Sunday, July 8, 2012

American Heavy Metal Weekend

Van Halen; Play loud for best result

 In my role as the Great Motivator what tactics do I employ? More to the point, what tactics do I rule out. Put this way, the list becomes somewhat shorter. Physical coercion and bear-baiting are out, but generally I have an open mind.

One of my favorite gambits is to crank the heavy music to bring up the energy. Lately I have been cueing up Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacherand Guns `N Roses “Welcome to theJungle.” Both songs have bombastic intros which crescendo with the expected chainsaw guitars, screams, and maximum rock ‘n roll.

My long-suffering wife puts up with this, citing the maxim “choose your battles wisely.” Indeed, early in our relationship we would cite Van Halen as representing over-commercialized mainstream pap. The seminal event bringing this thought to life was in 1984 when she was living in San Francisco and a Super Bowl celebrant screamed, “Van Halen and the (expletive deleted) 49ers!”

In my early years I, too, held grudges against Van Halen and Gun `N Roses – back then to be cool the band had to be relatively obscure. Now I may not exactly be making up for lost time, but I appreciate the effectiveness of these songs in raising the blood temperature.

My kids enjoy my selections, knowing many of the words to “Bohemian Like You” by the Dandy Warhols and, a recent favorite, “Institutionalized” by Suicidal Tendencies.

I am already hearing some people say “Hot for Teacher” is an inappropriate  song for a 10- and 7-year-old. To this I say, dude, you are so late to this party. The 10-year-old watches the television show “Glee,” in which the trysts, liaisons, and libidos of the characters are the main plot drivers. Sure I’m not thrilled about this, but, hey, the music’s good!

As for the seven-year-old, I don’t think he was aware that most of the songs I play are in the English language. A neighbor composed a ditty based on the Black Sabbath song “Iron Man” which he has been singing constantly for days.

I am the Garbage man
Pooping in my neighbor’s garbage can
When I played the actual song for my son, I had stop and start it a few times before he made the connection. Now he’s taking the ball and running with it, adding new verses, often with “minivan” as the rhyme word.

Rock on.

No comments:

Post a Comment