On dads and dad music (SL Storify)
December 8, 2015 6:27 AM   Subscribe

Mallory Ortberg asked her Twitter followers to share their dad music stories, and, boy, did they ever deliver.
posted by nerdfish (171 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Can't wait for my kids to share stories like these about me one day. In the meantime, here's my dad-music story from a while back.
posted by saladin at 6:29 AM on December 8, 2015 [7 favorites]

My dad qualified as an electrical engineer in 1960. For the first 5 years after, before he got an exec job and married mom etc, he was too busy sending money home to help his parents - he was the eldest of 9 children. He couldn't afford a radio or a record player but was good with his hands. So he offered to repair people's music systems - replace a vacuum tube or fix a turntable - and his price was that they had to let him keep the equipment for a month afterwards. This way, there was always music in the house. One of my earliest memories (Age 4?) was this fancy turntable in a carved wooden cabinet that resembled a sideboard more than a record player.
posted by infini at 6:34 AM on December 8, 2015 [11 favorites]

One day, in the 1970s, dad brought home a cassette tape - "The Ladies of Calcutta" - apparently that was "their song" back in the day. My mom and both us sisters were all born in Calcutta.
posted by infini at 6:38 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

This makes me wish I could unlock my main Twitter account, since I have some stories I could have posted. Here's one, though it's well over 140 characters.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:38 AM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

Hard to top Nilsson's kid.
posted by Beardman at 6:40 AM on December 8, 2015 [22 favorites]

From the "Dad Perspective", I kept reading those saying, " Yep, of course", "sounds right", "yes", "yep", "doesn't everyone"......
posted by HuronBob at 6:42 AM on December 8, 2015 [9 favorites]

OMG. The winner was Harry Nilsson's (youngest?) son!

Kiefo Nilsson
@mallelis Um, well okay. Here goes. My dad wrote the lime in the coconut song.
posted by sea at 6:43 AM on December 8, 2015 [36 favorites]

My dad bought one of the first CD players that went on the market--we had a CD player in the living room in 1983, if I recall correctly. It retailed for something like $700, which would be ~$1500 today. From this mechanical wonder came the soundtrack of my childhood, on exactly three CDs: The Moody Blues' Days of Future Passed, Beach Boys Concert, and the soundtrack from China Beach.
posted by Mayor West at 6:46 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I feel like our son will be writing one of these about Twain Device in a few years.
posted by The Juche Idea at 6:46 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My brother and I raided my dad's old music collection in our teens - he had the Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, The Violent Femmes. Of course, by that time he had stopped listening to that sort of thing and enjoyed Southern Gospel and showtunes instead.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:47 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm sort of terrified of my kid's future dad music stories. We sing constantly around the house. Absolutely nonstop. Sometimes I put on music and, now that she's old enough, she says, "No, off. Stop it." This does not bode well.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:48 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

I think it's possible that my dad actively dislikes music, especially now that his hearing is so bad. Growing up, he had a very small collection tapes of German beer-drinking music, which I can only remember him actually listening to maybe 3 or 4 times. He doesn't mind going to see concerts provided they are not very loud, but he would never suggest it, and I don't think he enjoys it all that much, he just goes sometimes to appease my mother.

Mom-related music stories though. There's a reason I know all the words to Harper Valley, PTA and also why I have Anne Murray PTSD.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:49 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Hard to top Nilsson's kid.

"My dad made an album with John Lennon while they were both drunk for 6 months" would have self-topped what he posted
posted by thelonius at 6:53 AM on December 8, 2015 [10 favorites]

Oh also for Christmas my dad would get us these southern gospel CDs and like, Ethel Merman's greatest hits or something and when we would inevitably ignore them in favor of stuff we actually likes, he'd swipe them from us.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:57 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

> From the "Dad Perspective", I kept reading those saying, " Yep, of course", "sounds right", "yes", "yep", "doesn't everyone"......

Heh. Yeah, I had some of that too (plus an immediate toe-tapping reaction to seeing the Whipped Cream and Other Delights cover). But I love this: "whenever my dad listened to The Doors, he would put black light bulbs in the lamps to 'set the mood.' My folks got divorced." Even back in the day, I would have told that woman not to marry a guy who put black light bulbs in the lamps to listen to the Doors. I'm just glad a divorce is the worst thing that came of it.
posted by languagehat at 6:57 AM on December 8, 2015 [10 favorites]

"My dad made an album with John Lennon while they were both drunk for 6 months" would have self-topped what he posted

Or "My dad wrote '1941*.'"

*Which is like "Cat's In The Cradle" if "Cat's In The Cradle" were a true story.
posted by drezdn at 6:57 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh my god.

My dad combines a love of puns and Motown. The Shirelles' "Mama Said" --> "Marmoset there'd be days like this."

My dad likes to ask who "Lorraine" is, as in "I wanna know, have you ever seen Lorraine?"
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:01 AM on December 8, 2015 [27 favorites]

My dad heard a review of Sleater Kinney's All Hands on the Bad One on NPR and decided he liked the sound of it. I brought it for him for Christmas that year. Not sure he's ever listened through it in its entirety, but I definitely took it back at various points.

He's also pretty fond of Dookie.
posted by ActionPopulated at 7:02 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

Marty Robbins on the reel-to-reel on cold fall mornings, potatoes and eggs sputtering on the stove, chores outdoors waiting to be done.
posted by notyou at 7:02 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

posted by colie at 7:03 AM on December 8, 2015 [14 favorites]

My dad likes to ask who "Lorraine" is, as in "I wanna know, have you ever seen Lorraine?"

Oh no. No. I mean, I guess I'm glad I'm not the only one, but ... it doesn't feel good.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:04 AM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

Although, Dad Freedom did introduce me to my favorite album at the age of 4, so I guess I can forgive him for terrible Motown puns.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:04 AM on December 8, 2015

No "cool dad" music stories here. With my dad it was pretty much all Broadway musical soundtracks all the time. The only pop songs I know that he liked were "The Tide is High" by Blondie and "Fame" by Irene Cara.

My son on the other hand? His dad has awesome musical taste.
posted by The Gooch at 7:06 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

The first music I remember was bootleg tapes of Dolly Parton, Statler Brothers, Tanya Tucker and yes, Engelbert Humperdink, though I think he was more my mom's thing. My dad had a bass voice, but not deep enough to be a Statler Brother bass, but he still loved to sing along.

Also, "The Streak" and other songs by Ray Stevens played on heavy rotation.

(the tapes were bootleg because we lived in Saudi Arabia for a while and you couldn't buy that stuff there so people recorded tapes and sent them to us. Also we might have bought some off of other expats).

Once we got home, there was my parent's album collection, which had stopped sometime in the late 60s/early 70s. Herb Alpert, definitely. Some random Motown. Country was still a thing, and "Lucille" by Kenny Rogers was one he made me sing along to with him.

My dad got very religious in his 40s and fell in love with Christian singer Sandy Patty. So we listened to her a lot. Also, Amway tapes and Jimmy Swaggart sermons (ugh) which was when I began to plead for my own Walkman tape player for car trips.

After that, the only music we ever listened to together was the occasional 50s song on the radio.
posted by emjaybee at 7:07 AM on December 8, 2015

Hard to top Nilsson's kid.

"My dad made an album with John Lennon while they were both drunk for 6 months" would have self-topped what he posted

That's a cool thing, but not really a dad thing. "Coconut," on the other hand, is on the Time-Life Classic Dad Songs compilation, available at the value price of $12.99 payable by check, credit card, or COD.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:08 AM on December 8, 2015 [17 favorites]

I have such a distinct memory of driving around in my dad's 1971 Camaro singing Bat out of Hell when I was way too young to realize that it was out of character for my dad to like Meatloaf. My awesome dad, who is a Marine and very stoic, reserved guy apparently used to play Eddie in midnight showings of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and loved the theatrics of Meatloaf and Bat out of Hell. These are things I never knew about my straight laced, Mass every Sunday, father. It's kind of awesome to realize in retrospect.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 7:10 AM on December 8, 2015 [18 favorites]

My dad had little time for the Beatles, he liked the Stones fine (and secretly wanted to be Keef), but he LOVED the poets -- Cohen, Dylan, and Reed among them. He would go see the Velvets every time they played the Boston Tea Party, alongside Jonathan Richman. Since my dad was kind of a tough guy I wonder what he and Jojo would have thought of one another.

My main memories of my dad were his deep and abiding love for Springsteen, and I linked to an essay I wrote about watching No Nukes with him when I was three or four. When I was somewhere in the single digits, while my parents' divorce was being finalized, I remember that he took me to Newport to see Richard Thompson on the Across A Crowded Room tour -- that he alternated between hoisting me on his shoulders so I could see the band and letting me dance around and make up lyrics to the songs. (I'm sure the people around us loved that.)

As a teenager my dad patiently waited while I grew out of my Broadway obsession and took me to a few shows by bands he loved. When things started to go downhill for my education, he got us tickets to see Bob Dylan and Patti Smith at the Orpheum as a Christmas gift. After the show we went to the South Street Diner and he told me about how Patti didn't go to college straight out of high school, that she came out of a dirtbag town in Jersey and still managed to do pretty well for herself. Thinking about that as an adult makes me want to sob.

A few months before he died, Dad took me to see Lou Reed at the Orpheum with Luna opening. I awkwardly developed a crush on Dean Wareham while Dad was getting a beer, but rocking out to "Sweet Jane" while my dad grinned at Lou was a high point.

