OK, there are three things that all came together to create this idea in my head and they are:
- I bought Rocksmith to help me learn to play some lead guitar (it is wicked fun btw)
- My son wanted to break the Lego Rock Band drums back out and started playing again
- Firfirey, the Ethiopian student living with us thinks that no “teenager” knows old songs that I sing on the radio.
Anyway, so all of that led me to putting together a playlist of classic rock songs that I can listen to when I am with my boys. I was thinking of it as sort of a rock and roll education. Which is important as there really isn’t any rock and roll anymore. It has morphed into pop and hip hop and the driving guitar licks have given way to loops. So I wanted to make sure that my kids at least knew how we got where we are musically. (One day I will go back and introduce them to blues and jazz, but right now we are starting with my youth.)
So as I was listening through this playlist I put together it hit me how many of these songs are from before my time. I was born in ’74 so I wasn’t really music listening age until the 80’s. But the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holley, Simon and Garfunkel are the songs that I remember. So I was trying to figure out why.
Then it hit me, a flood of memories came rushing back, but they all had one central image. I saw me, 9 years old, hair still slightly dusty blonde, still sort of shy around new people, but not really into the world of bullies yet, sitting in the front of my dad’s 70’s era blue Chevy Impala (not exactly like the one in the photo). It was blue, and two doors and each door was longer than our current car. I can see myself sitting on vinyl seats with the windows down and my arm hanging out. Me and my dad are driving around in the country, to go fishing, or to a rock pile, or just to drive around and the songs that are playing are these songs, these songs from his childhood that are playing on an 8-track or later on a cassette player he installed. I am driving around and we are talking some and I am talking lots and we are listening to the Sounds of Silence and Johnny B. Goode and Little Duece Coope, and we are together.
In cars today I feel like my boys are always doing their own thing. They have Kindles and books and DVDs and they sit in the back and do their thing with me up in the front doing mine, and yes they are safer, but I wonder if we are missing something with them back there in their world and me up front in mine.