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I’ve Officially Turned into My Parents

I still remember the first band I found, entirely on my own.  It was the Violent Femmes, and the girl who was too advanced at Hebrew school (didn’t every Hebrew school have a girl who knew just a tad too much for our age?) gave me a cassette tape in 1983.  My parents called it noise.  I loved it.

I also liked their music: Queen and the Beatles and Men at Work.

But I loved my music.  I loved my punk bands.  I loved going to Yesterday and Today and getting 7 inches.  I loved going to live shows and shoving people in the mosh pit.  Ooooh, I just loved my noise, the harder the better.  Though I’ve always held a soft spot for alternative rock bands like the Femmes since they were my first.

I told the Wolvog that I wanted to have him listen to Billy Joel.  We had been in Allentown, and the kids didn’t erupt into “Allentown,” which creeped us out.  This was a huge gap in their musical education.  We had to remedy it.  The Wolvog sort of shrugged when I told him about Billy Joel, and he told me that he had found a different band he liked on Pandora.

“What’s it called?” I asked.


So I went to tell Josh and before we looked it up, Josh said, “watch it be Christian rock.”  Suddenly, it hit me that our kid may not like our taste in music.  I mean, sure he might listen to it and like it enough, but he may find another type of music that he likes more.  More than punk rock.  I started deep breathing when the Internet started spitting back at me song titles such as “Spirit of Life.”  There were YouTube videos showing us nature scenes.

And then we hit play.

And discovered that BLACKMILL WAS DUBSTEP.

It was so much worse than we feared.

What next?  Would he ask us to take him to clubs?  Talk about wobble bass?  Have us call him DJ Wol?  Start wearing big headphones?

Even worse, when we tried to talk about it with our friends the next day, Josh called them “Blackwater” and I corrected him, saying, “he likes the music from Blackhill.”

To which the Wolvog called out, “it’s BlackMILL.”  And then he proceeded to have to correct me on three different occasions when I continued to call the band Blackhill, like an out-of-touch adult.

What was the first band you found separate from your parents?

We actually think it’s pretty cool that he found his own music.


1 Tara Dawes { 08.11.13 at 9:21 am }

Social Distortion – I was 8, and discovered them via a friend of my much older brother I fell absolutely in love with them and begged my mom to buy me the record aptly titled “Mommy’s Little Monster”. I got to give me mom credit, she never really blinked when it came to my strange and possibly inappropriate music choices. I went through many musical phases but never fell out of love with so many punk bands – including Social Distortion.

2 a { 08.11.13 at 10:24 am }

Eh – I find nothing on my own, music wise. Other people play it, and I like it or dislike it. I am not a music innovator. I am, however, probably the only one I know in my group of friends who will actively seek out classical music to listen to. So, there’s that?

My daughter is in a good place to be well-rounded musically. I tend to lean toward the alternative/punk side with some pop thrown in, whereas my husband is more of the classic rock/country/rap side. The kid likes selections from The Rolling Stones to Taylor Swift to Fleetwood Mac to that really annoying Florida/Georgia Border song from Nelly. I figure by the time she’s my age, she should be able to sing along with any song that comes on any radio station.

I do love the Violent Femmes though – they remind me of summer.

3 It Is What It Is { 08.11.13 at 10:41 am }

My parents did not have a love of music so we weren’t particularly encouraged to, either. I mean, I played the piano, but that’s not the same as having the radio blasting. Ever. My mom liked the standards. Moon River comes to mind.

We were too young to see Staying Alive when it came out but my dad bought us the record and I LOVED IT. It launched my still present love affair with the Bee Gees.

The first album I bought myself, however, was Cheap Trick, Live at Budokan.

4 loribeth { 08.11.13 at 10:53 am }

I grew up in the 60s & 70s, when your music was definitely NOT your parents’ music. My mother was in high school when Elvis, Ricky Nelson, etc., were big, but when the high school newspaper polled her class, she listed her favourite singer as Frank Sinatra.

I must give her credit, though, because she did take me to the movies to see The Beatles in Help and Herman’s Hermits in Hold On, and she did buy me at least some of the albums I asked for. (After all, she is/was actually a few months younger than John Lennon.) But it just wasn’t like it is today. Parents & kids weren’t SUPPOSED to like the same music.

The hilarious thing is a few years ago she asked my sister to take her to an Elton John concert (!!). My sister said, “You do realize he’s one of the singers you used to yell at us about, as in “Turn that noise down!”??” They went together and she loved it.

