Looking at my boys is like looking in a mirror so there’s no doubt they are my genetic offspring, however, sometimes their interests are so different than mine, it’s easy to wonder how we can actually be related. When I was the age of my eldest, all I cared about was seeing bands. I wasn’t too into sports (that came later when I discovered water polo in high school) but when it came to seeing concerts, I was a boy obsessed. My father took me to my first arena show in 1987: Pink Floyd at the LA Sports Arena and I loved every second of it. Seeing all the fans, sharing in the excitement of watching idols take the stage, hearing those first guitar notes and witnessing the amazing light shows Pink Floyd was famous for. Feeling those voices float above each of the thousands of people who were all experiencing it together.
After that fateful evening, I made it my mission to get tickets for all the great shows that came to town. The Rolling Stones and the Who were two of my favorites but sometimes it was even more fun to go to the secret shows: like Stone Temple Pilots at the Viper Room or catching Jane’s Addiction at the Roxy, so close to the stage you could practically reach out and touch them. Seeing shows was my everything.
This is not to say that my boys don’t appreciate music. They’re trying and still learning. When I drive them around town, they listen to and seem to enjoy much of the classic rock I was raised on so I’m hopeful they’ll at least get a balance to all the Top 40 (junk ?) and Broadway stuff my wife subjects
them to. What flabbergasts yet comforts me is the same razor focus I applied to seeing rock shows is now presenting itself in our son, Mason. He absolutely shares that same intensity I channeled into getting tickets but instead of heading to see a band at the Fabulous Forum or Rose Bowl, Mason’s tickets are to cheer for his idols: the boys in blue at Dodger Stadium.
Attempting to get seats this year for Opening Day at Dodger’s Stadium reminded me of all those stressful times back in the 90s, wracking my brain over how to see Nirvana. Mason loves the Dodgers just as much as I loved Kurt Cobain so I understood his need to get there no matter what. We thought of everyone we knew who could help and pored over the various online ticket sites looking for deals. We analyzed seat locations (he’s as specific with where he prefers to sit as I once was), calculated risk of truancy and did everything short of sleeping out on the sidewalk overnight and getting a wristband at the local Ticketmaster.
In the end, we hit the homerun and managed to snag some tickets and, just like my father did for me many years ago, I have made my son’s dream come true. Whether the Dodgers win or lose on April 6, I know that the memories my son has from that Opening Day will last a lifetime. Seeing all the fans, sharing in the excitement of watching his idols take the stage/mound/outfield. Hearing that first crack of the bat and witnessing the amazing camaraderie his beloved Dodgers are famous for. Catching a foul ball would certainly be nice, too.
I might not understand his preference of seeing baseball over bands and maybe passions skip generations. One thing is for sure, though: I’m happy when I can indulge my son’s enthusiasm and even happier relishing the times I can share with him. Speaking of relish… another Dodger Dog, please!