Thursday, August 08 2013 22:51

Everybody Get Dangerous: WEEZER, Kids, and Rock...

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What will we say when our kids come to us
And ask, with a smile on their face,
"Hey Dad, my friend's got some new ninja swords!
Is it cool if we slash up his place?"
-Excerpt from “Everybody Get Dangerous”
as heard on WEEZER’s self-titled RED ALBUM (2008)

It’s hard to believe that I was just seventeen when WEEZER released their now-classic BLUE ALBUM back in May of 1994.

That album would find itself in constant rotation as a part of the soundtrack of the summer that followed; a summer that remains known as a time of exploration and curiosity as the bridge between my high school graduation and the start of my short-lived college “career.” Why did I quit college? Well, part of the reason is because I was in a band (see below):

James Zahn in 1994... with a guitar and hamburger...

Pictured: Pre-Rock Father circa 1994. Flannel shirt? Check. BC Rich Warlock Guitar with FAITH NO MORE and BLACK FLAG stickers? Check. DINOSAUR JR. T-shirt? Check. And a cheap hamburger.

I’ve taken some heat over the years for my stance that PINKERTON (1996) failed for good reason, and despite hipster claims that it’s always been a classic, the truth of history cannot lie. I’ve also maintained that WEEZER have never created a bad album, though RADITUDE (2009) contained some questionable moments. Every good rock tale comes with ups-and-downs, and the career of WEEZER is no exception.

Nearly two years ago, I found myself shooting photos of WEEZER as they performed both a “Greatest Hits” set, and their debut album in it’s entirety as a part of RIOT FEST in Chicago.

Rivers Cuomo - photo by James Zahn

It’s been over nineteen years since I purchased THE BLUE ALBUM, and now I’m sharing the band’s music with my daughters, four and one.

As time has passed, everyone has (mostly) grown up. WEEZER front man Rivers Cuomo is a certifiable “Rock Father” himself - and as a parent, he began incorporating his Fatherhood into his sonic output almost immediately

If the lyrics to “Everybody Get Dangerous,” from 2008’s RED ALBUM are to be considered autobiographical in nature, than Cuomo and myself share a history of adventure that may or may not be (probably isn't) suitable for print. Exciting as those times may have been, the prospect of our children embarking on similar conquests is terrifying.

I’ll just sit back and remind myself that the “teen years” for my daughters won’t begin for about another decade. Well, nine years, actually.

Everybody get dangerous.

Just look at the mischief showing through on that little one's face...


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James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

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