My wife and I were driving south on I-94 outside of Chicago in November of 2008. We were on our way to a Thanksgiving gathering that was happening pre-Thanksgiving, and she turned to me very quickly and said "I think you knocked me up." That was the moment that I first realized that I'd soon become a Father for the very first time. The weight of things didn't really hit me, but I remember smiling ear-to-ear and just thinking, "OK - let's do this!" She was afraid that I'd be unhappy about the news - especially because just the night before... I'd been on the phone with my Mom, who was shopping at Target with a couple of my Step Brother's kids - and as they were acting out and being naughty - I made some quip about "not having kids." Funny thing is, I've always been good with kids - but there's also definitely an "old me" versus who I've become. On August 7, 2009 - our 10th Wedding Anniversary - our first daughter, Addie, was born. We liked it so much, that we prepped a sequel, and were back at the hospital two years ago TODAY - June 15, 2012, for the release of Little Finley!
I'm extremely fortunate to be a work-at-home-dad, but there are times when I still hit the road a few times a year and need to stay in touch with my girls. I missed Addie's first Halloween back in 2009 - working a gig in Las Vegas that involved horror and SLIPKNOT (perfect combo), and while my oldest was just two months old at the time, Skype made it possible for me to see the little one and interact with her and my wife in the best way possible, given the circumstances. Since that time, I've shown my girls the Atlantic Ocean from Miami - the palm trees of Hollywood from Los Angeles - and many other spots along the way, all because Skype kept us connected. Sometimes a family can't be together on an important day (in fact, I'm going to be traveling on a big one this August), and Father's Day certainly fits the bill. For all the families out there were Dad can't be home for Rock Father's Day, whether traveling on business, deployed with our military or on tour with a band, my friends at Skype sent over five tips for making the most of things and staying creatively connected this weekend - or anytime you're away.
By now, there's a good chance you know that Hot Wheels are a pretty big part of daily life here at Rock Father HQ. My girls and I have been building a great collection, and it's a real throwback to when I was a kid - when Hot Wheels were a big part of my life the first time around. Since Father's Day Rock Father's Day is tomorrow, it just feels appropriate to showcase what Mattel and Team Hot Wheels put together for all the Rad Dads out there - a fun video featuring a trio of Rad Dads: Off-Road Racer Casey Currie, Pro Skateboarder Steve Caballero, and X-Games Gold Medalist Ronnie Renner.
Over the past two weeks leading up to Rock Father's Day 2014 here on THE ROCK FATHER, I've been profiling fellow "Rock Fathers" from different corners of the music industry. While I've had a fine assortment of great musicians, great Dads, and just plain great people, one thing I have not featured until today is an entire band - you could even argue that they're a "great" band - most certainly among the most prolific and consistently entertaining in the kindie rock scene today, regularly releasing satisfying concept albums built around a central theme, and on Tuesday, June 17, their latest album WIRED, will hit the streets. Ladies and Gentlemen, from Seattle, Washington... Drew Holloway, Jack Forman and Korum Bischoff, collectively known as RECESS MONKEY!
"I would guess it was about nine months before my son was born (haha)!," quips the multi-talented DANNY WEINKAUF, recalling the moment he realized that he'd soon be entering the world of Fatherhood. "I was both excited and nervous - all the usual reasons and we knew we wanted a child so it was not a total surprise." Now, ahead of Rock Father's Day 2014, the THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS bassist has a new solo record out with NO SCHOOL TODAY, and is throwing down some words about Fatherhood and Music...
"My wife and I were in our hotel room in Miami where we were attending a music conference when she announced the big news," explains DARRYL TOOKES, recalling the moment he first realized that he'd soon be a Father for the very first time. "I was really surprised, and after the initial moment of being caught off-guard, I quickly realized that it was time! When this happens, you just get ready. I think I was able to reassure Donna that we would be fine, and that we were going to have a great time being parents. She was a little concerned that we had not planned to start our family yet, but I was happy that the little guy was on his way. I guess Donna wanted to be sure we had the chance to be a young married couple for awhile, and I would say we did." Tookes, an accomplished pianist, composer, arranger, educator and humanitarian, has an astounding resume that includes performances and recordings with Sting, Paul Simon, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, George Benson, Diana Ross, Leonard Bernstein, Burt Bacharach, Carly Simon, Luther Vandross, Laurie Anderson, Dave Grusin, Patti Austin, Steve Tyrell, Nile Rogers, Lesley Gore, Blondie, Natalie Cole, Todd Rundgren. Now, with Rock Father's Day 2014 nearly here, he's taken time to discuss music and Fatherhood as a certified "Rock Father."
