When I was 7 years old, my aunt and uncle took me for a weekend stay to their friend's bungalow on Cape Cod. I remember the drive down from their house in Arlington, MA...mainly because my aunt hung one of my dresses and a slip near the window, but on the way down, the slip flew out the window. I can still see it flying down the highway. It's weird that we remember such details as adults.
I don't remember too much from the weekend, but I DO remember finding the Who's Tommy (which had just been released) and asking to listen to it. I remember sitting right next to the speaker, mesmerized. I still see myself huddled there, drawn to the very cool art by Mike McKinnery which graced the lyric booklet. It wasn't quite the start of my lifelong love affair with the Who - that came later - after seeing Tommy, the movie, 7 years later. (Seven really is a magic number!). I was smart enough to buy the original album at that time, not the soundtrack. My obsession with the Who just snowballed from there...
There was always music in my house, ever since I was born (in 1962). I can still picture my grandfather, who was born in Italy, air conducting Mario Lanza or Enrico Caruso. My cousins used to call him "Muzzi Miller." (His nickname was Muzzi and Mitch Miller was a famous band conductor at the time).
Ah, the 60s. The music was so incredible. It's what I remember most about my childhood. I was an only child for about 11 years (we adopted my sister, who is from Korea). The first four years of my life I spent living in a duplex, and my aunt, uncle and their 3 teenage kids lived upstairs.
I used to LOVE hanging out with my cousin John and his friends. They were funny, lots of fun, and they didn't mind me hanging around. (My mom used to say I was a big flirt when I was a little girl! Some things never change). I remember sitting on my cousin's bunkbed listening to the Stones, the Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the Beatles. I thought most of it was just noise though, and I didn't get Janis AT ALL (why would someone enjoy listening to someone scream? I used to think). I loved the Beatles and the Beach Boys - which makes sense if you're just a kid.
Flash forward to 2003 - at age 5 - my daughter discovers the Beach Boys (thorough a school production) and the Beatles (thanks to her pal Kristin). And, for a good two years...it's non-stop Beatles and Beach Boys (among others which we gently introduced her to thanks to Kazzaa).
My daughter is now 7, and her current favorite band is Green Day. Believe me, their "rock opera" American Idiot is the only cd vehemently "requested" in the car by her since we purchased it in September. (We've been listening to it on Rhapsody since it was released last year). Last week, while driving her to school, I glanced back at my budding punkster (yeah - how proud am I??LOL). I saw her, holding the American Idiot lyric booklet in one hand,happily singing along,while clutching her pink Love-A -Lot Care Bear in her other arm. And I thought..."the torch has been passed!"
At first, I did have a little trepidation about Green Day's language. (But then I thought, "fuck it!" LOL just kidding). This kid is something else - she self-censors! It's really cute - she either says "buck" or something - or just does a headbanging bop and doesn't say the profanity. I don't make a very big deal about language, but I do watch my mouth around kids (oh - I guess I have to if I plan on teaching for a living!). She knows what's right and I don't have to preach about it.
But now, I'm wondering...how will she rebel when she becomes a teenager? Will she become a Celine Dion fan? A collector of Slim Whitman bootlegs? Be afraid, be very afraid!