He also had a huge crush on Chrissie Hynde. I'm thankful that I don't have to have weird conversations with him about her autobiography. He respected Tony Bennett's work ethic (this was the '90s, after all), and he was embarrassed when we were listening to WBCN in the car and Michael Stipe was interviewed about his bisexuality. He turned down the radio, turned to me, and said "promise me you will never date Michael Stipe." I still haven't.

I know a lot of my tastes developed in response to his death. (In the Aeroplane came out a year after his death, and I got Ash Wednesday by Elvis Perkins on the tenth anniversary of his passing...and that's just for starters.) Sometimes I wonder what he'd be into if he was still alive -- would he like the direction Bruce went in? Would he have an MP3 blog? Would he rock out to the Arcade Fire, and would we have arguments about whiny folk singers from Omaha? I guess thinking about music and my dad is one of the ways I keep him alive, at least in my head.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:12 AM on December 8, 2015 [38 favorites]

I never lived with my dad when growing up but I did have his mono first pressing of Rubber Soul, with his name written on the sleeve and label, that he bought on the day of release in Brighton.
posted by colie at 7:13 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

The sound of Mozart and the smell of cigars are permanently linked in my memory from Dad's Sunday afternoon ritual. But what actually changed my life was a cache of jazz records in a box in the basement, presumably from an earlier phase. There was a bunch of Fats Waller, Ellington, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Rollins. I still listen to them.
posted by Jode at 7:17 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My dad is responsible for infecting both of his sons with a love for Broadway showtunes; though I'm more of a Bob Fosse/Leonard Bernstein fan, and he's horribly gone all in for Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Also, my parents enjoy ballroom and swing dancing, once they were taking a cruise down the eastern seaboard (boarded in Montreal, up the St. Lawrence, down the Maritimes, eventually terminating in New York) and when I visited their cruise ship and asked my folks how they were enjoying the cruise, my dad just said that it was fine, but the dance scene was kind of 'meh' and he and my mom were getting tired of being one of only three couples who could actually dance.

And that's when I realized that eventhough my own preferred club music is more about beats than melody, I really am my parents' kid. A few months later, while visiting them at home, my mom took out a photo album that we'd never seen, because it was photos of my parents Before The Kids. Seeing images of my folks in their 20s, all dressed up in fly disco threads in 70s Manila made me want to just travel back in time, and not tell them that I was their son. I just wanted to go out with them for one night and meet this version of them that I never got to see.
posted by bl1nk at 7:17 AM on December 8, 2015 [12 favorites]

I think of my Dad sitting back in the tatty old rocking chair, listening to CCR’s Cosmo’s Factory or The Stones’ Sticky Fingers under the headphones and sporadically joining in with a vocal accompaniment that was never less than a very long way out of tune.
posted by misteraitch at 7:22 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My dad's in his 50s, and loves all the 60s/70s classic rock stuff that I mentally classify as 'dad music'-- Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, CCR, Cream, etc. But he did an admirable job of keeping up with new music well into my teen years-- it was his Green Day CD I borrowed the first time I listened to them.

This sometimes led to weirdness, though, like the time I came home to find an unopened Avril Lavigne CD on the kitchen table.

"Uh, did you buy this for me? I asked.

"No, that's mine," said my dad, and took it to his office, presumably to file next to his equally bewildering Michelle Branch CD.

He also was a pretty talented photographer when he was in high school, and some of his concert photos from the mid-70s are pretty great.
posted by nonasuch at 7:24 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

My stepdad got us kicked out of a Metallica concert (my Christmas present to him) for fighting a guy that spilled beer on me. He also made my mom put a giant Guns and Roses flag behind their bed in an otherwise pastel and lace filled room.

He took me to see Belly for my 14th birthday, but got bored so ended up outside smoking with Radiohead (who was opening). He liked them ok until they got legit good and now he can't stand them.

He is an avid air guitar player.
posted by Lapin at 7:26 AM on December 8, 2015 [11 favorites]

My dad is deaf, but he went to all of my middle school chorus concerts.
posted by amarynth at 7:34 AM on December 8, 2015 [40 favorites]

I am brainwashing my toddler musically now. He is 3 and asks for Bob Wills songs by name ('Daddy, can we hear Bob Wills Time Changes Eeeverything'?). Also likes the Beatles and the Beach Boys, particularly songs he can relate to (e.g. 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand').

I'm sure this will backfire on me eventually but in the meantime I'm enjoying my total control over the car radio.
posted by zipadee at 7:41 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

The stereo system was such a source of joy in our house! Yes there were the requisite Asian-dad stacks of classical music but also so much Grover Washington and Charlie Parker and flamenco guitarists coming from the record player. And my mind was entirely blown the first time he popped his Thomas Dolby tape into the deck. (I still wonder if I was primed for a career in biology by spending my formative years blurting out "She blinded me...with SCIENCE! just to watch him crack up.)
posted by synapse at 7:42 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

I am also getting him into Sleepy Labeef

He is already asserting his own tastes though. It's got to be upbeat and melodic or not interested.
posted by zipadee at 7:43 AM on December 8, 2015

My dad really dug "Feels So Good" by Chuck Mangione. He had the vinyl, complete with the dude hugging the hell out of his French horn.

The other day, one of the street performers was playing it (though on a trumpet). Put a few bucks in his case, and wiped a tear from my eye.

Miss you dad.
posted by MrGuilt at 7:43 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

My dad told his employees once that he liked Black Sabbath, I think to sound cool.
One of them burned him a CD of Black Sabbath's first album, and I don't think he liked it at all, but it was in the CD changer in his car for years.
posted by jferngler at 7:49 AM on December 8, 2015

loves all the 60s/70s classic rock stuff that I mentally classify as 'dad music'-- Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, CCR, Cream, etc

add Black Flag, The Pixies, R.E.M. and so on to that
posted by thelonius at 7:50 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

I can't believe SST-affiliated bands are now considered dad rock. This means I'm childbearing ageOH WAIT
posted by pxe2000 at 7:52 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

My dad attended a party with Louis Armstrong.
posted by davebush at 7:54 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

My dad likes to ask who "Lorraine" is, as in "I wanna know, have you ever seen Lorraine?"

FYI your dad knows exactly what the actual lyrics are.

I have turned mis-hearing lyrics into an artform in my house. And my kids "love" it.
posted by GuyZero at 7:54 AM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

When I was in high school in the late 80s, my dad drove a sweet, red T-top Corvette. He would drop me off at school in the morning, which was pretty cool. But he would also pick me up at work in it, which was only sweet while he drove down the block…until you saw his corn cob pipe and heard "Touch of Gray" tinkling out of the stereo. *wince*

At home he played a few cassettes enough time that I learned the words to "Charlie on the MTA" and "The Boxer" by heart.

I love that man.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:57 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Dad's idea of a great way to wake us up was to play Oingo Boingo's "Wake Up It's 1984" very loudly. I have to admit, it did work. And managed to not piss us off too much, because we all loved Oingo Boingo.

But he also liked to play Pink Floyd's Live in Pompeii on VHS at top volume at three in the morning. Which also worked. Unfortunately.
posted by Katemonkey at 7:59 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

My dad would always manage to take my childhood utterances and fit them into a pre-existing traditional or classic rock melody. I used to get hilariously angry and shout "Don't sing what I say!"

Now I do the same thing to my wife, and even make her laugh sometimes.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:00 AM on December 8, 2015 [7 favorites]

So! My dad is an old-school SCA participant and general grognard, and his music taste was generally in the ELO/Rick Wakeman or film score veins. He was a really big fan of Basil Poledouris' classic composition for the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack (and rightfully so!) and on one trip to Waxie Maxies he was looking for something new and similar to expand the portfolio. After grabbing a likely-looking CD based on the cover art and heading back home, I got the singular joy of watching him load the CD, press play, settle in on the couch for some proper music-appreciating time and then spend quite a while trying to grok Manowar. It was... not the sound he was expecting, or in the mood for, but he gave it the college try for several tracks longer than I would have expected.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:01 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

When I asked my parents to get me my first CD player for my birthday, they looked blankly at me a few seconds and said, in full sincerity, "but you don't have any CDs." Come my birthday, they got me a stereo with a CD player and a copy of the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Mary Martin's Peter Pan.

My dad is also a theatre minor who has spent most of his life directing and designing sets for community theatre, whose favorite shows are Look Homeward Angel and Arcadia, and even briefly considered getting a custom license plate for his truck that said THESPIS, and he raved about how much he'd enjoyed Menopause the Musical.
posted by Peevish at 8:01 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My dad takes credit for discovering Moby (having purchased his CD at Borders before we had heard him on the radio), frequently reminds us that he still misses Amy Winehouse, and despises "Loser" by Beck with a flaming hot rage, because he worries people who are down on their luck will hear the refrain and try to hurt themselves.

When his mother was dying after a decade of Alzheimer's, he went out and bought a Walkman and filled it with her favorite childhood music - the one thing she still remembered. After we said goodbye, we spent the ride home with After the Gold Rush.
posted by sallybrown at 8:02 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

I still remember my dad seeing a report on Entertainment Tonight (or some such) that Kenny Rogers had cheated on his wife, then solemnly walking over to the stereo, ejecting the Kenny Rogers cassette that had been in there on loop for months, and tossing it into a drawer in disgust.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:02 AM on December 8, 2015 [17 favorites]

From MetaFilter in the year 2035: "I still remember my Dad (who went by DirtyOldTown on the blue) listening to the same goddamned Mekons live recording continuously for the entire year I was a first grader. I remember becoming a teenager and being confused to find out that 'Big Zombie' and 'Now We Have the Bomb' weren't the huge hits he insisted they were. Also, I thought it was weird that no one really played the saz."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:05 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

This thread and that link illustrate how really hard it is to talk about Things Your Parents Liked without sounding patronizing. It can be done, but damn it's hard.

