I heard a rather mind-blowing bit of insight the other day. Nothing new really, but the timeliness of it made an impact. The insight was that people over time start to seek the nostalgic as they grow older because it reminds them of a better time and place – and older isn’t necessarily living up to years past. Yeah, common knowledge right? But for me… I can look at my blog posts, facebook posts, music purchases, and movie references and see a massive turn for the nostalgic that coincides with two major events in my life: the passing of my father and demise of a relationship. While I always attributed this shift to a general lack of creativity out there, there was really a deeper more emotional reason. Glad to know it was just me and not everything else.
This will be my first without my Dad. He’s by far the closest person I’ve ever lost, and his loss inspires the strangest feelings. I’ve only made very slight changes in my life since his passing. I have a new filter for the big decisions I make on a regular basis and it’s heavily influenced by him. My desire to tighten the amazing relationships I have with my Mom and Brother has strengthened. Most days I live on, un-phased by his passing. Others days, there are moments when I hit a wall and break. A movie. A song. Or the realization that when I want to tell him something that happened or ask for his opinion, I simply can’t. You can’t experience that feeling without spending ten minutes to get over the fact that he’s gone allover again.
Photo Credit: Kamerado.nl
It was hard as hell to actually pick a song to post, so I went for a couple of the less obvious, but amazing. I am still blown away by the fact that a ten year old kid – me – and an even younger kid, my 6-year old brother were so consumed with Genesis. I know a few 10-year olds these days and sure we all like to laugh at the kid that knows funny rap lyrics or sings the Jonas Brothers. But think about it… Just 20 years ago, my brother and I were obsessed with a band led by a guy with a major receding hairline and lyrics that flew miles over our heads.
Back then, my whole family would legitimately bond over great music. I cannot stress the legitimately part enough. We would gather around the tv to watch the world premieres of music videos on MTV. It is one thing to think the Jonas Brothers have a catchy tune that you can tap your fingers on the steering wheel to. It is another when the music you truly find most relevant in your life is somehow the music your kids listen to as well. I am not sure if that will ever really happen again. Another casualty perhaps attributed to the crumbling music business, and a loss far more important that dollars. Families cannot afford to keep losing things to bond over.
And from the who-the-hell-does-he-think-he-is to give parenting advice category… I think most kids would rather listen to the music they see their parents enjoying. Kids don’t come out of the womb begging for Miley Cyrus do they? I don’t have any, so I don’t know. But I cannot imagine anything better than seeing Mom and Dad, being happy, being in love, or these days, just being together while they listen to music. It could be Death Cab, Kings of Leon, John Legend, Coldplay, or whoever. Miley Cyrus-numbed parents = Miley Cyrus-numbed kids. Kings of Leon-happy parents = Kings of Leon-happy kids.
If you are lucky, maybe someday your kid will grow up to blog about their childhood that they never want to forget.
He did not teach me a trade. He did not teach me how to do my taxes. Not to fish, or build anything. There are books for all of that. He taught me far more important things in life, including how important it is to have good music around you. I have no desire to make music or even work in the music business. I am so content to just sit back and listen.
Back in the day, my dad once told me that Mickey Rourke was his idol. He loved his movies, and even looked like him a little bit. The good Mickey Rourke, not the later version. But I really, really think my dad would have loved this new movie. He liked stories of redemption, and it seems that Mickey’s performance in this movie may call for a bit of redemption. He has already been nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes. I am so happy for him. I would love to see him at the podium. How cool would that be?
I have officially become an old man. No doubt about it. In the last month, I have found myself saying things like “Shit, they just don’t make songs like this any more” no less than a dozen times. Ronda and I listen to the 80s music channel on Time Warner Cable probably more than actual tv shows. One striking reality – the shelf life of a pop star these days rivals a carton of milk. Back in the day, Phil Collins killed it as the lead singer/drummer of Genesis, long after male pattern baldness had taken over! Peter Gabriel, Bruce Hornsby, Christopher Cross, hell, even Bruce Springsteen looked more like school teachers than grammy-sweeping rockstars.
Of course, I still love new stuff, and believe that I always will (based on my upbringing), but just like classic rock has a special place in my dad’s generation’s heart, 80s shit, of just about any genre, is clearly turning out to be my ‘classic rock’. I have always loved songs from my childhood… but now it is reeeeeally inspiring fond memories of family road trips and hanging out around the house on Sunday with the breeze blowing in the open windows, drinking iced tea, rocking out… see what I mean!! Nostalgic! Here are a few songs that were regulars that my dad would play on Sundays and on road trips… And dad, if you are reading this… THANK YOU!
Expect more posts like this in the future.
Duran Duran – Save a Prayer
Mr. Mister – Broken Wings
Prince – Purple Rain
Genesis – Abacab
Neil Young – Heart of Gold (My Dad liked to throw in some of his old faves)
INXS – New Sensation (Michael Hutchence was THE rockstar of the 80s)
Certain music releases were literally ‘events’ in our household. The following videos actually made the family gather around the TV for their World Premieres.
Julian Lennon – Valotte
Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds of Love
Van Halen – Jump
Guns N Roses – November Rain