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...