Tuesday, January 09, 2007

My Classic Rock Kids aka The Kids Are Alright

One of the local shuls is hosting a concert next month, featuring "Uncle Moishy" , who grew up in Toronto, and lived down the street from where I grew up. I know who he is, but my kids certainly do not. As we passed the big banner in front of the shul, I heard at least two out of three voices pipe up from the back seat of the van: "WHO'S UNCLE MOISHY?"

What could I say but, "He's a Jewish musician, but we never listened to his kind of music."

I did not grow up with that kind of music -- yes, we had some Pirchei Choir records, just because my first cousin was in one of the NY-based choirs and thus, on the records -- and my kids have not grown up with that music. Although "yeshivish" music is rather nice, I'm mostly familiar with it from simcha dance classes and background music in some of the Kosher restaurants I've been to.

My kids, up until the past year or so, mostly grew up with the classical and jazz that I'd play for them, as well as easy-listening radio stations. But a year ago, something happened: they began to make their own choices in music. My oldest became an Elvis Presley fan, as well as Paul McCartney...from which evolved a fondness for Beatles music. My daughter, along with her girly-girlfriends, discovered the popular young singers, and began to choose her own radio stations to listen to, thus learning lyrics very quickly to "at the moment, popular songs." My youngest was able to distinguish between Neil Young's and Paul McCartney's voice.

These days, they are very much into music, downloading onto their little MP3 players...and knowing how exactly to do that.

My oldest is a fan of "classic rock" songs and singers from the sixties, seventies and eighties. Upon hearing two opening notes to a song, he can recognize the song and singer or band. He did ask the other day if Jim Morrison and Van Morrison were brothers, which struck me as an interesting question. Not too long ago, I explained what "Woodstock" had been, simply because he is an avid listener to music of that generation. This 11-year-old kid blows my mind with his musical savvy.

My youngest son isn't too far behind his older brother in his music appreciation. I was in the office reading blogs, and they were in their beds in the bedroom they share next door to the office. I heard them talking...and my six year old son says, " A., I know a good song you can download."

A. "Yeah? Which one?"

N. "Iron Butterfly."

A. "That's not the name of a song. That's the name of the band! And I don't like 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' "

Everything old becomes new again. Isn't that how the saying goes? Those same songs I was hearing for the first time when I was prepubescent are those songs that I'm hearing again, but that my kids are hearing for the first time and getting into.

Sorry, Uncle Moishy. For my kids, you just can't compete with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the Stones, Paul McCartney and Wings...


Anonymous said...

Your kids remind me of me! When the other kids in my class were listening to the latest 80's and 90's pop offerings, I saved up my money to buy The Zombies' Greatest Hits (had to have a copy of Time of the Season and eventually learned every other song by heart).

My oldest brother wouldn't start the car to take me to the library on Friday afternoon without me identifying the opening notes of any one of a dozen or so Led Zeppelin songs and then - that's right - he made me sing them. Luckily my mom's own record collection was extensive enough for me to have had the familiarity I needed!

Let's just say there are a LOT of lyrics and tunes floating around in my head that are rather atypical for my generation. I'm grateful though. I think there's a reason these bands and songs have remained so great over so many years.

Anonymous said...

Pearl: It's great that your son appreciates music from our generation. That gives you something else to share.

I'm also relieved that my kids are past the Uncle Moishy stage. That stuff gets old real fast. BTW, do you know he's also a photographer? He's been taking class pictures at my daughter's school for several years.

Anonymous said...

It´s funny how kids can appreciate good music. I am with you that all the songs are coming back, even some of the pop songs I listened to when I was a teenager get covered and my little sister, now in her teenage years, hears them for the first time. What bothers me sometimes is that they my sister and her friends think that these are brandnew songs and nobody (let aside the band itself) tells them, that it is only a cover of an old song.....

(and I LOVE the Miami boys choir, so I guess I would like Uncle Moishy too :D)

Val said...

Loved this post.. your kids sound great! Beatle's fans ROCK!!!!

My 6 year old is being exposed to a LOT of the 'good stuff' (IMHO)music wise and she also is familiar with some of the 'current stuff' too!

Music is very family bonding stuff!

Anonymous said...

when my kids were growing up and mtv was playing all the time i became an expert on what's going on...when they were younger and listing to MY stuff they were listening to all sorts of music including Rocky Horror...one day my Dad AH and bubbie channah were in israel for a visit and my oldest son who was around nine at the time began singins at the top of his lungs...'i'm just a sweet transvestite!'...my Dad turned to bubbie channah and said. 'Voss hot ehr gezogt?' (what did he say?)...and the rest is history lolol...great post...hope your dad is feeling better...a sweet shabbat shalom to you and yours...stay safe

cruisin-mom said...

Pearl: Your kids are alright by me. I think it's great when one generation can appreciate the music of another generation. (although, I don't think we should have to appreciate this generation of Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson, should we? :)

Anonymous said...

Isn't it fun!?

My guys are really into music now, too. They love the classics, The Stones, Springsteen, Dead, Clapton... and they also like some new stuff - much of which I really like too. I have to play some Beatles for them - great idea - they haven't heard that much.

(Oh & I have a strict rule about downloads - def. needs parental approval!)