Papa won’t preach

Central Park New York City
Central Park New York City

A love of music unites father and son

By Bert Stratton | CityJournal

(Note: Stratton is the uncle of Jordan Rose and Court Rich.)

I’m a professional musician and I have the jitters—but not because I’m playing. I’m seeing my son’s funk band, Vulfpeck, headline at SummerStage in Central Park Wednesday night. It’s a lot scarier when your kid plays than when you do. Ask any Little League parent.

Martin Amis, son of novelist Kingsley Amis, said that being in his father’s business was somewhat disreputable. “Being a hereditary novelist is a freaky thing, and people do find it a bit creepy,” he said. Being a second-generation musician is not that creepy. In fact, it’s acceptable. Musicians are often asked, “Did you grow up in a musical household?” If you answer “no,” you have explaining to do. I talk to my musician son Jack mostly about tax deductions, car insurance, and insoles—stuff that dads know about. We occasionally talk music. He lives in Los Angeles and knows all the latest on streaming and Spotify; I’m waiting for the next Simon and Garfunkel reunion. I told Jack to hire a manager. He didn’t listen. I told him to sell more merchandise (“merch”) at his shows. He didn’t listen. “You’re leaving money on the table,” I said. So far, Jack’s instincts are good—do the opposite of what Dad says. He’s playing Central Park, not me.


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September 2016