Koos Kombuis

You’re Never Too Old to Hate New Music

2013-10-16 10:24
A chance remark by Paul McCartney has put the careers of young pop band New Direction into overdrive.

"They are young and beautiful and they make good music." This is much better press than the ridicule these lads faced after aged fashion critic Joan Rivers said on Fashion Police (referring to someone’s dress): "The last time I saw so many tiny little white balls was when I shared a dressing room with One Direction."

Paul McCartney, who is 71 – almost as old as my father-in-law, who has never heard of One Direction, but younger than Joan Rivers, who should be in an old age home for the infirm but manages to retain her youthful good looks by (I suspect) eating healthy, exercising and receiving facelifts regularly, went on to admit that he had heard of One Direction from his eleven-year-old daughter.

We have something in common there. I would not have known about bands like One Direction if it had not been for my eleven-year-old daughter. She has a poster of them up on her wall. And, at least twice a week, she forces me to listen to their music – and other similar-sounding new groups - during our morning drive to school.

Twice a week. That’s because we take turns, in case you wondered. On Monday and Thursday mornings, my daughter is allowed to play her CD’s in the car. (She plays DJ via a remote control from the back seat.) On Tuesdays and Fridays, my thirteen-year-old son gets an opportunity to play us his favourite music. And on Wednesdays, I put on an album of my choice.

This makes for an eclectic listening experience. It is also a learning curve. For all concerned.

At least twice a week, my son and I are forced to endure a cacophony of young bands who, on first impression, all sound exactly the same, all sing about teenage angst, and all thump out their monotonous rhythms at top volume. It is bad most mornings. It is even worse on those mornings when I happen to have a slight hangover.

Then there is the other extreme.

Because my son has lately, and quite surprisingly, developed a liking for classical music, twice a week we are bombarded by Bach, Grieg, Vivaldi and Dvorak. My daughter and I find this equally bewildering – "too many notes", as the critic said, and not enough lyrics - but we are trying to cope. In fact, after having been exposed to it for a couple of driving hours, I am starting to like it. I tend to drive better, and am more in control of my road rage impulses when surrounded by the melodies of Beethoven and Pachelbel.

My children, on the contrary, are not impressed at all by the music I play them on Wednesday mornings. They hate Bob Dylan. They have no feeling for ACDC. The only album they have liked so far – and only marginally - was Hamlet by Night by Peter Mitchell.

Well, at least we are all getting out of our comfort zones regularly. And that can’t be bad, can it?

But, to be honest, it will take me a while before I go as far as to put in a good word for One Direction. Even after hearing their music, I can’t help seeing them as a bunch of irritating kids who pull funny faces and probably still live with their parents and haven’t learned to make their own beds.

But give me time… I’ve got a decade or two to go before I’m 71! 

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.