Of course, we have grown to appreciate her kind of music more too. The three of us went to see Tony Bennett last year when I was home — something I couldn’t have imagined when I was a teenager. He had just turned 86 and was still in amazing form!

I have to admit that a lot of popular music today does not appeal to me in the least. I’m sure if I had a teenager today (as I very well might have) & she was into rap & hiphop (which I loathe) I would have been telling her to turn that noise down too.

5 Catwoman73 { 08.11.13 at 1:02 pm }

I grew up listening to show tunes (which I hate), and folk/country/accoustic stuff, like John Denver (which I love). But then I discovered heavy metal- Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, some more obscure acts like Faster Pussycat, and so on. I loved my mosh pits, too! My parents HATED it. Hubby and I still listen to that stuff today. And so far, our daughter head bangs right along with us… I sincerely hope she continues to enjoy our music. But I live in fear of the day she starts to develop her own musical taste… I think Hubby and I will go insane if she decides she likes pop, or even worse- the dreaded broadway show tunes that I have despised since childhood! I fully expect I will then turn into my parents, and start screaming for her to TURN THAT NOISE DOWN!!! 🙂

6 jjiraffe { 08.11.13 at 1:31 pm }

My parents had crazy cool taste in music. They loved Depeche Mode, The Smiths, the whole Manchester scene. So I rebelled by “finding” hip hop. De La Soul was the first group I loved all by myself.

7 Laurel (Dawn Storey) { 08.11.13 at 3:03 pm }

I think the first album I bought for myself was Led Zeppelin IV. Despite the fact that it had actually been released a good ten years prior to my discovering it (hey, I’m old, but I’m not THAT old!), I had an enormous crush on a guy who played “Stairway to Heaven” on his guitar and melted my young heart. Buying the album felt like an expression of my adoration for him. Fourteen is a very silly age!

8 Battynurse { 08.11.13 at 9:13 pm }

The first band I remember really deciding I loved even though I had been listening to different music than my parents for a while was Night Ranger, closely followed by Bon Jovi.

9 Heather { 08.12.13 at 8:47 am }

My mom didn’t really have a type of music that she listened to, so we were free to find for ourselves. My oldest sister got heavily into U2(War), Sex Pistols, etc. Me and my other sisters are closer in age so for a while we liked the same music, pop (Thompson Twins, Police, Huey Lewis and the News, etc). Then I befriended a girl who was into metal and off I went on my own tangent. Metallica, Megadeath, Motley Crue, Dokken, and more glam rock too: Bon Jovi, Poison, Cinderella. Between the three of us we had a very eclectic collection of music in the house. Of course we could NEVER agree on what radio station to listen to or song to keep on in the car.

10 robin { 08.12.13 at 10:43 am }

I think it’s good for parents and kids to have different tastes in music, in a way. He’s developing his sense of individuality. My mom tried to like my music but I didn’t want her to, even purposefully not telling her about some of the bands I was into, because I just wanted something For Myself. It’s also a pretty safe thing to “rebel” into, as long as it doesn’t come along with dangerous behavior I guess.

11 Blanche { 08.12.13 at 3:47 pm }

My parents gave me a Christian rock musician (Michael W. Smith – so not even the same type of music!) tape for Christmas one year instead of the Guns N’ Roses album I had requested. That really sucked – especially because it was done without any discussion. Mad props to you for respecting the Wolvog’s music choice without comment. Although I suspect if you had issues with it, you would discuss it with him as you seem to do for most things of concern.

12 GeekChic { 08.12.13 at 7:47 pm }

Like Catwoman I was (and still am) a heavy metal listener. That said, my Dad always listened to my music and asked me about it. He even took me and some school acquaintances to Black Sabbath and Judas Priest shows when I was a pre-teen (the other parents thought he was nuts)

Although Dad was primarily a classical and jazz fan, he would listen to almost anything (country being the notable exception). I’m like him in that respect (including not thinking much of country) though I have to be in the right mood for some kinds of music (rap particularly).

13 Christine { 08.12.13 at 11:19 pm }

I always have to play Billy Joel on road trips, and the kids are getting quite happily familiar with the soundtrack to Chicago, which is another big one for us.

I came late to music, without parents who played anything in particular and lacking siblings to help. My early boyfriends were probably my biggest influences, which is why I still know all the words to an entire Pink Floyd album.

14 magpie { 08.16.13 at 11:05 am }

i was a dork and only listened to classical music until i found bruce in college.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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