Antarctic Monkeys

“Dad, can you buy me a guitar because I want to play the guitar? Like this,” my eldest daughter tells me as she strums a pretend guitar.

The seven-year-old doesn’t wait for a response.

“I want to take lessons. An electric guitar. And I’ll need a microphone. Not a toy one, a real one. Cause we’re going to play rock and roll. I’m going to sing and play the guitar, and my friends are going to play other instruments. We’ll be a band.”

She tells me the lineup.

“And will you have a name for the band?” I ask.

“We don’t know yet, but we’re going to play in the street. We’ll make money from people who come to listen to us. Coins and maybe some bills.”

“That’d be good.”

“So?”

“So, what?”

“Guitar lessons, Dad. When do I start?”

“Soon,” I say, thinking my eldest is truly growing up and the days are vanishing of “Dora the Explorer” and the “Tellitubbies” and catching fairy dust in the sunrays beaming into the house through the windows. We used to look for monsters in darkened rooms, and dodge bats and witches in the woods. Now we’ll be learning chords. Her friends will come over to practice. They’ll hang out in her room with the door closed, writing lyrics and turning up the amps. They’ll jam. They’ll dig this band and that band, influences that will set the course for their music. They’ll be a band and they will play their first gig on the street for all the public to see.

I once played bass in a band when I was a kid, but we never made it out of the garage. We never made it onto a flyer for a concert at the Federal Building in West L.A., my home town.

My daughter will play on the street. That’s brave, that’s guts. I like it. It’s good to dream large.

“Okay, then,” I tell me daughter. “Let’s find you a guitar instructor.”

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