Wednesday, May 20, 2009

School of Rock

One way I can tell that Boom's individuation has begun is that he often asks me to change the car radio station. I tend to prefer NPR and news. But his request is invariably either "I want music" or "I want rock and roll music."

His preference for rock and roll music is usually for "LOUD rock and roll music," but sometimes for "FAST rock and roll music," occasionally for "FAST, LOUD rock and roll music.

The other day he was happily air-drumming to a Steve Miller song (fun game: say "Crash symbol" and he makes a swipe in the air and says "TSCHHHHH!!!") when the song "Over the Hills and Far Away" came on next. You probably know it: Led Zeppelin song, pretty acoustic guitar riff at the beginning, but then much Robert Plant shrieking and general rocking. So Boom says, "Turn it to rock and roll music. This isn't rock and roll."

So it fell to me to instruct him on this finer point of rock. "Oh, this song will rock. Don't worry about that. This is Led Zep! They rock!" Just then there was some quality John Paul Jones bass and, especially, Jon Bonham drumming, and air-drumming resumed.

The next day we heard "Landslide", and I explained why some rock was loud, fast rock, but other rock was gentle rock, but they were both still rock. I didn't go so far as to say that in the Great Tao of Rock, the loud rock requires the gentle rock to rock loud, just as the gentle rock requires the loud rock to rock gently. I did say that people need different kinds of music to rock different ways, to say different things with their hearts.

The next day, we were listening to a Steve Earle song on the CD player. Banjo, voice, bass, and kick drum. I asked Boom, "Does this song rock?" "Yes, it rocks." "Even though it doesn't have electric guitars?" "Yes, it's rock and roll music."

So I think it's working.

It probably helps that I recently saw "Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny." Lyrics I will not teach Boom but rather will let him discover for himself include:

I'm the Devil
I love metal


A long-a** *@#$ing time ago
In a town called Kickapoo


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