I don’t envy you. Your life is under a magnifying glass, everything you say or do is being judged. You can’t even say you love your father. That’s the world we are living in. Maybe you’re being compensated in money, attention and business opportunities, but it still must be painful. I would never want to trade places, not even for a day or metaphorically. I’m sorry. I can’t stand people doubting my abilities and my judgement and in your case they seem to be doing that all the time. I guess the only way to deal with it is to retreat into your own echo chamber and only listen to friendly media outlets. I don’t blame you.
Still, I’m not writing you to talk about public opinion and how to ward off negativity, I’m writing you to give you musical advice. It must be weird to know that all major musicians, all bands that mean anything, be it commercially or artistically, all hate your father. Some are indifferent, that’s true, but most…wow…they really hate him and his policies. He knows it, of course, and so do you. I doubt it’s much of a problem for him, your father doesn’t strike me as particularly interested in music, but for you…I mean…what music to play, what is still allowed, what is pure?
Black music is clearly out of the question. Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, all these black R&B and Rap artists, they all hate The Donald, and not without reason. Hardly the right musical camp for you. Besides, they’re all part of the liberal Hollywood elite anyway. Maybe Kanye West is an option. He was close with your father once. Still, better not take any risks and ignore black music altogether. Is the situation any better on the white side? Hardly. Guys like Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber are foreigners, better not bring them into your home. Other artists look safe on the surface but still have foreign roots. So no Lady Gaga, no Bruno Mars and no Ariana Grande! Katy Perry clearly hates your father, so I guess that only leaves Taylor Swift. Did you check her credentials?
Maybe I got it all wrong, maybe you listen to music in a totally different way, and maybe you’re capable of switching off your brain and just feel the music. When I bought ‘Combat Rock’ I didn’t dare to play it with my father in the room. I was too scared of upsetting him. He taught me everything about The Beatles, we shared a love of The Beatles and now I deserted him. I left him for The Clash. I couldn’t just listen to the music and enjoy it. That’s the power of guilt.
You also love your father, so you know about the guilt and the hurt. It’s always love that hurts. You crave for his acceptance and that naturally extends to music. You want him to love what you love, but how can you love music made by artists who hate your father? You can try to wish it away, and probably your father doesn’t even realise, but you will hear it in every refrain, every chorus, every bridge and every beat. It’s totally unfair. I assume you are stronger than me and that you can block negative side- and afterthoughts at least to some extent. I wouldn’t be able to do that. I would choose my father and amputate my other love, the music.
So here we are, at the end of this letter, and I still can’t give you sound musical advice. It’s probably best to only listen to dead pop stars, white male classical composers (even though most of them are European), good old rock ‘n roll music from the 50’s and a carefully selected set of Bluegrass, Folk and Country and Western artists. But if you feel naughty and rebellious…just listen to Laibach, over and over again. You would at least understand the irony.Tweet