My son plays electric guitar. I wish my parents would have given me something similar when I was young. All I got was a flute. Maybe I could have gotten more. Not a piano, our house was too small for a piano, but even a saxophone or a drum kit would have been fine. I can’ complain though, I never asked for more, I just stopped practicing when the flute wasn’t interesting enough anymore. I let it die gently. My son loves Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, he wants a Les Paul guitar, because it was one of Jimmy Page’s favourite guitars. Love thy idols. We sometimes discuss Jimi Hendrix’s use of the wah-wah effect, or which Zeppelin album is best. I say ‘I’ and ‘III’, he goes for ‘II’ and ‘IV’, or vice versa, depending on both of our moods.
I ask him why he doesn’t start a band, but he seems content with just practising. I know he isn’t. Two of my best High School friends played (upright) bass and clarinet. In 1985 we played together for one afternoon and even gave ourselves a name. Boris Becker was a sensation at Wimbledon, and it just seemed logical to name ourselves the Boom Boom Becker Band. We played free funk jazz punk, Teutonic and powerful, like Wagner on acid, like this Becker kid on the holy grass of Wimbledon. It was just one afternoon.
I also wrote back then, and I still do. Masses of poetry, an autobiographic collection of short stories and a half-finished novel. I stopped the novel at 130 pages, when I lost the plot and the magic of the story. Now I just write blog entries about music. In 30 years of writing I once sent my work to a publisher. They rejected it with a two-line response.
Fear is a man’s best friend, it presents itself in many forms and shapes. My fear disguises itself as plans and opportunities, I always have new plans to make and opportunities to go after. I never truly followed my passion. Objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they seem, and my son is more like me than I’m ever willing to admit. Making him start a band would make me a successful parent. It would be the most obvious defeat of our common gene pool.Tweet