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Thursday, 2 June 2011

Bob, John, Paul and my son.

Recently Bob Dylan has been following me about wherever I go.
Not literally as that would be weird, but his nasal protest songs and his huffing and puffing on the harmonica have served as the soundtrack to my doing the dishes, the laundry and the preparation of meals on what feels like a daily basis for longer than I care to admit.
He's omnipresent in my house.
From the story of the hurricane to the answer blowing in the wind I've been taken on a meteorological song and dance by his Bob-ness for well over a month now.
The reason for all this is because my son has discovered the sixties.
Well he didn't discover the sixties, but more so rediscovered the bands of the era.
It all started with The Beatles.
Prior to that he was a Rolling Stones fan, and still is, but The Rolling Stones didn't act as a catalyst in throwing him back in time.
The blame for that lies with The Beatles.
Within a week of his delving into all things Lennon and McCartney every debate was rooted in who was the best between the two.
Of course it was Lennon, but he disagrees, and we go round and round and round tearing the argument to shreds.
However regardless of all Lennons failings he didn't write the 'Frog Chorus'.
When I throw that in the mix he gets that glazed look that all McCartney fans have when the 'Frog Chorus' gets mentioned.
They know they're on shaky ground.
It's the death blow that all us Lennon fans will deliver with a smile.
It doesn't matter how many great songs McCartney wrote, or co-wrote, because that song casts a shadow over them all.
If for some reason mentioning it doesn't stop a McCartney fan in their tracks then you can twist the knife a bit by singing a bit of 'Say Say Say' or 'Ebony and Ivory'.
Or his bit in 'A day in the life'.
I'd shove that comb up his arse given half a chance.
That should be enough to finish any McCartney fan off.
Anyway forget all that. I digress and its not really relevant.
The thing is that since the Beatles rolled into town there has been a real jump back in time musically speaking.
The Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater and Pink Floyd are the staples of the day.
The thing is that I'm finding it to be a a bit of a double edged sword.
On one hand I don't have to listen to what most sixteen year old kids are pumping out from their stereos, oops sorry, i-pod docking stations, and that can seem like a blessing.
The other upside is that musically we can also have some common ground.
Something to talk about.
Christ knows that at that age a father and son need some common ground or patricide/infanticide can become a very real fantasy.
I should be pleased that I don't have to sit with my head in my hands while clutching pain killers in my hand hoping that the volume of the latest happy hardcore track is going to be turned down a notch.
However the downside is that he's now of the opinion that starting off from the sixties and ending in seventy nine is the glory days of music, and those glory days will never be revisited.
And there in lies a bit of a problem.
He's so rooted in the past that the majority of modern bands and acts sound like shite to him, and as that idea becomes cemented in there is less opportunity to be taken unawares by something new.
It's not really a big problem though.
It's just that I would like to think that the door is left open a notch to allow something else in.
Rather than it being slammed shut on any new aural experiences.
As long as it's not the latest x-factor wannabe or another mainstream dance act then some variety would be nice.
Maybe I should introduce him to Nick Cave.


  1. Ease him in to Nick Cave with a visit to the Bunnymen, then the Cocteaus, New Order and finish him off with Cave. Perhaps an added smattering of the Weddies might just show him that the eighties wasn't all bad...

  2. Every decade has great music. Such a shame that in looking back people peruse the charts and often enough they were never an indicator of what was good, and rather more just what was popular.
    So they write the decade off.
    Due to his love of Bob I reckon he could maybe ease into the Bunnymen.

  3. Oh God, I forgot about the Chameleons, the Comsats, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and a whole host of others. It's good he likes Dylan, too many people are too quick at dismissing him as a nasely folkie. They forget his impact was as profound as white rock n roll was...

  4. His Bob-ness is certainly a bright thread in the global tapestry of music.

  5. Nick Cave is a good shout. I had similar worries about number one son getting rooted in the past with his tastes (and worried it was my fault!) but he's just using it as a launch pad for striking out on his own in all kindsa weird directions, from Aphex Twin and Squarepusher thru Primus to Cave / Grinderman / Birthday Party etc. He's a gobby wee shite with it an all.

  6. Oh, I recognize the gobby wee shit oh so well.