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33 Musical Dads Discuss Fatherhood

June 19, 2011  |  12:00am
Derek Trucks
Tedeschi Trucks Band

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Name and age of your kids:
Charlie Trucks, age nine (named after Charlie Christian & Charlie Parker); Sophia Naima Trucks, age six (middle name after a John Coltrane ballad).

How does having children and being a father change the way you approach your career?
Having kids makes you really look long and hard at how much you want to be on the road. I think it makes you take your time in the studio and on the road quite a bit more seriously. You waste a lot less time. Time with your kids is the one thing you can’t get back.

What’s the best part about being both a musician and a dad?
Family and music are the two most important things in my life. And with both, the more time, work, love and energy you put into them the better it gets.

What’s the most difficult part about being both a musician and a dad?
I think once again, the challenge is juggling our schedules to be attentive to both family and music. As a touring musician it’s hard but we manage to balance the two.

What do your kids think of your music?
They are still into it. Neither one of my kids are teenagers yet, so we will see.

What kind of music do your kids currently enjoy? Do you approve of their current tastes?
They both have pretty diverse taste. But we play a lot of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and Bob Marley around the house. Those are the musicians they ask me to hear. I think they hide the music that they listen to with the neighbor kids from me.

Have you attempted to immerse your kids in music? How have they responded?
Our kids are surrounded by music and musicians, but I have a ‘let’s wait and see’ attitude. They both show interest, but we certainly don’t force it.

Our daughter just started taking violin lessons a month ago. She is a quick study so far. It’s great seeing how excited she gets when she plays us something she just learned. Our son is in full baseball mode at the moment. I see him pick up my guitars all the time though. Either one works for me.

Chad VanGaalen

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Photo: Jeff Thorburn

Name and age of your kids:
Charlotte, age 1 and a bit; Esme, age 3 and a bit.

How does having children and being a father change the way you approach your career?
The compression of time that I feel as a parent has forced me to use my time more effectively-and in turn made me into a much more productive and stressed out human. Ha!

What’s the best part about being both a musician and a dad?
The best part is for me is that being a musician, I work at home and I get to see my kids all day and everyday.

What’s the most difficult part about being both a musician and a dad?
The most difficult part is having to leave them and go on tour—this is a real heartbreaker and gets worse as they get older.

What do your kids think of your music?
I think Ezzy is down with most of the recorded stuff but if I’m just hanging out and playing acoustic guitar she will tell me to stop. I think she is more about the silence and the spaces in-between. Although we have had some serious jams.

What kind of music do your kids currently enjoy? Do you approve of their current tastes?
Well, Charlotte likes beat heavy music and starts shakin’ her butt pretty quick if we put on some DOOM. Ezzy likes the Beatles like craziod!

Have you attempted to immerse your kids in music? How have they responded?
I jam with them in the studio; I don’t really push them towards anything, but they both seem to love the drums. Ezzy likes singing if there is some heavy delay on the mic, and Charlotte likes pounding on one particular ride cymbal that I got from a pawn shop a million years ago.

Ezzy is mostly into drawing right now, she will plunk herself down and kick out like 15 drawings no sweat.

Ian Parton
The Go! Team

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Name and age of your kid:
Franklin Jackson Parton, he’s two and a half.

How does having a child and being a father change the way you approach your career?
Not so much musically—I thought it would be a bit schmaltzy to write a song about him in a “Isn’t She Lovely”-Stevie-Wonder-style. I try not to be away too much but playing live is what you have to do and it’s only a temporary thing. He’ll probably have no memory of this period when i was in band. He’ll probably look back at photos of me when he’s a teenager and think it’s really funny that I used to rock out.

What’s the best part about being both a musician and a dad?
Well when you’re not touring you’re around a lot so you can really put the monkey business hours in—more than dads with regular jobs. I get to hang around in parks a lot. It’s really cool seeing him react to the music too.

What’s the most difficult part about being both a musician and a dad?
Obviously the touring. I always dig those old rockumentaries where the tour bus is full of the rockstars’ little kids but the reality is the tour bus is no place for a two-year old. It would be mayhem. So the time away is difficult but hopefully the payoff is that when you’re not touring you’re around more than most people too.

What does your kid think of your music?
He’s a bit young to give a real opinion. But when a Go! Team song comes on the radio he does say “daddy’s song,” which totally surprised me when it first happened—you realize they’re a lot more aware of what’s going on than you thought. It’s interesting when he says “daddys song” and its not actually a Go! Team song but you can see why he’s said it. He said, “I like this song” the other day, which pleased me. Sometimes he hides my instruments—my £100 harmonica went missing for months.

What kind of music does your kid currently enjoy? Do you approve of his/her current tastes?
There are certain songs he really responds to: “We Are The Robots” by Kraftwerk, that Moog song “Popcorn,” “Genius of Love” by Tom Tom Club—they’ve all got a cheekiness to them and its really interesting to see which song he’ll latch onto. I’ve always had this theory that kids are hit detectors—that the reaction you get is really instinctive and based on groove. Major labels should assemble a panel of kids to green light singles.

Have you attempted to immerse your kid in music? How has she/he responded?
Whatever happens, I won’t be the type of dad who does a Jackson 5 and bullies their kid into music. I’m a great believer in having instruments lying around and letting nature take its course. I went to handful of piano lessons when I was a kid and it was misery, so I won’t force him into any lessons. I’ve got a hunch he’s gonna be real musical because he’s constantly singing—generally the theme to a show called Fireman Sam, and when I’m playing the guitar he always comes over and hits the strings.

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