One of my favorite bits of childhood was Sundays when my parents stacked records on the stereo in the living room. I won't say what they played, but I still like it today.
posted by JanetLand at 8:07 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

My father saw Hootie and the Blowfish "before they were cool" and somehow still manages to mention it to this day. He doesn't even like Hootie and the Blowfish. I'm guessing he likes Darius Rucker's cover of "Wagon Wheel," but I'm too scared to ask.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:07 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My parents like classical, pre-Dylan folk music, certain select post-Dylan folk artists (John Prine, some Utah Phillips, Anne Hills), immediately post-war french chanteuses and certain musicians who have riffed on their national folk/indigenous traditions but only in a high culture way. Also, Paul Simon. No Beatles or anything similar, and certainly no seventies rock music.

I was not allowed popular music of any kind until I was thirteen, and even then it was a clock radio of my very own that I could listen to in my room. I still remember meeting grown-ups (who must have been in their mid-twenties) who listened to rock music and being very scandalized, because it was family dogma that only immature, unsophisticated teenagers bothered with all that rock and roll, and we would know that I had become a grown-up when I started to prefer normal music.

Even today I still get this sort of visceral shock when people let their young kids listen to pop music or watch music videos, even though I know it's none of my business and basically a non-intellectual reaction anyway. But it seems scandalous, just like wine on a weeknight, mixed drinks at any time, watching broadcast television and the various other things that my family does not do.

I have to say, I think my parents have pretty good taste in music, though.
posted by Frowner at 8:08 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

My dad is responsible for the fact that I took a cassette tape of Manhattan Transfer to music class in 3rd grade instead of the New Kids tape I *intended* to bring and I have never forgiven him.

He also tried to convince me that several smooth jazz tracks were "practically heavy metal."

I only found out after he passed that he was a huge Zappa fan, and I was incandescently angry for a solid month because he never, ever talked to me about Zappa and only about literally the worst elevator jazz ever.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:09 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

Also he bet me $40 that in 20 years, "nobody would know what this Nirvana bullshit is."

He owes me $40.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:10 AM on December 8, 2015 [12 favorites]

This has actually got me thinking that I need to hook up some way to listen to intentional music in the house. Right now we pretty much just stream Pandora stations on the Roku which is fine, but also sort of characterless. Then again, I don't know what I'd really want to listen to. Which is also sort of sad.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:10 AM on December 8, 2015

Whenever my brother or I were in a teenage funk in our rooms my dad would bring the boombox to his and Mom's bedroom, start playing "Why Must I Be a Teenager In Love?" and throw himself face down on the bed. When we'd yell, "I'm not in love! GAWD." he would change up the music to something like "Fortunate Son" or a song about wild geese. That pause as you heard him changing out the CD with no idea what he would play next was the longest in the world.

He plays Amazing Grace on bagpipes at dog funerals. When my last dog died he sent me an entire CD of Amazing Grace on bagpipes with a note to choose the one that best suited my dog's personality - he suggested #4 but I should pick. Listening to it I realized that all those years he had actually played a different bagpipe version of Amazing Grace for every dog.

My mom says his funeral instructions include playing the version that he played for his favorite dog but doesn't say which one it is.
posted by barchan at 8:12 AM on December 8, 2015 [123 favorites]

I like barchan's Dad so much.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:13 AM on December 8, 2015 [23 favorites]

My dad was a classical-music fan, period. Nothing but WQXR in the car, and he shunned pretty much all modern music (except for taking a strange liking to the name, but not the music of Hootie and the Blowfish). He was also a major stereophile, and a few years before he died, he acquired a pretty major sound system and I was headed over one day and he asked me to bring over something of mine to play on it. This was stunning, as he'd always pooh-poohed my music, so I racked my brain for something that would really show off what a good stereo could do and ultimately made him listen to the Velvet Underground's "The Gift," with the music in one channel and Cale's lilting Welsh accent in the other. He enjoyed the story and didn't say he hated the music, so I upped the ante and played "Sister Ray." After a number of very worried looks from him, I had reassure him that nothing was broken -- it was supposed to sound like that. Nowadays, I try to get my almost-10-year-old daughter into Negativland, the stooges and Eugene Chadbourne, but she's going to like what she's going to like. Miss you, dad...
posted by AJaffe at 8:14 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

He plays Amazing Grace on bagpipes at dog funerals.

I like barchan's Dad so much.

posted by infini at 8:15 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

My daughter's story might be time we drove to get dinner, playing the stereo full blast (I had a fairly nice aftermarket system), Rickrolling the neighborhood.
posted by chimaera at 8:41 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Metroid Baby: "That's a cool thing, but not really a dad thing."

People don't seem to understand that not everything a Dad does is a dad thing. Moms do dad things all the time.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:44 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

Oh, and I did do this thing I threatened.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:47 AM on December 8, 2015

When I was a kid, we had a really awesome 5 CD changer and my dad and I would have serious dance parties to some combination of the following:

1. Swan Lake
2. The Romantics
3. Devo
4. Steel Drum Bands of the Caribbean
5. Billy Idol
6. Madness

When I was in middle school, my dad drove me to school because kids on the bus were such assholes I said I would walk to school (5 miles) rather than take the bus. On these mornings, we would listen to show tunes and sing the relevant parts. South Pacific and Ragtime were on heaviest rotation, but Kiss Me Kate and some other ones would sneak in. On Thanksgiving this year, we confirmed that we can still sing Twin Soliloquies properly.

In high school, I started getting into ska, so he took me to a few shows around NH and Boston - the Planet Smashers, and we also saw the Aquabats.

And that is why, if I ever get married, the father-daughter dance will probably be this song.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:52 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

My father saw Hootie and the Blowfish "before they were cool"

Really, anyone to this day who hears Hootie and the Blowfish are hearing them before they are cool.
posted by MrGuilt at 8:54 AM on December 8, 2015 [15 favorites]

My dad combines a love of puns and Motown. The Shirelles' "Mama Said" --> "Marmoset there'd be days like this."
My dad likes to ask who "Lorraine" is, as in "I wanna know, have you ever seen Lorraine?"

We sing to Macklemore's "Can't Hold Us" in the car substituting the line "like the coelacanth holds us." I know our kids will post about this someday.
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:55 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

Oh, also, Dad Freedom introduced me to Led Zeppelin, which I guess is pretty cool, but when I asked him what the name of the lead singer was, he replied in a completely deadpan voice, "Fred."

"His name is Fred?" I asked.

"Yes," he responded, "Fred Zeppelin."

Then he laughed so hard and for so long that he had to pull the car over. He will still laugh to this day if you mention "Fred Zeppelin".
posted by chainsofreedom at 8:57 AM on December 8, 2015 [23 favorites]

'Cos you are the piece of meat / I wish I didn't eat.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:58 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My parents had a turntable while I grew up, and good classic vinyl (Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, etc.).

Then they skipped the cassette era entirely; I don't think they listened to music at all during that time.

I went to college and on day they called me, baffled, because they had bought a CD player and were wondering what to buy because so much music had passed them by. They bought CD reissues of some things they liked, and otherwise have pretty much relied on my suggestions for the next 20 years.

My dad's favorite musician is now Tom Petty.
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:00 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My dad's record collection is pretty standard for the time he grew up in. Some Beatles. A single Stevie Wonder record. Bob Seger. Moody Blues. Growing up I always envied my friend who's dad had Talking Heads and a copy of The Beatles' Yesterday and Today with the butcher cover. But my dad did turn me on to George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, so I think things worked out OK.
posted by downtohisturtles at 9:01 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My dad's the kind of old school dad who'd utter "Now that's music!" when the marching bands would still be shown on tv at halftime of college football games. he used to listen to Richard Harris' MacArthur Park while working on the car for cryin' out loud.
Consequently I torture my son with roadtrip singalongs to:
Planet Claire - B-52's
Sweet and Dandy -- Toots and the Maytalls
Come on Eileen -- the Save Ferris version
Just a Friend -- Biz Markie
3 times a lady -- Lionel Ritchie
You make me feel like a natural woman -- Aretha

Someday he'll thank me
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:09 AM on December 8, 2015

Planet Claire - B-52's

Aw, I used to dance around the living room to this song with my dad.
posted by chainsofreedom at 9:10 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My dad played me and my sister The Beatles's Yellow Submarine and the Police's Greatest Hits instead of children's music.

In Mexico they sell mixed bootleg CDs with every compilation imaginable. Typically the first track has a 15-20 second snippet of each song in the CD. He bought a CD that was supposed to have Bohemian Rhapsody in it and it only had the snippet, but not the full track. He got so angry he went back to the market and demanded his 15 pesos back. He was even allowed to keep the CD, so for a while he would have us repeat the first track and speed through the first 5 songs so he could sing the first part.

One of my fondest memories is watching him air guitar to the car on his way to his first Rolling Stones concert during the Bigger Bang tour.
posted by cobain_angel at 9:14 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

My dad is of the cantautores generation (like this or this) and the only English-language music he gave a nod to was the Beatles. Nowadays from what wafts from his computer he's developed a penchant for Les Miserables and Johnny Cash. He's played his cover of "Hurt" so many times I'm itching to make him listen to NIN's The Downward Spiral.
posted by sukeban at 9:22 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

This thread also reminds me of one of my favorite jokes about dads.
posted by saladin at 9:27 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

Jesus H. If your dads were listening to Oingo Boingo and Madness, I must be...

