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.