Posted by: yogmoney | February 7, 2011

Abby has “Bieber-Fever”

February 7, 2011

Abby has Bieber-Fever

OK, I admit it.

I am a snob.

To be more specific, I am a music snob.

I believe that my music tastes are superior to others around me. Even though I worked at Starbucks on their entertainment team (all self-proclaimed music snobs and purveyors of fine compilation CDs and strong coffee – that makes me qualified, right?), I really have no right to be such a snob.

But, I am a music snob. I love Radiohead and can’t understand when others don’t. I wonder how a band like Coldplay can even exist in today’s world, so bland and lame.

I grew up in the 70’s with the likes of Led Zep, the Stones, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, and so many other now over-the-hill bands. These artists, all still solid, yet old and no longer as meaningful to the world as they once were. I stood on the field of Tampa Stadium (before it was actually a big sombrero) with a tray of Coca-Cola that weighed more than i did, looking up at the giant pink pig floating above my head. I saw Led Zep play in the rain at that same stadium. I stood in the rain for hours to watch the Eagles on their “The Long Run” tour. (this doesn’t make me cool, just old). I am the all knowing music snob….at least in my own mind.

Today’s music world is dominated by people like Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Ke$sa (seriously, we’re now spelling our names with $ signs in them?), Katy Perry, and one Mr. Justin Bieber. I do not understand any of them. They sell hundreds of records (ok, cheap shot…sorry), sell out music venues, and appear on all the right tv shows. (I still don’t get them. It’s not because i am cool – it’s because i am old).

A little over a year ago my 14 year old daughter Abby told me about Justin Bieber. She walked into the kitchen one day and said, “I love Justin Bieber”. I had no idea who he was or where he was coming from. Was he a new boyfriend? Was he a new crush at school? No – he was a new artist that seemingly came out of the digital abyss.

Abby played a song for me, with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. She sang along, not missing a word.

As you can imagine, I immediately rejected Justin Bieber as a flash in the pan. Someone who, like most overnight sensations, would be gone in a week. After all, he came from YouTube for crying out loud. I explained to Abby that this wasn’t music. This was disposable noise (are you kidding me? How freaking old am i?…….i sound like I am 60).

This love affair continued for a few more months until “Bieber Fever” (as they say) completely consumed my daughter. There were concerts to attend, backstage meet & greets, photos for Facebook, hearts drawn on the back of her hand with his initials and hers surrounded by a heart. The screen saver on our upstairs computer now featured a shot of this kid. There was no escape. Bieber fever was everywhere in my house. Posters, blankets, t-shirts, wrist bands, buttons, notebooks, magazines, and so on.

At this point Abby declares, “Justin is going to win a Grammy this year”.  Because I am a music snob (see above comments about working for the tastemaker of compilation CDs – Starbucks) I rejected my daughter’s comments as foolish. I said to her that there was no way he was even going to be nominated for a Grammy, much less win one. I jokingly said he wouldn’t even be invited to the Grammy’s. (I did this because I know everything).

After about 6 months of this nonsense Abby once again walked into the kitchen and proclaimed, “I am going to marry Justin Bieber”. Ok, so now things are starting to get serious. I decided that if my first-born daughter was going to marry this guy that I better explore him, make sure he is going to take care of her once the ceremony has concluded.

I listened to a few of his songs. I listened to them again. I tried a third time. I could find no reason whatsoever why my little girl would be in love with this kid. But, it didn’t matter – she did. The love affair has now gone on for more than a year. Abby has more than 1,000 Bieber photos on her phone and there was nothing I could do to stop it. MY wife Allie understood from the minute this love affair began. (she still not-so-secretly loves Donny Osmond for crying out loud).

