RUN DMC whaaat?
So, I am probably the whitest and preppiest looking gal that didn’t come out of a Ralph Lauren Ad. You would think that my taste in music wouldn’t be so completely off course from that look. I grew up with parents who literally listened to bagpipes and classical music (people to this day, don’t believe me when I tell them that my first concert was the Vienna boys choir). I never learned how to play a musical instrument, and frankly, my parents were so particular about the house being quiet that we were not allowed to have a stereo in our rooms.
So, music ended up being a huge part of my life, of course that makes sense, you tend to go from one extreme to another. I was given a Walkman, obviously it was quiet, and my Father was never bothered by my practicing my gymnastics routines without the musical accompaniment. Music wasn’t forbidden, my parents just didn’t share my passion for loud, and sometimes obnoxious music. My forays into concert going years (well, we still go to them, obviously) were pretty adventurous, and probably would have gotten me killed considering what countries I went to go see them in.
The time I went to a goth bar and wore a white t-shirt and overalls, just to listen to Jane’s Addiction – yes, everyone in the club thought I was nuts, my friend tried to explain that I should look more “goth”, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that in my books Jane’s Addiction wasn’t goth. So clean, preppy me with no makeup went to go see Jane’s Addiction.
Or wearing my school uniform to see the Cure, oops, no one is supposed to know about that one (I snuck out). I did get a lot of stares, it wasn’t a catholic school girl uniform, but it was close enough.
Then I found out RUN DMC was going to be playing in a small venue/club. I was sold on it, I went out and bought myself a ticket. A friend from University told me to go with him, he said and I quote “Maybe if you go with a couple of brotha’s you won’t get punched out – and hon, don’t wear your overalls.”
I laughed, and asked what a “Brotha” was (seriously, at the time I didn’t understand slang growing up abroad), and why he didn’t like my overalls – never did get an answer, but I figured it out when I got to the club.
Well, that night – me and my preppy arse, went off to the club with my “brothas” . Everyone, and I mean everyone stopped and gawked, I even had a few women spit at my feet (yes, it was pretty crude, but didn’t bother me), and I was called some nasty words, there are times I have a potty mouth, but wow, I had never even heard some of those words, ever! It turned out, a lot of Detroit (and I can only guess, it was from the rougher side of Detroit) had driven across the border for this concert (hence the reason for the pat down at the front, and a metal detector). I saw some friends from University, all standing in a corner feeling uncomfortable. I have never been one to be scared, I thought it was a bit odd, but since I grew up in foreign lands, I was sort of used to being the only white person in a room. For me, I was about to see history makers, and I couldn’t have cared less about the undercurrents. As the music started and RUN DMC came out, I moved to the stage, I got ribbed and shoved, but out of no where I heard ”seriously, you are a fan? – cool” came out of non other than Rev RUN’s mouth. I smiled and looked down, yes I was wearing overalls, and realized I really DID look out-of-place, but at least I didn’t get beaten up, I was at least wearing my Adidas.
So, naturally when I got pregnant I just kept on listening to all of my music. It was that fateful day, when a colleague tried to give me a lullaby c.d, you know the one’s, famous music pieces that have been instrumentalized, and plain old ruined because parents think that the original will ruin babies sensitive pallet. Sorry, if you have them, I just thought that my child would be introduced to Pink Floyd, not the doctored version with a violin and piano. I didn’t think it was an issue until I went to a baby drop in at the community centre, well, there it was, a discussion on introducing our babies to different sounds and senses. Well, all the Moms turned on me like a pack of wolves when I said that I listened to all genres of music, including The Pogues, lady Gaga and Jay Z, yes, I listen to classical, and no I don’t listen to it loudly. Every Mother in that room thought, and basically told me I was a lousy Mother because I listened to so much music. According to one Mother, my child was going to grow up a gangster (I didn’t tell her that my overall clad self went to a RUN DMC concert). I politely smiled and walked out of the room. I am not sure what the big deal was or is, some people think I am too liberal, but I figure it is better to expose children to everything that can’t hurt them. there is poetry and meaning in all music. Growing up abroad, music was my only commonality with many people my age, when you are introduced to new languages and cultures, music is a great learning tool. Mariachi’s played at my wedding, I have gone to see Peking opera, and I love traditional Filipino music. When you are open to different types of music, you are open to learning different cultures, it is a form of expression, and at times, was my only companion. Is it really a big deal that I listen to everything but lullaby’s?