I never thought I’d see this happen, but yesterday I found myself splitting the cost of Nirvana’s Nevermind with my 13 year-old son (thanks to iTunes, of course). I was somewhat pleasantly surprised to learn that he had, in his own way, connected to the band’s music.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had done the same thing with my mother when I was a teen. The Beatles had come and gone more than a decade before (not that The Beatles could ever truly be gone, but you know what I mean). Yet I was as intrigued by those charming mop-tops as my mother was in 1964.
There was something both awkward and beautiful about the two of us enthusiastically cheering the merits of “Love Me Do” and the entire Abbey Road album. At a time when society tells us that I should have been in constant open rebellion against everything my parents stood for, I was listening to the Fab Four with my mother, meticulously making a case to her that John Lennon was the most talented Beatle.
It was a bit surreal to openly discuss the merits of Kurt Cobain’s songwriting – and the causes of his untimely death – with my son, someone who was born seven years after the troubled front-man’s demise. I once again realized that certain songs and a handful of songwriters are timeless. They not only lead to an appreciation of really good music, they also have the ability to foster an appreciation of those we genuinely care for, but might otherwise ignore.