They do still call them rock stars, right? Listening to the Heirs discussing their favorite bands, I’m not so sure. I keep hearing terms like “emo,” “emo-punk,” “hip-hop rap” or alternative, but never the term “rock.”
The rock star phase is a proud tradition in my family since I grew up with two brothers who were drummers in a string of garage bands, back when garage bands dared to aspire to greatness because they didn’t know they were nothing more than a garage band. They actually thought that one day they’d be the warm-up act for the Stones…well…Grand Funk Railroad, maybe.
As for me, in high school you were a jock, a music person or a geek. I straddled two cliques because although I was a geek, I did play guitar. But it was acoustic guitar and I was taking classical lessons. I know -- geek.
The Heirs are not taking any chances. They refused all of my attempts to teach them to read music and to show them “the basics” on the guitar. Instead they download something called power chords off the internet. In no time this has them playing exactly what they listen to on CDs: feedback and noise.
Still, they have deemed every Tuesday as Band Night. This consists of a load of teenagers coming over and spending about 45 minutes in the garage performing what sounds like a 12-car pileup on the interstate. Then I feed everyone after which they all play video games until around nine o’clock.
When I point out the disparity between the amount of band practice time and video game time, they point out that they can only practice so long because they don’t actually know an entire song. They know little bits of a lot of songs. But not an entire song. I point out that it may sound better it they all played the same bits of songs at the same time.
I didn’t know eyes could roll that far back.
“I’ll figure it out,” Heir 2 assured me.
So I offered to give them the drum set that my older brother started out on. They were enthusiastic about it until my older brother reminded them he started out using my parent’s luggage as a drum and a metal trash can overturned on a camera tripod as a cymbal.
Kids today have no sense of humor.