Saturday, February 03, 2007

Does Anyone Remember The Laughter?


The evidence mounts each day that I am rapidly becoming an old fart. To wit, as I was driving home with my daughter the other day, the game of radio bingo unfolded. Most of the time, I’ll switch to the Top 40 station when she’s in the car with me, and even tough I’ll be subjected to garbage like Fergie (whom I absolutely cannot stand), they toss in enough Green Day and some Emo to keep me quiet. I dare say that Justin Timberlake, of all people, has grown on me. (Hey, c’mon, he did bring sexy back, after all). Good Lord, what is happening to me?!

On occasion, like during commercial breaks, we both start poking the presets. In my car, they range from one station which will play rock (older and newer) to a classic rock station which to my knowledge has no awareness that the 90’s even happened.

During one of these button surfing exchanges, we stumbled upon “Stairway to Heaven”, the Led Zeppelin classic. My daughter had never heard it. “Well, you’re in for a treat!” I said. Once she heard the song was over seven minutes, she bristled. In her world no song lasts that long. Also? When was it going to speed up?

Try this some time. Try explaining the significance of a song to someone who has never heard it before. It would be like my mother trying to convey just how big Benny Goodman was back in the day. I’d listen, but just wouldn’t understand what the fuss was about.

I told my daughter that this song, for whatever reason, is the most popular Zeppelin song of all, for reasons I still don’t understand. (Personally, it wouldn’t even be in my Top 20 if I were to rank all Zeppelin songs). I went on to explain that every time a radio station did one of the “Top 500 Songs of ALL TIME” countdowns, this always came in at #1. How it was played at every Middle School dance, and the kids went wild, even though dancing to it was virtually impossible. How every stupid boy would be able to air drum and air guitar every single moment of this song, while demonstrating the same on my steering wheel as we headed home. To frame Zeppelin, I had to mention that the guy playing the wailing guitar was the same guy who played on Puff Daddy’s “Come With Me”. To her credit, she didn’t roll her eyes and think me an idiot, at least not outwardly. I love that kid!

Someday, she’ll be in the car with her kid, and will have to explain the cultural significance of “Hips Don’t Lie” or "Fergalicious", and I can’t wait to hear how that conversation goes.
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