Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Music In Me (and My Kids)

We Shaws are an eclectic bunch when it comes to music.

On any given day, there might be dance club music (the wife), Hannah Montana, High School Musical, etc. ( the princess), Nine Inch Nails, Korn, Linkin Park (the prince), or, any host of music from Elvis to Marilyn Manson (your humble blogger) on our car stereo.

I've personally been to more concerts than I can remember, I've seen bands that pretty much run the gamut, from KISS to Jethro Tull, from Linda Ronstadt (in my youth) to The Clash, from Billy Ray Cyrus to Slipknot.

What's the point to this story? My 12 year old son, "the prince" is going to see his very first concert on August 29th. He and I have a date with Nine Inch Nails at the Wachovia Center. When I tell people what we are going to see, I get puzzled looks and comments like "are you kidding me?"

Some ask why I would allow my son to listen to such hard music? First of all, he's a burgeoning musician. To deny him access to all forms of music would be stifling and, for lack of a better term, snobbish of me.

You see, I look at music much differently than most people. I view music as an art form, and as with art, is subject to the taste of the individual listening to it. To not allow my son exposure to certain types of music would probably drive him to seek out even more shocking forms of expression, like turning "Goth" or shaving a mohawk in his head (the latter would not shock me in the least!).

I really believe that I have good kids. With that perspective, I also feel that you teach children to be responsible by example. If and when the prince or princess give me a reason to restrict what they listen to, then dad will (and does) get tough.

But to deny them the experience of an art form that pretty much defined my youth (and carried over into my adult life) would be an egregious error on my part.

And, besides, I am a huge fan of Nine Inch deny myself the pleasure of seeing them in concert would be just shameful. To be able to share this experience with my son will surely plant a seed in him that I hope he sows throughout his keeping an open mind and bestowing the gift of music on his children.

Maybe some day he, I and my grandchildren will have floor seats for a reunion tour of Marilyn Manson...and I'll be the cool grandpa with the awesome grandkids, hanging with some middle-aged guy (that my son will become) that used to be me...and all will continue to be good in the world.



Lisa said...

NIN is awesome. Your son (and you) have good taste.

Rock on, dude.

Anonymous said...

My first concert attended in my youth was Alice Cooper at the Spectrum.

My first concert I attended with my child to listen to his/her choice in music was Aaron Carter.

In Kindergarten the teacher asked the class "Who is your favorite band?" Mine was the only child to respond Little Feet. LOL

Our household is also an eclectic bunch.

My how times change. It is fun isn't it?
rock on dude!

Bill Shaw said...

The saga continues:

Three and a half years ago, when my oldest was still 17, I was lucky enough to take him and his girlfriend to see his first concert...Slipknot.

In the weeks leading up to the concert, I was listening to this strange, new (for me) band and having a hard time getting into the CD's.

When we left the concert, Slipknot had become one of my top 20 favorite live bands.

I can't wait for NIN!


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