It turns out that our son, Arthur, is a rocker. He dabbled with rave as a toddler, but now all he wants to do is raaaawk. It started in utero when we went to a ropey “G’n’R” show at the O2 arena. Caroline, my wife, was eight months pregnant. I was a bit drunk. Axl Rose was wearing crocs. We had no idea at the time that the sonic vibrations of his rent-a-band would have such a lasting effect on our little boy. Three and a half years later, Arthur will only eat cantaloupe melon if it’s cubed (a bit like Mr Rose); he can often be heard instructing his baby sister Iris to “Give the drummer some!”; and he is quite partial to a spot of moshing with Cakey the Monkey, his battered BFF. If Arthur demands a bottle of Jack Daniels and a bag of powdered milk before bed tonight, I’m not sure what we’re going to say. Maybe Slash can give us some parental advice. Or offer him a job.

When he heard Soundgarden’s ‘Rusty Cage’ for the first time, he started shouting “Gonna eat my rusty cake” and then ran into the kitchen and raided the food cupboard.

Luckily it seems like our boy is growing into more a grunger than a metaller. Many a pre-dawn session has been spent in front of VEVO watching “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, or as Arthur calls it, “Boom Boom Tssschh” (he’s started thumping along to Dave Grohl’s beats). When he heard Soundgarden’s ‘Rusty Cage’ for the first time, he started shouting, “Gonna eat my rusty cake” and then ran into the kitchen and raided the food cupboard. Shynola’s animation for QOTSA’s ‘Go With The Flow’ really caught his eye because it reminded him of Mater, the goofy tow truck from Cars. Being the responsible parent that I am, I always turn the clip off before Josh Homme gets lucky with the stripper. I’m not ready for that chat yet, possibly never will be.

Always keen to start the day as he means to go on, Arthur woke us up on the weekend by stage diving onto our bed after turning the Beastie Boys’ “Fight For Your Right” up to 11 on the radio. He is also a huge fan of Billy Corgan’s ice cream van in the ‘Today’ music video and has repeatedly tried to persuade me to invest in one just like it. When he’s not dreaming about bubblegum ice pops, he likes singing along to Coati Mundi’s ‘Prisoner of My Principles’ and Tenpole Tudor’s rambunctious ‘Swords of a 1000 Men’ (which he discovered via the Aardman film The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!). And after a hard day rocking, he likes nothing more than to chill out to Moody Blues’ ‘Dear Diary’ because the spoken word bit at the end makes him laugh his little head off. Come to think of it, Arthur’s laugh is my favourite sound in the world.

Being the responsible parent that I am, I always turn the clip off before Josh Homme gets lucky with the stripper.

But who is his favourite rock artist of all time? Kurt? Axl? Josh? Billy? Nope, Mike Whitla. You know – Mike Whitla?! The genius behind Dinostory the Ultimate Dinosaur Rock Opera? No? Well after a few listens to the anthemic ‘T-Rex’ and the chugging power chords of ‘Brachiosaurus’, I guarantee you’ll be head-banging furiously. Or maybe just furiously banging your head.Rock on, Arthur, these tracks are for you x

Mike Whitla: T-Rex

Tenpole Tudor: Swords of a 1000 Men

Coati Mundi: Prisoner of My Principles

Beastie Boys: Fight For Your Right (To Party)
Nirvana: Smells Like Teen Spirit
Smashing Pumpkins: Today
Soundgarden: Rusty Cage

QOTSA: Go With the Flow

Mike Whitla: Brachiosaurus
Moody Blues: Dear Diary

Inheritance tracks

Radiohead: Lotus Flower
1) I think Arthur will get a kick out of Thom Yorke’s dance moves. 2) It’s a masterpiece. 3) I once wrote a story about Thom and thought he was going to be a moody git, but he turned out to be one of my favourite ever interviewees. So, kids, never assume anything about someone until you’ve met them.
Aphex Twin: Avril 14th
Not everything in life has to be loud. Sometimes the quietest songs resonant the longest, like “Avril 14th”. It is also one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. I think Arthur and Iris will really appreciate it when they’re older.
Kings of Convenience: Gold in the Air of Summer
My wife and I got married to this song one gloriously sunny day, five years ago. It set us on the crazy road to parenthood, and so in many ways it is where both Iris and Arthur’s stories begin. I hope they love it as much as we do.

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