Crank It Up, Dad!

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This article reflects a trend I started to notice around my own household a year or so ago. I began to notice that my oldest son (now 16) was starting to listen to “my” music on a regular basis.

Some time ago I made my rather extensive collection of MP3 files available via a network share on my PC in order to access and listen from other PCs in the house, and apparently he decided to check out a few of dad’s old tunes.

At first I figured that the sweet sounds of Boston, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Queen, Journey and other classic rock bands coming from the speakers on my kid’s PC was just a phase he was going through and he would soon return to listening to more contemporary music. So far, that presumption has turned out to be wrong.

I have to admit that one of my greatest fears was that my kids, as they inched closer and closer to their teenage years, would start listening to rap music. My apologies to rap, or hop hop, or whatever you call it, but where (and when!) I come from, that just ain’t music. It’s conversation with a backbeat for heaven’s sake!

I think this resurgence — although by all accounts, not a tidal wave just yet – of interest in “classic” rock music has a lot to do with what’s missing in music these days. I’ve heard just enough contemporary rock to convince me that the vast majority of it all sounds the same.

That’s not to say that all contemporary rock is garbage, because once in a while I do stumble upon a pretty decent tune from one of the more current artists. And that’s part of the problem. Upon further investigation, it most often turns out that the one good tune I happen to hear was indeed the only good tune on the whole album.

Gone are the days when one could cue up an entire album, sit back and thoroughly enjoy every single track. For my money, you have to fire up the musical time machine to enjoy that experience, because today’s artists (at least the ones I have heard) are just not unique and innovative enough to turn out serious quantities of genuinely good music.

That’s why our kids are discovering “our” music, and I must admit, it was more than I could have hoped for, given paranoid visions of my sons swaggering around the house with baseball caps worn sideways, colorful rags wrapped around their heads and their pants hanging low enough to provide a definitive answer to that infamous question that was directed at former president Bill Clinton: “Boxers or briefs?”

The music of my generation is filling a gap that is left wide open by the lack of anything current that sounds as good. The kids that, for whatever reason, reject rap, country, contemporary rock or whatever have found what they were looking for by looking back a generation.

Who ever would have imagined a mob of autograph-seeking high school kids surrounding Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson in this day and age?

Not only are these kids benefiting from the discovery of some great music, many of them are likely saving themselves a few bucks since so many of these CDs are already in Mom or Dad’s collection. Now that’s sweet!

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