Category Archives: Rock and Roll Children

A Newfound Appreciation of the Record Store Experience

Mr. Cheapo's

During the recent holiday school break, which was extended by arctic conditions in the Northeast, my family and I returned to my hometown for a visit.  One of the hidden gems in the area is a small, cluttered record store with a very distinct odor, musty with a trace of incense.  The dated wall paneling, reminiscent of a suburban basement of the 1980’s, is mostly hidden by posters, all of which are for sale.

Unlike big box stores that stock popular CDs as loss leaders to get people in the door, this small record store uses every inch of its limited real estate to stock unique offerings that cater to fans of all genres.  From rare concert CDs to classic vinyl, both new and used, this little oasis serves as a nostalgic reminder of days gone by, when music was viewed as a valuable commodity.

Music is so readily available to today’s youth in a digital form that they no longer value it in the same way as those of us who grew up before the Internet existed.  For the most part, the younger generation views music as something that they are entitled to enjoy for free, like broadcast television or terrestrial radio.  It’s hard to blame them when most have never set foot in a record store.

The time that I spent with my son in this local record store during our visit was not planned.  We happened to be in the shopping center because my daughter was shopping at a girly retail store with a gift card that she got for the holidays.  Knowing full well that my daughter’s decision-making process is time consuming (to say the least), we knew that we had plenty of time to kill.

Rather than walk around the store with my son, I decided to let him explore on his own while I checked out the variety of hard rock and metal albums in the ample vinyl section.

I came across a brand new copy of Metallica’s Master Of Puppets, and nearly fell over when I saw the price tag – $51.99!  All of the vinyl in new condition was very pricey, proving that the format still holds great appeal for the older generation.  Some of the used vinyl, housed in tattered sleeves, was much more reasonably priced, and brought me back to my teenage days when I would go to record conventions at local hotels.

On more than one occasion, my son came up to me to show me what he had found.  His genuine enthusiasm for the record store experience was something to behold.  A great sense of pride washed over me when he said that he would go to the store all the time if we lived in the area.  While he may not be able to go as frequently as I did when I was growing up, I will make sure to spend some time there each time we go back to visit so that my son will continue his appreciation for the record store experience.

NOTE:  The photo above was taken by my son.


Rock and Roll Children: Top Hard Rock Songs of 2013

Rock and Roll Children: Top Hard Rock Songs of 2013

Rock and Roll Children Top Hard Rock Songs 2013

The end of the year is fast approaching.  Before the year ends, Hard Rock Daddy will present the Top 50 Hard Rock Songs of 2013, in addition to a unique look back at the 2013 Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown.  Octane is the station of choice when riding in the car with the family.  As a result, there are a number of songs that became favorites for each of my children.  Here are their Top 15 Hard Rock Songs of 2013…

Z-Man (11-yr old son)

  1. “Decay” – SEVENDUST
  2. “Lola Montez” – VOLBEAT
  3. “Light Up The Sky” – THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH
  4. “Burn It Down” – MINDSET EVOLUTION
  5. “Lift Me Up” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH (Featuring Rob Halford)
  6. “Temper Temper” – BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE
  7. “Do Me A Favor” – STONE SOUR
  8. “Deal With The Devil” – POP EVIL
  9. “First Of The Last” – FIGHT OR FLIGHT
  10. “Born To Rise” – REDLIGHT KING
  11. “With Me Now” – BLACKLITE DISTRICT
  12. “Addicted To Pain” – ALTER BRIDGE
  13. “Sick Of It” – SKILLET
  14. “Vilify” – DEVICE
  15. “Smells Like A Freakshow” – AVATAR

Z-Man’s Playlist…

Little One (7-yr old daughter)

  1. “Pain Killer” – THE LETTER BLACK
  2. “Deal With The Devil” – POP EVIL
  3. “Lola Montez” – VOLBEAT
  4. “Mz. Hyde” – HALESTORM
  5. “Heaven Knows” – THE PRETTY RECKLESS
  6. “Do Me A Favor” – STONE SOUR
  7. “Light Up The Sky” – THOUSAND FOOT KRUTCH
  8. “Diamonds” – FAREWELL 2 FEAR
  9. “Hail To The King” – AVENGED SEVENFOLD
  10. “Born To Rise” – REDLIGHT KING
  11. “Sick Of It” – SKILLET
  12. “Infected” – EYES SET TO KILL
  13. “In The End” – BLACK VEIL BRIDES
  14. “Warrior” – EVANS BLUE
  15. “Lift Me Up” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH (Featuring Rob Halford)

