When I was 11 I found Abba. I had managed to secure an alarm clock radio for a birthday, a thing of great beauty in my eyes. It was a huge low rectangular box, with a red digital display, and it took up almost all of my bedside table. My water glass perched precariously on the only remaining corner, and I frequently knocked it off in the middle of the night. My once towering stack of books had to be relegated to floor beneath. I didn’t care. I had an alarm clock radio and I listened to Dave Lee Travis when I woke, and ‘couldn’t’ come down for dinner on a Sunday until Simon Bates had delcared No.1.
I think it was probably my Dad who had decided on the gift. My mother openly disliked my music tastes, telling me at 15 how silly I was for ‘wasting’ my birthday money on a Human League cassette tape. I spent hours rewinding and replaying my tapes, trying in vain to fathom all the lyrics, until they eventually stretched and resembled drunk cats. My mother would probably declare them drunk cats even when they were in pristine condition.
What began with Abba progressed through Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and Soft Cell, as I begged for ruffled shirts and knickerbockers. Bananarama became my role models, and Nick Heyward was blue-tacked to the ceiling above my bed. My mum
My daughter is now 11, my son 8, and they have both had very determined tastes in music for as long as I can remember. 5SOS and the Vamps are on their Spotify playlist. Little Mix make Bananarama look like angels, and I worry I am becoming my mother when I declare Ariana Grande’s outfits unfit for the eyes of anyone not old enough to read Playboy.
The difference in this picture is that I actually have to confess to liking their tastes in music myself. I’m a huge fan of Adele and my favourite tune right now is Twenty One Pilots’ Stressed Out. My husband is in danger of turning my children to classical music and punk, such is his love of Katy Perry and Daft Punk. Where Wham saw my mother locking herself in the living room with the Spinners and a box of chocolates, I’m more likely to know the lyrics of my kids’ favourite records than they are.
I had a play with this juke box tool with my children today. I wanted to see if they liked music from every decade as much as I do. It turns out they already knew most of them, the Bug nodding along to Brown Eyed Girl, and GG knowing most of the words to Hotel California. We played beat the intro and I managed to Get Lucky quicker than they did, while they recognised Billy Joel with no hesitation. Is it a generational thing, this ability of parents nowadays to enjoy the same music as their kids? Or is it just me who isn’t stuck in one decade from my teens?
Have a go. If nothing else it will provide some fun and games with the kids over the summer holidays; and the next time there’s a family party everyone will be on the dance floor, from 3 to 93!
*I have been compensated for my time in writing this post. All editorial copy is my own.