When I was in 5th grade, I joined one of those Columbia House record clubs, where you send in a penny and you get 10 records, and then you just have to buy three more "at regular price" before you can then "cancel at any time." Turns out, those record clubs were kind of a scam. Live and learn.
On the plus side, that is how I ended up with the Eagles' Hotel California record.
I can't remember all of the records I got for that penny, or how I chose them. I have a feeling I asked my Uncle Danny for advice about what to choose, because he was a cool teenage drummer at the time. The ones I remember clearly - because they are brilliant - are Hotel California, ELO's Out of the Blue, and Crosby Stills and Nash's CSN record - the one with "Just a Song Before I Go," where they're sitting in the boat on the cover.
This was the time when I really started developing my own opinions about music, and my own personal preferences. I started listening to FM radio, critically. Before that, I just listened to stuff my parents had around, like the Sound of Music soundtrack and Elvis' Blue Hawaii, or whatever they played at the pool or the roller skating rink in the late 1970s (disco and KISS).
Hotel California had a huge effect on me. I listened to it over and over, and stared at the album cover for hours. I feel bad for kids today who don't get to experience the joy of the album cover. I'm glad vinyl is making a comeback, although it's clearly more for people like me than for kids, most of whom are happy with their soul-less MP3 technology.
Daphne is starting to develop her own taste in music, although it is, whether we meant it to be or not, strongly influenced by Kevin and me. At least it is for now. She is a classic rock and alternative kid, through and through. She has no tolerance for today's pop music. I try to tell her to be more open minded...it's not ALL terrible. I have to admit I like a little Justin Timberlake now and then. (I am right there with her on Taylor Swift, though. Call me a snob, but just no). But she is all about bands like Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Kinks, and so forth, including of course, the Eagles.
She recently said something to me about how it's not fair that she will never be able to go see all the bands she likes because most of them aren't bands anymore (and a lot of them, sadly, aren't ALIVE anymore), so when I saw that there were still some tickets left for the Don Henley show at Wolf Trap last night, I decided to take her. School night or no school night.
We went with her best friend, Abby, and Abby's mom. We packed a picnic, and got there super early to get good seats on the lawn. And then, it stormed. While we were waiting on line to get in. Fortunately, Abby's mom had four ponchos (!) and we didn't get nearly as wet as everyone who wasn't prepared. And then, the skies cleared.
And we had our picnic.
And we watched the show.
My "classic" phone does not take good pictures from far away, but you get the idea.
It was greatness from start (Seven Bridges Road) to finish (Desperado), and Daphne could hardly stop smiling. Just before the encore, it started to rain again. We took cover under a bridge, but, being the experienced concert-goer that I am, I noticed that the security guards had let their guard down a little, so I grabbed Daphne's hand and we moved into the aisle under the part of the venue that is covered, getting us much closer to the action for the encore. I could tell Daphne was hesitant to be a rule-breaker, but when the first notes of Life in the Fast Lane started, she forgot to care about the rules. So much so, that she even DANCED. Daphne doesn't dance. Ever.
The next song, ironically, was All She Wants to do is Dance, and at that point it was clear what was coming next. Daphne was giddy, and I almost cried, standing there with my happy little girl, singing all the words to Hotel California with a few thousand other people including Don Henley.
Today, she and Abby wore their concert t-shirts to school, just like my friends and I used to do.
Eventually, Daphne will branch out and discover her own music. Or maybe she will stay on her current path. I'm just happy to be part of it.