There’s anticipant silence as the guitarist plugs in. The whine and screech of feedback. The crisp rapping of two drumsticks as a voice barks, “One! Two! Three! Four! …”
And the rocking, ladies and gentlemen, has begun.
Only it’s not a concert stage or even a smoky nightclub; it’s a garage. And it’s not a leather-clad band of groupie-dogged rock gods; it’s a dude and his dad. Or his cardigan-sporting, axe-shredding mom.
It happens secretly in homes across America — not in silence, mind you, but in seclusion. From the outside, these folks look like normal families, earnestly attempting to fill the age-appropriate roles expected of them: goof-off kid, incommunicative teen, sedate and sober parent.
But inside — perhaps during the unscheduled hour between homework and dinner or on an unscheduled Sunday afternoon — they’re gathering around pianos and bongos, picking up harmonicas and tambourines, pulling out the weathered old Stratocaster, and making music.
Sometimes it’s a symphony. Sometimes a cacophony. But the sound, I’m told, is the least important product of the Family Jam.