Tonight’s homework

The 6 year old came home with the sort of homework that requires real ignorance to do easily. He was given music from the 50’s to the 90’s to swot up on. I mean come on, I could do NME chart number ones from ’53 onwards and still only skim a few classics. As far as his teacher was concerned the 60’s were the Beatles and the 70’s were probably ABBA. I despair.

We played some early Springsteen, The Beach Boys Pet Sounds, some Rolling Stones and a bit of Elton John on the way over to visit my parents but they boy wasn’t greatly impressed. Sloop John B was boring, The Stones were babies and only some Elton was okay.

shame I don’t have a tape player

Once we got to my parents I decided to raid my Dad’s tape collection for inspiration. Always one to embrace change, he didn’t have a great vinyl collection because as soon as tape came out he switched. Smaller and more convenient apparently.

I’d forgotten (or forced myself to forget more like) some of my Dad’s musical tastes weren’t exactly trendy, even at the time. There was plenty of Nana Mouskouri, a lot of the Seekers, the New Seekers, The Spinners, Peter Paul and Mary, and rather too much Frank Pourcel for much credibility. It dawned on me though when I saw Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water (some say it’s a song about heroin addiction you know, I just think it’s ace) that we’ve been playing the boy 60’s and 70’s stuff since he was old enough to go to sleep in his own room. I bet there aren’t many 6 year olds that have gone to sleep with Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow playing gently in the room but we have just that boy. He can hold a tune but the day I catch him humming White Rabbit is the day I buy him an electric guitar and set him to busking for his pocket money.

Undeterred, when we got back home I fired up the Xbox and waited for the Youtube app to update. Once it had updated I proceeded to embiggen a lot of 60’s,70’s and 80’s stuff with video clips. Highlights were Roger Daltry’s tassled shirt at the Isle of Wight Festival where the Who played Pinball Wizard, Dire Straits at Knebworth with the Knoff in an orange suit, Manfred Man (possibly without his Earth Band) singing the Mighty Quinn on Top of the Pops, The Kinks doing Waterloo Sunset and the video to Waterloo. The boy opined that the blonde girl in ABBA was very nice thank you very much. He liked the medley of ZZ Top numbers but thought the band looked silly- two of them have huge beards, one doesn’t. The one without the beard has the surname of beard. It’s one of the most elaborate in jokes going. I then sucker punched him with most of Dark Side of the Moon, after which it was time for bed.

So tomorrow at school, he’ll no doubt say he likes the Beatles and everyone else wore silly clothes.

Oh well.