Oh, just get off my fucking lawn already.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:35 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

My dad. Man. He is a music lover, but mostly for music I do not care for - think 1970s arena rock. He is like the Ur-Dad for Music Stories.

Some highlights:

-When 'Moulin Rouge' came out, he loved it. With a little wistfulness about him he gushed, 'That Ewan MacGregor just has a wonderful voice.'

-He almost always prefers the remake or new version of something. For example, the new singer of Journey - 'Sounds more like Steve Perry than Steve Perry!' - or when the dude from Styx toured with the remaining members of Queen - 'Now, I saw Freddie at Cobo back in the 70s, and he was incredible. BUT DENNIS DEYOUNG WAS SO GOOD!'

-One time he did one of those Columbia House 9 CDs for a penny deals or whatever, and got only music by lesbian artists - think kd lang, Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls, etc. He had no idea, but immediately declared himself a proud lesbian upon being informed of the Sapphic nature of his selections. ('What, I love women too!')

-Our Easter tradition involves watching and/or listening to 'Jesus Christ Superstar.' We used to listen to the original London cast recording (the dude from Deep Purple was Simon Zealotes) but then he was like 'Pfft, record players - CD is where it's at! So crisp!' Then we watched the original movie version with the Ted Neely Jesus. Then a horrible late 90s/early 00s version was filmed, and naturally, that blond Jock Jesus blew Neely out of the water, and new Mary Magdalene was much better than Yvonne Elliman (see above for his feelings on new versions).

The Jesus Christ Superstar Version War is now a regular part of our Easter holiday.

-He has more than one guitar, and most of them are autographed by various rock stars. He does not know how to play the guitar.

-He has season passes to the local outdoor amphitheatre, and the first show is always Eddie Money. My mother refuses on principle to see Eddie Money one more god damned time. My dad? 'BUT IT'S THE MONEY MAN! TWO TICKETS TO PARADISE, BABY!'

-He used to write concert reviews under the name of 'The Detroit Rock Dogg.'

-Whenever I go to a show he asks 'Who's playing?' Whenever I tell him, he replies, 'Oh [band name]! I love those guys! So sad I missed them last time around!' He rarely knows anything about the band.

-Concert films! I nearly forgot. For as long as I can remember, he would invite friends over and they would watch, say, 'Pink Floyd: The Wall: Live from Berlin' with the volume way up. First VHS, now DVD and BluRay. He has always had some sort of surround sound setup for just such occasions. Although we know he loves concert films, we can never buy him any, because he goes on Amazon and buys a bunch of used ones for the shipping costs. Most recently, he put on Twenty One Pilots, a band he hadn't heard of, because he got it for a penny and these guys just RAWK, palindromic!

-My most treasured example comes from the day my sister broke her arm while at a friend's house. On our way to the hospital, I saw the nearby concert venue had a sign up advertising that day's show, which was headlined by Mudhoney. I was a 12 year old budding music snob, and I begged my dad to take me to the show because the hospital was going to be borrrrrring. Because my mom was also in the car, he was like 'No way, we are here for your sister etc.'

After an hour of sitting in the waiting room watching 'Cool Runnings,' my dad appeared and said, conspiratorially, 'Still wanna go to that show?' I said yes! and we ran out of that hospital, down the five or six blocks that separate the hospital and the venue, and then we were at the show. I got a My Brother the Cow t-shirt, and stayed long enough to hear 'Generation Spokesmodel' before we risked my mom discovering that we were having fun instead of being broadly supportive of my sister.

I will never like Boston and Neely is the only Jesus for me, but I am grateful to my dad for sharing his enthusiastic love of music with me.
posted by palindromic at 9:36 AM on December 8, 2015 [38 favorites]

The only eight-track my parents could agree on was John Denver's "Aerie". Which was played on repeat whenever we were in the car. Once cassettes came out, "Spanish pipe dream" i.e. Blow Up the TV would be repeated - just that song - since my sisters loved it so. I uh, got sick of it.

I was setting up their basement stereo a few years ago, and the first LP I found to test the system was Aerie. Looked at the credits - Prine, Kristofferson, Holly, Danoff, Steve Goodman. Played it all the way through.

Holy shit some of those songs are brutal. I like to think that Dad, like JD, was pulling a fast one and sneaking some depth under the radar.
posted by notsnot at 9:38 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

-One time he did one of those Columbia House 9 CDs for a penny deals or whatever, and got only music by lesbian artists - think kd lang, Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls, etc.......Our Easter tradition involves watching and/or listening to 'Jesus Christ Superstar.'....

you should drop this on him
posted by thelonius at 9:41 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

My dad combines a love of puns and Motown. The Shirelles' "Mama Said" --> "Marmoset there'd be days like this."

The Marmoset Song
posted by briank at 9:42 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I never lived with my dad when growing up but I did have his mono first pressing of Rubber Soul, with his name written on the sleeve and label, that he bought on the day of release in Brighton.

I have the opposite side of that story.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:43 AM on December 8, 2015

You know, dads are getting a lot of love in this thread. In the interest of fairness, I should also mention that my mom volunteers at MerleFest and other music festivals through the Southeast, and has far, far better taste in music than anyone else in my family. Seriously, she should probably work in A&R.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:45 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

We sing to Macklemore's "Can't Hold Us" in the car substituting the line "like the coelacanth holds us." I know our kids will post about this someday.

My 11yo and I first heard this song at a roller rink, where it played every week during open skate. It sounded to us like a song about placing ceiling fan orders, so this is what we still sing when we hear it.
posted by not that girl at 9:47 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My dad listened to jazz and classical at home, but John Denver, Bread and Chuck Mangione on road trips.
I, of course, have never developed a taste for jazz. I can listen, but when the whole hippy smooth jazz thing happened, it sounded like my dad was boring the ever living fuck out of me. Yeah, I've fallen asleep at shows while accompanying my wife to see some noodle band. All because of Dad. Dad also had the Shaft soundtrack. That was sort of out-of-type for him.

My kid got to listen to his version of Dad Music as we drove across the South the week before last. I kept asking what he wanted to hear and he said "Nothing". He's a reader. Since Mom was in the car, we were keeping the music to the tamer, more singable end of the spectrum. When he finally decided he had a preference, he asked for drone metal or doom metal. When I explained that Mom's head wouldn't take it, he asked for just some straight drone. For driving. In the rain. Across the flat, flat South. Needless to say, he didn't get to hear his choice of music.

His Dad music story is going to be weird, I bet; Slim Cessna, Joseph Huber, Paul Simon, Nick Cave, Austin Lucas, Cutthroat Shamrock, Flogging Molly, Willy Tea Taylor, Billy Bragg, Camper Van, James McMurtry, Neko Case, Porter Hall Tennessee, Uncle Tupelo, Drivin'n'Cryin, Guadalcanal Diary, REM. Some sort of singer-songwriter, jangle-pop, dark-folk, Irish road trip, maybe.
posted by Seamus at 10:00 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My dad only knows three songs: Moon River, King of the Road, and the Notre Dame Fight Song. Those were my childhood lullabies.

My mom knows two: The Notre Dame Fight Song, and an Irish drinking song about a bar fight, complete with hand motions to act out the punching and use of a broom handle as a weapon. People look at me funny when I sing it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:02 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I hear you, infinitewindow. I think, though, that most dad music stories are not about what great taste the dads in question have, but rather their dadly idiosyncracies. I am the mom in my family now, and I definitely have wider taste in music than the dad, but I imagine that my daughter's music stories involving him will be funnier. For example, he's been listening to the same two CDs ever since the charger in his car died: Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, and Run the Jewels 2. That is a better setup for a story than 'Mom rotated music selections at regular intervals.'
posted by palindromic at 10:03 AM on December 8, 2015

palindromic, your dad is the best. I aspire to such greatness.

posted by GuyZero at 10:08 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

Dad/Mom Music is also sort of poignant, in that you can often pinpoint the stage of their life in which they stopped listening to/having time for popular music. Sometimes it can induce guilt if that point happens to coincide with your birth.
posted by emjaybee at 10:09 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

After hearing the cd in my car, my dad very seriously asked me to make a copy of it for him and listened to it whenever I was over. It was Sheryl Crow's Tuesday Night Music Club.
posted by amber_dale at 10:10 AM on December 8, 2015

Papa was not a rolling stone, by David Sedaris.
posted by nicolin at 10:10 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Judy Collins. Lots and lots of Judy Collins. The worst part is that the repeated exposure worked. I now also love Judy Collins.
posted by Area Man at 10:16 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

I was deeply disappointed to discover as an adult that my dad had been ripping off Buck Owens for most of my childhood. I really thought my dad made up "Sneaky Snake" and "Looking back to See."

As more of those old weird country guys pass away, I find more and more songs that my dad did not make up.

These include, "May the Bird of Happiness Fly up Your Nose" and "Put another Log on the Fire."

Despite his overt love of silly country music like Ray Stevens and Buck Owens, he's always promoted good guitarists regardless of their music. We had tickets to see Stevie Ray Vaughn the concert scheduled after he was killed. We went to see B.B. King and Albert King while I was still in high school and once, he nagged me until I agreed to see Chet Akins play at Dollywood. Much to our surprise, Mark Knopfler was also there and as soon as we got home, Dad requested my Dire Straits albums.

