Sunday, September 25, 2005

Electric Guitar

We bought the kid an electric guitar so she can rock out between bouts of Gambeboy gaming, skateboard riding, and TV watching. So she is doing me proud right now as she slouches in front of the boob tube with her axe on her lap, strumming away to the sight of Chef Tony showing off his miracle Ginzu knives.

Of course, I harbor the fantasy that she’ll grow up to be a rock star, supporting me in my dotage in a style to which I’m not accustomed, but which I’m sure I could get used to. I think I’d make a great stage dad; I could see myself smoking cigars and arguing with promoters about how many bottles of Dom Perignon are required to be delivered to the star’s dressing room after the show.

It’s pretty amazing to me how quickly the eight year-old adopts the teenager’s attitude when she’s got an electric guitar strapped around her neck. The eyelids droop, the shoulders hunch; and I could swear the lip curls just like a little Elvis. I wonder if Mozart’s dad noticed the same changes when little Amadeus sat down at the harpsichord.

One of the great regrets of my life is that I didn’t stick with the bass guitar in junior high; I’ve always thought I really missed out by not being in a rock band during my formative years. Surely my support for and tolerance of the kid’s aspirations to be a guitar god are informed by that sense of loss. And besides, I look forward to the day I can rise to my feet in a sports arena, fire up my cigarette lighter, and call for an encore from my kid on stage.

Right now, all the songs sound a bit like Sonic Youth: it’s the wall of noise falling down across the bedroom floor. I’m happy to hang with that for now; if she starts playing country rock, though, the power shuts off.


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