Punk Rock parenting certainly offers it’s challenges. As your kids try to find their way in the world and are presented with the challenge of trying to identify with potential friends that most likely come from very different religious and political backgrounds they have their struggles and ask lots of questions. These issues help to complicate the already complicated task of raising children. Throw a divorce into the mix and now you are trying to scale Mount Everest in a denim vest and a worn out pair Vans.
Probably one of the hardest parts of being divorced is trying to deal with the kids when they are acting up and fighting. There is no one there to help you, to help separate the little hellions or to even bring any calm to a situation. It can get rough and it often ends with people getting sent to their room, sometimes that’s me! Sometimes you just have to step back or step away and take a breather.
As difficult as it’s been their Mom and I have both really tried hard to put the kids first and not put them between us. I think we have all seen too many of our friends take that too common path where the kids become bargaining chips and not respected for the people they are. I’m not a hater, I get mad or upset, but I don’t hate. I process my emotions and recognize them for they are and more on. We’ve remained friendly and civil, it is hard work sometimes. Being an asshole would be way easier, but it’s not all about me, or her. It’s about those two little people who deserve happiness, compassion and love. They don’t need two immature “adults” hurling insults at each other or using them as leverage to spite the other.
There is always the “silver lining” to any situation and I think the silver lining here is my daughter and my relationship. I’ve always bought an extra concert ticket to the big shows knowing that people don’t always have the money handy when the event goes on sale, but will be able to get it together later and pay me back. Well sometimes they pay me back. Fucken’ jerks. Sometimes that “extra” ticket would be set aside for my then wife while she decided if she wanted to go or not. Now that I was in a situation where that was not in cards I thought, as the summer concerts were going on sale, that I would meet a nice girl and probably take this unknown person to the show with me.
Well sine I seem to socially inept and have not pursued the “dating scene” I didn’t have anyone to take that extra ticket. When you are a 41 year old punk rock, metal dude, how do you date? This is a fairly small city, there are not a lot people out there in this age range that want to hang out with a guy that has dedicated his life to staying a kid, worshipping music and playing laptop politician. This is full blown subject here…We’ll move on for the sake of sparing you all my problems!
It started with seeing Van Halen. Actually that was my Dad’s ticket, he had a doctor’s appointment and couldn’t make it over for the show. There was no one to take and I just couldn’t see letting a ticket to see Van Halen go to waste. A lot of my friends are too “punk” or “metal” to appreciate VAN HALEN. But at some point I had a revelation…Take Evelyn! This was a big, “safe” concert. Not a punk show in a dirty, smelly, garage space with beer drinking and weed smoking everywhere. This was a big, overpriced, sports arena filled with middle-aged drunks and pot-heads who only get out once or twice a year and use an event like this to go bat-shit crazy. Like I said it was safe.
So the decision was made to take young Evie and her 10 year-old self to see one of the greatest hard/arena rock bands ever. This isn’t a review of the show so lets skip the details other than that she fell asleep! She fell asleep ¾’s the way through the show. Did she not understand the importance of this event? Did she not understand that seeing Dave and Eddie on the same stage wasn’t something that happens all the time? Come on!!! I tried to wake her but it was not happening…Oh well. She seemed to enjoy herself but when asked what she thought she said it was “okay”…But she was right. Diamond Dave kinda’ sucked. I guess it was only kind of “oaky”.
My kids sing along to ‘Sails of Charon’ all the time. Even though I had already seen the SCORPIONS once on their farewell tour I couldn’t pass up a chance to see them again at Red Rocks. Knowing that Red Rocks was awesome and the SCORPIONS are awesome it seemed awesome to invite Evie to go this awesome event. Someday she will look back and be able to share stories with her friends of seeing this legendary band at this legendary venue. As the bootleg t-shirt guy was making his rounds through the parking lot we grabbed her a tour shirt (she was wore her GHOST shirt to the show) and headed into the venue. Red Rocks is a magnificent venue and you can see just about anyone there and it is cool. I even saw the Red Rocker there one time. In any other situation Sammy Hagar is not cool, but at Red Rocks he kicked ass! With that said she was not impressed by TESLA and thought the SCORPIONS were “okay”…The fact that people fly from all over the world to see their favorite bands play this venue did not have any impact on her. Man this kid is hard to impress.
I have some issues with IRON MAIDEN and more importantly Bruce Dickinson, especially now that it has come to light that he is a war profiteer selling his drones to the US Army. I wasn’t even sure if I was gonna go to the show and money was starting to get tight but my buddy sprung for MAIDEN tickets. The lawn seats at Fiddler’s are generally “affordable” and since I didn’t pay for my ticket anyway I thought Evie might want to go. Just days before the show an IRON MAIDEN concert came up on some cable channel so the kids and I watched it while we folded laundry. Evelyn seemed genuinely excited when I asked if she wanted to go. And I was excited too. We were really starting to bond as we’d reminisce about the other concerts we had been to especially after she would see one of their videos on Metal Mania.
