My Dads rock history lessons (aided by a few other family members)! I am very well versed in music and I have my dad to thank for that.
One of my greatest memories of times with my dad was being told "shhhh ...be quiet! This is my favorite song" As a kid we knew we were being invited into a special club where only the coolest kids got invited. If we were lucky we would get a rock history lesson about the band, the song, the album and/or the lyrics.
I learned the most when my dad worked around our house. He would rock the sweat band and knee socks and blast BA classic rock all day. Edgar Winter (whose album cover always freaked me out. Lesson #1: Edgar Winter is an albino), Sly and the Family Stone and the crazy Steely Dan. These were the sounds of my weekends.
Michigan football games and tailgating would always bring a rock history lesson. Here I met Jimi Hendrix and Jethro Tull. Occassionally, Janis Joplin would stop by to promote female equality. Bob Dylan would come out to play and preach political amazingness. In fact, it was at one of these games that my dad taught me what Jim Morrison was talking about in LA woman (definition of mojo bag was eye opener) and Peter Frampton could make his guitar talk...for real, talk.
My dad was not my only teacher. My mommy taught me all about this little place called Motown. Waking up to the Supremes meant it was ironing day. If I caught a little Marvin Gaye it meant there was dome cooking happening in the kitchen. Daddy and Mommy would go old school with Bing Crosby and Andy Williams. Elvis Presley made my mom smile in much the same way I did with Harry Connick Jr.
Then there were my uncles. Thanksgiving at Uncle Dans meant someone was getting a brand new bag from James Brown. The rolling stones were in the background as Uncle Danny carved the Turkey and did some shots of Jack with Uncle Kenny.
Uncle Mark was in a category all his own. Visiting his house was like going for a private tour of Abbey Road Studios. He is the reason I love the Beatles and have taught my kids this is where music begins and ends. Uncle Mark is still teaching me. Introducing me to Muse and Theatre of Tragedy. He still plays Beatles trivia, which I can never quite ace.
My brother, my best friend and yes...prom date (not once, but twice!) was also instrumental in opening my music horizons. With Regis I found and discovered AC/DC. Cypress Hill and Run DMC were the soundtrack to my high school mornings. I rebelled in every way possible while listening to Rage Against The Machine. NIN were my Zoloft on my dark days. I experienced the joy of college while jamming to Bob Marley. Life was exceptionally good.
Then, I was lucky to find my husband who taught me the ridiculous awesomeness of Metallica. We rediscovered grunge and can now dig the jam bands. We even are fans of gypsy punk (don't knick it yill you try it...gogol bordello) and saudi arabian rapper souleyman (you have not lived until you have seen him dance). He made me remember my early rock lessons and allowed me to search out new artists. It keeps me current. It keeps me valid. It gives me soul.
This obsession with music has enhanced my life to amazing levels. For every varied mood, I can revisit my history books and pull out a song to fit it. From a very young age, music knowledge was the key to that secret grown up world that my dad first unlocked the door to. Now I have a lifelong subscription to this group. I only hope that I will teach my children the same lessons my dad taught me. If only to keep Justin Bieber at bay...rock history is his kryptonite.