Having kids is the most selfish thing in the world no matter what anyone sez, and yet also totally understandable. It’s the raising part that can get tricky. Everybody wants to dial in a kid that will elicit roars of approval from friends and teachers alike. Beautiful, brilliant children are the dream of every man, drunk or sober but there’s tendency to over do it with cultural predisposition.

While at concert with Bratzo the other afternoon, I had a flash of worry about becoming one of those fathers who wants their kids to listen to “their music.” If the universe of alternadads dressing their kids in Misfits‘ and Ramones‘ shirts is any indication, it’s a troubling trend. Laying a solid cultural framework is good thing. Making sure your kid can sing along to Against Me!, not so much. I’m not gonna lie, I want my child to be an elite but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it’s uncool to overemphasize my own suspect devices.

The classic daddy dunderhead moment in this arena is when Murry Wilson, father to Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, drunkenly dismantles a Beach Boys‘ recording session of Help Me Rhonda. Brian Wilson no longer needed his dad to tell him how to make magic and the old man is an embarrassment. The audio and story at WFMU are astounding and all this leads me to emphatically reiterate Rule No. 3 of Fatherhood: Do your best and get the fuck out of the way of the brilliance.


10 Responses to “LOOSEN UP SWEETIE”

  1. Natasha Says:

    I agree with your thoughts. It will be ok if he someday chooses Keith Urban over Against Me!
    He’s way too cute to be called Bratzo, plus the kids in school can be brutal!

  2. tommy gun / @tommyriches Says:

    totally agree. i never push my tastes on my kids. my daughter likes top 40 stuff (she’s 11) and my son (14) discovered metal on his own (which we share) but likes plenty of bands i don’t like. i certainly never tried to dress them punk or whatever – my son likes preppy stuff and my daughter, unfortunately for my wallet – already has been bitten by the high fashion bug. i stay on their back regarding healthy eating, schoolwork, decision making, but style, music etc. – let em be!

  3. Gabe Says:

    Seriously. The only use my daughter has for my precious vinyl is as hardwood floor skates. More power to her.

  4. dooflop Says:

    Nah, these are two different subjects. Your child’s musical taste is different from making them wear band t-shirts.

    You are right to shape your child’s musical taste. If you don’t, their friends, your family or someone else will, and before you know it you’ll be buying them The Pussycat Dolls on iTunes and being made to listen to it constantly. So, play Against Me all you like, but don’t make a huge deal of it.

  5. ty Says:

    Dude so true. I was all happy that my kid (7) listened to Devo, Flaming Lips, Led Zeppelin, Busdriver, and the Raconteurs (and counted them as some of her favorites) that I was bursting. Bragging and shit to the bad parents who made their kids listen to Baby Einstein. I never told her what to listen to but she heard stuff I was playing and either liked (Pretenders) or disliked (Beck).

    Then she found High School Musical and Hannah Montana and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to die or not. She got hooked by hooks.

    But, I figured that I, at the very least, got some of “my music” into her early cognitive development. Now she’ll listen to Miley Cyrus then toggle to Queen on the iPod.

    Now she fancies herself a drummer and a photographer but I’m not saying a word.

    Props to WFMU too!

  6. charles degaul Says:

    let holden do his thing and get the fuck out of the way edgar.
    he’ll be dominating in no time.

  7. alice b. waters Says:

    The Beach Boys audio links are amazing. I listened to the edited and the complete version and ‘Holy Hell,’ no wonder Brian Wilson went bonkers. The song is so great and his browbeating such a bummer. Nice example of how not to father for sure.

    Trace, we’ll talk about the friend chicken diet you’re recklessly encouraging some other time.

  8. graas Says:

    trace, is that prospect park in brooklyn?
    and if so, where in holy hell did you get fried chicken in/near park slope?
    After NoNo closed, i haven’t been able to find it other than Sidecar on 5th ave (and that shit is 20 bucks a serving).

    help a brother out

  9. Trace Says:


    You’re working the wrong side of the park for fried chicken, my brother. Park Slope is great for heirloom tomatoes and braised seitan over quinoa but you gotta head east if you want chicken. Up by Medgar Evers College on Empire Blvd in Prospect Park East are a couple of southern style batter and fry shops that will take care of you. And if you’re a honky, just speak with a “W-I-D-E” drawl like you are from the South, you might just get the locals deal.

  10. graas Says:

    Oh lord, I think I know what I’m doing this weekend. I live in Sunset Park, so i get the good tortas and huaraches.
    If they have sweet tea, i’m moving.

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