It's been harder to get him to like some of my finds, but he did dance to Old Crow at my wedding.
posted by teleri025 at 10:23 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

My dad used to absolutely blast the shit out of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours in his car. Like, we all had to just shut up while he jammed out to that one. There's definitely worse Dad Music albums to be stuck with though. I actually used to borrow his tapes fairly regularly. He had a bunch of The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, etc that was still fairly popular in the 90s when I was in high school.
posted by Hoopo at 10:23 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have a difficult history with my father, and I'm still working to process trauma from childhood, but I am forever grateful that he introduced me to The Beatles when I was very young. He gave me his Beatles album collection, and even bought me a new copy of "Revolver," because he no longer had his (still my favorite album). He also introduced me to Willie Nelson, whom I didn't appreciate until I was in my 20s and had become a pot smoking hippie (long after my heavy metal and punk phases). I've seen Willie play a few times since then, and I'll always have a big place in my heart for the Taoist cowboy and his amazing music- particularly his virtuosity and delicacy as a guitarist, for which IMO he's not given nearly enough recognition and praise.

It makes up for the time we took a ski trip, and he played The Moody Blues "Long Distance Voyager" album on repeat, all the way there and on the way back. I never liked The Moody Blues that much, but that trip really cemented that dislike in a way such that I can't ever listen to any song from that album again without wanting to set fire to the speakers or fuck me at least play some Dead Kennedys and smash all the paisley things. It's in those moments I truly get why the punks hated the hippies...
posted by krinklyfig at 10:25 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

We'd do entire road trips in our 81' VW Vanagon with just a cassette recording of the audio from the Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense concert video. I still know when each band member came out on stage based on the audience applause (for example, drummer Chris Frantz comes out during the line "it will start again" from the 2nd song, Heaven). In fact, I think we had to go back to Mr. Video to rent the film again so he could re-record the sound, as the first tape wore out.
posted by sideshow at 10:26 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

when the whole hippy smooth jazz thing happened

I know this will do no good. But I can't stand it any more. Those things have nothing to do with each other. The "hippy smooth jazz thing" never happened. People who make and listen to "smooth jazz" are as far from being hippies as you can be. Think of the hippies you have known. Would you expect to see them here? Do people simply not know that "smooth jazz" is a genre of R&B, like Grover Washington Jr, David Sanborn, Kenny G, George Benson's commercial albums? aka Weather Channel music.

Dropping "smooth" as some kind of obligatory adjective in any discussion of jazz is somehting that makes you look ignorant, not superior and proud of being rockist.
posted by thelonius at 10:27 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

guys, guys, I have one -

One time my dad became deeply obsessed with the Shania Twain song, "Still the One" and we listened constantly to it on family road trips, but then it turned out he'd been having an affair and he and the woman had chosen it as "their song" and later it came on the radio and my mom cried.

wait is this not how the game is played?
posted by pretentious illiterate at 10:29 AM on December 8, 2015 [20 favorites]

Although, my favorite recent story is when I got into his car a few years ago, Death Grips was blasting on the radio.

He has pretty eclectic taste (KCRW since the very early 80's), but Death Grips is way beyond what I'd think he'd be listening to. I think the last couple shows he had been to were a K.D. Lang/Lyle Lovett double bill, and a Richard Thompson thing at the Pantages. There might have been a Watson Twins show at the Bootleg Theater in there as well.

And it wasn't just on the radio, he had actually bought a Death Grips album. Death Grips! DEATH GRIPS!!!!!1
posted by sideshow at 10:33 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I should add that despite the "cool to me as a high schooler" tape collection he had at the time, his tastes subsequently became very lame. He now listens to Rita McNeil and other stuff that makes my skin crawl. I blame the re-marriage.
posted by Hoopo at 10:40 AM on December 8, 2015

One time he did one of those Columbia House 9 CDs for a penny deals or whatever, and got only music by lesbian artists - think kd lang, Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls, etc.

My dad loves lesbian artists. He has every Suzanne Vega album. He brought The Roaches' Christmas CD, We Three Kings, into our family and we listened to it every year ad nauseum. As a matter of fact, that CD has become such an integral part of my Christmas memories that Mr. Freedom, when he first came to Christmas at the Freedom household, once remarked, "Oh my God, this Christmas CD is terrible!" and I actually cried, real tears, and considered breaking up.
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:45 AM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

I heard someone refer to Wilco as “dad music” some time ago on the radio, and I was incensed - “Wilco can't be ‘dad music’, I listen to Wilco!” ...then I remembered my son was in the back seat and I was like "Oh."

zipadee: “I am brainwashing my toddler musically now.

This is a good thing and I heartily approve. My friend lets her kid listen to "kids music" stations on Sirius and doesn't understand why I don't know the songs she is talking about. That music is largely crap, and horrible covers of otherwise good songs. My kid likes some weird “kid” music (thank you, Metafilter, for introducing him to Caspar Babypants) but for the most part he loves what we play. He does get a healthy dose of 2nd Generation Dad Music. I sing James Taylor songs to him as lullabies because my dad played Sweet Baby James for us and I know all the words. He doesn't sing along to Gordon Lightfoot (yet) but he likes it. Again, thanks Dad, for your records. Plus, Thanksgiving he has to listen to Alice's Restaurant - I have dad's old copy on vinyl. I have not inflicted Bob Denver on him, but he can do a mean Bob Dylan impression.

(We hit him up with 1st Generation Dad Music too, so of course he knows and loves the Beastie Boys and will happily rock out to Zeppelin with me... I'm hoping he will share my appreciation of EDM, so far the experiments with Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk have been successful)
posted by caution live frogs at 10:45 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

Hoopo: "He now listens to Rita McNeil and other stuff that makes my skin crawl. I blame the re-marriage."

Ain't that the truth? Came home one day to find a Michael Bolton CD and I was all "This HAS to be stepmom's, right? RIGHT?"
posted by caution live frogs at 10:46 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I was adopted by my grandparents. My grandfather was a band leader, music teacher, and would play music constantly. Since he died when I was seven, I don't remember much of what he played. I know there was some Herb Albert in the mix. But the one strong memory is of being 4, and sitting in his arms while he played "Close to You" from the reel-to-reel in his huge hi-fi. And I thought it was the most astonishingly beautiful things I had ever heard. I'd like to think my lifelong love of lush pop, shoegaze, and related genres is due to that idyllic Sunday afternoon. I'd like to think he would have loved some of that music too.

My actual father... well, "fuck you" is usually how I think of him. I'm not entirely sure what he listened to. But in my teens, when he belatedly tried to reconnect, he sent me a tape of a new-age-y smooth jazz-y artist who incorporated wolf howls into the chorus. Can't remember the artist, but the superficiality of the music, with occasional moments of insight, basically summed up who my father was.
posted by honestcoyote at 10:49 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

I never really got to talk about music with my dad, but as kids we got to play the crap out of his Louis Armstrong 78s (probably nearly-priceless until we scratched the shit out of them). We also had the album of the Hansel and Gretel opera by Engelbert Humperdinck (the classical composer, not the singer), and I got a severe crush on a girl in kindergarten who looked like the album cover illustration of Gretel.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:49 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh, did I mention my dad also had a Madonna phase? It was in the '90s when she starred as Evita Peron. He had the soundtrack on heavy rotation in his car and would effusively share his opinion about what a great singer she turned out to be. I have respect for Madonna, but I didn't have the heart to tell him they had to adjust the musical arrangement down to meet her limited vocal range. After the soundtrack finished playing, he'd put on her latest pop album and butt dance in his car seat, all while glancing over at me in the passenger seat at key moments in the music while singing along, as if to serenade me.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:54 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]



posted by mudpuppie at 10:55 AM on December 8, 2015 [7 favorites]

one family dinner we listened to nothing but appalachian yodelling for two hours

This is pretty much the sole reason I will ever have kids; just to mess with them because I can.
posted by mayonnaises at 10:55 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

And on the derail of once cool, even underground, things like SST artists getting relegated to Dad-rock, my niece recently gave me a detailed description of her HS music appreciation class. Lots and lots of punk and underground stuff was covered when the class hit modern times. She had to write a paper and her chosen topic was the evolution from Sex Pistols & Ramones to Black Flag & Husker Du to commercial success with bands like Nirvana and Green Day. Got on A on the paper but the teacher put in a note that she should have talked about the Pixies & Melvins a little more. All this made me happy and quite sad simultaneously. She liked the music, but still kept it a bit at arms length since it was now a topic for academic discussion.