 Little One’s Playlist…


HARD ROCK MOMMY  (Age undisclosed for obvious reasons)

  1. “Lola Montez” – VOLBEAT
  2. “Hail To The King” – AVENGED SEVENFOLD
  3. “Addicted To Pain” – ALTER BRIDGE
  4. “Battle Born” – FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH
  5. “In The End” – BLACK VEIL BRIDES
  6. “I’ll Follow You” – SHINEDOWN
  7. “Devil Is A Woman” – CHARM CITY DEVILS
  8. “Do Me A Favor” – STONE SOUR
  9. “She Likes The Ladies” – LONGREEF
  10. “Bullets In The Sky” – MILLION DOLLAR RELOAD
  11. “Deal With The Devil” – POP EVIL
  12. “Diamonds” – FAREWELL 2 FEAR
  13. “What If I Was Nothing” – ALL THAT REMAINS
  14. “Warrior” – EVANS BLUE
  15. “Heaven Knows” – THE PRETTY RECKLESS

Hard Rock Mommy’s Playlist…

Rock and Roll Children

Rock and Roll Children

When I was a kid, I was exposed to a lot of Doo-Wop music, especially on car trips.  My siblings and I didn’t have iPods to listen to our own music.  Truth be told, we were happy just to have a window seat to avoid “the hump.”  If my kids are in the car alone with my wife, she will give them a chance to pick the music, whereas I have carried on the tradition of my dad.  You can probably imagine what is being played on the radio when Hard Rock Daddy picks the music.  For a while, my kids were truly rock and roll children, but like all kids, they have started to discover music on their own as they are exposed to other influences.

As a 6-yr old hip-hop dancer, Little One has started to gravitate towards music that she can dance to, and also to the songs that she hears on the television shows that she watches.  My 10-yr old son, on the other hand, has been influenced by his older cousins and has started delving into the world of underground hip-hop.  While I can’t fault them for going out on their own and developing their own musical tastes, I wasn’t going sit idly by and let them forget their hard rock roots.

In an effort to rekindle their interest in hard rock music, I decided this weekend to let them each create their own playlists on the Hard Rock Daddy YouTube channel (  The only caveat was that the songs that they chose had to fit in with the other music featured on Hard Rock Daddy.

My son created his playlist first.  He had a number of songs that he was able to name right away, and then began to increase his list as I reminded him of others that he had forgotten about.  By the time we finished, his playlist had 60 very worthy hard rock songs on it ranging from his favorites of today like Rob Zombie’s “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown” to classics like Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” and Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”  His list also includes the latest Sabbath release “God Is Dead?”.

Little One needed a little more guidance when it came time to make her playlist.  She likes a lot of songs, but couldn’t recall the names of most of them very easily.  Her playlist also ranges from songs of today like 10 Years’ “Fix Me” to Guns N Roses classics like “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Welcome to the Jungle” and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Mr. Crowley.”  Her list is significantly shorter than my son’s (20 songs), but she ended up with a very cool playlist, especially considering that she is a 6-yr old hip-hop dancer.

Both rock and roll children have songs on their respective lists that hold special meaning to me.

My son’s list features songs from concerts that we have seen together, the most meaningful being Nickelback’s “Rockstar.”  It was the first concert that he ever saw when he was 7-yrs old, but more importantly, he used to sing the entire song when he was 3-yrs old.  Needless to say to anyone who knows the lyrics, it was the source of a lot of laughter at family get-togethers.

Little One’s list features songs that made an impression on her at the age of three also.  She used to sing parts of “Mr. Crowley” and get excited that “Ozzy Osbournes” was on the radio.  In her version of name that tune, after a few guitar notes of “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” she would yell out Guns N Roses and make her rocker face while flashing Dio’s horns up (a.k.a. metal fingers).  The song that will always remind me of her is “Fix Me.”  She was only 5-yrs old when it was on the Octane Big ‘Uns Countdown.  Whenever she heard the chorus, she would scream and clap uncontrollably.  It was a moment of pure joy that I will always remember as long as I live.

Check out the playlists that my rock and roll children have put together.  Please feel free to share any thoughts about their selections.