up, Moms, Dads and other oppressed minorities. I bring to you a
new weapon in the ongoing struggle called Raising Your Children.
brilliant military maneuver, I have taken one of their most powerful
weapons and turned it against them. That weapon is music.
first, let me begin with a quick flashback to my own childhood. The
year is 1966. Im 10 years old, sitting in the kitchen of our home
Daytona Beach, Florida. The kitchen was filled with the aroma of my
Moms salmon loaf, a despicable dish which was destined to be eaten
my dog, Mike, should he position himself under the dining room table
during dinner (sorry Mom, I never could handle your salmon loaf). I
playing with my Captain Action (it was not a doll, it was an action
figure) when my Dad came trudging through the door after a hard
old man did the same thing that I do he worked in radio. One
favorite quotes about having a career in radio was, Its
working for a living. My Dad had always been a radio man, starting
Northern Pennsylvania and eventually making his way to Ironton, Ohio.
During the fall months in most of the 50s and part of the 60s, there
wasnt a single Friday night where you wouldnt find my old
in the pressbox at Tanks Memorial Stadium, broadcasting the Ironton
Fighting Tiger Football Games.
his health started to fail, his doctor told him to get his skinny
butt to Florida and back in those days, when a father went somewhere,
usually took his wife and kids with him. He got a job at WMFJ in
Daytona, with studios overlooking The Worlds Most Famous
had a great house three blocks from the ocean, Dad was working in radio
and all was right with the world.
Except for Rock and Roll.
old man hated Rock and Roll. His record collection was made up of big
bands like those of Tommy Dorsey, Sammy Kaye and Woody Herman. The
closest my Dad got to Rock and Roll was the occasional Herb Alpert and
the Tijuana Brass album. And that was the problem WMFJ was a
on that fateful day, with Captain Action in my hand and salmon fumes
in my nose, I looked up to see my poor, disgusted Dad walk in the door
after his airshift, sit at the table, hang his head, sigh heavily and
mutter in a voice full of disdain, Wooly Bully.
were sewn the first seeds of my rebellion. If my old man hated a
song that much, I just had to get to know this Sam the Sham guy, maybe
even become one of his Pharaohs. Trust me, brothers and sisters in
parenthood, children have been using music against their parents since
Mog the Caveman got yelled at by his Mom and Dad for banging rocks
together too loudly in his cave.
it, you did it, I did it. Grand Funk and the James Gang were the
deadliest weapons in my arsenal. But that doesnt mean we have
victimized by the same tactics. And the countermeasures are simple
pretend to like the same music.
sitting at the dinner table with your child, say something like:
Savage Gardens new album really rocks, dont you think?
The next time
they have some of their friends over to the house, walk over to the
stereo and pop a Foo Fighters CD into the player. When youre in
shower, make sure you sing a Puff Daddy song loud enough so they can
hear you as they get dressed for school.
be amazed at the results. When your child thinks you are enjoying
their music, it loses much of the appeal and they will move on to
something else to irritate you. But you must be strong and consistent.
If they catch you listening to that Barry Manilow box set, youll
to start all over again.
not easy. Even I have had the occasional lapse. One day last week,
I had a particularly rough day at the radio ranch. I trudged into the
kitchen, sat at the counter across from son number one, hung my head,
sighed heavily and muttered in a voice full of disdain, Limp Bizkit.
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