This is Maddox aged 8, casually dressed as The Trooper while waiting for Iron Maiden with his dad at the O2 earlier this year. (Spot the proud dad on the left) At the same show, I also spotted some kids sporting the same Black Sabbath tour tee I’ve got at home from their 2017 farewell tour, and a little girl in a Zeppelin tee, and you know what? Few things makes me happier than seeing stuff like that, accompanied by some proud parent who’s clearly got the whole parenting thing on lockdown. We live in a world with a pretty screwed up celebrity culture, where musical idols have been replaced by make up dolls based on the amount of followers and nearly nudes they’ve got on Instagram
Personally I’d say I was raised incredibly well, Daddy cool sure as hell didn’t want a pop princess of a baby, so for as long as I can remember he was blasting Motörhead, Ramones, Deep Purple, Kiss, Bad Religion Zeppelin, Sabbath, Rainbow, Pink Floyd – and the list goes on, and to this day without failure, we’ll set camp by his sound system every time I go home, and he’ll break out some old gold like Uriah Heep’s 1973 live album, German krautrock band Jane, UFO or Scorpions. As I type, my dad messaged me saying ‘I remember when you were a kid you’d get so scared you’d nearly shit yourself from the intro of this song’ and send me a link to ‘Too Much Rope’ by Roger Waters. That banging in the beginning would make my heart skip a beat, in a bad way, and he’d play it A. for his amusement and B. well, because I needed Roger Waters in my life.
There’s no secret that many of the good ol’ timers are still going strong; Rolling Stones are kicking it even in their 70’s, Ritchie Blackmore’s brought back Rainbow, Iron Maiden are still shredding away and Alice Cooper is still the coolest cat in town. Sadly, Black Sabbath’s retired, Lemmy, Bowie and Dio’s passed away, and when all the good one’s are gone, who’s going to take over? In times like these, times where the biggest new musical acts tends to be pretty faces with an army of social media experts and a team of ten that writes them a hit of a pop song that’ll come down like a plague of locusts gone rogue, yes, in times like that, we need kids like Maddox more than ever.
Stadiums and arenas seems to be mostly for the olden golden Gods and teenagers in thongs, and you gotta go searching in dingy dive bars, basements, caves, mountain tops and trees to find the real talent – bands that deserves armies of fans and private airplanes with marble fireplaces, bands that will blow your mind and melt your brain. We’ve had Beatlemania, Woodstock, the swinging 60’s and the sensational 70’s where rockstars ruled the world. For some reason, it feels like the majority of the 2017 population of planet earth doesn’t recognize talent even if it’d come at you as despite nearly being knocked over by a wall of sound. Some of the best musicians and bands I know are working day jobs to support their musical careers, slavin’ away between nine and five in some soul-killing, uninspiring and draining job all so they can spend their evenings and weekends shredding the f* out. We need more parents like Maddox’s mum and dad – you gotta get ‘em while they’re young before they fall into the dark whole of mainstream and mindless pop. We need a musical revolution, and kids like Maddox can make that happen. Little man, please pick up a guitar, bass, or get behind the drums – you might just be the savior of rock ’n’ roll.
Massive thanks to both Maddox and his dad for potentially saving future generations, and letting me snap the photo above to share with the world.