Let’s face it: there is a disconnect between a parent’s interest and their child’s. What kids deem “cool” nowadays is “frightening and confusing” to their parents, and what parents deemed “cool” when they were kids is considered “racist and homophobic” by today’s standards.
However, my parents’ generation is fortunate enough to have been raised in the late 60’s and early 70’s – what can arguably be called the “Rock Renaissance” after Elvis Presley stole rock music from Black people back in the 50’s. Hugely influential bands like Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and of course, The Beatles, transformed the music landscape with their tight rhythms, experimental formats and in-your-face bravado.
So then why does my mom listen to the crappiest music possible? She was raised as a flower child, and I’m sure she listened to amazing bands back in her time. So why is it that now she likes what can only be classified as “aural abortion”?
Well, thankfully, not all of the music our moms listen to is bad, and to prove it, here are some awesome songs by bands that my mom, and I’m sure many other moms, get all gooey for.
The Beatles – “Run For Your Life”
Yes, I have to mention The Beatles first and foremost, which seems like a cheap move because everyone likes The Beatles, including your mom, your grandma, and hell, probably even that deaf old coot that lives down the street. The Beatles are also a cheap move because their musical style changed more than John F. Kennedy’s mistresses, evolving from the greatest “boy band” of all time into Howard Hughes-type shut-ins with psychedelic tendencies. However, for the sake of argument, I will reference the “boy band” years.
With major hits like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, “Love Me Do” and “Can’t Buy Me Love”, women of all ages fell in love with the bowl-headed quartet because of their warm melodies, pleasing harmonies, and feel-good lyrics.
So try explaining the song “Run For Your Life” from the album Rubber Soul to them:
Yes, it starts out nice and sweet…until the lyrics come in. How’s this for “feel-good”:
“Well I’d rather see you dead little girl than to be with another man”
And in case that wasn’t clear enough:
“Catch you with another man that’s the end, little girl”
Maybe you should buy them love.
Rod Stewart – “Stay With Me”
Rod Stewart has always been a sex symbol for middle-aged women in England, which sounds like he won some contest in hell. Known for his raspy voice and pompadour haircut, Rod was an instant hit in the karaoke crowd. While he had many songs that were his own, he became mainly known for his cover songs. His career started in the early 70’s, and, miraculously, still goes strong today due to his penchant for crooning old love ballads and jazz standards.
Just like the Beatles, Rod Stewart went through a metamorphosis of musical taste, taking the opposite route however: starting out as a hard rocker and moving into soft rock territory, which is where my mom picked up her affinity towards him. Some of his recent cover songs include renditions of “Just My Imagination” and “Wonderful World”, Motown hits that seem ironic being sung by a convalescent white man.
The way his career has unfolded, it is doubly awesome that he recorded a song that sounded like this:
The best part about the song isn’t the rocking guitar work or the fantastic tempo change in the beginning. No, the best part is that the man who sang covers of “I’ll Stand By You” and “Love Hurts” sang the following lyrics:
“In the morning don’t say you love me/Cause I’ll only kick you out of that door”
and then follows that up later with:
“Yea I’ll pay your cab fare home/You can even use my best cologne/Just don’t be here in the morning when I wake up”.
The next time your mom swoons when one of Rod’s covers comes on the radio, you might want to play her this track, but pray it doesn’t lead into a conversation of your mom’s “Rod fantasies”. I shudder at the memory.
Stay tuned for more songs as I discover them!