rock on. bitchin’, man

August 6, 2010 |  Category:   life remembering

I have no idea where Claudine learned the universal hand sign for rock. I’m pretty sure I haven’t shown her any Ronnie James Dio videos (RIP), but she’s been doing this all over the place. Dayum, I can totally see my future.

I remember a friend of mine, who has a teenage daughter, telling me that at some point you end up feeling like your kid’s personal assistant and chauffeur when they reach a certain age. She chaperones her and her daughter’s friends to concerts. Um, what!? I’ve never really given much thought to parenting a teenager before. I think I would have died if either of my parents went to any concerts with me. They just dropped us off and picked us up after the concert and when we were old enough, we drove ourselves or took the subway. I know times were different back then, but yeah, now that I think about it, I cannot believe that my mom dropped me and my friend off at our very first concert and just drove off. We were only 15.

Ever hear of Heavy Metal Parking Lot? The cult classic documentary about the parking lot of the May 31st, 1986 Judas Priest concert in Maryland? Yeah, this. That tour was my first concert ever. Would you drop off your 15 year old daughter at a stadium parking lot with these wingnuts? I’m thinking like I should maybe be embarrassed about this, but I’m totally not. I know I’ve mostly talked about the Cure, the Smiths and Michael Jackson on here, but before the whole Goth phase took over completely, I was also a bit of a metalhead at the same time (primarily 70/80s British metal, not hair bands!). I totally remember being in my friend’s living room and buying those Priest tickets on the phone, not even knowing if our parents would let us go. We were so excited. I think we must have used her older brother’s credit card.

Music was different back then because the music industry was different. Televised concerts like Live Aid were major events and me and my brother would sit glued to the TV all day long. I remember the day MTV went on the air, but we didn’t get it for a year or two so I used to sneak into the kitchen late at night to watch Friday Night Videos on a tiny TV that sat on the kitchen counter. I’d sit at the kitchen table and watch video after video in the dark with the sound turned down low, almost inaudible, so it wouldn’t wake up my parents.

The first record that I ever bought, however, was this 80s compilation record (as in VINYL, people) called K-Tel Hit Explosion. It had the Go-Go’s, Joan Jett, A Flock of Seagulls, “Eye of the Tiger”, “Gloria” by Laura Branigan (remember that one?) and all sorts of other 80s goodness. I went to The Wiz on Main Street in Flushing with my mom to buy it. I still remember how excited I was holding that record in line at the cash register. It was much like the day my mom took to me to Sam Ash to get my first electric guitar. I swore that I was going to bust balls and practice everyday till my fingers bled so that I could grow up to be a rock star. I was totally planning on being kick ass (see how well that worked out for me?).

Every kid remembers their first record/tape/CD purchase and live concert experience (what’s yours?) and I’ve been thinking about this lately because Mia is really starting to grow up. I see glimpses of how she might be when she’s a little older. When we’re bored Mark and I will sometimes try to guess what kind of teenagers the girls will be and we can totally see Claudine as a goth, but Mia’s sort of a mystery. With music being the way it is, it won’t be a big deal when she’ll want to buy some songs because it will most likely be downloaded, but she will have a first concert someday and either Mark or I will be there. It’s been a long time since Mark and I have been to a concert together, the last being Stereolab 11 years ago and the last big arena rock show I saw was AC/DC at Madison Square Garden in 2000 (on a total whim and so random, but…HELL YEAH! It was epic). It never crossed my mind that there might be more concerts in my future. If I’m lucky it’ll be a band that I actually like, but I know it’s not about me. If it’s something like Justin Bieber (nooooo) or Miley Cyrus (ughhh) then whatever. I can be my old fart self and say music ain’t like it was back in the 80s and 90s, but I was a kid once too. I understand. I was totally into Duran Duran when I was 12.

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  • Shilo August 6, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Oh man, that photo of Claudine just KILLS me.
    Seriously, so cute it hurts. She’s going to be BAD ASS.

  • Chai Ling August 6, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Jenna, I admire your brain, really really do – the mind you have, the words you use, the sentences you write, the style you present, the photograph you make. You bring ‘style’ a very happy and natural one to my life! Thank you for taking your (precious) time to post and share (generously) with us 🙂

  • Adele {modernemotive} August 6, 2010 at 6:24 am

    OMG, that photo of Claudine is awesome! Love it.

  • ChantaleP August 6, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Holy sh*t! That is hilarious! Claudine, rock heavy. K-Tell! Girl, I grew up with the vinyl too and I miss it! Better quality than digital.. Oh man, now i really sound old. I can’t even imagine my kid as a teenager! We already get treated like we don’t know anything… lol! Have a super weekend Jenna! Thx for making me wonder about the future..

  • MaryAnne LoVerme August 6, 2010 at 8:01 am

    My first concert: Menudo at Radio City! I was 11 and mom took me.

  • Nani August 6, 2010 at 9:13 am

    hahahaha Claudine is definitely adorable in that picture.

  • Lynn August 6, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    my first concert was Ministry, on Oahu. it was awesome and totally random and we were 16 and on vacation. they played for about an hour and then the concert got shut down as the entire island could hear it.