Though the most depressing move of a band into dad rock status, that I've seen, came from a comment on Metafilter. On one of the Ferguson threads, someone mentioned playing Public Enemy in her office. And a co-worker popped in and said: "That's what my dad listens to all the time." Though, from recent pictures, ChuckD is looking very dad-like so I guess it's not a surprising move.
posted by honestcoyote at 10:59 AM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

I sing James Taylor songs to him as lullabies because my dad played Sweet Baby James for us and I know all the words

I have sung this Fountains of Wayne song as a lullaby to my daughter almost every night since she was born. That and Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, when I need a second one. To the point where if I start singing either of those songs she thinks I'm trying to put her to sleep.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:01 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Well, I am ignorant, but I am not "superior and proud of being rockist".
I just didn't find it entertaining when the hippies discovered the most boring forms of jazz my father had plied us with from a young age. I apologize for using the wrong adjective to describe a variety of music. My ignorance was obviously showing!
posted by Seamus at 11:07 AM on December 8, 2015

I love my father so much for letting me listen to Ella Fitzgerald. Sniff. Miss you dad...
posted by ouke at 11:09 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

My dad's favorite album when I was a kid was the soundtrack to The Harder They Come, which is one of those things I didn't question at the time but doesn't make a whole lot of sense in retrospect.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:11 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Ooooh, James Taylor. That was also Dad Music for me.
For Bread and Chuck Mangione, I have no appreciation. For John Denver and James Taylor, I have a deep love.
posted by Seamus at 11:12 AM on December 8, 2015

But he's with me again when I hear my daughter playing Ella upstairs.
posted by ouke at 11:13 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Seamus, I apologize. The scope of my rant grew in the ranting.
posted by thelonius at 11:15 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My dad never listened to music much, but he did like to sing in the car. "Springhill Mining Disaster" was a favorite, and I've longed wished I could get him to sing it to record it, I haven't found a version of it that really gets the lovely rumble on "in roads that never saw sun nor sky" that he does.
posted by tavella at 11:40 AM on December 8, 2015

My father (sorry, you don't get to call him 'Dad') is 91 years old. My mother, a few weeks younger, passed on in 2011. When they were 18, teenagers hadn't been invented yet, nor had teenage music. Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey were probably more their speed in terms of popular music. Both of my parents were always musical, and encouraged us to be musical. All four of their kids have some musical training and some professional experience. Their grandchildren include a pennywhistle devotee and a one-time lead in High School Musical.

My mother sang and danced in her day, played a bit of keyboards. Once all the kids were out of the house, she went back to singing and despite the fact that she couldn't walk without crutches anymore, did choreography (e.g. "Puttin' On The Ritz") for her ladies singing group. (They used to entertain at hospitals and nursing homes and like that).

Never a fan of rock'n'roll music, she nevertheless enjoyed hitting the skins for us once in a while. Turns out she'd marched in the American Legion Drum & Bugle Corps with her father back when she could walk, and still enjoyed playing drums. (traditional grip, natch).

I've told the story elsewhere about her singing Christmas carols with a bunch of strangers (us) at her last Christmas.

Also, her mother -- born in the 19th century -- watched the very first In Concert (not Don Kirshner's -- before that) show with me and was a mystified as I as to what Alice Cooper had done that that show had to be yanked. Nana dug Argent and the Doobies. She also got my brothers their first Kiss albums for Christmas.

Meanwhile, my father never mastered his piano, fiddle, guitar, or sax, but he never stopped singing. He sang barbershop quartet music for years. I remember seeing his group in the role of The School Board in a 1960 civic theatre production of The Music Man. He also set aside his music activities for years while we were growing up.

However, in his late 60s and early 70s he got interested in country music and took up the bass guitar. Somewhere around the turn of the century, we asked him along to one of our holiday jam parties and he rose to the occasion despite it not being his style, genre, or generation.

After our mother passed on, he got a barbershop quartet back together for a while, but health issues on all four corners kept that from going very far.

= = = =

Shorter Herodios:

One of my fondest childhood memories is when the parents took us to see Hard Day's Night at the drive-in, summer of 1964. The Beatles weren't their thing, but they knew it was a thing and wanted us all to check it out.

I suspect I am in a tiny minority in my generation in that I've played Rolling Stones tunes with my mother on drums and also with my father on bass.

On my father's 90th birthday last year, we put on a little 'variety show' for him: performances of his favourite Monty Python bits ("Four Lucky Yorkshiremen", "Latin Grafitti") and, from The Music Man, "Lida Rose/Will I Ever Tell You", one of the songs his group had performed decades earlier.

We stank: he loved it.

Thanks, you've been a great audience. Be sure to tip the mods.
posted by Herodios at 11:43 AM on December 8, 2015 [8 favorites]

To the dad who only knew how to play House of the Rising Sun, you had so many missed opportunities.
posted by ckape at 11:56 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My parents bought one Beatles song to find out what the fuss was all about. They picked "Twist and Shout". Good pick.

I also remember listening a lot to Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line" album, and to Harry Belafonte's "Day-O".
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 11:57 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh, shout out to Ray Conniff mutherfuckin Singers. My parents had the same record collection that Homer Simpson had ("Look at these records...Doodletown Pipers, Jim Nabors, New Christy Minstrels..then look at Marge's. Her records suck!')

My actual father... well, "fuck you" is usually how I think of him.

Glad someone posted that because now I can thread-poop with my downer Dad-music story. In the midwest, my Dad was all Herb Albert and Ray Conniff, but when we moved to California he was reinventing himself as a tony, swingin' La Jollan (like Beverly Hills). He played Fleetwood Mac's Rumours to death like everyone else, riding in his sports car after walking out on my mom who was in the hospital. He lived the good life and waved it in our face while we got evicted in a new town, so the song "Go Your Own Way" was always very apt.

On a brighter note, my friend's Dad would wear his 'Frampton Comes Alive' tshirt blaring the also-ubiquitous LP while working on his van. Frampers came alive in satin pants on her dad's big fat gut while my friend would laugh and say "Daaaaaaaaad, you're so embaaaaaarrrrasssing..." It was beauteous.

I've always felt that if they're not hurting or embarrassing you, you're probably not related.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 12:28 PM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

I'm in the middle of Elvis Costello's autobiography, which is as much about his dad (and grandfather) and their music, as it is about Costello. Really fascinating stuff, and highly recommended.
posted by jetsetsc at 12:35 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Growing up my dad had a big caddy (faux walnut trim and everything) with an 8 track in it...at a time when 8 tracks were seriously on the decline. I seem to recall we had about 10 tapes in a grocery bag in the back seat of the car: Rossini overtures, "MozartMania", Aaron Copland, Gershwin, Man of La Mancha. At home he would blast Camille Saint-Saens Organ Concerto final movement over and over again and the windows would shake. Very occasionally he would pull out one old CSNY album and listen to that but I think mostly he just liked "Teach Your Children".

I was quite staggered when he liked the Abba Greatest Hits platter I got for my 9th birthday more than I did.

I bought a CD player in highschool when he didn't have one and he somehow finagled that I would install it in the main stereo. First disc he came home with: Sousa Marches. Second disc: theme music from Ken Burns "The Civil War".

I was a slobbering Pink Floyd fan for most of highschool, had a back patch on my jean jacket and everything. My dad liked to call them "Pink Lloyd", or "Pink Lloyd and the Funny Triangle" just to watch me lose my shit.

I thought I had my kids trained up on "good" music but now they just push the radio over to whatever autotuned bruno mars bullshit the kids are into today. I am good for about 1.5 songs at a time and then I scream "OLD MAN ROCK" and swing back over to the 80s guitar station while they scream "Nooooooooooooo".
posted by hearthpig at 12:52 PM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

I think I'm older than most of you, and I was also a late child, so it seems weird to me that people could even share a genre with their parents. I don't think either of them liked any music made after 1960.

My Dad's favorite albums were a few compilations of "Best of Italian Music" (or French), which he played over and over. When my Mom was young she knew all the latest big band stuff, but later in life she liked piano music from about 1905. (Remember the music from classic Bugs Bunny cartoons? That's my Mom's jams.)
posted by zompist at 12:56 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I read these stories... I knew it.

I'm a dad!

Despite being a 29-year-old woman with no children.

I've sat on this comment for five minutes and I can't think of a single dad music story. Mum music stories, however...
posted by Rissa at 1:03 PM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

Read some dude talking about "Dad Rock" elsewhere today, going on about how it was Grateful Dead and Yes and also Huey Lewis and he rejected all of that, he was punk and... REAL PUNK WAS OF THE SAME ERA, ACTUALLY A BIT BEFORE, I HATE TO BREAK IT TO YOU.
posted by raysmj at 1:04 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

My dad was a stage manager, and so cultivated an inner calm in the face of panic and catastrophe that leads some people to believe he is a tweedy, reserved, and professorial kind of person when they first meet him. In truth, it's just that he went through such weirdness in the 70's that nothing much phases him anymore. Get him talking and you'll hear some wild crap.

A crowd turned over/crushed the AV van while he was in it at a music festival (i think the Eagles were playing?) He held a coffee can for Ray Charles to pee in just before going on stage. Tom Waits stole a car from him once. Gave it back, though.

He has this thing he says, "This is the best song anybody ever wrote." I think he's said it about 20 songs now, 5 of them Springsteen songs. I've always agreed.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 1:08 PM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

My dad didn't really listen to music, but I remember an interminable road trip to Yellowstone listening to Abba's Greatest Hits on repeat the whole way.
posted by liet at 1:14 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My dad's a huge fan of 60's and 70's rock and adores all the blues artists 60's and 70's rock was ripped off from. Also, for some reason, the Beastie Boys.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:27 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

For the record, if anybody else's dad has an extra ticket to Eddie Money, I would totally go with him.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:27 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'll see your Ray Coniff Singers and raise The Lawrence Welk Show every Sunday. It was the price to be paid to be allowed to watch Disney. the 70's were hard.
posted by OHenryPacey at 1:29 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I used to have to watch Lawrence Welk when I stayed with my Grandparents. Tommy Hunter, too.

