If ever there was a term that defined generational difference, it’s ‘Dad Rock’.
For eons it has been used to demarcate the young from the old, the cool from the tepid and the skinny jeaned from the generous cut.
Even with my brief exposure to soap opera, I can still recall an Emmerdale teen deriding her dad for his appreciation of the Roses‘ Second Coming. It appears that for this lass, breaking into heaven was no more a gerontocratic nicety than politely knocking on heaven’s door and asking for a comfy bed.
The reason I’m getting bent out of shape, literally as it happens depending upon the time of day and weather, is because, after a lifetime of pondering (two lifetimes to some of you), I’m now in a band. Jesus, I might even be in a rock video, actually getting down with the ki… erm… ‘younger people’.
Now I’m not daft. I don’t kid myself that All Saints and contact lenses can obscure the years; said crumpled brand does indeed add a few, more acceptable, creases. Nor do I think that those in their twenties will interact with me in the same way as their peers. But what I do expect is their respect!
Not respect as in ushering me to my chair; I’m not Mr. Magoo just yet. It’s a request for a musical respect based upon a far-sightedness that some younger may have yet to cultivate.
Each of us sneers at the music their dads accumulated. But, weened on the alternative scene of the early ‘nineties and avidly dredging up the now über-cool Roxy Music vinyl from my dad’s collection as a teenager in 1986, I feel that I do transcend these boundaries. Undoubtedly this has been facilitated by the recent influx of 20th Anniversary reissues flooding the marketplace, but don’t worry, I’m not for a minute suggesting I was ‘there first’.
We are all part of a continuum. Which is now all the more tangible: of my two bands, six out of eight members are dads or dads-to-be. We’re a bunch of discerning blokes who would probably exhibit a gutsy, collective reflux if we were asked to play Queen. The experimental side we strive to incorporate into our sound comes at the expense of lengthy guitar twiddle but it will however, still make your ears bleed.
So when I walk across a university campus — yes, I know, I’m still a student — with a guitar case on my back, please don’t sneer, or worse, report me via a Facebook ‘Spotted’ page. Just accept that, regardless of my advancing years, I’m still excited by new music and not in the middle of a mid-life crisis (once you break 25 life is a series of successive mid-life crises anyway).
So, sons and music lovers everywhere, raise a glass, mug of tea or Jägermeister — maybe not eh? — and salute the New Dad Rockers. We’re trying.
Blogged from a café.