by Jack Criss
I must admit I’ve become a fan of the worldwide pop phenomena, One Direction.
Yes, I was skeptical at first, too, as I am of just about any musical acts that have appeared on the scene since 1990—especially, this “new edition” to the boy band carousel which I assumed was probably just like, well, New Edition. Or worse, N Sync.
But as a father, and one who strives to be attentive and empathetic, when my 12 year-old confirmed last year that she had become a “One Directoner,” I listened. First of all, I love doing anything together with my girls—I can give you plot synopsis of every Disney Channel and Nickelodeon sitcom to prove it. Second, Dagny’s announcement of being a fan of a music group is not the worst thing a dad could have his daughter confess to him: think “Dad, could I borrow some money so I can join this Scientology club?” or “But he’s soooo cute—and he’s out on parole in just a few months!”
So I listened. And you know what? I kinda like this One Direction.
As a music connoisseur (some would say pompous snob) and lover of great melodies, harmony and skilled playing, I must admit I was surprised at what I heard from these UK lads. But…there was a little substance; there was an obvious awareness of their rock and roll roots (hence all of the plagiarizing lawsuits being filed against the band); there was no obscenity or warning labels on their CDs; there was fun mixed in with pure teen sincerity. But best of all, there was absolutely no rapping.
I now sometimes find myself humming One Direction tunes when alone or even listening to the CDs in the car when Dagny is not with me. There’s no danger of these boys replacing Todd Rundgren or Yes anytime soon in my musical oeuvre hierarchy; but—for the record—1D is pretty darn good for what they are. (If they only didn’t have all of those awful tattoos…but I digress….)
So dare I confess again? This old rocker knocking on the door of 50 really likes One Direction. Dagny even bestowed upon me the most honorable distinction a teenage girl can apparently bestow upon another human being. “Dad,” she intoned solemnly—“you’re a ‘One Directioner.'” And so I am.
Until the next new band—or the next new whatever-it-may-be—comes along, then, I will remain a One Directioner. Proudly so. And my sincere hope is that, along with enjoying some pretty good tunes with her, my youngest daughter will forever treasure these sweet days of our sharing a common interest.
Even if it’s not Todd Rundgren.
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