Lawrence Welk Made Me What I Am Today
There are certain things that I can count on in my life. For instance, I know that whenever Elvis Presley comes on the tube I can steal a smoke outside without worrying that my wife will “out me”, as she‘s too absorbed with the guys music to notice an atom bomb going off a mile down the road. I know that whenever I get stressed out a little too much that a big old zit will appear the next morning right on the tip of my freakin’ nose. I also know that no matter how much I try I cannot keep my opinions to myself when it comes to music. Especially crappy music. Particularly where my kids are concerned. I mean, I’m gentle and civil about it when they bring home music that‘s particularly abhorrent. I try not to be an “eh-hole“, and I try and present arguments based on my experiences. I calmly explain why their music sucks in a very loving way, and why the best music doesn’t generally get played on the radio, win Grammy’s, or appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. That the best music is the kind you discover for yourself, that pushes the creative envelope and is a little subversive. I tell my little girls that quality music can be slow, fast, gloomy, happy, angry or sad and that if it makes you think about things in a different way then that’s a good thing.
But now I’m thinking that perhaps I’m making a mistake. I can vaguely remember my father telling me ad infinitum that Lawrence Welk was an absolute genius, and I grew up knowing that he was the absolute nadir of music and, generally speaking, the lowest form of anything that ever was. I remember my mum buying Stars On 45, or Hooked On Classics, or one of those records that blended disco with classical music, and thinking that I will never, ever go this far down the MOR rabbit hole.
So my feeling is that no matter what I say, how many solid fact based arguments I make, no matter how hard I push my daughters in the musical direction I know they should go, that they’ll just go in the opposite direction. The sad reality is that I know I’m mentally unable to stop doing it. I feel it’s my responsibility as a parent to help them make the right choice. I’d do the same if one of them brought home a crack pipe.
Maybe a more subtle approach is in order.