Like most kids, I grew up on pop music. My parents owned a stack of records I’d thumb through on occasion. The only album I remember is “It Ain’t Easy” from Three Dog Night. I’m sure there was some Beatles, Doors and maybe a little Rolling Stones in that stack, but I don’t recall which albums.
Years would pass before I’d learn my father’s favorite song was off that Three Dog Night album. The song is called “Out in the Country” and it has become one of my favorite songs as well. Mostly because it reminds me of the many conversations I’ve had with my father about music, most of which end with us coming to an agreement that Fleetwood Mac is one of the greatest bands of all-time.
I’ve never confirmed it with my father, but I’m not aware that any of my 80’s head-banger music rubbed off on him. That means one won’t find any RATT, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, or Def Leppard around his home today. I may be able to take credit for getting him into U2, but I doubt it. I believe my brother or youngest sister probably gave him the Joshua Tree CD, and he was hooked.
I was free to listen to music around our home as long as it wasn’t vulgar. I was often asked to turn down the volume but I never recall being asked to turn off my music. My parents loved music, and they encouraged me to find my own styles and bands. When I heard a song on the radio I had to own, my mother would drive me to ZCMI and I’d purchase the song on 45 for less than two bucks. It wouldn’t be until I began mowing lawns that I was able to afford full albums.
My initial foray into albums is marred by the selection of Rod Stewarts, “Blondes Have More Fun”, a poor choice regardless of my age. Then again, I had just turned 11 years old and can blame it on hormones as I look back at the album cover and wonder how I turned it around.
I caught the music bug at an early age and it’s never let go.
My children are beginning to listen to more music. Our two oldest have created playlists on their iPods, but they’re comprised entirely of music they’ve heard us play at home or in the car. They enjoy music, but they don’t love music. At least not yet, and that’s fine with me. My oldest daughter would rather play the piano. My son would rather practice card tricks.
I suspect any musical influence I have on them today will shortly be replaced by that provided by friends. I hope I’m as patient as my parents were if my kid’s music tastes veer towards the shallow junk coming from shows like American Idol.
Because I’m not below creating a Pink Floyd playlist and sneaking it onto their iPods.