WRITTEN BY KEN KOLASINSKI
One of the funniest musical memories I have so far in my son’s short life is the way, soon after turning 3, he would react with total glee to the stomping feet and opening guitar crunch of the Sex Pistols’ “Holidays in the Sun.” It was so at odds with his world filled with Thomas the Tank Engine and the Sprout channel that his unbridled joy at a song filled with so much anger made me laugh every time I’d play it on the iPod.
The reaction even baffled the Pistols’ Glen Matlock when we met up with him a couple years back in Allentown after an acoustic show with Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls. It got even more baffling after I explained to Liam that Matlock helped write the iconic song that generated such a happy reaction in him.
Without skipping a beat, an elated Liam threw his arms around Matlock and gave him a hug the both amused and bewildered the former Sex Pistol. I can’t think of that surreal moment without laughing out loud.
So now, at 7 Liam has come up with another bizarrely funny music memory for me to file away as he has adopted one of my not so great traits – the inability to fall asleep without something playing in the background. I’ve read all sorts of things about how unhealthy it is for your sleep patterns and all the things it does to keeping your mind engaged, but with out at least something on, I’ll toss and turn and struggle to disengage my racing mind from all I didn’t get to that day or what’s coming up tomorrow.
So what helps Liam fall asleep at night, you ask?
In a turn almost equally was puzzling as his love of “Holidays in the Sun,” it’s the Beastie Boys.
Yes, your confusion is equal to mine. Hey, I love the Beastie Boys as much as anyone else, but I’ve never thought of them as something to relax to at the end of a long day.
Apparently, after a day filled with lesson in spelling and math and all the other things a first grader has to contend with, there’s nothing like hitting play on “Paul’s Boutique” and waiting for the next flight to dreamland.
When he first told me of this, I thought he had to be kidding. Liam is starting to develop a keen sense of humor and seems to delight in the moments when he can make me genuinely laugh. This was one of them.
I asked him some questions about it, but sure enough he rattled off enough song titles and lyrics that I couldn’t not believe him.
And of course, willing parent that I an, I set him up with the Beastie Boys at bedtime, wished him a good night and turned out the light.
I was still dubious about the whole thing. Really? The Beastie Boys at bedtime? I waited about 20 minutes and quietly crept down the hall.
I could hear “Hey ladies!!!….get funky…” just before the familiar cowbell as I approached his doorway.
I looked around the corner into Liam’s room.
Sure enough, he was out cold, arm flung high over his head.
The next night he was sound asleep by the time “Sabotage” came on, the following he was mumbling incoherently to himself, fast asleep during “Intergalactic.” I wondered if the soft noises coming from his mouth were him subconsciously rapping along.
The Beastie Boys aren’t a nightly thing, sometimes it’s a Star Wars radio show, sometimes he’s fallen asleep even before I come to tuck him in for the night. But the trio from New York City feature regularly enough in our bedtime plans.
I gave it a shot one night, just to see if I could pull it off. No luck. I switched over to the Phillies and was down for the count before the end of the inning.
ONE LAST TIME? … Did you manage to get tickets for Sir Paul at the Wells Fargo Center on Father’s Day? I know you can never say never with much in music, but you have to at least consider there’s only going to be so many chances left to see one of the Beatles in Philadelphia. I was happy to see that McCartney kept the ticket prices very reasonable for this show – the only arena show in the US as of right now – with the top ticket at $254 and the cheapest at a low, low $29.50 (!!!). I’m pretty sure I paid more than $29.50 to see Macca when he made his long awaited return to Philadelphia back in the summer of 1990.
Ken Kolasinski’s On Another Note column appears regularly in Ticket.