I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting my kids to like at least a few of the things I’ve come to love over the years. They’ve shown passing interests in comics, cartoons and a few others, but right now our biggest shared love is the band Weezer. If you’re curious about how I got into them, I wrote all about it over on UnitedMonkee.
Anyone with kids can probably guess, though, that getting there wasn’t as simple as just putting on a copy of the Blue Album and rocking out. Instead, it was a multi-stop process, one I actually started about five years ago when our daughter was just a baby. How we went from barely interested to listening to “Buddy Holly” on repeat while driving my son over to my parents’ house — we get through it three time exactly on a good day — is a fun story, so let’s jump in.
When my daughter was little and had stopped nursing, it wasn’t always easy to get her to go down at night. She’d try all manner of tricks to push bedtime, but eventually she and I wound up in the dark in her room, she in her Princess Sofia bed, me on the floor. Occasionally she’s ask me to sing her a song, which I realized was a tactic, but no one in the history of ever has actually asked that of me, so I’d give in.
That’s when I realized that I have a really hard time coming up with the lyrics to a song when the music isn’t playing. For whatever reason, the only song that would pop into my head was Weezer’s “Buddy Holly.” After a few times, I even discovered that I wasn’t starting at the beginning, but at the chorus. Eventually I got it down. Eventually her bedtime routine changed and I was no longer asked to sing.
Fast forward a few more years and I’m driving her to and from pre-school every day. She’s a fan of both The Muppets as a film and as a soundtrack which we listen to almost every single day. During Christmas we switched over to the excellent John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together.
Even though I also love both of those albums, listening to the first five or six tracks to any album every day for months can be a bit hard on the ear, brain and sanity. So, an idea popped into my head. “Hey, Lu, did I ever tell you that one of my favorite bands, Weezer, is in a video with the Muppets?”
It took some time, but eventually I was able to parlay her newfound love of “Keep Fishin'” into a few listens to Weezer’s third CD, the Green Album. It also helped that I frequently misplaced my iPod, making it impossible to listen to the Muppets (I have my old CDs in my car, but Muppets is all digital!).
Given the presence of all those CDs — I have Blue through Make Believe and Hurley in my personal collection — I was able to try a few others with the 1994’s Blue Album becoming a quick favorite. Around that same time, summer hit and I was driving around both kids at the same time. That was a very specific period of time when my son wanted to do everything his sister did, so he was all over the Blue Album too!
Thanks to all those listens, my five-year-old now has about 3/4 of the album’s songs memorized! She also loves “Buddy Holly,” but also enjoys singing along to “Say It Ain’t So,” “Undone – The Sweater Song” and “Surfwax America.” On the other hand, the boy only wants to listen to one song and one song only. He’s 2.
It was one thing to listen to an album over and over again with my daughter, but I’m fairly certain that listening to any song as much as I’ve listened to “Buddy Holly” will have an adverse effect on my mental state. On the other hand, it’s a damn joy hearing him sing “Ooh ee ooh, I look just like Buddy Holly” and “Bang, bang, knock on the door.” I mean come on!