Words from a ‘6 Music Dad’

Contains unnecessarily strong language

by Rick Johansen

I don’t know, but I hope, that a day that starts with great music, or to be more specific music that I like, is going to be a good day. My weekday always starts at 7.30 am with Lauren Laverne’s BBC Radio 6’s breakfast show and while it is fair to say that I’d happily spend my mornings listening to Lauren reading excerpts from the telephone directory (ask your parents, kids), she is both a brilliant DJ and a superb curator of great music. And so it is this morning that Ms Laverne started her show with some great tracks from the likes of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Say She She, Beach House and Desmond Dekker and the Aces. Topping up with copious amounts of caffeine, I am in a form of musical heaven as I empty the dishwasher and feed Reg the cat as he echoes Andrea True Connection’s More, More, More. But in The Guaridan’s increasingly unrefreshing campaign to alienate its loyal readers, those of us who listen to BBC 6 Music are, according to someone called Daniel Dylan Wray (no, nor me) I am a “6 Music dad” and “now with grownup kids, and some disposable cash to burn, dad is getting back into vinyl, lacing up the Converse and busting out the ergonomic lawn chair for festival season.” There’s more of this stuff.

The author acknowledges that this is a bit of a “piss-take” but he goes onto describe listeners as “re-energised dads” and, best of all “balding, ale-drinking blokes solemnly nodding alongside bouncing kids.” I cannot deny that there is an element of truth to some of the comments because I do have grownup kids and music did have to take a back seat during their early years (maybe Wray has never had kids?), but here’s the thing: I have always been obsessed with music and listening to it gives me more pleasure than most other things. I still get that buzz from listening to a near 50 year old Steely Dan album, which is still as great today as it was on the day it was released, as I do from the latest albums from The Hives and The National, both of which I bought last week, and from the expectation of excitement I get from the imminent release of the new albums by Sofia Kourtesis and Sufjan Stevens.

Wray concludes with a dig at the station’s audience, which he perceives to represent a “desperately uncool 6 Music Dad image“. I have no argument with being uncool, not least because I have no wish to be cool and even less idea how to be cool. I just like the music. How hard can it it be to understand that?

Having said that, I can’t say I am particularly bothered at being labelled in what the author himself regards as a “piss-take“. Wray himself seems to be a permanent hat-wearer, which suggests that he too is suffering from a form of male pattern baldness and anyway he has plenty of history in the piss-taking department himself. Well, that’s just too bad. If I find my life being further enhanced by discovering more and more music he can stick his sticks and stones up his arse.

I have a place where, within an hour, I can hear the Beach Boys, Grian Chatten, Ryan Hemsworth, Cream, Little Simz and Jungle and if that makes Wray so agitated, well fuck him.


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