As hard as a music snob like me tries to fight it (and I do fight hard because I am never wrong…how could I possibly be wrong?). As much as I have tried to expose my daughters to the classics like the Beatles, Stones, and the many other now over the hill artists I still cling to, I’ve realized that I have lost the battle.  It really makes no difference what I like. As I look at Abby I realize that her love for Bieber is real. I see how it makes her feel. I see her smile, possibly in the same way my parents used to see me smile when I was rocking out to Tom Petty or Kiss in my bedroom all those years ago wondering why I didn’t love Blood, Sweat, & Tears or “old BS&T” as my Dad once said…..yes Dad, I will always remember that moment!).

Not only am I a snob – I am also an idiot not to realize sooner that just because I don’t like someone’s music that it can still bring joy, happiness, and memories to the ones around me. I see the joy in my daughter’s eyes, her hope filled heart, and her beautiful smile and I realize that this kid is the one responsible for giving this to her. Bieber brings a joy to her that her father simply can’t deliver and it warms my heart while at the same time breaking it. The beat of music marches on, changing and evolving with each step it takes. It brings some along with it and it leaves many behind. If you want to keep up you need to stay on your toes.

So, while I will likely (ok, I am pretty sure about this – you know, because I used to work at the place that sells strong java, plays jazz overhead, and makes cute Valentine’s Day compilation CDs) not ever like Justin Bieber, I now understand his power and his potential. I see a daughter growing up in front of my eyes, singing, and fully stricken with Bieber fever.

I am still a snob. And, now i realize that I am also an idiot. I am not the all knowing, all powerful music expert. I am just a fan. I love the way music makes me feel. I love the fact that songs, artists, and concerts have served as mile markers in my life.  Just like my beautiful little girl Abby.

But now I have a slightly different perspective on the world. I sit here, typing these words to you as a confession that I was wrong. I was wrong – with the exception of Coldplay. My views on them stand. They remain unnecessary.

A year later, Abby was right – Justin Bieber was nominated for a Grammy and will perform for the crowd this Sunday night. I will sit in the darkness of the Staples Center watching this spectacle unfold in front of my eyes, knowing that Abby is sitting in front of the tv, smiling and singing along.

I leave you with two things.

Abby – you were right.

Justin – Take good care of Abby. If you break my daughter’s heart I will kick your ass.

Peace.

G


Responses

  1. Geoff,
    I share your frustration with todays music. Which is why I enjoy watching our 6000 + kids across our 66 School of Rock locations in the US and Mexico rock out to the classics that you and I grew up on. We were lucky to grow up in an era of “the band”. The great bands are truly missed today. I am hopeful we can change that and i can honestly say that through the exposure we provide to the kids, they gain a wonderful appreciation for the music that came before them and they play it wonderfully.

    Of course what we do will never take the place of the boy wonders that steel the hearts of our daughters….but perhaps it shouldn’t. Truly a right of passage for any young girl is the uncontrollable crush that they have on the teen pop star. Something that “us Dad’s” will struggle to understand. I look forward to our paths crossing soon.

    Chris Catalano
    CEO
    School of Rock

  2. Hey Geoff aka Yo, G-Money!
    this made me smile on so many levels, and as a fellow avid music collector, I fully agree. I only got here because I was trying to get an update on what’s happening with Rubber Tracks (I live a few blocks away). It’s good to know that there’s still cool marketing people in this corporate world, not suits who pretend to be (this is not meant to be derogatory against fine suits, only numbnuts who wear them).
    I’d love to meet up for coffee next time you’re back in the ‘burg, if your schedule allows, and make a personal intro. I’m working on something I’d like to get your input on, it has to do with Converse. I’m aware this is an unconventional approach to score a meeting, but I thought I’d give it a try (you don’t seem like the conventional type anyway). I’ll be glad to give you more info on myself, etc. when I hear back from you.

    Thanks & have a great day,

    Fredrick

    • Frederick – thx for the note. i really appreciate it.
      I am back & forth to the studio site often but I think its best if i connect you directly with our guy who handles music initiatives.
      His name is Jed Lewis (jed.lewis@converse.com). tell him that i said for you to reach out to him. you guys can set up a call or a meeting.

