Dad Rock

I owe my dad an apology.

It is generally believed that kids hate their parent’s music. And, likewise, Parents hate their kid’s music.

Sure, it’s not so black and white, there are occasional overlap in tastes. But on a whole, much of what we old-timers enjoy falls outside the spectrum of today’s youth. And by “today’s youth” I mean “eleven-year-old girl” and by “eleven-year-old girl” I mean my daughter. We often don’t see eye-to-eye about what constitutes a good song.

In fact, here is a Venn diagram showing our overlapping music tastes. For clarity’s sake, I am the “Old Guy”.

Everyone loves Tay-Tay!

Growing up, one of my best friend’s father would make us listen to klezmer tapes when he drove us to various functions and activities. You don’t know “cool” until you roll up in a beat up red Beetle with the klezmer rocking out. His dad wasn’t Jewish, he enjoyed the melody.

Now back to that apology…

My dad didn’t have as an ethnically broad range of musical tastes as my friend’s dad. He came from the old-school hippy brand of rock music. The Doors. Credence Clearwater Revival. Led Zeppelin. The Bob Seger Band. Looking back, I recognize he listened to some good shit. I complained to no end about all the “hippy crap”, but he kept on listening to his jams.

It all came to a head during a lengthy road trip. He had the radio tuned to a classic rock station. I could take it no more. I threw a flailing tantrum any self-righteous early teen could be proud of. My dad calmly looked at me in the rear-view mirror and asked if I had anything better to play.

I, in fact, thought I did.

I handed him the tape.

He popped the tape into the car’s cassette deck.

This song played.

“Nope,” Dad said. He popped the tape and flung it over his shoulder dismissively.

I had blown my one shot at controlling the radio. Never again would I have a chance.

So I want to make a couple of apologies to my dad regarding our music wars. I am sorry I tricked you into listening to Milli Vanilli. I am sorry I was so disparaging of your music taste.

If it’s any consolation, I have to live with the shame that I rocked out to Milli Vanilli.  That shame can never wash off, no matter how many times I listen to Pearl Jam’s “Black”.

11 comments

  1. yup, you are pretty much tainted for life. I used to like my dad’s “hippie rock” – he got me into the Doors and some other cool bands, but my mom was a Barry Manilow fan. There’s no redemption for exacting that kind of torture on your kids.

  2. There’s no hope for me. Not only do I listen to classic rock, but I listen to the dinosaur genre of progressive rock — Yes, early Genesis, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and others.

  3. I used to grouse a bit about my dad’s Grateful Dead obsession, but not so much that I wouldn’t shut up for “Uncle John’s Band” and we could at least both agree on The Rolling Stones and Beach Boys and Warren Zevon.
    I subjected them to endless Cyndi Lauper, however.
    My four year old currently knows all the words to all of the Warren Zevon tribute album and a fair amount of U2. We’re working her into some Zeppelin and I often have the New Wave 80s satellite radio station going.
    So, she’ll at least have a solid foundation in Music That Does Not Suck. We shall see how long that lasts…
    I fear the day she rolls her eyes at me, like I once did to my dad, how my music is SO OLD. I did it to the Dead (which I now enjoy) and I’m sure she will do the same to U2 (or to her dad’s Counting Crows). I just hope that, like me, she comes back to the fold someday.

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