For better or worse, we've come a long way from the days when rock & roll was an entirely pure form of generational rebellion. Even in my lifetime, I've seen fathers go from older dudes who yelled, "Turn that racket down!" to roving bands of aging dads in jeans and t-shirts who are more likely to ask the kids if they can sit in and jam with their emo bands. Where I live, when a dad tells you that he's taking his kid hunting, he generally means record hunting at Amoeba Music.
I've been thinking about these issues lately because four talented dads in my neighborhood -- Freddy Curci, Rick Neigher, Adam Gorgoni and Chris Cote -- got together recently and formed an acapella group that's fittingly called Who's Your Daddy! These are all men with distinguished credits in music, as well as film and television, who have gotten together to raise their voices for fun and profit too.
In theory, I confess that I was scared. In practice, these gentlemen have produced one of the best and most joyous albums I've heard all year. Their debut album -- also called Who's Your Daddy! -- is full of vivid, inventive and high-flying vocal versions of rock, pop and soul standards from The Cars' "Let's Go" to Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" to Earth, Wind & Fire's "Shining Star" to The Doobie Brothers "Long Train Runnin'" and a concluding medley of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Someone To Love." The results are uniformly spectacular -- a perfect mature blend of middle-aged Glee and middle aged crazy. How cool can a bunch of dads singing without instruments be, you ask? So damn good that our kids like it too.
Check out Who's Your Daddy! at http://www.whosyourdaddymusic.com
That said, because I can't sing like Who's Your Daddy can, here's my personal playlist for rock & roll dads everywhere. Because as I see it, as I wish that rock & roll dad Kurt Cobain had realized, Neil Young got it wrong in "My My, Hey Hey (Into The Black)." As dads of a certain age already understand, it's actually better to fade away than to burn out completely.
So before you fade away, please add your songs for rocking and rolling dads everywhere.
"Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" - The Temptations
"Forever Young" - Bob Dylan
"Daddy Could Swear, I Declare" - Gladys Knight & The Pips
"Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" - Morrissey
"Papa Don't Take No Mess" - James Brown
"Middle Age Crazy" - Jerry Lee Lewis
"Come To Poppa" - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
"Anything Like Me" - Brad Paisley
"A Father And A Son" - Loudon Wainwright III
"Daddy Cool" - The Rays
"Leader Of The Band" - Dan Fogelberg
"Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line" - Waylon Jennings
"Don't Cry Daddy" - Elvis Presley
"Walk Like A Man" - Bruce Springsteen
"Gone Daddy Gone" - Violent Femmes
"The Things We've Handed Down" - Marc Cohn
"Dance With My Father" - Luther Vandross
"My Father's Gun" - Elton John
"Isn't She Lovely" - Stevie Wonder
"Daddy Don't Live In That New York City No More" - Steely Dan
"Father & Son" - Cat Stevens
"Oh Father" - Madonna
"Father & Daughter" - Paul Simon
"Who's Your Daddy?" - Toby Keith