A local musician friend of ours from Kimberley BC, Don Glasrud, made a comment to me a few years ago that has stuck with me ever since. Don is a guitar performer and guitar instructor, who instructed our son in guitar. He is probably one of the most intuitive guitarists around…..and certainly one of the best guitar instructors between Cranbrook BC and New York City!
Anyway, one of Don’s most stimulating comments, among others, was this (to paraphrase): “young people’s music is spiritual for them”. This stuck with me, mainly because I am thinking: “what do you mean?” I knew he was referring to the group in the 15-25 year old age bracket so this gave me a bit of insight into what he was referring to but what he really did was to shed some light onto my own experience.
In retrospect, the music that I listened to from the age of 15-25 informed a formative state of life. In my own experience, this ranged from Dylan, to The Doors, the Guess Who, Al Stewart, Leonard Cohen……and it goes on and on. They spoke to our generation,, for better or worse when we were seeking our place in this world and the poets were (among others) part of that process.
These thoughts all came together after we attended at Gordon Lightfoot concert in Vancouver BC last weekend. Gordie, now 76 years old, is quintessential Canadian and in his words “damn lucky to still be doing this” (after two death scares). Gordie played Gordie, nothing more, nothing less….he delivered our youth. In the same trip, we attended a Jason Mraz concert which was exceedingly more talented and entertaining than Gordie’s concert…..yet Gordie spoke to the spirit of my own youth…misguided as my youth was at times!
So where am I going with this? Well nowhere really…….the concept has been made……we are deeply influenced in our younger years which sets the stage for our worldview and how we live in this world. Music is a big part of it. As parents, we can’t control the music and its influence, but we can still be the biggest influence in our childrens’ lives if we are there for them.