When I was but a lad my father and I didn’t like the same music. He was a big Ella Fitzgerald fan, but he had no room in his head for Aretha Franklin. C’mon! There was, of course, no point in trying to persuade him to see past his favorites and prejudices.

One of the first vocal debates we had was over the Beatles “I’m A Loser.” My dad was basically appalled that any songwriter would write a song with that title. What kind of wimp candy-ass would admit something like that, much less sing it as a kind of anthem? I replied that it wasn’t about being a loser in life, but in love. Lennon and McCartney obviously had no reason to worry about people regarding them as losers, I explained. Not with their phenomenal success. Plus it wasn’t the lyrical content as much as how it sounded. The bass line, the harmonies, the harmonica riff, etc. All of these arguments went right over my dad’s head.