When you become a Dad, or Mom, your focus changes. Mine certainly did. But music was always in my head. I wanted to pass that musical knowledge to my daughter, Cynthia. I made sure she knew about The Kinks and all the bands I grew to love. I didn’t introduce her to any of the hardcore punk bands. This was my daughter. I figured it was bad enough she had an insane father.
Of course, she latched on to the obvious fun songs like The Kinks Apeman, Polly, and Death of A Clown. The Kinks could have made children’s records. I guess there was enough childish innocence in Ray Davies to qualify for that genre.
Cynthia liked music but I don’t think she ever got to the depth that I did. I still try today, 27 years later, to introduce her to songs. It’s hit and miss. Mostly miss. However, I always enjoyed seeing her develop her own individual tastes in music. She loves The Cranberries, Jonathan Coulton and plays the ukelele. She even plays a few KinKs songs. I did good.
Now, another young person in my life is my nephew, Nick. Born in 1990, or what I like to call “the decade of more horrible music than the 80’s” Nick has developed a deeper sense of music.
I introduced him to every band I ever loved. I did it sneakily. I would make CD’s with mixed songs and throw in a Kinks song or a Clash song. It was interesting that those were the songs he was drawn to.
Suddenly I had an audience.
He is on board now and I have opened his ears to everything. I would say he is about 98% there. He still has issues with Elvis Costello and Kate Bush. I may never be able to convince him, but that’s okay.
Nick has even introduced me to some new music. Also, hit and miss. I still have issues with Florence & The Machine, but that’s okay.
He has made me feel young again. I am appreciating all my old favorites all over again. Going to concerts with him is a trip. We have seen Ray Davies three times, Spinal Tap, Devo twice, the B-52’s, Paul Weller, Patti Smith, Brian Wilson and we are seeing The Who do Quadrophenia in February. We are equally excited. It’s kind of like bringing a kid to Disneyworld and watching their expressions as they see what you already saw a million times.
That is the beauty of music. It’s timeless, meaningful, and soul deep. It connects us all on a level that can’t be explained. And who would want to.
Thanks Nick. Thank you Cynthia for always trying to pay attention to me, and not thinking your Dad is insane. You don’t right?……right?
Here is a song we can all agree on: