I’m not that old … I just turned 49.
I don’t want to brag but, man, I was so cool back in the day! I was a top morning drive-time DJ on some of the biggest radio stations in America. Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, there wasn’t a musical act I hadn’t interviewed and many of them became friends.
I hung out backstage with all the biggies:
New Kids on the Block
The Beastie Boys
The Go Go’s
Marky Mark (Mark Wahlberg – Funny story… tell you that one later)
The Fresh Prince (Will Smith)
And on and on and on…..
The real life stories I have from over the years could literally fill a book, and someday I may write it all down.
Today, I’m a columnist for The Washington Times, one of America’s most respected newspapers, a talk show host but more importantly, I’m a single father with two daughters: My oldest just turned 20 and is off to college, and my youngest turns 14 soon. To them, it seems, I am the lowest of nerds on the planet. Sure I can recite lyrics to many hits by “One Direction” (Do you know what Georgia Rose’s father does for a living? HA! Didn’t think so!) I know who Ed Sheeran is and I’ve even had dinner with The Kardashians! However in the eyes of both my daughters nothing makes me cool. Nothing!
My youngest daughter’s school choir was preparing for one of their big yearly performances, ” ‘80s Under The Stars!”
When I was growing up, we would have ‘50s sock-hop dances at school. I could do the bass part from “Blue Moon” as good as the original guy (or so I thought). Elvis, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly and Frankie Lymon were all before my time but I knew their songs as if they were hits in my day. “Grease” and “American Graffiti” were big at the movies, “Happy Days” and “Laverne and Shirley” were #1 and #2 on TV, but those shows were about the old days! Way before I was born, and today I realized … We were closer to the ‘50s and ‘60s when I was a kid in the ‘70s than we are today to the 1980s.
“Mork and Mindy” or “The Six Million Dollar Man” are to my kids as old and outdated as “Howdy Doody” and “Uncle Milty” was to me. Maybe it is ancient history, Mork just passed away and for $6 million in today’s money, they might give Astronaut Steve Austin a hearing aid, a knee and hip replacement, a motorized scooter and toss in a reverse mortgage to seal the deal. Not quite as cool as he was “back in my day.”
I remember having respect for the older shows. We watched “The Munsters” and “Leave It To Beaver” in black and white. I dreamed of Jeannie, Mary Anne and Ginger, too, even though they were from a different generation. But today with YouTube and Facebook everybody is a star! There is little connection to the music or pop culture of any time before the olden days of, say, the George W. Bush presidency. That is a long time ago for my kids.
Tonight it hit a new low for my family. My youngest and I were talking about the song list in preparation for her ” ‘80’s Under The Stars” show. She was telling me some of the songs they’ll be performing — “Thriller,” “Let’s Hear It For The Boy,” “Footloose,” “Don’t Stop Believin’. ” A nice selection. I asked jokingly, “Are you guys doing ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’?” She said, “Don’t tell me. Tthat was that band you and mommy used to like. The Beatles, right?”
I hang my head with shame, shock and disbelief! To confuse Wham! with the Beatles. As a father, I can only apologize to my fellow music lovers for not educating my children well enough.
Please forgive me, I promise to do better.