I have an almost limitless number of good memories involving music, my dad and me, but today I took this Sporcle quiz, and one in particular stood out.
It was in the Fall of 2004, and it was very early in the morning. I had spent the past year being driven to high school by my sister, but she had just started at Villanova, and since I was cursed with a late July birthday, I didn't have my license yet. So for the first half of junior year, my rides to school consisted solely of my dad and me. Most of the time these occurred in almost complete silence, not because we hated each other but because we typically had to leave the house around 6:45 AM. That's an early time for anyone to be awake, let alone a 16-year-old who had stayed up past midnight the night before studying for an AP History test (sort of).
But one morning, things went a little differently. Thanks to willpower, effective time management, and an episode of Family Guy airing that I had already seen, I managed to go to bed at a reasonable hour the night before, so I was able to wake up and get ready pretty quickly. By the time it was 6:40, I was already completely ready to go. Rather than turning my world upside down by showing up to school any earlier than I absolutely had to, I plunked down on our family room's couch and turned the TV to the sorely missed Vh1 MegaHits (I mean that "sorely missed" part, by the way. My family only had access to it for about a year, but in that time it helped me find out about Secret Machines, The Killers, and a pre-hey-let's-just-start-canceling-all-of-our-tours Kings of Leon. Everyone who wants Vh1 MegaHits to come back and Vh1 to start airing I Love The 80s all the time again, please raise your hand. Thank you.). At the time, U2 was about to release How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, an album I'm not particularly crazy about now but was very excited for at the time, especially because of the catchy single "Vertigo." And that's the video that started playing right when I tuned in.
My dad walked into the room shortly after. I expected him to tell me to turn off the TV and get in the car, as he was pretty consistent in terms of getting me to high school earlier than I wanted to be there. Instead, he sat down to watch the video with me. Neither of us said anything while it was on, but when it was over, he looked at me with a satisfied grin and asked, "Ready to go?"
I responded with a grin of my own and a "Yeah" that was actually earnest. Because today I really was ready. Today I had gotten to start things off by listening to a song that I liked and that it turned out my dad liked, too. And this wasn't an old classic that had already been confirmed as "great" by thousands of faceless rock critics. No, this was hip, new music from a band that had reached its peak when I was a little too young and he was a little too old, but that didn't matter because we could still enjoy listening to them together now. For three minutes, we both got to enjoy listening to a rock song that made each of us feel a little cooler than we actually were. I think we both knew this, but I don't think we cared.
So yeah, I'm ready for school. It'll probably be a good day.