KAY CORDTZ

Kay Cordtz is a journalist, currently writing about science by day and music by night. After spending half her life in New Mexico, she now lives in Port Jefferson on Long Island.

Music has dominated my life ever since I started watching American Bandstand every day in second grade. I saw (and heard!) the Beatles in Paris before they ever came to the US. In college, I was chummy with The Band. So despite my marriage to a man from a different cultural background with divergent musical tastes, it was inevitable that my children would be music people. When they were still too young to drive, I took them to concerts in Albuquerque (No Doubt, the Pointers Sisters, Coolio, Aerosmith) and when we visited New York, there were multiple nights of Bruce, Bruce, Bruce. But I still have some difficulty charting how my son Pablo progressed from an early infatuation with Michael Jackson to the heavy metal songs he writes and plays today in his band, Savage Wizdom.

He still listens to some rock and roll like John Mellencamp and still goes to those Springsteen shows if they are fairly close to home, but will travel around the country to see multiple performances by Motley Crue, Dokken and especially Iron Maiden.  He even convinced one of his metal heroes to sing on a track of his new CD. Pablo is a good guitar player, and I once hoped that he would get interested in the blues but it never happened. Jimmy Vivino once told me that young men need to play heavy metal for a time, maybe get it out of their system. But now that Pablo is past 30 and still devoted to metal, I have come to accept that it’s where his heart lies.

Maybe since he heard blues, rock and roll and jazz at my knee, and mariachi, Tex-Mex and country at his father’s, there was little room left for him to carve out his own space.  There wasn’t much reggae in New Mexico. So although I don’t pretend to “get” metal music (I’m probably the wrong age and the wrong gender) I will always be proud to have birthed a musician.