My parents are fairly cool. I say fairly because given the fluidity of our lives during my childhood and adolescence they were usually ok with most of the things they came across when dealing with me.
One of the biggest changes came when we relocated to US for a few years while I was still in elementary school. Flinstones gave way to VHI and MTV and that change too they took in their stride as well as they could.
I remember that ours is a home always filled with music of some kind. My mother sings while she cooks, we ask my father NOT to sing at all and the record player was on during the weekends and used to stay on for a good, long, while.
Stuff from my parents’ youth like The Ventures, some Joan Baez along with classical Indian music is what was around.
Then came the Era of Music Videos. And that was “interesting” for them because the videos aren’t always just freaks of nature depicting their freakiness, sometimes I guess it was tough for them to let their young and impressionable daughter watch videos of Kiss and Billy Idol’s Cradle of Love (to name a few that rattled my mom up). My father’s all time favorites feature We Didn’t Start The Fire, Unchained Melody, some Bryan Adams and nothing of rap or rock.
But the audio is what they always liked, thank goodness. So I could get away with listening to stuff if they found the video unsuitable for some reason.
I remember one morning my mother heard me watching Enter Sandman while doing something in the kitchen and somehow she thought it was “nice” and am quite sure she hadn’t heard the chorus 🙂 she came out of the kitchen and was confronted with Hetfield’s face and saw the video (which is quite tame by most standards) and got a frown on her face. Am sure over the years she would come across videos which would make parents run for the child lock on television as well. Rap too didn’t fare too well. I guess she wasn’t able to connect with it or find melody in it. The only rap song I know she remembers is House of Pain’s Jump Around for the distinctive shrill sounds through the track
She also used to get mucho annoyed by the smashing of music instruments on stage and the lack of clothes by many- another reason why I wasn’t allowed to watch the full Blonde Ambition Tour being aired on tv. Madonna started her presence on screen with the F words and my mother got irritated, “she’s there to sing, why does she have to use bad words?”. Although watching movies like Good Fellas or for that matter ANY Joe Pesci movie was ok for her because the curses were in context to the situation and therefore acceptable.
Over the years Ma’s liked MLTR (such clean looking boys with no holes in their clothes and no screaming), Scatman (just because he could scat!) and of course Elton John’s songs along with the stuff she grew with- Engelbert Humperdink, Cliff Richards, Elvis and the other oldies. She enjoyed the 3 Tenors and Barbra Streisand and of course Celine Dion. But she also tolerated me blasting Def Lep’s Vault when the album came out among others but was also quite happy with I started watching more things on Youtube or listening to stuff on the iPod.
I want to show her how innocuous my selections were back then and have her see some of Miley Cyrus’ videos and antics on Youtube and see what the now-grandmother has to say!
This should certainly be worth a watch 🙂
2 thoughts on “When My Mom Learnt To Rock”
Looking back to my early years, the music I listened to was considered straight from the mouth of Satan himself. Yet today it is considered quite mundane, Elvis Presley being a prime example. My only evaluation of music is it continually pushes the envelope. With the introduction of music videos, that push has been only magnified. I say not for the good. But I desperately try to remember I am now at the age of my elders who said my music was straight from the mouth of Satan himself. But I still must say, “Is this going to be tomorrow’s mundane? It seems the shock value is what sells music. So what will succeed today’s music in shock value? And after that? And after that?
I agree. My mother’s main gripe was that we had sacrificed music and melody for the acrobatics of dance and snazzy synthesizer effects. But you also Ring In The New while Ringing Out The Old, eh wot?