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Culture Club for Cat Stevens: A Generational X-change

STORY BY: Margot Graham
YEAR: 1982
LOCATION: Alberta

Margot shared this story by email: "My son Garth was born in 1969 and I was a single parent since Garth was 2 years old. Thus, the learning process had begun on both our sides. Me, as having lost my marriage and Garth being a generation Xer. The trying challenges began with Garth being a teen. I married again when Garth was 14 and I was 34. My husband was an audiophile and a musician at the time, so his almost professional stereo system was the focal point of our living room.Garth inherited our smaller stereo for his bedroom. Now, keep in mind this was the era for vinyl record albums. One day Garth brought home a new album (allowance money!) and it had the most bizarre boy's or man's picture on the front cover. In my usually finesse way, I said, "Who the hell is that"? By the way, we were allowed to say hell or damn, but nothing else. The odd "shit" did escape my lips, but no so with Garth. I went upstairs at that point, but I could hear the music on the album and it didn't sound half bad. I moseyed back down and knocked on Garth's door and received the traditional "come in". It was "Culture Club" with Boy George with tunes like Karma Chameleon and Do You Really Want to Hurt Me. I quite liked the tunes, so we rocked out together. Turn about is fair play. Garth heard Cat Stevens on the big stereo, so just happened to meander upstairs and sit down to listen to a few cuts. He then said, "Hmm, not bad"! One time, while changing his bed, I did notice he had borrowed the Cat Stevens album. I didn't say anything, as I knew it would magically re-appear upstairs. He told me later, he was most impressed with the lyrics of Cat.Along with sharing my philosophies and direction with him,Garth shared an enormous amount of information with me regarding his interests. I was intrigued and realized just how many different avenues of adventures had escaped me with busy working and keeping the home fires burning. So, Garth taught me how to hike and I was turned into a hiking fiend and went out every weekend to a different hike in Kananaskis Country.Along with giving Garth a garden to grow in where all I did was water, weed and fertilize it, Garth fertilized my garden as well, metaphorically speaking. All that is required of parents and grandparents, other than the necessary things is, to show interest, listen and learn. Knowledge travels in both directions on the information highway.Boom X brought back a plethora of fond memories for me with Rick Miller presenting such a phenomenally and expertly portrayal of such a concept. Kudos and Bravo to Rick and his team. And, a sincere thank you for touching my heart." Thanks for sharing, Margot!


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