Following In The Footsteps Of His Rock Star Son

danauerbachbannerParenting is perhaps the most important and difficult job anyone can sign up for. Successful parenting involves the passing along of positive human values to the next generation, along with as much wisdom and knowledge as possible.

One measure of successful parenting, but by no means the only measure, is having the children follow in the parents’ footsteps. From family businesses to family trees full of professionals, children all over the world have for centuries grown up to take on the same work as their parents.

Rock music is no different. From Jakob Dylan to Jeff Buckley to Zak Starkey to Sean Lennon, the Rock world is littered with artists who have made a name for themselves carrying on in the family business. This comes as no surprise, since in most cases these people have grown up with the best Rock teachers in the world showing them the way.

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Well here’s an amazing story where the transfer of Rock wisdom and knowledge goes the other way too, from child to parent. Chuck Auerbach, the father of Black Keys founder and lead singer Dan Auerbach, recently performed his own songs for the first time in public at age 66, and is preparing to release his debut album.

The whole story is laid out in a fascinating interview on Stereogum. Chuck Auerbach was a good parent, passing on his love of Rock and Blues to his son Dan. When Dan started out making music, Chuck encouraged him to get away from mimicking the songs of the Delta bluesmen, and to develop his own style. As we all know, that worked out pretty well.

But a funny thing happened. When the Black Keys started making waves in the Rock world about 15 years ago, Chuck Auerbach suddenly felt the urge to start songwriting on his own. Chuck said “my helping him do it got me the bug”. He eventually wrote more than 100 songs and started singing acapella at open mics in and around his native Akron, Ohio.

Chuck hooked up with an old friend who ran a studio in Nashville, and although he never envisioned himself as a performer, they laid down several of his songs with him taking on lead vocals. Eventually Dan swooped in to take over production of the songs, and Chuck Auerbach’s debut album is now due for release in 2017.

What a fantastic story. George Harrison once wrote, “even though you’re old and grey, you still got something to say”. As modern medicine keeps advancing, and with the average life expectancy growing constantly, I’m wondering if following in the footsteps of your Rocker offspring might even become a thing someday. Let’s hope so.


Photo credit By Sxanthony (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons



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