04 October 2010

Kickdrum Girl

"She was a fast machine
She kept her motor clean
She was the best da...(skizzzrwwrrrrxxxkkss skids the needle across the grooves)

"Who is that, Daddy?"

I looked up to see my Wee Lass giving me that quizzical look she has perfected, when she sees me doing something that leads her to question my mental health.  She hasn't gotten the hang of cocking one eyebrow yet, but it should not be too much longer.  Fortunately, none of the other patrons in the sandwich joint had noticed me doing my best Angus Young imitation while mouthing the words, although they could certainly hear the song given the high-pressure volume of the radio blaring through the place.

"What, the music? You know who that is?"  I replied.  I sighed in relief knowing that we managed to drown out the line about ...the best damn woman I have ever seen...It occurred to me that perhaps "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC was probably not the best song to sing in front of my daughter's heretofore unsullied ears.

"It's AC/DC.  One of the best concerts Daddy saw when he was a kid was AC/DC!"  I left out the part about the cannons and Angus Young mooning the crowd.

She scrunched up her face and said "AZ/DeeShee?"

"Ay-cee Dee-cee, sweet pea.  It's a band that I listened to a lot when I was a kid."  I proceeded to break into another round of air guitar, cajoling her to play along with me.  She said "Dah-dee, I don't want to play guitar. Can you play guitar?"

I told her no, I couldn't play guitar.  Fair to middling as an air guitarist.  Real guitar?  I'm a big bowl of suck when it comes to real guitar.  I don't know what made me say it, but then I told her "My Big Bro could play guitar.  Really well, too."

"Did he play air guitar, Daddy?" I laughed.
"No, pumpkin.  He could play real guitar.  One with strings.  Plus, he could grimace musically."

She gave me a startled "Huhhh?" look when I said that.  I could hear the Scooby Doo voice in my head.  I just laughed and tried to explain what "grimacing musically" meant.  I was grasping at the best words for it, when the radio again came to my rescue.  "More Than a Feeling" by Boston: the radio spirits were looking out for me.  This was a perfect song to demonstrate my Big Bro's technique.

So it came to pass, that on a Sunday afternoon I was rockin' the air guitar with my face contorted into all sorts of musical shapes, ones that I remembered from watching my brother play.  He may have looked goofy sometimes, but he did it with honest feeling and verve.  I must have pulled it off successfully, because Wee Lass was laughing that silver bell laugh and asking me to "do what he did again!"

I managed to keep the tears in my throat and a musical grimace on my face, all the while grinding out power chords and banging my head like a pro.  I felt a bit embarrassed to notice some of the other customers begin to stare at me, maybe thinking I had lost my marbles.

That's okay.  They could stare all they wanted.  I had my daughter laughing with me at the table, and my brother playing his guitar in my heart.  And when she picked up those air drumsticks to pat out a rhythm on the table, while watching my feet to learn the kick drum, I felt the circuit close.

Nothing like a little rock and roll with those you love.  Nothing like blood music to fill the heart.


  1. Knockin' me out with those American thighs! (Best. Line. Ever!)
    I love the idea of sharing musical history with your kid. You're one cool daddio.
    :) Robin

  2. There is no greater moment in time when you hear your child laugh-especially, when it's a moment shared with you. Awesome. I would have played air guitar all day in the sandwich joint.

  3. I can picture the entire scene, Irish. I love your relationship with Wee Lass. You are a good papa.

    In our house, we are big into music too, of course, and the dancing thing, of course, and so it's one big fantastical musical grimace in as many shapes and moves as you can stand. Of course. LOL.

    Music is a good way to connect with every generation because it gets inside each of us so deeply and just hovers there. But you know a grand musical grimace when you see one, and that's an inspiring thing.

  4. Musical grimace = extremely freaking awesome!

    In a couple years she'll be singing those lyrics with you...it'll be fantastic, baby.


  5. This sounds so much better than her telling you she thinks Hannah Montana is way better than Az/deeshee :)

  6. Ah, a proper musical upbringing... I heard "You Shook Me All Night Long" performed on guitar, banjo and mandolin by those hillbilly genii Hayseed Dixie in a small pub the other week. 'Twas brilliant.

  7. *cocks eyebrow* I imagine cannons and Angus Young mooning the crowd weren't the only thing you omitted from that story.

    Jan (who has been to a few concerts herself)

  8. At least Young had a good butt at the time.

  9. That is some fine parenting, sir. Fine parenting.

  10. Nice. AC/DC rocks. And apparently you and your daughter did too. Good for you.

  11. That little girl sound beautiful.

  12. Had to come back to this!
    Was supposed to see them back in 87. Couldn't find my friend in the crowd outside(who had the tickets!) so I missed out!

    Great education for the little one!


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...