Edited to add: no I don't mean I stayed with my Grandparents and Tommy Hunter, you ninnies.
posted by hearthpig at 1:40 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My grandparents LOVED Welk. I was always annoyed when we went to their house and they wouldn't let me watch The Muppet Show, in spite of the fact that they were both watching the same program on separate TVs.
posted by pxe2000 at 1:41 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

The most impressed and the most perplexed I have been with my parents' record collection is when I found out it was my mom who had purchased the first Black Sabbath album, back when the credits said "Ossie" Osbourne.
posted by atoxyl at 1:42 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

I am the dad in my family. My 19, 20 and 21 yo kids are always teasing me about my Grateful Dead tapes (now all on a TB drive!). Took one son to see Tom Petty three years ago and a band came on as the opener. I too was surprised there was an opener much less that it was who it was. My son, in his teenage snark asks, who are these old guys? When I told him this song was "Our House" and that was Crosby, Stills and Nash he didn't miss a beat and said, "They suck without Neil." I had taught him well. Proud Poppa beaming ear to ear.

At least they will listen to Sinatra with me when I am wondering about the music of my parent's youth.
posted by AugustWest at 1:43 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Any teenager should be able to recognize David Crosby from The Simpsons. Or at least that's how I learned it.

Or are the kids not watching endless reruns of The Simpsons anymore? I don't know if I want to live in such a world...
posted by downtohisturtles at 1:49 PM on December 8, 2015

My dad was Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Billie Holliday, and Nina Simone. Oh, and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, which he adored and which was the music he always used to test out fancy speakers at the fancy hi-fi store where he continually browsed high-end stereo equipment but never actually bought any.

I am a mom, not a dad, but I have inadvertently taught my children that any time we have ham for dinner, they will be serenaded by my own performance of "Eat All Your Ham," sung to the tune of Also Sprach Zarathustra, in which I display exactly none of the vocal control and technique that has made me a professional1 and (technically2) Grammy-nominated3 classical singer. It will probably be the single thing I am remembered for after I'm gone.

1. in the strictest sense of the word
2. Extremely, extremely technically
3. In the sense that I appeared on a recording which was nominated for a technical Grammy4
4. So I am not actually Grammy-nominated in any reliable sense of the phrase whatsoever, just to be clear

posted by KathrynT at 2:03 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

My dad grew up with Fats Domino and Oliver Morgan in the 9th Ward. He loved all kinds of music. He and my mom had music on constantly. We watched "The Midnight Special" every Friday night. They bought us lots of albums and were the biggest fans of the musical pursuits of my brothers and me. Really got into country later in life much to our chagrin. Also was crazy about Tracy Chapman. We had a brass band after his funeral. He would have loved the hell out of it.
posted by narancia at 2:43 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

With my kids, who are both still under ten, every time they describe something as "massive" I ask "What, like a Jungle?".

I confidently expect this to be hilarious in about ten years when they embark on their teenage music snob years.

(I also ask "wait, what do they call it?" every time someone mentions a garage, but that comes up far less frequently.)
posted by coleboptera at 2:45 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

My dad liked to call them "Pink Lloyd", or "Pink Lloyd and the Funny Triangle" just to watch me lose my shit.

Oh you just reminded me of how my Dad would describe my collection as "you and your Jane's Chains and your Sound Jam"
posted by Hoopo at 3:11 PM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

Oh! Also, when I was a child my father solemnly swore to me that the US government had received a transmission from aliens and was keeping it a secret.

Apparently they found Voyager and wanted Chuck Berry, but the US won't give him up. This, he says, is what Independance Day is actually about.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 3:16 PM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

emjaybee: "(the tapes were bootleg because we lived in Saudi Arabia for a while and you couldn't buy that stuff there so people recorded tapes and sent them to us. Also we might have bought some off of other expats). "

Were you there before 747 opened in Riyadh? They had everything!
posted by barnacles at 3:44 PM on December 8, 2015

My dad mostly liked Floyd and ELP. I was impressed by the ELP cover by Giger but otherwise paid not much attention to his music.

It's interesting to think about this thread as a dad. Today I played Glory Box for my daughter after I heard the Isaac Hayes sample in Alessia Cara's current hit. It's imperative that my kids understand that I am *the* authoritative source of good musical taste.

Also, I hope I'm somehow making a lifelong impression by learning to play Shake it Off on the guitar. They somehow think it's hilarious when I get to the rap part.
posted by simra at 4:01 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My 2yr old's favorite songs are The Troggs, "Wild Thing", Van Halen "Jump", and Motörhead "Ace of Spades".

On the dad music spectrum, I'm burying the needle on _one_ of the ends. Dunno which end, though.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 4:08 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I also play a silly version of Shake it Off, and the rap part is inherently funny when "sung" by a not cool mid-40's dude with 2 kids. Bad Blood works too....

I have a lot of memories of my dad and his music, not the least of which was hanging out in the living room with him while he played piano. He used to be in a wedding band when he lived in England, and knew all the classics of the time. Obla-di Obla-da being one I remember the most. To this day if you put on Beatles album I can probably sing half the words to songs I don't even know I know.

Another one of my earliest memories was singing the "hoo-hoo" part to Sympathy for the Devil in the back seat of the car over and over.

He also had an old reel-to-reel machine that had recordings that he and his friends would send back and forth when he moved overseas.

As I got a little older, though, I noticed that there was lots of compromise about what to play in the house, as my mother never really developed a taste past teen pop hits, and loved early Elvis above all. For some reason the compromise led to Abba - lots of Abba - and Boney M of all bands. But once I got into my teen years he started to share the more interesting stuff he was listening to - more Jazz than anything else - that my mom banned from the house.

I'm glad I grew up in a house with music, and I try to do the same with my kids. Silly Taylor Swift covers and all.
posted by sauril at 4:14 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

My mom mostly listened to 70s feminist anthems (I am so very tired of "I am Woman", but I'll put it on to remember..) and country/folk... She did introduce me to Motown, though, which was nice. By the 90's, she'd gotten a broader palette, but there was a lot of repeats of Loreena Mckinnit and that Lillith Fair cd.

My dad listened to rock 'n roll, and top 40 stuff. We always had a "song of the summer". The last summer I ever saw him, it was Fogarty's "Centerfield", that year it was a big hit. The best year was REO Speedwagon's "Hi Infidelity" album, though.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 4:31 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh you just reminded me of how my Dad would describe my collection as "you and your Jane's Chains and your Sound Jam"

My Dad was famous for calling Bell Biv DeVoe "Bing Bang DeBoom".
posted by Rock Steady at 4:42 PM on December 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

My dad music story is that he wouldn't let us change the channel on the radio until we could name the band.

Also he had these GIANT speakers (and I bet he still has them in storage) that were about 3 and a half feet tall and probably 2 feet deep. He would blast them so loud you had to wear ear plugs in the house (he usually only did this when we were spending time outside anyways)
posted by LizBoBiz at 4:49 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Flipping through dads albums at an impressionable age it was White Album, John Denver, that Cher album where she is riding a horse and nothing else, more Beatles and this The first crüe album.
posted by zenon at 5:51 PM on December 8, 2015

Any teenager should be able to recognize David Crosby from The Simpsons.

I know him as that guy who looks like John Schwartzwelder.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:27 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Also, I hope I'm somehow making a lifelong impression by learning to play Shake it Off on the guitar.

I also play a silly version of Shake it Off.

Now's as good a time as any to share a link to the Screaming Females performing the definitive cover of 'Shake It Off.'
posted by palindromic at 7:13 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Most of my growing up was in the 60s, which meant my parents didn't like my music. And I think my mom was more into the music than my dad -- I don't remember much that he listened to on his won. But we had Jim Reeves, and Jim Nabors (man, he had a nice voice), some Sinatra and Dean Martin, lots of Rogers and Hammerstein soundtracks and Kingston Trio albums.

My parents nurtured my love of the Tijuana Brass (Whipped Cream and Other Delights? Great cover, great album), classical music, movie soundtracks (Dr. Zhivago was the best ever, until Star Wars came along) and tolerated my radio rock and roll.

My own kids have somehow acquired a taste for various flavors of metal, but they seem to appreciate the other music I expose them to. I can't understand fixating on such a narrow range of music as some men my age have done. When I first saw this article I turned to my oldest son and told him that as limited as some of these guys' tastes are, I guess I shouldn't feel strange for my preference for a wide range of almost entirely female singers and groups, from Sarah Brightman to The Go-Gos to Shakira to Blondie to Wilson Phillips to the Pointer Sisters to Christina Perry.
posted by lhauser at 7:45 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

I can't possibly be the only person who remembers watching their parents "Do the Hustle!" in the living room.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:50 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Also, I'm sure my kids will grow up thinking I was freaky into Macklemore, Bruno Mars, and AC/DC but I'm just not sure how they'd react to Big Black, Evol, and My Bloody Valentine and hey that other music's fun too.

at some point they will ask me why I have a tshirt that says "Christianity is Stupid" or why that skateboard kid with the 4 black bars is beating up the policeman on that other shirt, or who is Spacemen 3 and why are they being given to all the fucked up children of the world?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:54 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

My dad and his younger brother spent a fine evening, when my oldest sister was young and impressionable, convincing her that they could write a Christmas[1] song. She *knew* there was no way that was going to happen, but they tried. Sitting at the table, scratching their heads, wondering what a good, evocative winter-time image might be to start them off.

"Hey. How about... 'Chestnuts, roasting over an open fire'?"
"Oh, that's good... let's see... 'Jack Frost, nipping at your nose'?"

And on, and on. And she laughed at them and told them no one would ever listen to that silly song. And then, that winter.... "Daddy, your song is on the radio!"