At MAIDEN Evie scored another parking lot tour shirt and got a pretzel and a Coke. She was feeling pretty cool but was getting antsy and restless as we suffered through the opening band. She was complaining about how tired she was but this quickly went away as IRON MAIDEN hit the stage. She hadn’t seen a show with pyro yet and was quickly won over by IRON MAIDEN’s stage show. When Eddie’s head opened up and fire came out she squeezed my hand and said “Dad, this is AWESOME!”. Yeah it was…And the show was cool too.
So we wrapped up the summer concert season with KISS and MOTLEY CRUE. This was especially cool because my Dad was going too. 3 generations of my family and we were going to see one of my favorite bands ever. I am a huge CRUE fan and Evie knows this. I used to be a huge KISS fan but…Gene Simmons…Fuck that guy! We listen to lots of MOTLEY around the homestead and both kids sing along. The 5 year old loves ‘Shout at the Devil’ and ‘Looks that Kill’ and is more vocal about his interest in CRUE, PRIEST and SABBATH, where Evie is a little shier. But since we already had a track record of shows together I figured she’s be in and because it was MOTLEY and the “guys who paint their faces like clowns” she seemed pretty damn excited.
Now here is another sidebar….How fucking lucky am I to be able to get to go to an awesome concert with my Dad and my daughter. Most families are too generationally split. But here we are, the three of us with our devil horns in the air shouting along to ‘Shout at the Devil’. Bad ass! The family that rocks together walks together! (The first time I ever saw my Dad put his hands up in the universal-heavy metal-devil-horns-way we were at a BLUE OYSTER CULT /CHEAP TRICK show and I about fell over laughing! How rad was that? The old man is hailing Satan! AWESOME!)
The show was a total kick in the ass and all three of us really enjoyed the spectacle as well as our time together. Evie and I agreed that MOTLEY CRUE stole the show, my Dad sided with KISS. Evelyn still brings it up and we talk about how rad it was. She got an “official” shirt at this show and wears it to school. She gets comments from teachers and other parents like “I saw MOTLEY CRUE once…” it embarrasses her but she always tells me about it.
The time together is so positive but another thing to make note of is her growing appreciation for music. The other day we were watching a BLACK SABBATH DVD from a 1978 performance and she asked me if I had ever seen BLACK SABBATH. I replied that I had seen them a couple of times and she asked “Was it amazing?”. And then she went into a little tale of how she just couldn’t believe she got to see MOTLEY CRUE and KISS. She was starting to not only appreciate the show but was starting to understand the significance of some of these bands. She asked if SABBATH was “amazing” because she was starting to understand that they couldn’t be anything less than amazing. She was starting to understand some of the legend that some of these bands possess.
I cannot forget though that she is her own person. People ask me “what are you going to do if she likes Taylor Swift?” I reply that I will buy her the CD and take her to the concert. Who am I to say what she can and can’t listen to? If she was into like gore or porno grind I might have some concerns but I don’t give a fuck about Taylor Swift. If she feels it and it makes her feel good than more power to her. And for the record she does like Taylor Swift.
This year Evelyn is playing the saxophone in her 5th grade band. I was so excited to hear that she wanted to join band. She is doing really well and is at the top of her band class! I’ve heard her on the keyboard and drums too! She was playing some song on a toy keyboard and I asked her where she learned it. She said she had just figured it out! Wow! The same happened with the drums. I think I was getting out of the shower or something and I could hear this beat. I thought my brother had stopped by and was kicking out some beats on the kids’ drum set. I rounded the corner and it was Evelyn sitting there! Holy shit! The kid was playing a simple yet fluid beat making use of the kick drum, snare and cymbal. I was thoroughly impressed but of course my excitement embarrasses her and causes her to stop. Oh well…
I think since the divorce Evelyn and my relationship has grown stronger. Too often divorce can pull a child away from a parent but I think for us we are in a good place. I look forward to more concerts, hikes and bike rides with her and her brother. I’m really excited to take Johnnie to a concert. The other day he asked if we could go see BLACK SABBATH. Fuck yeah! (Josh Mosh)
- I cant wait for the Hobbit movie. We’ve been reading the book, watching the animated movie from when I was a kid and listening to the record. So stoked!
- So we didn’t vote for the guy who supports big business, the banks, war and drones. We voted for the other guy that supports big business, the banks and drones. I guess we can take solace in that it seems like Obama is more in tune with social issues. I guess that was enough to offset his war mongering and clinch the election. Hooray for the two party system! Fuck…
- It blows my mind how the mainstream media seems to support Israel and their attacks on the Palestinians. I can’t stand the media! So much disinformation! The New York Times admitted they bounce everything off the White House before publishing it! And they are generally thought of as being the “fairest” newspaper in the country. WTF?
- The APEX record is starting to sound killer! I can’t wait to get this thing released! 2013!!!