  • Lauren August 6, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    You can totally drop them off! I was 15 when my dad dropped a friend and me at the state fair (which, in our city, got totally shady after dark). And, we managed to avoid the fights, drunks, drugs, etc. that were present at night. I think that is a great age to learn how to be on one’s guard, especially when with a friend. Wasn’t doing it on your own how you learned to be independent and street smart?

    BTW: I’m young enough to say times weren’t different. I haven’t yet had a ten-year reunion.

  • nella paper studio August 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Van Halen, baby..I think I was 13..my mom went with us & sat in the lobby watching drug busts..

  • Clara Artschwager August 6, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Jenna- I absolutely love your blog. I came across it just a few weeks ago and am so thankful. Your posts are so thoughtful and honest, and your photographs just beautiful. My parents are both in the arts and we lived in Brooklyn when I was young (before moving to the Hudson Valley), and reading your blog makes me feel like I have some sort of window into their life at that time.. managing their careers while taking care of young children in the city. Just wanted to say thank you for all that you share!

  • silvia August 6, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    claudine is just soooo adorable! your children are beautiful, and your blog is lovely.

  • bronwyn August 6, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I LOVE heavy metal parking lot! I mean, I really love it. It just kills me. My first concert was Pantera, a few years after hmpl, 89 or 90 maybe, but same same idea. I won tickets on the radio. Too funny. I too, changed tastes in music midway through my teens – more gothy/industrial, unfortunately, I cannot say that I never liked hair metal. That picture of Claudine is amazing. I wonder where she picked it up. Right now my little girl is really into “rock and roll dancing” to the Ramones. I wonder if this will keep up. I could totally live with it if it did.

  • Jenna August 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    bronwyn, geez. finally someone commenting about Heavy Metal Parking Lot. Starting to feel really old here you guys.

  • Christine August 6, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    My 1st concert was Hall and Oats at the Forest Hill Tennis Stadium. Do you remember they had concerts there? I also saw Howard Jones.

    BTW…Remember I live on Garfield? I live across from Jenna’s house. I gawk all the time. Her antique chandeliers glow onto the sidewalk. Her son is the sweetest! I’m sure Claudine will enjoy him.

  • Jenna August 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Christine, I do totally remember Forest Hills Tennis stadium. Ah, another NYer. If I lived across the street from her, I would totally gawk all the time too.

  • hallie August 8, 2010 at 1:38 am

    duran duran on the ‘seven and the ragged tiger’ tour was my first show at 13. i was in loooove with british new wave and iron maiden(who i saw three times in my teen years). and i would have died if my mom would have tried to escort me although my aunt took me to the duran show. on our trip to philadelphia to see them, we stopped at the king of prussia mall where i bought a snazzy union jack tee and some fake ray bans.

  • ariel August 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    i was 15 when my dad dropped me off at my first concert which was a modest mouse concert. i was the straightedgest of straightedge kids because it was the first time i found out what marijuana was and i was astonished/appalled. a bunch of kids made fun of my friend and i when they saw my dad picking us up but for some reason it didn’t bother me. : /

  • Kelly August 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    My mom totally dropped me off at my first concert (a tamer punk show)@ 14 in the late 90s, and even went so far as to allow me to go to all ages shows all through out high school (which was often!) as long as my grades didn’t falter. And I loved her for it!

    I think at that point in time, it made me feel respected and like a grown up. The iShe was an older mom compared to my friends (in her 50s when I was in high school) and a psychologist, so I can see how she might have been more liberal. dea that she trusted me to be smart about it, call (or later drive) home when it was over while exploring the real world was so liberating. I rarely ever took advantage of it. I was a good kid! (Maybe bc I didn’t have to fight her.) Definitely felt lucky (and grateful) that my mom allowed me that freedom. Based on how much joy it brings me to think of that time in my life kind of ensures I’ll probably be treating my future child the same way!

    Claudine is ADORABLE in that shot. Do you think you’ll ever get her a drum set? I love hearing about your daughters as individuals. That whole concept about kids is obvious, but it still blows my mind!

  • Anna @ D16 August 11, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I am so late to the party here, but I’m still catching up on posts!

    I honestly cannot remember my first album purchase. I’ve tried and tried to think of what it could have been, but I can’t. Part of the problem is that I have a bunch of older siblings, and I inherited a lot of stuff from them.

    My first concert, however…that’s easy. The Kinks! I’m not sure what year, though. 1987? And they were awesome. And my mom totally dropped me off.

  • Peggy February 7, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Jenna, first off, your blog is wonderful and your daughters are adorable. I loved reading about you sneaking into the kitchen to watch Friday Night Videos. My husband and I both did that when we were young teens. Did anyone NOT watch it that way?! We too had a tiny TV on the kitchen counter and just like you I had to keep the volume down as low as possible so I wouldn’t get caught watching “that crap”. I don’t know how I would have gotten through my teenage years without music. My first concert was Duran Duran and it was soon followed by Depeche Mode. Aren’t you glad to have grown up in the 80’s? 🙂 I totally sympathize with the Justin Bieber/Miley Cyrus fears…my husband and I joke about how one of our great fears is to have our children grow up to have awful taste in music. 🙂

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