Friday, August 16, 2013

My Mother, My Rock.

The other day, I was driving to work and one of my all time favorite songs came on: "Hey Joe," sung by Jimi Hendrix.

It's a great song, but I think at least one of the reasons I love it so much (and kept turning it up, louder and louder, in my car until I couldn't detect when Brian was trying to call me back) is because I remember my mom playing it for me on an old record she had when I was a little girl.

My mom has the most sincere affection for rock music of any person I've ever known. And, unlike many almost-60-year-olds, her devotion to loud, emotional guitar riffs has not diminished over the years of her life only to be replaced by sappy "adult contemporary" or whatever the hell. Nope, my mother still rocks, quite literally. She still gets excited when she hears a favorite song and turns it up - WAY up. She still knows how to dance to any tune that she loves. She still likes live music in small bars. And, she is probably responsible for my own musical reality.

After all, I did not spend the 1990s listening to Biggie, Tupac or Widespread Panic like some of my classmates did. I went from adoring my mom's old records (everything from Steppenwolf to the Stones) to embracing the grunge era, which my mom heartily approved of.

"Will you make me a tape of that?" she'd ask enthusiastically, watching me play air guitar along to Pearl Jam's "Jeremy." And I would.

After I left home, I of course became exposed to other types of music - disco and classical and hippie shit and, yes, even a little bit of the rap I missed out on - but I never stopped identifying the most with rock.

Nowadays, when I'm asked that common question about what I listen to, I always name the separate genres I appreciate, but I always finish with rock, in the most definitive way possible.

"I'm mostly a rock person," I always tell people.

And thanks to my mother, I am.

Hells yes. 

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