One byproduct of my wife & I both running small businesses is that our son Owen never spent much time in day-care or after-school programs. We had combined flexibility to cover his schedule most of the time. While this is surely a blessing, on occasion it could feel like a curse (i.e. the morning after a gig). Parenting a young child is hard work and requires mental toughness along with physical energy to get through the day.
One of the preferred tools in my parenting toolbox was rock n roll. Starting at a very young age, whether with bootleg KISS VHS tapes playing on the TV or music blasting while we threw baseballs in the yard, music was ALWAYS playing. I capitalized the word always because I’m serious. Ask Owen, I cannot do anything without music playing in the background. Everything goes on pause until the tunes start back up.
The upshot of all this is that Owen became a very knowledgeable rock n roll fan at a very young age. In pre-school, when he wasn’t singing along and the teacher asked him why, he said he didn’t like the song. She asked, “What songs do you like?” He answered, “I like Cheap Trick songs.” Once I told him if he wanted to be a real Aerosmith fan he should be able to name what song was on which album and I started quizzing him. Eventually, I couldn’t stump him: “Critical Mass?” Owen’s answer, Draw the Line.
Owen is just finishing his freshman year of high school so his hardcore rock n roll days are behind him for the time being: Hip Hop/Rap, or what have you, are what the kids are into these days. Sure, some of the songs make me throw up in my mouth a little. Okay, maybe most of the songs have that effect but I understand. I’m pretty sure my parents weren’t too jazzed about the song “Lick It Up” or when I needed a ride at 4 am to wait in line for Iron Maiden tickets. Parents aren’t supposed to like what the kids are listening to. That ruins all the fun.
However, along the way Owen and I managed to catch a bunch of great rock n roll shows:
Cheap Trick x 6
KISS x 3
Aerosmith X 2
Bruce Springsteen X 3
The Rolling Stones
That pretty much covers every band Owen was ever obsessed with for any period of time except for…..The Hives. Unless The Ramones come back from the grave, this is the last big-time band Owen really wants to see. It’s the end of an era.
So, finally…..The Hives are coming to Columbus, Ohio for the Sonic Arts Festival and we are planning on being there. When I asked if he wanted to go, he gave an enthusiastic, “Yeah, I guess that sounds okay.” Which is actually a ringing endorsement coming from a teenager. And to be honest, I dread going to this stupid festival with my computer-activated wristband and $25 parking fee, but I digress. I am truly excited to watch The Hives, one of the greatest rock n roll bands of all time, even if just for a 40 minute set from the bleachers. And sharing it with Owen makes it even better.
Colin Gawel plays rock n roll both solo and in the band Watershed. He wrote this at Colin’s Coffee in Upper Arlington, Ohio. To learn more click Colin tab at the top of the screen.