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ONE SONG: Dad Rock (Music our dads learned us on)

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By: Tim Baker
Steely Dan, Neil Young, The Band, Chicago, Christopher Cross

According to Urban Dictionary, The term 'dad rock' refers to older music listened to by men who try, without success, to introduce this music to their children and other younger people. Music can only be counted as 'dad rock' if it is music that has failed to remain popular with younger generations, e.g. Dire Straits, The Yardbirds etc.. Whereas bands of the same era such as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones would not count as their music transcends the generation gap and is still popular with younger people

In this week's One Song we focus on Dad Rock anomalies: Dad rock songs we love. Below we reminisce about the songs/bands our Dads rocked out to that we hated when we were young, yet, have grown to love.

  • Tom apparently likes 70s fashion
  • Joel apparently likes to torture dogs' taints.
  • Dick apparently thinks he is just so fucking cool.
  • Emp apparently likes Peter Cetera, but enjoys the Karate Kid Peter Cetera more.
  • Tim apparently likes to rock out in a pink polo with a flipped up collar beneath a white blazer w/ turquoise elbow patches.

Tom's Pick
Steely Dan - Reelin in the Years

I gotta say that my Dad has some pretty good taste in music. I recently inherited his turntable and record collection. For the most part, I dig all the albums...except for that weird jazz phase he went through in the 80's. I find it funny how certain albums take me down memory lane. The Steely Dan albums best capture this nostalgia because when I was young I HATED them. I hated Donald Fagen's hoarse voice and I hated the jazzy arrangements, yet, for the greater part of the 80s my Dad frequently blasted the shit out of them. I remember sitting in the back seat with my sister while we obnoxiously and mockingly lip synched the lyrics on FM: "Give me some funked up music." Of course we deliberately replaced "funked" with "fucked" as we tried to give our best corny impression of Fagen. Ironically, I have grown to love those corny sons of bitches in Steely Dan. I'm the one who is now blasting the albums on the old Technics Turntable. I dug through Youtube to find a good video of a Steely Dan performance and I hit the jackpot: A) Purple velvet pants B) Bill Cosby intro C) Butterfly collars galore. Enjoy.  

Joel's Pick
Neil Young - A Man Needs a Maid

When I was a kid, despite loving the band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Mister Neil Young bugged the shit out of me. He never seemed to really be singing, but rather howling like a dog who just got his tail and taint stapled together. Then I moved the Fuck out of my parents' house, and all of a sudden, there were moments when I would hear Neil Young's voice and it would absolutely fucking floor me.

Sure most of those moments occurred in the 70s, and sure most of those moments involved me being under the influence of stress, sess or alcohol, but Neil Young will forever not suck just because my dad liked him.

Seriously, listen to this entire song and tell me he doesn't have you by the short and curlies.

Dick's Pick
The Band - The Weight

As a rule of thumb, you can easily classify any song found in the film Easy Rider as Dad Rock (TM). With this in mind, The Band is just about the greatest - no, scratch that - the EPITOME of a Dad Rock (TM) selection. You got some easygoing tunes that a dad can kick back and relax in his personal space to, but also retain a keen sense of rock which indicates that THIS dad still has his wild side. Sometimes the dad likes to turn the ol' garage boombox up a few notches on a Saturday afternoon after knocking back a couple cans of chilly Bud Dry. It's a dad's world. 

Employee's Pick
Chicago - WIshing You Were Here

My father's generational thug manifested itself in the harmonies of many a "Soft Rock" classic. Chicago was and still is his shit. When I pop in on my parents from time to time I can be guaranteed a Chicago joint quietly making itself known. I was lucky in that my father's a vinyl enthusiast so I have many of these records myself. "Wishing You Were Here" was a jawn that saw a lot of play, though. We still trade records to this day.


Tim's Pick
Christopher Cross - Ride Like The Wind

My dad used to bump "The Cross" hella hard and this was the song I always loved. I was never down with that soft ass Sailing or Moon in New York City bullshit. I was all about the hardcore drug running anthems. Christopher Cross, with Ride Like The Wind, probably dropped the hottest drug raps in the history of the game, at least until Cuban Linx dropped. Add to that the killer cameo by Michael McDonald and that scorching solo and you have a fucking jam. 

A few years back, in the early days of interneting, my friend Beef and I found a Christopher Cross fan message board and we 4chan'd that fucker, bombing it with tales of Christopher Cross as a drug mule and the true believers got pissed off. Like "BAN THESE ASSHOLES" pissed. We managed to turn the whole community on them by channeling the spirit of "The Cross" and making them look like power mad shit birds. Eventually they shut down the board, and I like to think we had something to do with that.

One last note, something I just noticed, but "The Cross" really looks like a homeless version of Andy from True Blood. Jussayin.

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