Rock Father's Day 2014 is this weekend, and in the spirit of giving, eight top artists from the family music world are offering up some new and classic tracks as FREE DOWNLOADS, now through June 18. There's brand-new cuts from the forthcoming new records by BRADY RYMER, THE NOT-ITS! and RAFFI... along with favorites by THE POP-UPS, SUZI SHELTON, SUGAR FREE ALLSTARS, LUCKY DIAZ and ERIC HERMAN. Stream the entire set below, or head to this spot for a download.*
"I was taken aback, to say the least," says Drummer GERALD DOWD about the moment he realized that he'd soon become a Father for the very first time. "Panic set in first. Then panic turned into pragmatism, which finally became complete, unconditional love when my brand-spanking-newborn son, lying under the hospital baby broaster, squeezed my finger. 'Been a fatherhood junkie ever since!" Now, the Chicago-based drummer of JUSTIN ROBERTS' band (THE NOT READY FOR NAP TIME PLAYERS) is working on a solo album of his own, and talking about being a fellow "Rock Father" just ahead of Rock Father's Day 2014.
"We had been trying for a while to become parents and were ecstatic to find that it finally worked," recalls HULLABALOO drummer/percussionist Brendan Kremer, discussing when he first discovered that he was soon going to be a Father. "The shock was to find that we were having twins," he continues. "It is not something you automatically know how to handle, especially when you learn they are both girls. I remember seeing them for the first time and realizing that I was now the only man in the house and was in for big trouble. But it has been nothing but a blessing every day." Now, ahead of Rock Father's Day 2014, Brendan shares some thoughts on being a Dad, and a musician...
“THE ROCK FATHER is participating in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for AVEENO. He received product samples and a promotional item for participating.”
Bathtime is a special time for bonding between all parents and their children. Here at Rock Father HQ, truth be told - bathtime is usually my wife's time with the girls. Since I'm fortunate to be in a position where I get to spend nearly all day every day with the little ones, 8pm generally signals some time for my wife and The Rock Daughters to have some time to splash and play. But that hardly means that Bathtime isn't Daddy time as well. I've given many baths in these past five years, and often times it's when my wife is going to have a long day at work, and I want to get the girls bathed and ready for bed in advance of her arrival.
"I was extremely into the whole idea of being a father," states Tom Stevens, recalling the moments in which he realized he would soon become a Father. "I felt that having a promising future as a family man was just meant to be after I met my wife. I never had any interest in it before then but I changed a lot in a short period of time. I was more excited than afraid - it is a lot to take in even when you know it is coming. I am sure I was not as cool as I remember myself being, but my reaction was that good kind of shock that leaves you speechless and smiling." An occasional contributor to THE ROCK FATHER website (specializing in Disney travel), Stevens multi-tasks as the driving force behind NOKTURNEL, while running a leather business with his wife, and raising snakes! Above all, he's a great Dad, and finds himself featured here ahead of Rock Father's Day 2014.
“THE ROCK FATHER is participating in a campaign on behalf of Dad Central Consulting for The Calling Wines. He has received a product sample and promotional item as a thank you for participating.”
Pursuing a passion and inspiring others. Those are two points that sportscaster Jim Nantz and winemaker Peter Deutsch have focused on with THE CALLING, their collaborative effort on bringing fine wines to the world. THE CALLING is a business rooted in Fatherhood, the end result of a perfect meeting - one in which the two men would be introduced at a Greenwich, Connecticut restaurant where they both had been dining with friends. Deutsch had recently read ALWAYS BY MY SIDE, Nantz' book about his father - and it hit home with him in reminding him of his own Dad. Eventually, the Deutsch-Nantz Alliance (DNA) was born, and the two headed for California, working together to create great wine... wine I'm including here in my #RockFathersDay Gift Guide for 2014.