What IS a ZZ Top

Jan 7, 2019 | Random

It's January. 2019. And I feel bad and more than a little embarrassed...on two fronts. First, and most obviously, I haven't blogged in a while. In a LONG while, actually. The blogs on our site are old. The picture of me is old...and I'm gonna fix that. That's the easy part.

On the other front, though...The hard part.

Our Bank participated in "No Shave November", as many of you know (Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages if you missed it.). We were coming up with ideas for different awards for the various for the participants like "Most Scraggly Beard" and "Should Never Have Done No Shave November", sending these ideas back and forth in 'All Branches' email.

Not wanting to be outdone, I sent "Could be in ZZ Top" as a suggestion. I was feeling pretty good about my contribution for about 30 seconds until I got two emails, almost simultaneously...one from Madison (our Director of Social Media and Robin's Daughter) and one from Taylor B. (my own daughter who works in IT...If you didn't already know...As a Family-Owned Bank, we're pretty into nepotism.)

Madison: Whats ZZ Top?

Taylor: Daddy, what is a ZZ Top?

I was stunned, and thought they were joking. So, I pressed, to just the two of them:

Me: You know the song "Legs"?

Them: No

Me: "Sharp Dressed Man"...you know, 'Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man'...


Me: "Cheap Sunglasses"? "La Grange"?


Me: You know the Nickelback song, "Rock Star"?

Them: Oh, Sure! Nickelback!

Me: The guy saying, "Been there, done that"? That's Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top.


And then, I kid you not, this is verbatim the exchange among 'All Branches':

Vice-President Lupe Loving: ..."You don't know who ZZ Top is??? You young thing, you!!"

Madison: "OH YEA! ZZ Top! They were in that Nickelback song."

I wanted to cry.

ZZ Top. One of the greatest bands in history. Songs all over the place, still being played today... everywhere. Inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. And to these two bright, engaged Millennials didn't know what is a ZZ Top...except that they were in a song from that cheap, knock-off group Nickelback...THEY WERE IN A NICKELBACK SONG!?!?!?!?!?!

I still want to cry.

But, if I am completely honest with myself, and as hard as it is to write this, "If they don't know what is a ZZ Top, whose fault is it? Theirs or mine?" And the obvious answer is: It's on me. I'm the boss. I'm the parent. I'm the example. If these kids don't know what I think they should know...that's on me.

And, of course, it's about more than knowledge of a rock band that, apparently, is completely irrelevant to the younger generation. What do we assume our kids know that they really don't know? Do we think they'll just pick knowledge up by osmosis?

And most people over 40 are mumbling about Millennials, saying "Kids these days, well...they're the worst! With their smartphones, their video games and The Snapchat!"

Does that sound familiar? Yeah. It does to me, too. I remember hearing, when I was Madison and Taylor's age: "Kids these days! Well, they're the WORST! With their Atari and their Walk-Mans and The MTV!"

It's funny, isn't it, how history keeps repeating itself and brings to the forefront an undeniable truth in life: "People are People, and They do what They do." Human nature is what it is, and it will not change.

Our kids have their icons, we have ours, and our parents have theirs. People are people. History repeats itself. And some day, Madison and Taylor will have kids of their own ask them something like, "Why were there only twenty one pilots?" or "Why was Portugal named after a man? Was he their king or something?"

I can hear Future Them muse: "Kids these days...when I was their age, at least I knew about ZZ Top."

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