Apr 062016

As good as it gets?

As good as it gets?

My 18-year-old son was telling me last week about his recent mission to spend entire days listening to the complete catalogs of artists who have interested him. One day, through Spotify, he listened to every Creedence Clearwater Revival album in order. He dedicated another day to Lynyrd Skynyrd. His growing interest in rootsy music has led him to investigate a genre I’ve never come to terms with: Country music.

“You know what’s the best driving station on the radio?” he asked me, to kick off this conversation.


“92.5, the Country station.”

“Really?” I tried to hide my concern over imagining my usually hip, somewhat snobbish son as a budding Bro-Country guy, clutching a Solo cup in the parking lot.

“Yeah,” he said, “the thing I’m realizing about Country music is that although not much of it is great, not much of it sucks.”

This is the kind of insight that has led me to lay the plans for one day turning over the “family business” of rock snobbery to my boys!

What musical wisdom has come from the mouths of your babes in recent months?


  11 Responses to “From the Mouths of Babes”

  1. BigSteve

    Maybe admiring competence is just a phase.

  2. misterioso

    Well, he’s half right.

  3. tonyola

    I once hear country music described as the Special Olympics of music by some long-forgotten comic. Plus I have to say that listening to every single Creedence album in order would be a task I doubt I could ever undertake. Especially when it’s Mardi Gras that would end the streak.

  4. Talk about timing…I’m just seeing that Merle Haggard has died. Even I could tell that his music was consistently better than the music of most other country artists. He was a great…man!

  5. Yeah, RIP Merle. He had some GREAT songs — and rock artist covers introduced me to his music. Gram Parsons did my favorite version of Sing Me Back Home and there was a Minneapolis cowpunk band called Tall Corn that did a rousing version of Swinging Doors. I was floored — “who wrote that?” https://youtu.be/zHXispgbb84

  6. 2000 Man

    I’m glad he’s got an opinion one way or another. I disagree with him because if it’s country radio today it’s pure barfola front to back. Radio is just awful, no matter what format these days. hopefully iHeart falls apart entirely and local people can buy the stations again. I’d love to never hear a national show on the radio again.

    I saw Merle Haggard back in like 79 or 80. It was the afternoon show and it was at a small, in the round place. He came out walking down the aisle with a glass of bourbon or something. My friend’s dad said, “Good – Merle’s been drinking early. He’ll be great!” He really was, too. The Strangers were just a stunningly good backing band. I’m really glad I got to do that.

  7. Here’s something I posted on RTH v1.0 back in 2004.

    Back in 1998 when Brian Wilson was promoting Imagination, he did a signing session at Borders (or was it Barnes & Noble?) in downtown Chicago. I took my daughters, then aged 10 and 7, and my 18 month old son to meet Brian.

    My daughters had been listening to and loving the Beach Boys from an early age and the then new Imagination solo album and
    were excited to meet Brian. We drove 2 hours into Chicago (we lived 35 miles northwest of the city but 2 hours wasn’t unusual for that trip), then waited 45 minutes in line. My daughters, in anticipation of meeting Brian, had drawn a poster for him. It contained little pictures depicting each song. When it was our turn, they presented their original poster to Brian, while I explained what it was. Brian, sadly, didn’t acknowledge the poster or my daughters or son or me at all. He kept his head down, scrawled his name on the copy I had had made and that was it.

    On the way home, my 7 year old, bless her heart, said that
    the whole thing was kind of disappointing but still she was glad that we went and she had the chance to “meet” Brian.

    Insult to injury, years later Brian released an album with a cover with little pictures depicting each song. I should have sued
    him which would make me much like his ex-bandmates!

  8. Over the weekend, my 8 year-old was singing “Shattered . . . sha doobie. Shattered . . .”

    An aside — there’s a somewhat insider account of some Stones stuff in this month’s Vanity Fair:

    Maybe this has been covered in other RTH posts, but the backstory of Tattoo You was interesting to me.

  9. I remember that story!

  10. I found a load of mix CDs from the 90s that I’ve spent the last few months catching up on while driving, which means my six-year-old son is also hearing this from his backseat perch.

    It warmed my heart last week when in the middle of “Intergalactic” he piped up, “Hey Dad, are these the same guys from ‘Brass Monkey’?”


  11. At dinner a few weeks ago, my 17-year-old was (very much) pretending that she was incapable of getting upset, that she was a rock.

    “Do you roll?” my 15-year-old asked.

    “Of course not,” the 17-year-old replied.

    “How sad,” the 15-year-old said. “To be a rock and not to roll.”

    Everyone, including my wife, just stared at her, baffled.

    “Dad would get it,” the 15-year-old grumbled.

    (When she told me later, I told her I’d never been so proud.)

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