The Making of a Music Lover

Happy Birthday Mom and Dad

Today was my parents’ birthday. Yes, they both have the same birthday. So as I was busy writing the traditional birthday post on their Facebook walls this morning, I started thinking about how my parents shaped not only my life (duh), but how they’ve made me so much of who and what I am (a die-hard music lover and artist). I began to really take a moment to remember just how my parents each played a role in my growth not simply as their son, but as someone who is (more or less) forever tied to the world of music. And the more I thought — the more I remembered — the more I really began to see just how much of an impact they had on me in that arena as well. In fact, it’s an impact they continue to have every day.

Induction

Some people hear The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” and think of CSI: NY; I just think of my Dad.

My Dad gave me what I will always refer to as my first Big Five: The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who, The Doors, and Cream. From there, it was just a hop and a skip to Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, and Jethro Tull. I vividly remember hearing Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” for the very first time; I’d dozed off on the couch when he popped the CD in the player. I heard that Jack Bruce bassline, sat straight up, and said “what is THAT?!”

From Mom I got more of a taste from the ’70s; Led Zeppelin, Queen, Fleetwood Mac…and metal. I actually wouldn’t discover until more than a decade later just how into metal my mom actually was. KISS and Def Leppard were favorites, so I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me when she asked if I’d go see them in concert with her last summer. And so we did.

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My brother Josh, Mom and me at KISS and Def Leppard last summer

“Mom, I’m Gonna Start a Band”

We saw Bowling for Soup. Don’t Laugh; they rocked and kicked ass.

I’m not sure many parents would even drive their kids down to Masquerade, let alone take their kids to a show there. It’s not exactly PG; Masquerade is a real venue, complete with people full of tattoos, piercings, sweaty, jumping, and rocking out.

Around this time — my 13th birthday — I got a knockoff Fender guitar starter pack. Pretty much the next sentence out of my mouth one morning was, “Mom, I’m gonna start a band.” And I did. My buddy got the same starter set, and we set out to conquer the world. I loved that guitar; I still do. It reminds me of my roots.

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My first guitar, and still one of my first loves

New and Different Tastes

While other parents continued to find comfort in their Zeppelin and Beatles albums, my parents took a trip with me through my teen-year discoveries; Simple Plan, Sum 41, Yellowcard, My Chemical Romance, and Eve 6 were just as valid and exciting to them as Fleetwood Mac or The Who. In fact, I saw Eve 6 with my Dad just a couple summers ago on their 2013 U.S. tour.

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Me and Dad at Eve 6’s summer 2013 tour (notice I’m wearing one of my Bowling for Soup shirts)

I’m not sure how many other people out there were (are) lucky enough to experience these same dynamics, but I can’t imagine too many. Most probably experienced the brush-off that so many people get. But I was lucky enough to escape that. My parents share my love of music and discovery, and that drives me every day.

Days As a Journalist and DJ

And when the journalism turned to DJ-work, there was a desire to push my drive yet again. I’ll never forget the first time I was on the air on my college show in Boston, doing my broadcast with my parents streaming from home in Atlanta. They listened to the whole thing (2 hours worth), and when he called me after, I believe my Dad’s words were, “man that was so fucking cool.”

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Me on my show, Underground Takeover

I took my Mom out last summer to a little indie show to see a band I’m good friends with. The band, mind you, is a little on the screamo side; not exactly what most people my parents’ age would be interested in listening to. But during the course of the show, what really stuck out to me was when my Mom noted, “wow, they are incredible performers.” That level of appreciation for something so far removed from her own tastes is something that I think makes my Mom so special. Many times, it’s my parents who are the first to hear the new artists I find and give me feedback. They really haven’t steered me wrong yet.

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Me and Mom at an alternative/screamo concert last summer

Music Entrepreneur

Music entrepreneur; what does that even mean?!

So as I sit here on their birthday night, I think about how I’m thankful not only for a good relationship in general, but for a shared love of something that is and has become so important to me. Music is freedom and in it lives a certain amount of respect and love; it’s that respect and love that exacerbates the excitement of sharing new music with one another. It’s what draws us together and creates the paradigm we live in.

So when I listen to Cream or The Who, I think of my Dad. And when it’s KISS or Def Leppard on the radio, I think of my Mom. Even when it’s Bowling for Soup I can’t help but think of my first concert with my parents. And I can’t look back at anything I’ve done in this business without thinking of them collectively.

I think that’s a good thing.

Originally published at adammarxsmind.wordpress.com on April 20, 2015.

Written by

Master Relationship Builder & Networking Consultant 🚀 | prev. CEO @glipple | Published @crunchbasenews, @Startup Grind, @Mattermark| Humorist & music addict

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