Tracks of my Years: Dad Rock

Tracks of my Years
You know how when you’re younger, there’s music that you like, and then there’s music that your Dad listens to?

My marriage was a bit like that.

I got hitched to someone quite a bit older than me and so approximately 15% of all the conversations during our relationship centred on how I apparently didn’t “understand” music because I didn't own a host of apparently crucial albums that were released BEFORE I was born. I remember how my then-husband literally couldn't understand how I wasn't excited beyond measure when I interviewed Roger Dean. Until I stopped him mid-rant to ask who "Yes" were, anyway. 

Being a mature person and all-round brilliant wife, I obviously refused on principle to listen to anything my ex requested while we were married, instead taking a perverse delight in telling him the names of every member of S Club 7 and making him listen to the White Stripes and singing ‘la-la-la’ when he said they were just ripping off Led Zeppelin.

Ironic, then, that after splitting from my ex I found myself best friends with someone only a couple of years older than me who is a Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones geek, and makes me listen to all kinds of Dad Rock.

One of my favourite memories of recent years is of his expression the day he first heard my Glee CD, including the cover of "Jump". I thought he was going to cry as he said, "This is not Van Halen, Sally."

Anyway, it was my friend who introduced me to the track below, Ready for Love, by Bad Company. I first heard it in my friend’s car, late at night, as we were driving home along the docks after a late-night cinema trip, and I loved it. But I still feel a bit weird to think that this was made before I was even born. Cripes. 

For those without sound, the lyric is:

Walking down this rocky road,

Wonderin’ where my life is leading

Rolling on, to the bitter end

Finding out along the way what it takes to keep love living

You should know, how it feels my friend.

I want you to stay

I want you today

Now I’m on my feet again

Better things are bound to happen

All my dues, surely must be paid

Many miles and many tears,

Times were hard but now are changin’

You should know, that I’m not afraid…

I’ve been listening to it a lot this lately, which suggests I’m basically becoming middle-aged and pre-disposed to love Dad Rock. Either that or it’s just a good tune. I like to think it's the latter. 

Prog rock is still shit, though.



Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. Dan Thornton
    8th May 2011 / 11:21 pm

    Without claiming the stereotype is completely representative of everyone, I think this tends to be a more male/female split than an ages one.
    Blokes are the ones who more often tend to have their CDs in alphabetical and chronological order, and know that James Jamerson of the Motown rhythm section used a Fender bass, whereas ladies more often tend to own a random assortment of CDs related to whatever they heard on the radio and hummed along with for a bit.
    And there’s some good prog rock – you can’t go wrong with a bit of Rush for example. Then again, I think I’ve managed to find stuff I like in pretty much every genre now, although opera is still a bit of a mystery to me unless it’s been used in a film soundtrack – and I might have been lucky to have a dad that not only liked rock, but also had a fine collection of classic soul records…

  2. 8th May 2011 / 11:31 pm

    “Ladies more often tend to own a random assortment of CDs related to whatever they heard on the radio and hummed along with for a bit”
    Wow. Really? You’re going with that?
    Although, to be fair, yes, I have no clue what sort of guitar anyone ever used. But I’ve interviewed Roger Dean and Flea has played with on of the Led Zep members’ kids so I reckon we get some points for that.

  3. 8th May 2011 / 11:49 pm

    The time to worry is when you start “Dad dancing”.
    By the way, my CDs are stored in alphabetical order of artist, and I’ve seen Yes live. Does that make me a woman or a Dad (or both?!)?
    I blame my upbringing – my Dad is a jazz musician, so I had to start listening to the rock I thought he should be playing!

  4. 9th May 2011 / 6:52 am

    You can’t beat a good bit of dad rock, Sally. Love it when Talking Heads or Zappa start blasting from the radio. It instantly transports me back to my childhood. I reckon the best music was written pre my existence; Bowie, Hendrix, Dylan, the Who… Genius.
    And Dan, wow… That takes us into another area of gender v sex. Child needs breakfast so I’ll leave it there.

  5. Nikkii
    9th May 2011 / 10:43 am

    On this subject I must be a bloke. My ex had absolutely no interest in music and it was just weird. My children were lulled to sleep with Pink Floyd, Rush, Yes, Genesis…. all stored in alphabetical then chronological order.
    Thank gawd Neil and I hooked up again. We have flown to Kansas to see Rush, paid hundreds of pounds for front row seats at Peter Gabriel and I’m sure one day I’ll persuade him to a Yes gig…. he doesn’t get The Doors tho. Can’t win them all 😉

  6. 9th May 2011 / 7:44 pm

    We went to a wedding recently. The DJ, clearly a dad, put on the Journey version of Don’t Stop Believin’. I still sang and danced like Rachel (and Finn) from Glee. After 17 Bacardi Breezers I had no longer had any shame.
    Your last line made me LOL.