The first CD I ever owned was a gift from my father, Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms. But even before that I was exposed to the wonderful complexity of Mark Knophfler’s work when a song would come on the radio, and observing my dad’s excitement over it, I’d ask for the name of the artist and he’d reply, “Dire Straits”, with that tone that makes a kid realize that even though they may be hearing this for the first time, it’s common knowledge among adults, and so you’d better remember this, and make it part of your common knowledge.
Similarly, my first exposure to The Doors was while watching an episode of Family Ties with my mom in which Michael J. Fox sings along to Light My Fire. I remember my mother saying, “that was a great song” and as before, though I was hearing it for the first time, it was clear to me that the song had some affect on her. Regardless of the content of the show, the song is what stood out for her. There must be something to that, and sure enough there are beautifully complexities to the keyboards of Ray Manzerek throughout the catalog of The Doors.
I must have somehow passed these on to my son too, because one of the first guitar songs Marcus learned was Money for Nothing and when he wanted to really show off the results of 3 years of lessons and practice, he tackled Sultans of Swing. And taking up these new challenges did not take away from his progress on the piano as he simultaneously tackled the intricacies of Riders on The Storm (while singing no less!) and the theme to Interstellar by Hanns Zimmer.
And those other two guys, playing on Sultans, they’re his teachers. They’re the kind of teachers who, when kids come to them with pie-in-the-sky dreams, react with an emphatic “Hell yeah, let’s go for it!” They provide constant encouragement, guidance, and expertise and yet remain focused on letting the student shine.
And if that wasn’t enough, the band he plays in with his brother and friends joined with the acapella group to do Bohemian Rhapsody.
Speaking of his brother, Jared has assumed my love of punk music and that manifested in his performance of 21 Guns by Green Day, where he too takes his first foray into vocal performances while also playing guitar.