Monday, May 4, 2009

Passing the Musical Torch

When you're a collector and/or obsessive, there is always the hope that your kids, at least one of them, will want to share an interest you hold dear. I remember hitting baseball card shows and looking with envy at a father and son poring through card albums, want lists in hand.

In the last week, I've had the pleasure of many encounters with two of my boys over shared musical love. Having spent most of my life accumulating a record/CD collection both deep and wide, it gives me a warm squishy feeling that it has not all been in vain.
1- "Hey, do you know Bowie's Berlin trilogy," was the starting point of Friday afternoon's conversation with my 10th grader. We talked about Heroes, which I only have on LP, but I happily told him that we had Low and Lodger on disc. I also got to tell him about how Nick Lowe, in response to Bowie's Low sans "e" had an EP entitle Bowi. My son loved that. He also a month or so ago pointed out that Lennon's Intuition on Mind Games was very much like "kooks" on Hunky Dory. Hadn't picked that up myself in the last 30-35 years.

2- "This is my favorite version of "You're a Big Girl Now." My 7th grader is the child musicologist and really pores over the collection. He is deep into Dylan and, in this case, listening to the version on Blood on the Tapes, the original takes that would be recut by Bob for Blood on the Tracks.

3- That same 7th grader came home from his first band practice yesterday. He plays keyboards, sax and guitar. The band, tentatively called The Chick Magnets, but only tentatively as they may acquire a female bassist, got together at the drummer's house. My wife was there and heard them fiddling around. All of a sudden they began to play a real song - New Order's "Age of Consent"-and, according to first hand reports it sounded great. Of course, it was my boy who brought such a tune to the attention of his bandmates.
4- "I just got Holiday in Cambodia" for Rock Band. Let's play!" I never thought when I first bought Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables that I would have a 16 year old son who would say that. Never thought it, but it's damn nice. I confess that I love Rock Band and I will spend more Beatle money in September when the Beatles version of the game comes out. Just to hold a plastic Hofner bass makes it worthwhile. When the youngest son sings Devo's "Uncontrollable Urge," with the older on guitar and myself on bass, life is good.

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