Sooner or later, most men must face the music. It doesn’t matter how many Stratocasters we own, or whose signature is on the Les Paul Gibson guitar we play (Les Paul’s, most likely). We’re never going to be rock musicians. Not now, in our forties and fifties. It just isn’t going to happen.
Which may be one of the reasons we have teenagers. Many fathers live their dreams through kids who play on teams. But dads like me live out our rock fantasies through teenage sons and daughters who play in bands. Not marching bands, but band bands. Not air guitar; real guitar.
Three days before my son, Jack’s twelfth birthday, he asked for help figuring out the guitar part to a song by Blink 182, the punk rock band of arrested-adolescent multimillionaires. I’ve had the same Gibson acoustic for thirty years, playing, essentially, the same few folks songs for as long, and it just so happened that the Blink tune was written in three of the four or so chords I know.
In a week, Jack had the chords and fingering down. Two months later, playing blazing rhythm guitar on a starter Strat, he left me in the dust and by thirteen had formed his first band.
To read this article in its entirety, please purchase this month’s issue of WESTPORT magazine. If you’d like a listing of local newsstands where WESTPORT magazine is sold, please click here. Or, to subscribe click here.