Uh no. But my nine-year old son did think that for a short bit after tonight's Super Bowl. The conversation was brief:
Son: Who is that?
Son: Who is she?
Me: Lady Gaga's Grandma
As my husband nearly spat out his beer, I congratulated myself on providing an explanation far more succinct than the one I fumbled a few nights earlier when the same son asked about the meaning of the song "Moves Like Jagger." "Um, er, ever hear of the Rolling Stones? Jumpin' Jack Flash? Hon, we've got some work to do".
Bathed in the culture and trivia of Star Wars and Harry Potter, my kids are pretty clueless about pop culture and music icons in general. I have no qualms about shielding them from the WB or Hanna Montana and take little offense to the popular position of being anti-Justin Bieber on the playground.
That being said, we've neglected to give our kids much exposure to the truly innovative REAL cultural icons that inspired and influence those they hear now. My nine-year old moon-walked (accidentally) the other night in the kitchen and my husband and I struggled to explain the original and insanely talented Michael Jackson...remember before all that other stuff? Our son took off to play before we could pull up a YouTube video – which would have hardly done justice to MJ’s talent and impact on music and dance today.
Thanks to Pandora, we listen to plenty of music around the house, but it trends toward alternative and English folky (or whatever you call Mumford & Sons and David Gray, etc) or a bit of grunge when we're feeling homesick for Seattle. Notable female singers like Sarah MacLachlan, Florence and the Machine, and Annie Lennox waft through the house on my "me" days, but most of this goes right through their heads.
The accidental moonwalk and Madonna’s pretty-darn-impressive-for-a-53-year old Super Bowl performance have inspired me to seek out, and share with the kids, a few icons of their parent’s generation. Who needs (or can afford) Lego camp? Maybe it's time for rock-n-roll roots camp this summer. We can start with Madonna and Michael, and then move on to all that classic rock of the 60s and 70s I grew up listening to on 92.3 KGON in Portland. That’s right, KGON <Still> Rocks 24/7 by the way, if you ever need a fix. Why stop there? We’ll keep working back through the Beatles, Elvis, the Supremes and the whole Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame collection of musical roots. Good god, we’ve got our work cut out.
Madonna may not be Lady Gaga’s grandmother, without her breakthrough influence, there would be no House of Gaga. Most of the other clowns on MTV -- or whatever music video channel kids watch today -- would be nobodies without the influence of people old enough to be their grandparents: So here’s to a few favs: Mick, Ron, Charlie, Keith (Richards and Moon), Roger (Waters and Daltrey), Pete, Jim and so on – It’s time to start Talkin 'Bout My Generation!