Around the corner from me a few boys have a garage band. It seems to consist of a couple of electric guitars and a drummer. They’re loud, enthusiastic, and practice in all weathers. And they sound good, really good.
Garage bands are supposedly a throwback to the early years of rock music, when they were relatively common. This also coincided with the early years of suburbia, when having a garage was relatively uncommon. Not all things retro are to be celebrated, like women wearing aprons on TV, measles epidemics, or leisure suits. But if garage bands make a come-back, I think we’d be the better for it.
Today it’s rare to see kids enjoying relatively unstructured time, time not supervised by parents, teachers, or coaches. Not only at school, but in the culture at large, sports have crowded out the arts and music. Kids are touted for making goals, not music. But not only is music the universal language, it also speaks to our hearts and souls in a way that sports cannot.
Maybe one day this band will be able to drown out the beastly lawn maintenance machines. And there is presumably at least one adult who pays the mortgage on the house with the garage that hosts the garage band. Adults who tolerate the noise and encourage the music. The old saw says that going to church doesn’t make you religious any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. But making music in a garage – that’s another matter altogether.