it’s only rock and roll but i like it

For this week’s column at the LA Weekly, I planned to write about some significant moments in my musical education, including my discovery of KROQ around 1987 and attending the Concert for the Masses in 1988. I started at the beginning, and wrote about listening to music with my dad when I was a little kid in the 70s. My brain refused to let me write the column I thought I wanted to write, and instead created something very different. I fought it for a couple of days, until I finally just gave in and let my brain write what it wanted to write:

It’s Only Rock and Roll but I Like It: Music as a Soundtrack to Life

My dad loved classic rock, so when I look back on my childhood, The Beatles, Boston, Heart, The Doobie Brothers, and Fleetwood Mac provide the soundtrack. Twenty-nine years later, I can’t listen to “Second Hand News” without hearing the unique sound of his VW bus’s engine just underneath it in my memory. Most people who listen to “Black Water” hear Patrick Simmons on vocals, but not me. I hear my dad, modulating his voice to hit all the different parts of the harmonies during the chorus. When I hear anything off Boston’s eponymous debut, it’s accompanied by the steady sound of a hammer driving nails into cedar wood. Dad listened to that album a lot while I helped him build a gate for our side yard in the usual eight year-old manner: by wearing an oversized tool belt and handing him nails while I stayed out of the way. I’m sure it’s possible to listen to Dreamboat Annie without giant earphones and a 15-foot coiled black cord, but I don’t know why anyone would want to.

My editor, Erin, heard the call for an RSS feed, and got the webmonkeys at the Weekly to make one available. It isn’t the full content, but it’s enough to know if you want to exert the mighty effort of clicking the title and reading the rest of the post. You can subscribe to Wil Wheaton’s LA Weekly RSS feed here.

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