I don’t know about you, but one of the biggest chores for me as a parent is dressing my kid every day. I can barely pull off changing my clothes every day, and by barely, I really mean rarely.
What helps me out immensely with dressing my daughter is embracing something that not all people are in favor of: a uniform. I went to private school and actually was relieved that I had a limited selection of clothing to choose from. You’d be amazed how creative you can be within limits…
Choose one or two basic pieces that all else will be built around. It’s back to school for most kids this week and that got me thinking about fun “uniforms” inspired by some of the artists Rockabye Baby covers. Then I came across this news item from Spin:
That article led to my “back-to-school assignment:” Come up with kid-appropriate outfits using my all-time favorite uniform — black T-shirt and blue jeans! — that would have a Reznor edge and Kanye kick to make the day a little more rockin’ with a great soundtrack to boot!
We humans love to destroy stuff. Whether we are giving in to our childish tendencies, releasing built-up frustrations or simply following a cultural tradition, the ritual of breaking and smashing objects brings many of us a sense of pleasure. And by no means is this a recent phenomenon. The ritual actually dates all the way back to antiquity.
Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that suggests many extinct cultures participated in ceremonies involving destroying objects. In some parts of the world it was believed that doing so allowed the object’s spirit to accompany its owner in the afterlife. While in other parts of the world it was considered an act of military conquest; for instance, an invading army destroying the statues of a conquered king.
I like to think that archaeologists many years from now will consider adding another example of ritually killing an object to their studies: guitar smashing. That’s right…smashing, pounding and even setting the guitar on fire. It has become the ultimate rock ’n’ roll move that is mostly associated with male rockers, though there’s been a movement to get girls into it too. (Check out this guitar smashing workshop proposal for young girls.)
Notable guitar smashers include The Who’s Pete Townshend, Kiss’ Paul Stanley, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, and the most legendary of all ritual guitar smashers, Jimi Hendrix. Each of these musicians pounded, smashed and burned their instruments into oblivion. And then there is D, my daughter and little rocker.
Her moment was not as dramatic as Townsend, Stanley, or Hendrix, but it was still very cool. She simply pointed to her guitar with her finger, which is her way of saying, “Papa, get off the couch and get me what I want.”
I gave the guitar to her and then she (unintentionally, I believe) smashed it into two pieces over her chair. Not bad for a one-year old. Yes, we were sad to see this thoughtful birthday present from our dearest friends lying on the ground in pieces. (They forgave her, by the way.) But if this is a sign of things to come then we will have a lot to look forward to when she is older.
Who knows, maybe in the distant future an archaeologist with a love for rock music (sound like someone we know?) will uncover one of D’s broken guitars and become a renowned expert on the ritual of guitar smashing.
For more archaeological lessons from the daddy-sphere, click HERE, and see all our instrument-related posts HERE.
Happy 48th birthday to our favorite industrial rocker, Trent Reznor!
To celebrate, we have a few fun facts about Trent’s childhood before he was a rock star/record producer/movie score composer, etc., etc., etc. The catch: Some are true . . . and some are false! Do you think you can differentiate fact from fiction? Answer them all correctly, send your guesses to email@example.com and you could win a copy of Lullaby Renditions of Nine Inch Nails!
True or False: 5 Facts (or Fake Facts) You May Not Have Known About Trent’s Childhood:
1. His real name is actually Michael. His father had the same name, so to avoid confusion, he went by his middle name, Trent.
2. When living with his grandparents after his parents’ divorce, his grandmother considered pulling him out of school to focus on his piano playing in the hopes he would become a classical pianist.
3. He has an older sister named Theresa.
4. Trent was a very talented viola player and played in his school’s orchestra from junior high and on.
5. In high school, Trent played Judas in a school performance of Jesus Christ Superstar and landed the leading role in The Music Man.
Did you know that the Nine Inch Nails front man who wrote songs such as “Bite the Hand That Feeds” and “The Perfect Drug” was originally in a high school marching band? Yes, Trent Reznor, born Michael Trent Reznor had an interesting past before making the move to wearing mostly black and getting insanely jacked arms.
Reznor, who used his middle name because his father shared the same name, grew up in a Lutheran household in Mercer, PA until his parents divorced and he went to live with his grandparents. His grandmother pushed him into taking classical piano at age 5 and he showed a great interest in music.
When he hit high school, KISS and David Bowie became his main interests, though he’d go on to join his high school’s marching band and concert band. He played tuba and tenor saxophone. He also showed promise in theater, even having his classmates vote him “Best in Drama” after his roles as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and the lead in The Music Man. Yes, Trent Reznor was the lead, singing “Seventy Six Trombones” in a school play.
Later, Reznor would head to Allegheny College and join a band called Option 30. Though he’d lose interest in the band quickly and leave college after a year to head to Cleveland. There he joined a band called The Urge and later another called The Exotic Birds.
Still trying to find his sound, Reznor played keys for Lucky Pierre, The Innocent, and Slam Bamboo before landing a job at Right Track Studios as a janitor. During off hours, the owner would allow Reznor to record some demos, which would later gain the attention of several labels and the rest is history.
Baby’s cries making you wish a hero would save you? Fear not, parents, for these peaceful renditions of Nickelback’s best-loved songs will remind you what quiet sounds like. This is your child’s very own lullaby.