As you may or may not know, I love music. My taste is so eclectic I will not bore you with all the details. Suffice it to say I have been known to attend a long-awaited performance of the symphony only to follow it up within 48 hours with a heavy-metal, heart pounding, sing-at-the-top-of-my-lungs-till-I've-lost-my-voice thrash fest. With such music appreciation, I am taking it upon myself to educate our youth of their humble beginnings.
It began a few years ago when my oldest came to me and asked if I had ever heard this really great song by Korn called, "Another Brick In the Wall." Seriously? Not only did I proceed to educate the young lad on the actual true pioneers of these lyrics, I pulled out the quintessential album to play the original for him.
Conversations along this same vein subsequently followed:
"Mom, have you ever heard of "The Immigrant Song?"
I presented him with our Led Zeppelin boxed sets. One would have thought I gave this boy the Holy Grail.
"Mom, there is this group called AC/DC where the lead guitarist is totally amazing and dresses up like Jack Black in "School of Rock!"
Out came all the AC/DC albums as I regaled the young lad with tales of my numerous concert experiences to witness their timeless awesomeness. (Although a personal note to Angus Young: Angus, when you read this (and you will read this) please stop dropping your shorts in concert. It is never attractive seeing a 60 year-old heiney - pull up them drawers.)
Recently Disturbed came screaming across the airwaves to "Land of Confusion." Once again I was there to dash the hopes of my son. Been there, done that ions ago with Genesis.
After he waited with bated breath for Disturbed's newest release, my son was shocked and amazed when I sang Tears for Fears "Shout" right along with them.
He demanded to know, "How do you know this song? IT JUST CAME OUT?!"
To which I replied, "It's because...well...I'm cool like that."
His immediate response was to inform me that just by declaring this statement I proved it undeniably false.
These same conversations ensued as Korn released "Word Up", Godsmack released "Good Times, Bad Times" and on and on and on.
"Isn't "Paradise City" the coolest song ever?" Why yes it was - twenty years ago...
As if this wasn't entertaining enough, my daughter then added to the fray.
"Mom - there is this song out called "Love Stinks" and it is great!"
Aaargh!! Enough!! So here it is, young ones...listen up!
It is time to give props to those who came before you. Now, as we proceed with the lesson, please know I am not dissing any of these newbies. I am merely pointing out they are not the out-of-the-box pioneers our youth believe them to be.
Lady Gaga: You can thank Madonna, Patti Smith, Blondie, and Cindi Lauper (just to name a few);
Marilyn Manson: Give it up to Alice Cooper, Ozzie Osbourne, and Blackie Lawless (who incidentally scared the stuffins right out of me);
Adam Lambert: You can thank David Bowie for his Ziggy Stardust days, not to mention Motley Crue, Poison, and all the glam eighties hair bands. Oh, and stop tongue kissing your fans instead of just shaking hands with them - you're going to catch a cold doing that;
John Mayer: Give your kudos to Eric Clapton. Incidentally, Mr. Clapton never tweeted or discussed all his love conquests...he gave us "Layla."
Justin Beiber: Bow down to David Cassidy, Shaun Cassidy, Davey Jones, Donny Osmond and those other bubble-gum-shag-haircut-puppy-love-da-do-run-run-run poster idols from days gone by. (Okay, maybe there was a bit of dissing there...)
Understand some of the best music ever came from the previous generations. So enjoy it and appreciate us older folks who played it, studied it, did not have copious amounts of cash but what we had supported it, and have preserved for your listening pleasure.
Class is dismissed...now go and share what you have learned and I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.