Trust Me On This
What's the one album, movie or cultural obsession you'd pass on to your kids? Famous dads share their picks
As I grew, I began to see “Star Wars” as a metaphor for so much – whether it was the natural depravity of man, or the redemption of man, or the relationship between a father and a son in Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. It encapsulated a lot of what I want to teach my children.
This album, recorded when I had been less than a year old, opened doors for me. Putting up with all the cruel dullards in my grade school, all the teachers and coaches, all the stupid kids and mean adults, had been almost unbearable. Suddenly, I wasn’t alone.
My 3-year-old daughter was transported by the song. It is hard not to feel that the title, the refrain, is sung with real insight, a real understanding about what it feels like to need the sentiment expressed therein.
In a world where we control everything, the idea that there’s something we can’t control, where we’re just participants — that’s been very powerful for me. So having my kids be involved in the tradition of wine-making would be incredible.
I think the movie is a story about a humanity that we all have, and we need to make sure it’s not asleep. Our daughters seem to have that sense of awareness of others and their needs.
The album, it seems, is a launching pad for many of my son’s great questions. Then his friend said it was bad. And I knew it had started; the inevitable war for status using musical taste.
You are some rough clay, flesh of my flesh, but the thing is, I don’t care. I simply can’t bring myself to think it matters what you love or don’t love, or rather, can’t imagine my own love for you being inflected by what you do.
What are we looking for, as we ransack our uncles’ attics and squat uncomfortably over thrift store bins? The record god Afrika Bambaataa claimed it was “the perfect beat,” but really it is what we’re always seeking: ourselves.
The book contains within it the most soul-stirring lines in American literature. What is beyond dispute is that its author swung for the fence, went for the Big One, risked everything to put his genius and all his art on the altar.
I found a copy of “The Modern Lovers” in a used record store on Cuba Street in Wellington, New Zealand. A singer either pulls you in or doesn’t. At age 17, I knew I hadn’t heard another singer like this.
Like most things you try to teach your children, you end up learning something new yourself. One notion that comes back quick is that rock ‘n’ roll is really only any good if it has a beat and you can dance to it. Children may not like a lot of things you like, but what they do, I guarantee is probably pretty damn great. Kids love the Ramones — every kid I know. Kids do not like the first Palace Brothers record.
Listen to “Low” from start to finish and you’re in for a musical awakening. It’s beauty I want, and the meeting, here, of arguably the three greatest rock music minds of their time — David Bowie, Brian Eno and Tony Visconti — delivers a beauty I had never heard before. I’m still in awe of it.
Fathers help shape the way their children see the world. But what if they could only pass down one thing -- one book, movie, album or work of culture -- for their sons or daughters to treasure the same way they do? In this essay series, sponsored by BVLGARI and
running through Father's Day, celebrated writers, musicians, athletes, actors and more share the one thing they'd like to tell their kids: "Trust me on this."
Read the earlier installments:
» Rhett Miller of the Old 97s on David Bowie's "Hunky Dory"
» New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey on "Star Wars"
» Rick Moody on the Beatles' "Let It Be"
» Celebrity restauranteur Joe Bastianich on wine
» Hero airline pilot Chesley Sullenberger on "A Christmas Carol"
» Actor Chris Eigeman on "Abbey Road"
» Novelist Matthew Specktor on taste and discovery
» Author Adam Mansbach on vinyl records
» Novelist Christopher Buckley on "Moby-Dick"
» Dean Wareham on Jonathan Richman
» Peter Bauer of the Walkmen on rock music and dancing
» Lloyd Cole on David Bowie's "Low"