I just posted a message in the guest book on Roger Whittaker’s official fan site. Roger Whittaker, the wonderful granddaddy of daggy folk songs, represents the only intersection between my father’s and my musical tastes – though I’ll also admit carrying a torch for Nana Mouskouri if pressed. But in all other respects Roger Whittaker music is an aberration in a music collection consisting of punk, slowcore, goth and such.
Interestingly Roger seems to be “big in Germany” – much like my current fave singer/songwriter Adam Green, though a comparison with potty-mouth Green would be a bit unfair on clean-cut Whittaker. Having said that, I’d love to hear Roger Whittaker do a cover of Adam Green’s “We’re Not Supposed To Be Lovers”. I wouldn’t be so comfortable hearing him thrash out a version of “Bunny Ranch”.. though maybe he’d crank out a decent version of “Crackhouse Blues”.
What I love about Roger is that his music points me to gentler moments – when my Dad and I could express interest in the same sort of stuff without fear of embarrassment, where I could listen to his music without the derision or prejudice of adolescence. I remember coming across a cache of vinyl records of my father’s when I was about 10 or so. It was a wonderful musical treasure trove, full of Spike Jones, classical recordings and of course Roger Whittaker albums. Magic, pure and simple, and I spent many hours listening to the collection he’d spent years on.
Being a father of two young boys I wonder what sort of musical legacy I’m passing on to them. There’s no Roger – I gave my one and only CD to Dad years ago, though there’s plenty of vinyl lying around if they can figure out how to play it. But there’s plenty of other stuff. In the end it doesn’t matter.. what’s probably more important is not being so distracted and spending time with the lads, letting those moments be the gentle memories they take with them. And as if on cue here the boys come, asking sweetly if there are any finger buns to eat (a favourite of mine when I was a lad). So, time to get my kit on..sign off from this infernal machine and go for a walk down to the shops.
A happy new year every one. Onwards, forwards.