L.K. Madigan (lkmadigan) wrote,
L.K. Madigan

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Where’s the music I’m supposed to object to?

Pity my poor son’s generation. Their parents have grown up with everything from the histrionics of Led Zeppelin to the face paint of Kiss. We’ve scratched our heads over the lyrics of Queen (“Scaramouche! Scaramouche! Will you do the fandango?”) and discovered androgyny with Culture Club.

We’ve not only seen it all, we’ve rocked out to it all … and probably have the vinyl albums and concert t-shirts to prove it.

When my son asked me to download “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses for him, instead of frowning and saying, “I don’t think that song is appropriate for a ten-year-old,” I started screeching the chorus and doing that snaky Axel Rose move.

Where’s the thrill of rebellion for him?

Of course, some of the lyrics require commentary, i.e. “We don’t really like to watch people bleed.” And my husband remarked that Axel Rose (can you believe I never knew the anagram behind his name until I read John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines??!) sounded a lot like Robert Plant.

As a long-time Jane’s Addiction fan whose favorite headbanger anthem is “The Mountain Song,” I am hardly someone who objects to loud music. I’ve met Perry Farrell, for heaven’s sake! (Did you guys know he adopted that name because it’s a play on the word PERIPHERAL?) I worked at Warner Bros. when the cover of “Nothing’s Shocking” was, well, shocking. He was the first guy I’d ever met with a piercing in his nose.

To my son’s mortification, I bust into dance when the right song starts playing within earshot. And while I don’t actually perform with an air guitar, I have been known to clutch a pretend microphone while I sing.

Rather than banning Kanye West and other rappers from my son’s delicate ears, I explain that the N-word is NEVER okay for him to say and that Chamillionaire’s “Hip Hop Police” is a spoof on bad cops, not a documentary.

I am glad we’ve got plenty of fodder for discussion when it comes to music.

If he’s lucky, maybe someday my son will find some music I object to. :-)
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