Rock of Ages
When The Who's Pete Townshend penned his mid-1960's rock anthem 'My Generation,' a line in the song - 'hope I die before I get old' -pretty much summed up the so-called 'Generation Gap' of the era.
It was a time when parents, many from the 'Swing Generation' that came of age in the 1940s, clashed with their baby boom children on everything from pop culture to serious political issues like the Vietnam War, Civil Rights issues and the Women's Movement.
These days, Townshend, nearing his 60th birthday, is quite pleased that he is alive and well, and planning an American Tour with the Who this summer.
While subsequent generations view baby boomers as hypocritical sell-outs to crass consumerism -the very things they rebelled against in their youth - there's no doubt that the culture has never been quite the same since the likes of the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan made great art available to a mass audience for the first time.
Today, parents and their children may still harbor disagreements about their respective choices in popular music. Most parents, for instance, don't respond to hip hop while their childrens' IPods are sometimes stocked with it.
But just as often, it seems, parents and kids share their musical tastes with each other.
In Storm Lake, for instance David Miller is the de facto manager of his son Cory's band, "Sweetheart Contract."
David and Cory differ on the merits of some popular music, but they also share admiration for a number of artists.
Cory, who plays guitar for the Storm Lake High bands, will listen to Bob Dylan and with his dad shares an admiration for Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. But he also listens to a number of 'indie' bands, including 'Alkaline Trio' and 'Bright Eyes' out of Omaha, Neb.
"I'll listen to some of my dad's music on classic rock stations, but he's also willing to listen to some of the bands I like," Cory explained.
David Miller grew up listening to late 1970s bands like Aerosmith, but also was drawn to original metal band staples like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. He was also a fan of the Beatles and Dylan.
He says he finds that he enjoys some of the bands his son listens to, and both agree that they have no taste for metal bands who rap/shout instead of singing along with the music.
"I don't like the screamers," David said with a chuckle.
Added Cory: "I'd rather hear a band sing with the music instead of just shout," he said. "The indie bands that I like aren't much like the (metal rappers); the music isn't quite as harsh."
Cory added that though he enjoys some of his dad's favorite classic rock artists, the indie and alternative bands he prefers speak more to today's youth than do classic stalwarts like the Who and Rolling Stones.
"Classic rock and indie rock are sort of the same," he said. "But they are different in a lot of ways, too."
Another Storm Lake family, the Masons, agree on some music but have different tastes as well.
Jeff, a senior at Storm Lake High and a member of the Tornado bands, listens to mainstream rock as well as country.
"I like country artists like Garth Brooks, George Strait and Kenny Chesney," he said. "But I also listen to the Dave Mathews Band and other bands like Weezer and Hootie and the Blowfish.
"Both me and my dad like country," Jeff added, "but my mom doesn't like it much and listens to a lot of oldies."
Diana Mason chooses a wide variety of older music, everything from mainstream folk artists like Joan Baez to singer/songwriters like Harry Chapin and Barry Manilow.
She also listens to more current artists like Norah Jones and Josh Groban.
A baby-boomer, Diana still has the original vinyl records by the Beatles, including the 1969 release, 'Abbey Road.'
"I've listened to that a lot," she said. "It's pretty worn out at this point. I also like the sound of the vinyl recordings more than CD's."
Jeff plays baritone sax in the Storm Lake High concert band and bass clarinet in the school's jazz band.
"He'll listen to a lot of jazz, and once in a while, to some of my favorite oldies," Diana said with a chuckle.
For Storm Lake High junior Morgan Darrow, a member of the Tornado band and a standout shortstop/pitcher on the school's softball team, hip-hip, R&B and current pop chart hits are the soundtrack to her young life.
"I listen to and like a lot of different types of music," Morgan said. "I also like some alternative bands like Fallout Boy and have a few others on my IPod."
Morgan added that the Tornado softball team listens to rap and pop chart hits on a boom box during practices or to get fired up for games.
Morgan's mom Lori is an assistant coach for the Tornado softball team, and will listen to some of her daughter's music, with one exception.
"I just have never liked rap," she said. She says she listens to a lot of 70's music, including songs by the Carpenters, Queen and Meat Loaf.
For the Crippin family in Storm Lake, music is more than just a way to relax or spend leisure time.
Nick Crippin, a junior at Storm Lake High, plays clarinet in the concert band and tenor sax in the jazz band. His mother Glee teaches a voice class at Buena Vista and gives private voice lessons as well.
Nick says he likes some of the hard rock classics like Queen, but he also listens to Christian rap as well as alternative bands like 'Reliant K' and '1,000 Foot Krutch.'
"I like a lot of different types of music," Nick said. "And both my mom and I listen to country at times."
Glee remembers listening to Beatles records as she was growing up, something her parents didn't approve of.
"We listened to it anyway," she added with a chuckle. "A lot of the kids' parents back then felt the way mine did about the Beatles and other groups."
These days, Glee listens to a lot of Christian music, including artists like Point of Grace.
A member of Storm Lake's Touch of Broadway group, she also enjoys the music from old Broadway shows like Sound of Music, Oklahoma and Music Man.
"Our family listens to all types of music for the most part," she said. "It's not like it was between parents and kids in the 1960s and 1970s."