      Thx again for the nice comments!

      G

  3. Geoff, I went through the same sentiments with my daughter, Lindsay, in the early nineties when we were at Coke. She was in love with Joey from The New Kids on The Block. Fortunately, she is now married (Joey never asked regardless of how many points she had) but I still remember with great fondness the bond that we created over taking her to a VIP meet and greet with the group and having my picture and hers taken with “the man who was not to be my son-in-law”.

    Cherish her dreams and how you can share them with her and your time together, these dreams fade fast, but they become brilliant memories.

    Sincerely,

    An Old Dad On The Block!

  4. Hey, Geoff. It’s Melissa Prewitt (KO). I can’t believe Abby is 14!! It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were on a business trip in LA & Allie was calling to talk about your “little” kids:) I really enjoyed reading your post about Abby & Bieber – I am happy to know that with all your success you are still you. I want to congratulate you on all that you have achieved so far. It’s not surprising in the least to me that you are CMO and I know this is only one of many accomplishments yet to come. I did hear that you joined Converse some time ago. I had been thinking of you because I wanted to let you know that I bought my girls, Reese (6yrs) & Remi (4yrs) glittery Converse sneakers in your honor. They loved them! Thanks for making me a hit with them. Best, Melissa

  5. I landed here because of Josh Rouse.. Congratulations on this piece of text. Definitely you say everything!

    And by the way, I’m a music snob too. =)

  6. Even though I didn’t grow up in the 70’s (I’m an early 80’s millennial), the music of that era is timeless. It’s got a soul. I love Radiohead, Beatles and even Fleetwood Mac.

    I also agree that Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Beiber (esp. Mr Beiber) are phenomenally crap. Catchy tunes, yes but not soul-stirring or meaningful or even timeless.

    However that’s not to say that there are no contemporary musicians and artist that have absolutely stolen my heart. Check out and subscribe to KEXP, an amazing Seattle-based Radio station. They have a tremendous eye for new, emerging musical talent. Among the newer bands, look up Bon Iver (although I liked him better before he became such a commercial hit!) The Cults, Sufjan Stevens and even Pete Yorn.

    I stumbled here through linkedin.com and what a refreshing blog!

  7. Geoff, I am a mom of two children 10 and 8. As a child from the 80’s I could not agree more about the music today, but I can see where your daughter is coming from. I hate to be the one to tell you this but the “love affair” may never end!

    As a 10 year old I could not get enough of Rick Springfield. Please tell me you remember Jessie’s girl and 45 records or I will really feel old! haha I grew up listening and loving his music and he was my first “teenage crush” and like your daughter I could not get enough!!!

    As I grew up, got married, and had children of my own I still had my eye on Mr. Springfield and his music. I began, as a 38 year old mom attending his concerts and realized I still loved his music. They transport me right back to that 10 year old little girl who was carefree, innocent and loved life just because it was fun!!!

    After attending quite a few concerts with old friends and making new ones, I found myself in a Rick Springfield Film titled “An Affair of the Heart”!!! Now I know you may say, wait…she has lost her mind!. I promise you I am just a mom from NJ and I am usually folding laundry and driving my kids to soccer practice but on September 26th, 2011, I will be attending the World Premier red carpet event in Malibu California, to a film I am a featured fan in, along with 4 other featured fans AND RICK SPRINGFIELD!! Sorry, the teenager in me just slipped out for a minute and I screamed his name. HAHAHA Yes, I still can not believe I will be in a film with my teenage crush. You can check out the trailer at rickspringfielddoc.com. I am the mom on stage with Rick and his guitar!!!

    So my point was, when you see your daughter and the sparkle in her eyes enjoy every minute of it. I hope that gleam will never go dim. Being young is a gift and even if we can live in that innocent carefree time just for a moment as an adult, we are truly lucky!

    Celebrate Youth as Rick says!
    JoAnn (aka “A mom from NJ”)


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