Sunday, April 27, 2014
The Domestic Warrior: A Son Finds The Volume Switch
By Ronald N. Guy Jr....For Dads
My son, eyes beaming with excitement, began dancing and wailing on his air guitar. His mom barked at him to turn the music down a bit. His dad couldn’t have been more proud.
Music is in my blood. It prompts all sorts of involuntary actions: toe tapping, dancing, awful singing and mind expansion. Music has pulled me through rough patches and accentuated many good times. It is my antidepressant, my happy pill. When a good tune tickles my ear, my mood improves, damn near regardless of circumstance. I can’t imagine life without music. It is this domestic warrior’s soul food, man.
I’ll listen to damn near anything – classic rock, soul, blues, old-school country and hip hop, 80’s hair metal, folk and pop. My music collection – housed on cassettes, CDs and records – has morphed into one of my life’s works. It includes Dylan, James Brown, John Fahey, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Def Leppard, Led Zeppelin, Robert Johnson, Eminem, Woody Guthrie Outkast, Chuck Berry, Kid Rock, Sam Cooke, Pearl Jam, Ani DiFranco and Public Enemy. I think that’s enough. You get the idea…I have a (good) problem.
When I was a kid, my mother used to fuss at me all the time for playing music too loud. My stereo shook the china in a wall adjacent to my bedroom and, in my teenage years, my car stereo disturbed the peace (according to her). Now in my forties, not much has changed. I still like it loud…and I’ve apparently passed on the gene (hold that thought).
The stereo my parents bought me in high school still lives and currently resides in my man-loft. It’s priceless. The original CD player has been replaced and, not surprisingly, a blown woofer was swapped out years ago. But other than that, it continues to pump out tunes at the ripe old age of 27. My dusty old girl has provided so many memories: it was with me in college, through marriage, divorce and marriage again, and soldiers on a decade into fatherhood. It has moved with me countless times and has been the heartbeat of parties for over two decades. Apparently, it isn’t done creating memories (still holding that thought?).
I was spinning some records the other night and my son, at the ripe old age of 7, came upstairs and requested that I play Kiss’ Destroyer album. A tear of pride swelled in my eye as I responded in the affirmative, jumped to my feet, riffled through my vinyl stack and pulled the young lads desired piece of rock ‘n roll history. As Detroit Rock City began to pump through the speakers, my son walked up to the stereo and asked how to turn it up. I gestured toward the large round knob with the illuminated green dash. Looking back at me, he pointed to it with a wry smile. I nodded in confirmation. He carefully turned it up a little…then a little more…then a little more until the room was shaking with the thump of the base drum, Ace Frehley’s shredding axe and the growl of Gene Simmons’ voice.