Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thank You, Mom, For Letting Me Be In A Punk Rock Band

Thank you, mom, for letting me be in a punk rock band.  It was a phenomenal creative outlet, and I learned a lot about myself and people in and out of the punk rock scene.  Of course, I see the parental advantages of letting your kids be in bands (you know where they are during practice), but it involves a lot of letting go too.  I suspect that's kind of hard to not intervene when your son's band is doing songs with titles like "Death Meat".

Thank you, mom, for letting us use the house for rehearsals.  It must've really stunk to have to endure the abrasive, high volume, hyper speed noise that was the Unexplained's "music" just to move a load of laundry.  Those once a week, 2+ hours of rehearsal must've felt like an eternity when your subjected to Dan's "singing" and Matt Dixon's "solos".  I doubt that staying at the far end of the house offered much of a reprieve for you.  We auditioned some questionable dudes right there in your laundry room (remember the drummer with the see-through drums?  Lots of stick twirling and hitting himself in the head with his sticks for show), and you rolled with it.  Same with the smoke breaks in the driveway - you probably knew about it, but never let on that you did.

Thank you, mom, for keeping a safe but watchful distance as I sought to forge a personal identity through music.  Let's face it:  I engaged in a lot of behaviors that must've bothered you.  A teen with a real gallows-type humor, wearing combat fatigues, concert t-shirts and smoking cigarettes doesn't exactly spell "winner" for most folks.  I know I didn't always accurately reflect your good upbringing.  Permitting me to listen to music that offended my friends' parents was key; and at the risk of sounding arrogant, I think it paid off.  You raised a son who is open minded, but not easily led.  It was important to me to be exposed to stuff that square culture deemed "garbage", because over time I was able to tell sincere artistic expression from music that was straight shock value only.  It is the sincere music that has stuck with me and informed who I am.  Thanks for letting me sort through it in my own way.

Thank you, mom, for making music a true DIY venture.  I remember asking you and dad to match me dollar for dollar for a bass I desperately wanted.  You listened, and respectfully told me "no".  I would complain that you didn't support me, but the truth is you taught me that I didn't need you for that bass, because I saved and got it anyway.  (Still play it, actually.)  You didn't come to our gigs, you didn't help us load and unload gear.  You didn't dote on us because we would've hated that.   But you listened to our stories and we knew the glory was all ours - because you permitted it.

Thank you for letting me be a mostly free range kid navigating my teens through the medium of punk rock.  Because no matter how much I tried to be Matt Zink, bad ass punk rock bass player, I was and always will be your loving son first and foremost.


  1. Great post Matt. Pretty amazing parents we have.

  2. Mom didn't load and unload gear, but dad did at least once. But, then again, this is about mothers. Still pretty amazed that we played in the basement without any hassle at "finish playing by x o'clock," no "keep it down", nothing like that (that I can remember, anyway). Good stuff. I'm also glad that I she let me eat peanutbutter and Dorito sandwiches while watching Guiding Light with her after school (...and then did speed and went skateboarding, but I suspect she probably didn't condone that).