The song, “Another one bites the dust,” by Queen came on the radio this morning and it made me think of several stories involving my son Adam as he was growing up. He once insisted that it was “another one bites the duster,” hearing the little grunt that Freddy Mercury added for effect after “dust.” I remember the argument we had over this like it was yesterday, as he stubbornly fought to be correct. It wasn’t the last time we butted heads over silly things, as we always tried to prove each other wrong. He also firmly believed that Michael Jackson was not black and pointed to the album cover to prove it. I’ve always seen this as a turning point in racial relations, where the younger generation did not see the difference between black and white. A good thing but also another point of contention between us. 

One of the funnier confrontations we had was when he pulled out a cassette tape (that should tell you how long ago this was) from my glove compartment and pronounced the group name on the label as “Line-Rad-Skein-Rad.” I had to convince him that it was actually Leonard Skynard. I’ve given him a hard time about this for years now. These are fond memories of being a father.

I took him to his first concert, The Beach Boys, when he was probably 10-years old. I was working for WMEE Radio in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the time and had access to great seats. Adam stood on his chair the whole show. His favorite group was always KISS, so a few years later they performed at the Allen County War Memorial, at that time known as the Fort Wayne Coliseum.  We got to go backstage and meet Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss, all remarkably alive today, although only Gene and Paul still remain with the band. I think that Adam still has the autographs we collected, and I remember a conversation we had that night with Gene Simmons about him once being a teacher. I can’t recall how many KISS concerts we attended together, but each was a bonding experience. I do know that he has seen the band numerous times without me. 

Another memorable father-son concert was ZZ Topp at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. Once again, I secured the tickets through the radio station that I worked for, WIBC. I was a bit embarrassed at the time of the buzz cut that Adam was proudly sporting. It might even have been a mohawk, as part of being on the swim team. However, I think it earned him a role as team barber for the basketball team, as well. I referred to this in a previous Storyworth chapter where our bathroom at home was the scene of this crime, left hairy and bloody.

The coolest thing about the ZZ Topp concert was that the band performed on a walking sidewalk that whisked them effortlessly from one end of the stage to the other. In this manner, they could compete with acts like the Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger, who ruled the stage with his energetic strutting. The long-bearded boys were never in that kind of tip-top shape. My wife and I had dinner next to them on the rooftop at Fleetwood’s on Front Street on Maui a few years ago. Bassist Dusty Hill died just last year. 

Denise got us tickets to the Daytona 500 in 2017 through the FOX affiliate she worked for in Portland. However, she had to work, so I made the trip to Florida and took Adam, Eliza, Gavyn, and Maddux to the race and surrounding activities. They made me a memory box that includes a ticket autographed by Clint Bowyer. Part of the festivities included a concert by Lady Antebellum, while Jordin Sparks sang the anthem. It was the kids’ first live stage show, as I pass down the tradition of father-son-grandchildren musical performances from one generation to the next. My parents never took me to a show, but then again, they didn’t work in the media and have access to tickets!