I have always taken a great interest in what goes into my son's ears. I am the one who took him to hear Bruce Springsteen, DEVO, and The Police before he was in middle school. I feel as though I have a limited time frame in which to affect his music tastes, and the clock is ticking.
I found this out on our trip to southern California. On the way down, I rode shotgun and programmed the music we listened to via my iPod. I remembered all the road trips I took with my parents as a kid, and the lengthy negotiations we endured to listen to rock and roll as we drove through vast regions of the southwest United States. We listened to a lot of John Denver as a result, and I still have a deep and abiding affection for many of his songs. There are others that still cause a type of allergic reaction. "Rocky Mountain High" gives me hives.
Thus, I was determined not to create a similar reaction in my son. I hate to think of him merely enduring "Cadillac Ranch" or suffering through "Beautiful World". So, when he asked me if he could play a few songs off his iPod, I happily switched the cable and soon we were listening to the world through his ears.
At first I confess I felt a surge of pride as I noticed that many of his favorite songs were the ones to which I had introduced him. Then there were a few I didn't recognize. Happily I did not immediately reach for the volume control, but I was surprised to hear just how hard my son rocks. Bands like Linkin Park and Disturbed came out right next to many of the cute little ditties that I had recorded for him on birthday CDs from the past.
Last night it was time to fill up his iPod for his late-night flight back east with his mother. I worked hard to include as many rock classics as new favorites. I wanted to include Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" without skipping Powerman 500's "When Worlds Collide". It was a painstaking process, but when I had finished assembling his playlist it was seven hours long, and only filled half his disk space.
Oh well. He's eleven. I know that he probably wouldn't mind having a little "Winnie the Pooh" at the end there, just to help him get some sleep.