David Bruce: The Funniest People in Music, Volume 3 — Children

Children

• So what is it like being the parent of a rock star? Dave Simpson of the British newspaper The Guardian asked some parents of rock stars just that question. 1) Roy Newman, a retired electrical power engineer, is the father of Colin Newman, a singer with the group Wire. Roy remembers that Colin was a very imaginative child — at age five, he used to walk behind his parents and hold his hand up while making clicking noises with his tongue because he was taking his imaginary horse for a walk. As you would expect, he liked music. His parents took him and Janice, his younger sister, to a store so that Colin could buy the most recent Beatles album. Quickly, Colin turned up missing. Two hours later, they found him. He had been so eager to listen to the album that he had run home, climbed in through a window, and started playing the album. 2) Meat Loaf’s daughter is named Pearl Aday, the first name coming from the title of an album by Janis Joplin. Meat Loaf, who is himself a rock star, says, “Even though she’s a woman in a very tough, male-dominated industry, the only time I was concerned was when she went on the road with Mötley Crüe.” He attended the concert, and his daughter was wearing a tiny G-string. He says, “I went up to [bassist] Nikki Sixx and said ‘I wanna talk to you NOW!’ and scared the h*ll out of him. But it was a joke.” 3) Ed Marnie is a retired Scottish Enterprise development worker and the father of Ladytron singer Helen Marnie. He admits, “It is weird being a pop star’s parent. At one gig my pal and I were standing with our black Ladytron T-shirts on thinking we were cool and this kid looked at us and said, ‘You must be parents.’” In addition, Mr. Marnie remembers, “I was once in a bar and this bloke said he was a big Ladytron fan and had a screensaver of Helen on his computer. I looked at him and said, ‘That’s my daughter!’”

 Sheila Escovedo, aka percussionist-drummer Sheila E., grew up around drums and percussive instruments. Her father is big-time percussionist Pete Escovedo, and her godfather is Latin percussion master Tito Puente. Sheila E. and two of her three siblings became percussionists. Sheila E. explains, “That’s Pop’s fault. We grew up listening to him play around the house. He practiced to records all the time. And if his band wasn’t rehearsing, they’d have jam sessions in our living room all the time. So pretty much the percussion instruments — timbales, congas, bongos, hand toys — were set out in the house as part of the furniture most of the time.” When Sheila E. was 16, a percussionist in her father’s band, Azteca, became ill and unable to play, so she asked her father if she could sit in. He agreed, and at one point during a song he wanted her to take a solo. She remembers, “It was an overwhelming experience because I’d never been able to express myself in that way. To be onstage with 16 musicians in a band signed to CBS in front of 3,000 people, for me, it was as if there was an out-of-body experience. If this is what heaven was supposed to feel like, then I wanted to feel like this every day.” Sheila E. received a standing ovation and the sight of her father looking at her with his jaw dropped open. Offstage, he told her, “I can’t deny you what you already know. I don’t even know how you know all the things you just did tonight.” She replied that she didn’t know how she knew all the things she had just done either. After this concert, her dream changed. She wanted to be a professional percussionist and not a sprinter in the Olympics.

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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