|Part of Brighton Pier|
We had pizza the night before we went to Brighton.
We also watched Airplane.
We also did various chores around the house such as cleaning the patio, mowing the lawn and ironing clothes. Airplane was my decision, part of what I believe to be my older one’s general education. It’s a classic that has stood the test of time, although I must admit that a couple of times the film made me cringe a bit. I don’t think that many of the jokes would be allowed nowadays in our more politically correct world. My boy enjoyed the movie, though. He laughed his head off. The icing on the cake was a CD I had made earlier on during the day for our trip to Brighton together the next morning.
The idea was simple. I asked my son to bring a couple of CDs of his to play in the car and I would choose two or three from my collection to share with him. We would play DJ to each other. I like a lot of the music he plays (mostly rock nowadays) but he is not acquainted with my broad musical taste. Focusing mainly on rock, but of a bluesy, funky, reggae and pop nature, I was planning to introduce him to some classics.
I could not remember when I had last driven to Brighton (I think I had done it only once before) and being a bank holiday weekend the journey could be two hours or four. We set off mid-morning.
There was only a little hiccup and that was that none of my son’s CDs played on the car stereo. Maybe because of the fact they were burned and not original ready-made. Strangely, though, one of mine (burned, too) did play. That was enough, though. The boy was entranced by the music coming out of the speakers and I could feel it. If you are the parent of teenagers you will be aware of their occasional awkward silences and lack of expressiveness. Grunts are usually surrogates for yes and no equally. My boy is no different. But I know when something’s grabbed him. The CD I burned had a killer opener, Loan Me a Dime, as performed live by Boz Scaggs. For a sixteen-year-old who is mad about playing guitar (and is pretty good at it, that’s not just the father’s voice speaking, he is bloody good, he is) the first chords of this timeless blues, originally written and performed by Fenton Robinson, was like manna from heaven. That was swiftly followed by the first notes on A minor of Bob Marley’s Exodus just as we were about to hit the M25. Exodus on the stereo and we were escaping the city. The boy sat back and relaxed. He didn’t text for the next hour and a bit. By the time the Red Hot Chilli Peppers were belting out By the Way I had joined the chorus. I know that you will call me a show-off and a braggart but when it comes to making compilation CDs I am second to none. Who came after the Chillies? Led Zeppelin. Because if you are going to introduce a teenager to the classics, do not beat around the bush, go for broke, mate. So, I did. Led Zeppelin’s live version of Whole Lotta Love with the blues medley in the middle. Almost fourteen minutes of pure, unadulterated bluesy rock, followed by two bands without which the music my son listens to (metal) wouldn’t exist: Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water and Black Sabbath’s War Pigs. With the latter I saw my son out of the corner of my eye playing air guitar to Tommy Iommi’s opening riff. I wouldn’t be surprised if any time now I hear a similar sound coming out of his bedroom.
Luckily the trip didn’t last long and the queues I was warned about never materialised. As the last notes of the Chillies’ (them again, twice!) Breaking the Girl faded away we arrived on the coast. Did you like the CD, then? I asked my son. Open-eyed and smiling, he said, yes. Who knows, maybe, I’ll have to do the pizza and DVD more often. With another compilation CD as the icing on the cake. Even if others disagree because their approach to parenting is different to mine.
Photo taken by the blog author
Next post: “Killer Opening Songs”, to be published on Wednesday 30th April at 11:59pm (GMT)