if you think i’m the only one with an interesting and varied musical palette in my family, think again. twice. i would say my older brother was the impetus for my own musical journey (awww, he called it a “journey”), but it hit me the other day that my dad, who just recently turned 65, also has a bit of a multi-generational taste in music. considering that i’m as much of an oddball as he is, i shouldn’t be surprised. actually we share more than a few things in common (we both have broken our noses bad enough to warrant two surgeries, we both are avid photo-takers). so here’s a brief but varied assortment of songs mein papa has dug and subsequently put his ‘spin’ on over the years (he is a wog, after all).
note: most of these clips don’t let u watch/listen as embeds, ur guna have to click the “Watch on YouTube” link if u wanna listen to em
it’s hard for people to imagine my dad being a rebellious smartass playboy bachelor living on his own in the “big city” (in actuality, the rather “tiny-ass” but tré hip city of Beirut in the 70s), but by all accounts this was the case. aside from having awesomely uncanny fashion sense for a man, dad was into his ROCK music. he never really knew names or artists, but he knew the melodies and he would often hum them in his inimitable old-guy-hummin-classic-rock fashion.
when dad first randomly asked me to track down a song called “Poke Seled Ennie” many years ago, i laffed. but then i eventually started to grasp his method of communication (let’s just call it “D-Bonics” for now), and after he kept repeating the name “Tony Joe White. Tony Joe White” to me over and over with no context, i realised i had all the information i needed to conduct my search and placate my father’s excitement. turns out the song is pretty dang cool too.
don’t sit there scratching your head. throughout the 90s my brother and i had already firmly established ourselves as the most soulful hip-hoppingest white boys around, so this was the kinda shit we were pumping in our respective rooms while doing homework. the constant barrage of music throughout the house seemed to have an effect on dad, as he would randomly burst into the chorus of this song, showing special attention to the words “baby baby won’t you be mine” and singing it with this old man ‘drawl’ voice he puts on, turning the song into: “bayybee bayybee whunt you bee moooiiinnee”.
Maxwell is up there as one of THE best artists i’ve had the pleasure of listening to, and who i wanted to model my persona after (didn’t quite work out that way as my hair is nowhere near as cool and oh yeah, i’m not as fucking sexy, but eh *shrugs*). Blackstreet was very 94, so when 96 rolled around Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite was the weapon of choice, the audio virus we would transmit throughout the house and, purely by proximity, get dad hooked onto yet another song. not surprisingly, dad loved the song so much mostly for the random bits that Max would exaggerate the song title and say: “shumthin shumthin” (with the added “h”).
i’m convinced that if dad coulda chosen to be ANYone else in the world, he woulda been Elvis Presley. the songs he recorded on tape off the radio, the tv specials on vhs, the touristy-lookin black & white postcards that he convinced me as a child were actual pics he took of Elvis (and i believed him and went around school tellin people this cos i was super fucking impressed), all tell me he loved the guy’s music. fuck, he’s got the same build and probly had as much swag as the man himself back in the day.
no real explanation necessary for why anyone would like this. alls i will say is the moment i found out dad worshiped at the altar of Hendrix and anyone else with guitar hero skills, he became infinitely cooler. we both seem to have an inner wild side that we can’t express through better means other than music such as this.