I think I’ve gotten to the age where we start to hate all the music that our kids are listening to. I remember, as a kid, my parents complaining about the “noise” that was my favorite music. I listened to all kinds of music and my parents had a different name for which kind of “noise” it was. Hip-hop was “bumpty bump crap.” Rock was “devil music.” As I got into electronic music, well that was just “noise.”
I’ve tried to stay on top of the new stuff coming out. I really had to, because it was my job as an assistant radio programmer. And there was some that I liked. And then there were the “Gangnam Style” and “What the Fox Say” songs. Horrible. I get it, though. We had some ridiculous stuff when my generation was coming up. “Barbie Girl” anyone?
But there are other things about today’s music. Have you noticed the lack of guitar solos? They are very scarce and that ‘s just depressing, man. Sure there are bands like Avenged Sevenfold and some others if you want to go digging for a good guitar solo. But we had guitar solos on almost every song. In fact, it wasn’t a hit if you didn’t have a good guitar solo. Most of the songs would get turned up at the guitar solo portion of the song! There were no words to sing along with so we just made the sounds with our mouth a la Jack Black in “School of Rock”!
It wasn’t just rock music. Michael Jackson, Prince and many other pop artists had legendary guitar solos in their songs. Guns n Roses’ “November Rain” had three! Three guitar solos in ONE song! Now? My kids don’t even know what guitar solos are, which leads me to repeat the phrase my parents would say to me: “You kids just don’t know what good music is!” It’s another step toward becoming my parents. So, for good measure, I go outside and yell at the neighborhood kids to “STAY OFFA MY LAWN!”
I can tolerate, for the most part, the music that my kids are digging. No. 4 likes a little of everything, especially Michael Jackson, which was my favorite at the same age. So it’s a little weird. I didn’t encourage him to like MJ’s music. He discovered it and likes it on his own. He even fits into my old “Beat It” jacket. My own little mini-me.
No. 3 is a full-on pop fan: Katy Perry, Lorde, Gaga, all that stuff. Well, all of it except for Justin Beiber and One Direction type stuff. ‘Atta girl! No. 2 has gotten into Eminem. Great. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Eminem. But even the clean versions aren’t exactly kid friendly. But I try to give him a little musical freedom so I let him listen to SOME of them.
The important part to me is that they are developing this love for music, even if they can’t lay in their bed an read the inside of the cassette jacket while listening to a new tape because it’s all mp3s now. I really feel like the kids are getting robbed on that one! However, music is all around them, all the time. Whether it’s 95 Rock in mom’s car, the Beastie Boys in dad’s car, reggae on our back patio or singing with papa as he plays his guitar. My kids absolutely love their music, which is wonderful. It’s been such a huge part of my life. It gave me a career, introduced me to very interesting people and, as you learned last week, gotten me through heartaches and tough times. If music can do all these same things for my kids, I guess it doesn’t matter if I think it’s crap or not. After all, I still have my Skid Row Pandora station.