November 10, 2013 by The Friday Facts
The idea behind the ‘Rat Drawn Re-enactment’ concept is that it’s meant to showcase my progeny (badly) re-enacting scenes from movies. Or, to put it another way, it’s meant to showcase me (cruelly) attempting to force my progeny to (badly) re-enact scenes from movies.
For this one, however, I’ve chosen to re-enact not so much a movie scene as a slice of rock ‘n roll folklore.
Legend has it that in the lead-up to the Monteroy Pop Festival in 1967, Jimi Hendrix was told by his manager that he needed an onstage publicity stunt that would out-crazy the Who, who at that time were notorious for smashing their instruments on stage.
Challenge accepted, it would seem. The manager gave Jimi some lighter fluid to bring on stage with him, and that’s how this chapter of rock history was written:
Now, I’m not one of those delusional, pig-headed parents who thinks that his kid is going to be the next freakishly gifted, game-changing guitar progeny. Besides, Sonny will be spending far too much time as a wildly successful F1 driver cum private detective cum furniture removalist to be mincing around playing rockstar.
I’ll say this, though, he certainly has an instinctive reaction to music. And damned if his chosen dance move isn’t, like Jimi, dropping down to his knees with arms flailing in the air.
So I’m not sure what to make of this re-enactment. It’s generally a good day when your one-year-old child – without any prompting, mind – emulates one of most iconic moments of one of the greatest rock gods the world has seen. And it would have been even more spectacular, too, had his mum not thwarted my plan to give him lighter fluid and a Zippo to get that Fisher Price CD player of his a-cracklin’.
I just think his showmanship just needs a little work.
For starters, you’ll notice that, when Jimi has given his audience enough time to drink in the awesomeness of the fact that he just set fire to a guitar, he then knocks it up a notch by smashing the living fuck out of that flaming axe. In fact for a brief, shining moment, it even looks as though he’s about to take out his own drummer with an almighty swing. Badass.
Sonny, by comparison, looks green. Does he burn up the scenery for the first 15-odd seconds? You’re goddam right he does! But then he gets bored and decides to rest up against his melody maker. Rookie error.
There’s also the fact that, for the brief moment Sonny does decide to rock out, he does so to the tune of Yanky Doodle Dandy, a song that lacks the raw, chest-beating sexuality of Hendrix’s chosen guitar–burning song, Wild Thing. To be fair, there wasn’t much I could do about song choice credibility. I’m yet to find an infant-safety-standard-approved ghetto blaster that belts out the Ramones, Doolittle-era Pixies and pre-Cut the Crap Clash.
In hindsight, looking at this video, I can now see that it’s probably a good thing that my wife took the Zippo and lighter fluid off me. Otherwise I’d be fronting up to the casualty ward trying to explain how he got those third degree burns on his back.
All in all I’d say that this re-enactment is a 4/10. I’ll be honest, I never thought he’d pick Jimi Hendrix’s guitar burning as his scene of choice, and I’m kind of impressed by that. He’s an artist, though, and who am I to question the wisdom of his artistic integrity?
Yet, somehow I still expect more from my protege. I know that there will be noise from some quarters saying I’m expecting too much from a 14 month-old, but if you can’t pull off a garden variety drug-induced axe burning at that age, or even a bog standard Keith-Moonian goldfish drum solo, then what good are you?
Some will say I’m driving Sonny too hard, but Michael Jackson’s dad drove him hard, and he turned out ok, right? The fact is that I just want my son to strive for betterment. And when he achieves rock perfection then, and only then, will I give him his cherished teddy back.
This ‘Rat Drawn Re-enactment’ may have only drawn a 4/10, but I’m sure it won’t be long before he conjures up something that’s worth at least 4.5/10. I have faith.
PS. No goldfish were harmed in the drafting of this blog post
PPS. Sorry, did I say ‘goldfish’? I meant ‘old fish’. No old fish were harmed in the drafting of this blog post. The goldfish, on the other hand, they were fucked. They were living in Keith Moon’s drum kit, for christ sake. No one has ever survived that