Music has always been a huge part of my life. And just as I really had no choice in the matter, with Capital Radio or Pick of the Pops blaring out the car or house set most weekends, my girls are being Spotified.
My grandparents house was an old persons house. In looks and smells. My grandpops had war memorabilia over the walls and garish souvenirs from former Balkan states on the tiled mantlepiece. But there was always a ‘wireless’ and a record player around. He used to play Big Band tunes and spin my sister and I round the room. That love of music must have transferred to his son, my Dad, a 1960s teen who embarked on his own musical journey in truly magical era. The Stones, The Beatles, The Who and numerous other bands who influenced the music of my generation.
The 70s are where I can trace my first song memories. My Dad played The Police and Blondie vinyl albums, with A-side, then a B-side. The radio was always on in the house while weekend chores were going on. Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman’s voice was a familiar sound along with his Pick Of The Pops jingle. My parents had similar tastes and shared memories, having been to the same gigs as teenagers before they met. My dad was a weekend wedding DJ, so the top 10 hit singles were always available to play (and not taped off Radio 1 with talkie bits). It was kind of obvious my sister and I were going to at least be music fans, or even play an instrument or two.
And this is what my kids are exposed to now. My husband and I have different tastes with a shadow of cross-over. He is a 70s devotee and to most genres of that time. My musical heart beats with fragments of 80s electronica, 90s indie and the nu-blues guitar based revolution at the turn of this century. The iPad paired with a bluetooth speaker daily bleats out a playlist or three. My in-car mum DJ-ing is legendary (or so I hope my daughters will remember!).
Of course, when I shared an ear plug with my eldest on a bus ride and she chooses one of MY playlists, I am smug. But I can’t force her to like any particular band and I certainly can’t predict it. And those parents who are equally proud of their little ones tastes just better be ready for when they branch out on their own and listen to something completely alien to you.
It’s not the bands or the genre of music which will win them over to mum or dad’s tastes. It’s the passion behind it. I haven’t been directly influenced by my grandpops penchant for swing bands or my parents 60s pop picks but adore the enthusiasm and the emotions linked to the music of their lives. I was moved to tears at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, on a musical pilgrimage devised by my folks. I understood how music changes lives. I also wept at The Charlatans gig in March at Worthing Pavilion, in memory of a friend now lost.
Today on our musical Saturday at Funk The Family, it will be about enjoying some tunes, dancing and making our own family music memories.
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