[1] Dad was Jewish. Which, yes, never really stopped anyone from writing a Christmas song
posted by hanov3r at 8:26 PM on December 8, 2015 [9 favorites]

My dad knew everything about music when I was growing up. It was amazing. When I was in grade three the band Culture Club was very popular and on the TV with their video Karma Chameleon very often on the after music video show. We liked them very much, me, my mom and my dad. One day while we were watching the video my dad said that the lead singer's name was not Boy George as we previously thought but John Boy. This was evidenced toward the end of the video where there is a shot of band members holding coffee mugs. The first mug reads "John" the second mug reads "Boy". It is this way the lead singer's name is spelled out.

The next day at school I fought another kid because he incorrectly insisted the lead singer's name was Boy George and called me stupid not realizing my dad knew everything about music.

(In fairness to my dad, we were immigrants from the Soviet Union and I very much doubt he knew personalized mugs were a thing and may have assumed they were purely an exposition device in the video ... On the other hand my parents did own the album and had referred to the lead singer as Boy Geoge for many weeks before my dad's sudden observation to the contrary)
posted by dismitree at 9:32 PM on December 8, 2015

58 years old, my wife and I have no children. My niece and nephew are far away so they'll never have a music memories of us, other than seeing me going off to occasional concerts with my brother. If we had kids, they would mostly remember my wife's music because she only listens to her music in the car: 90s boy bands, 70s singer/songwriter, 60s folk...those poor kids would have known every single James Taylor lyric. There would have been no making sense of my massive collection - rock from the past five decades over way too many sub-genres, blues, jazz, a little classical, a little post-rock ambient, Swedish folk-rock, no teen could make sense of that.

My parents were Depression kids so their collection was lounge lizards, rotgut country, big band, show tunes, and goddamn Lawrence Welk or anything with big glops of strings, strings, strings. When I sorted through my mom's old albums I did find a few treasures but damn, so much crud. Ed Ames and Jim Nabors?

Dad would let us play our channels now and then, partially because he was a tolerant man and part because it was better than listening to mom's Canadian talk radio stations (we lived near the border). He reached a limit coming back from our grandparents when one of our stations decided to spin some Zeppelin live bootleg and "Dazed and Confused" was a good half hour long, complete with a long section of Page womping the bejesus out his Les Paul with a violin bow. Mom was asleep. He switched stations, immediately found a broadcast from the John Birch Society, and switched back to Zeppelin. That felt like victory.

One more thing. All those Twitter posts: those dads are at the most marginal music fans. Sticking to one or just a handful of CDs? Who the fuck does that? Not any of my friends - they're as big of music freaks as I am and if anything, their children cannot predict what will be coming next.

And another thing, no one has mentioned Rush. You cannot discuss dad rock without Rush. What's wrong with you people.
posted by Ber at 9:46 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

My dad drove a Toyota pickup with no stereo for the entirety of the early nineties. This would not do for my dad, whose dedication to music fandom borders on the obsessive. So, he brought his boom box along, it on the floor in front of the passenger's seat, and used that to power the commute. Boom boxes come with lots of buttons, and small children are fond of buttons. Thus, various tapes (Todd Rundgren I think, maybe A Wizard, A True Star?) are marred by a few seconds of ambient car noise caused by a curious toddler.

Every road trip over the Appalachians must include a Yes album, usually Close to the Edge, but Tales from Topographic Oceans if the mood calls for it.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 9:55 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Slarty Bartfast: "I can't possibly be the only person who remembers watching their parents "Do the Hustle!" in the living room."

No, but you are the only brave one willing to admit it and for that I thank you for reminding me of Do the Hustle.
posted by AugustWest at 7:59 AM on December 9, 2015

I rejected for years all my father represented but I've always had fond memories of the music he introduced me to : George Brassens, Jacques Brel, Pierre peret, Francis Blanche, especially because he played lots of tunes and knew by rote a whole bunch of them. With a guitar in his hands, he was as unstoppable as Father Noel Furlong. As a teenager, I prayed at each family gathering for a total absence of guitars in the house. He despised what I liked and listened to, of course (Renaud, Gainsbourg). Two or three years ago, I offered him a nice acoustic guitar for his anniversary.
posted by nicolin at 8:29 AM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

All of my dad stories are dad music stories.

Here is a small selection.

When I was born, my mom wanted to name me Layla, but my dad thought that it had a bad association, re: McCartney/Clapton. Their compromise was naming me Rachael, but bringing me home in a silent car, until they could play me the first song I’d ever hear as a human of the world: “Layla,” off of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, played on my dad’s Kenwood turntable.

My parents divorced when I was young, and weekends with dad were always pretty varied. One standby activity was spending an entire Saturday playing DJ with my dad’s immense vinyl collection, and jumping on all of the couches between record changes. He had a lot of doo-wop on vinyl, and those were definitely the best to jump to.

Before I was born, way back in high school, my dad was in a parade of local bands. During one Battle of the Bands, his band (Cherry Pye – oh god, he was embarrassed by that name) was battling a band called Nobody. After Nobody’s set, Pye went on, and they launched into “Smoke On the Water.” About halfway through the song, the power went out (later, it was found out that somebody from Nobody had flipped a breaker) and dad broke into an impromptu, extra-long, pitch-black drum solo. At some point, the power flipped back on and they finished their set, and won the Battle.

Dad was a musician, as well as a producer, and general audiophile. He spent his life curating his audio and recording gear, and especially as his health declined, one of the few activities he could still relish was sitting in his living room, in front of his perfectly-curated, perfectly-attuned audio system, and just blasting his favorite records. I was with him when he died- flew out a few weeks earlier to care for him- we both knew his time wasn’t long. We spent many evenings just listening together, him falling asleep on the living room recliner, sapped of any energy to move to the bed. I remember the afternoon I knew he was going to die. He was so weak, and so sick. I was sitting with him, and decided to put on Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse,” right at the end of Dark Side of the Moon. He died while it was playing, and it was heartbreaking and perfect and it was just the two of us, dad and his only kid.

He left me with boxes and rooms full of amazing, painstakingly-restored audio equipment, and what I wouldn’t give to just sit back and listen with him once more.

In honor of him, his last audio project: an original Transcriptors Skeleton glass turntable, which he purchased in a state of disrepair and spent months cleaning, replacing parts, and bringing it back to a state of beauty. It reminds me of his perseverance, his pursuit of perfection, and the great impact music had on both of our lives.
posted by rachaelfaith at 9:06 AM on December 9, 2015 [25 favorites]

Rachel, please please please tell me you kept your dad's vinyl and equipment?
posted by Ber at 9:17 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've seen my dad actually kiss the LP he has of Black Magic Woman (the Fleetwood Mac version).

Also, he has an album of beach rock songs interspersed with recordings of race car engines revving. I kid you not.
posted by newdaddy at 9:20 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also, my dad has a thing for Stevie Nicks. But then again, whose dad doesn't.
posted by newdaddy at 9:26 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

He was so weak, and so sick. I was sitting with him, and decided to put on Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse,” right at the end of Dark Side of the Moon. He died while it was playing, and it was heartbreaking and perfect and it was just the two of us, dad and his only kid.

That's amazing. I can't even say how amazing that is.
posted by GuyZero at 9:46 AM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

When I was born, my mom wanted to name me Layla . . .

my dad has a thing for Stevie Nicks . . .

We have friends whose daughters are named (more or less) Layla and Rhiannon. But they were both named for the figures that the songs were named for, not for the songs. Happily, that does still happen.

As you were.
posted by Herodios at 9:58 AM on December 9, 2015

Rachel, please please please tell me you kept your dad's vinyl and equipment?

Ber, I sold or stored some of the things that were not transportable (giant speakers with an electrostatic panel that almost prevents long-distance shipping), or that wouldn't get used in the next 10-15 years. My dad and I had the time for extensive discussions on what he thought I should keep and what could reasonably be sold, so I don't feel like I got rid of anything important. I do still need an 'audio guy' to get the stuff up and running, but I kept all the real juicy stuff, including his tube amp and preamp, and some wonderful speakers and turntables.

I also did gift some things to his friends, family, and my friends; I know they will cherish them and put them to good use, same as he did. Still in the process of trying to sell a number of other things, though I'm not in a rush.
posted by rachaelfaith at 11:55 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

This has been The Best Thread ever and Rachael wins. My god.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:01 PM on December 9, 2015 [4 favorites]

As a child of the early Sixties, I grew up with Ray Conniff, Elvis' First Album (although I think that was my mom's), Harry Belafonte Live, 101 (or was it 1001?) Strings. Then 8-tracks with Roger Whittaker and Merle Haggard. So imagine my surprise when I found AM radio in the mid 70s.
On the flip-side, my 24 year old daughters first concert was Tower of Power, and my 8 year old just begged me to get 'Blister in the Sun' for her iPod.
This is a wonderful thread. Thanks nerdfish.
posted by drinkmaildave at 6:36 PM on December 9, 2015

I think the parental brainwashing worked on me. My dad wasn't a musician himself, but an avid lover of music. I'd guess at least half of the music I listen to is stuff that he introduced me to, or stuff I discovered following the influences of things I'd heard him listen to. I have vivid memories of him playing everything from Thelonious Monk to Captain Beefheart to Todd Rundgren to Youssou N'dour to Schnittke to pretty much the entire roster of ECM Records.

His tastes were frequently less embarrassing than my own - I spent about five years in a drought where I listened to nothing but Christian pop music (don't ask), and he would do his part to snap me out of it by sending me burned cds of stuff like Kid A and Ágætis byrjun.

So I guess there's not a lot that isn't "dad music" for me, and I'm ok with that.
posted by anthom at 10:49 AM on December 10, 2015

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