Mom's Rock 'n' Roll "Warning Book" Backfired
My mom warned me about rock 'n' roll. She said it was a bad influence and a crazy lifestyle. Overflowing with sex, drugs, partying, and lots of other things God didn't dig. She said stay away at all costs.
So I made a career out of it.
No, really. Not only did I not heed my caring mother's warning, I embraced rock 'n' roll with a passion and went directly down the road that she told me to avoid. I'm still on it.
I was reminded about this decision a couple of years ago thanks to the help of my friend Buddha at Changing Hands Bookstore (our neighbor at Hoodlums). She unknowingly brought over the book that my mom had once attempted to use as a "warning manual" about rock 'n' roll:
Rock: Practical Help for Those Who Listen to the Words and Don't Like What They Hear by Bob Larson.
What a title, huh? You can see why Buddha thought my fellow hoodlums and I would like it.
If you are in the music business, or the book business, that title might as well be This Book Is Going to be Fucking Funny (that's right, I said "fucking funny," because just "funny" wouldn't be enough).
She was right. We did like it. But little did she know how far down memory lane she'd be taking me.
Bible Not Working? Try This, Ya Little Hoodlum.
I recognized it right away. Mom had given it to me when I was a teenager.
As middle school drew to an end, I started to be a little more smart-ass with my coaches and teachers. I had made some new friends. Dressed a little different. Got in a some trouble. I was becoming a hoodlum.
So I think she was trying to make sure I was a good boy. You know, like from the '50s.
And just as in the '50s, she felt that good old rock 'n' roll was helping churn out bad boys, not good boys.
Mom's heart was in the right place. Her intentions were good. I knew that then and I know it now. (For the record, she wasn't all psycho and crazy like the Bible-thumping mom in Detroit Rock City. She was always friendly to my rowdy buddies, some of whom were like the kids in the movie.)
She was just a conservative, small-town girl who loved Jesus and did everything she could to be a good citizen. Like something from a Mellencamp song (or maybe a propaganda film). She wanted her son to follow in her footsteps, just as she had done with her parent's footsteps.