here: Best 5 albums of all time (IMHO):

    Beatles - Abbey Road

    Doobie Brothers - Toulouse Street

    Boston - 1st album

    Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed

    Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life

    (NukeDad) Oooh, that’s a BIG can of worms. I’m not brave enough to try 5, and even if I did 10 I would probably change my mind in a few minutes. I’ll have to get back to you.

  9. Melisaon 10 Jun 2008 at 8:29 am

    We heard a couple of years ago that AC/DC was working on a new “album”, or whatever they call it these days. After seeing them in concert about 8 years ago and LOVING THEM LIVE (is there any other emotion for seeing them live?), we told the kids that AC/DC would be their first concert.

    Well, then we never heard about it again. We started telling the kids that as soon as Lenny Kravitz comes back to town (husband & I have seen him twice), HE will be their first concert.

    Still waiting…..

    (NukeDad) My first concert was Chicago, in 1974 when Peter Cetera was still with them. He was about 300lbs back then too. Then he went solo, lost a ton of weight and never looked back. Saw AC/DC in 87 or 88 on their “Who made Who” tour. Awesome.

  10. Huckdollon 11 Jun 2008 at 2:55 am

    Rockband is dope…and my husband’s company makes it, so I have an obligation to say that, lol.

    In reality, I think they’re all time suckers, but people seem to have a ball over them, so it’s all good.

    Hey, what is wrong with Rhianna’s Umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh song? Geesh.

    ;)

    (NukeDad) Nothing-othing-othing-othing, I just don’t dig it-ig it-ig it-ig it.

    Huckdolls last blog post..It’s Not the Destination, It’s the Journey

  11. Kimon 11 Jun 2008 at 2:34 pm

    ahh Floyd. I still remember laying on my cold wooden floors in my bedroom listening to Floyd on my ancient record player.

    I make sure I listen to “Mom’s old school” music all the time in the car. There will be a point where my son will say .. um mom, please change the channel..but for now he gets to sample all sorts of music.. can’t let the classics die.

    (NukeDad) I think they get as much airplay today as they did then. I guess there’s a reason all the old school “classic” acts tour every summer; there’s obviously a market for it.

    Kims last blog post..Wordless Wednesday - Career Assessment

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