Featured Column: Bring Out Your Dead
Dean Budnick: Plenty of young people go through a rebellious phase where they try to push back against their parents’ input and influence. Did you go through any of that? You mentioned pop music. Derek Trucks has explained that he has a no tolerance policy when it comes to his kids listening to disposable pop in his presence.
Grahame Lesh: Well, I did mention my Metallica phase, which I think for both of my parents, they assumed it was just loud noise (laughs). I mentioned my dad being into really complicated classical music and especially modern classical, the really weird twentieth century stuff, and the more complicated and interesting the rock music he’s listening to is, I think he likes it. The gunshot snare drums and the turned-up-to-11 guitars, I think he even appreciates the musical stuff that Metallica did. That’s probably the closest I got to rebelling.
I was intrigued by the above passage in the terrific site feature written by our esteemed editor and scene guru, Dean Budnick. The Good Doctor spoke with one of Phil Lesh’s sons, Grahame, about a relevant topic to me since I have three sons, and it is assumed that, in our house, the incense is burning 24/7, Jerry is often riffin’ on a “Dark Star” noodle from ’72, or Trey has just stomped an effect pedal, and the Ray lads are continuously indoctrinated into this tribe of ours.
Alas, there is not a lot of music of any kind being played around the house. I tend to listen for research purposes these days, and the boys are often off doing other creative endeavors. What is interesting is the nature of censorship that is implied when a parent short-circuits a child’s listening choices, i.e. the statement about Derek Trucks (which was mentioned to me by Derek, as well, in an interview a few years back; but, I mistakenly thought he was kidding).
When our oldest boy, Conor, was very young, we listened to everything in every genre ever concocted, and several genres that have gone unidentified to this day—a proud mixture of quiet and loud, weird and beautiful, linear and non-linear music. From classical to punk, Conor heard it all, but as time has passed (he is only 9, so his musical interests will explode soon), and his twin brothers arrived to take part in family fun, music has become more of a regimented routine, only to be spun during rare occasions like “you have GOT to hear this bit of magic” bent-noggin times.
So, reading the words of Messrs. Budnick and Lesh has inspired me to remember to open that doorway back up to the lads to listen when they want and to whom they want. I am pretty sure my mom—who schooled us on the classics, folk, and a smidgen of pop back in the day—didn’t particularly care for my early fetish for Commander Cody, Paper Lace, Roy Clark, and, gasp, the Bay City Rollers, but, to her eternal credit, she never took the needle off my records.