This all started when our daughter was born 18 years ago. From the very beginning I sang to her and she would sing back to me. Sharing music together has been one of the best parts of being a father and it inspired the song "Collide the Generations" which is also partly about the feeling I think all parents have about their kids passing them by at the speed of light. That got me thinking about how over the years just about everyone I know gets excited when they talk about sharing their favorite music with their kids and that younger musicians talking about older musicians influencing them is pretty interesting too. So here's a place for all of that stuff. — Garland
Stories about how music gets passed down the line, whether parents talking about sharing music with their kids or young musicians talking about the older performers who inspired them. Essays will be posted on a regular basis. We want to hear from you. Email us at email@example.com
The idea of sharing or receiving music from or with another generation is one of the most natural and uncomplicated of all human exchanges. In my experience there are many roads to discovering and sharing music. For me it began before I entered this world, with the music that my mother was listening to. In my case there was a good deal of music in the house, both created by my parents, their friends as well as from the records that were played in the house.
After entering this world I think we begin to associate music with the experiences that we have. A broad musical palette takes a true curiosity of the unknown. I could be wrong but it seems like there’s a window of opportunity through our twenties for us to push our musical interests in every direction. I’ve never met an adult who challenges their musical tastes if they weren’t doing so when they were young.
My first departures into the unknown came via my transistor radio and my dad’s record collection. I did something that a surprising number of my friends didn’t do; I changed the channel on my radio dial and found music beyond Top 40. I also reached for random records in our collection and eventually listened to all of them. I was so lucky to have taken that risk because it changed my life.
I first heard Garland's song "Wild In The Streets" in 1986 when it was covered by The Circle Jerks. I grew up skateboarding and after I strayed from the straight and narrow home my parents raised me in, I found a completely alternative lifestyle, community and styles of music.
I grew up in a old school Southern Baptist household. My mother's side of the family came from Louisiana, so Cajun and French folk music was our release and where we felt at home. Growing up in churches in the South, I was also surrounded by old time gospel, bluegrass and spirit driven hymnals. When I started playing music, a friend of the family introduced me to the secular side of folk, country and acoustic music. It was skateboarding that derailed it all and sent me in another direction and in the meantime, "Wild In The Streets" was our anthem. It was our saving grace.
My daughter Natalie was about 11 when the Spice Girls hit with "Wannabe," and naturally, with other kids her age falling prey to their dulcet tones - or perhaps more importantly - their awesome stage names, she was not immune to the charms of this fluffy piece of pop.
Then she heard the Beatles. Or rather, saw them on TV. The combination of old Beatles footage and those timeless songs had her in thrall, and even when she found out that one member was dead and the rest were older than her parents and that they had not even been the Beatles since 1970, it didn't dent her enjoyment one bit.
I tried but failed to turn her on to the Stones, though. She found Jagger absurd and just laughed at the very idea. How about some Beefheart? I thought. Well, as any young man in 1971 found out to his chagrin, if you asked a girl "So...do you wanna come back to my place and listen to some Beefheart?" you would find yourself going home alone that night.