I'm With The Band


Movies like Beyond the Valley of the Dolls are powerful propaganda machines for young wannabe popstar girls

It is with a huge sigh of relief that I learn that my daughter Scarlett, eight, has befriended the only hippies in her entire school. This school, while very good educationally has a demographic of the most earnest people on the planet. Most of them look about fifty. So you have gray hair WHY DON'T YOU DYE IT???? Many of them also have ruddy or flaky faces. Ever heard of 1. moisturizer 2. foundation 3. lipstick? Many of the moms like to talk about how they have double PhDs in Lobotomy and Phrenology but are staying home to nurture their genius children. Their houses are, it goes without saying, ridiculously neat and the kids all have those expensive beds that look like cars or fairy princess castles.

So luckily Scarlett has befriended this hippy girl called Dandelion and they are spending all their time together because they are in a band called The Rockin' Hoboes. Well yesterday I went around to the hippie house. The kids sleep on splintery old beds and piles of dirty and clean laundry are piled everywhere. They are naturally vegetarian and grow their own green beans. I cried with joy at the state of the basement which was overrun with four mangy cats, two dogs and two tons of floating dog hair. It also featured a huge, church style organ. Dandelion's dad said it was great because "the organ came with the house." I said, "Do you play the organ?" He said, "No, just the guitar. But it's great to have down here isn't it?" Okay. This guy was so positive I could have sworn he was high not just on green beans. The basement is crammed with many guitars, drum sets etc and the ceiling is so low he has to crouch to walk through it. "I had it looking kind of nice recently but then the cats kind of took over," he said, lifting a cat off a drum kit.

This subterranean lair is the recording studio for The Rockin' Hoboes. "We've laid down a few tracks," said Dandelion's dad. I have not heard the tracks yet but I've got a feeling that tunes written by two eight year olds may have certain similarities to The Shaggs:



But the real problem is that the fame of the band is spreading. Now all the kids in the neighborhood are saying they're in 'the band.' At one point Dandelion told my five year old, Sausage that she could be in the band too. Then yesterday Dandelion told her ha ha she wasn't really. So all I've heard for the last twenty four hours from Sausage is, "She SAID I WAS IN THE BAND!"

At some point I took Scarlett aside and said "Look, the reality of the situation is that although there are about twenty members of The Rockin' Hoboes you and Dandelion are really the only ones 'in' the band because you and Dandelion are the only ones who have actually recorded the tracks. The rest of them are just wanting to bask in your limelight. Listen to me Scarlett, they're just hangers on, they're just groupies." No, maybe that wasn't the right word ....

At which point Sausage pipes up, "Mommy, what's a groupie?"

Looking forward to phone call from school about Sausage telling everyone she's a groupie. Hey come on, I was just trying to explain to them about the pitfalls of the rock and roll lifestyle. It's never too young to avoid a Britney Spears debacle now is it?