2018-09-07 / Commentary

Musical Misgivings

40–Something

The other day my 15-year-old son said Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” was too slow and too long.

Where did I go wrong?

I’ll be the first to admit that when I was his age my musical knowledge was suspect as well. I thought Naked Eyes was the second coming.

With a pun intended, that little mistake is “always there to remind me” puberty can really screw with your head.

But “Stairway?” Too slow? Too long?

My memory fails me so I really don’t know if I was that clueless as young teenager. The mullet hairdo, that one fateful day when I thought parachute pants would be good idea, and an apparent affinity for synthesizer music would scream, “Yes, yes I was!” but my musical tastes improved as my acne did.

Even with a head full of Clearasil and that little Naked Eyes debacle, I’m pretty sure I understood anything Led Zeppelin did was classic... especially “Stairway to Heaven.”

But my son seems to think otherwise. However, there is hope. He’s not setting the bar quite as low as his old man once did. He’s just all over the place. Rock, rap, country...you name it.

I guess when those hormones relent, he might deem “Stairway” worthy of his play list. I won’t hold me breath.

There is absolutely no hope for my 20-yearold daughter. With the possible exception of a few crossover artists, it’s country or it’s nothing.

I have no explanation for this.

Country music has never been and never will be in my wheelhouse. Apparently, I’m one of the few people who thinks this way because it does not matter where you are in the country—from the big city to the edge of humanity on some lonesome back road —you can always find a crystal clear country radio station...much to the delight of my daughter and billions of other fans.

I would say I’m 0-for- 3 in the musical influence arena, but my other daughter, the 18-year-old, does skirt around my taste in music on occasion. I’m pretty sure she’s just being nice though.

I know she tends to like pop with a dash of country, but occasionally she’ll give me control of the music and not be completely repulsed.

Still, I would say none of my children are completely on board with their old man’s musical tastes.

So, where did I go wrong?

My guess is that I didn’t go wrong anywhere.

It’s not like I followed my parents’ musical misgivings. If that was the case, I would have broken out a mirror ball and grooved to the Bee Gees. I would have thought Barry Manilow was God’s gift to humanity, and Barbara Streisand was more than just the female lead in “The Prince of Tides.”

Perish the thought.

I found my own way in the musical world, and my kids will too. Besides, it would probably be a lot weirder if we were jamming to the same tunes. I’m just happy none of them are walking around the house humming, “Promises, Promises.”

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