Parenting, What's On Our Mind

I’m taking my six-year-old to a Guns N’ Roses concert

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
August 27th, 2016

Do you remember the first concert you went to? I’ll bet you do. I’ll bet you’ll never forget the enormity of seeing your favourite singer/band in the flesh; the goosebumps you got when that curtain dropped and the music started playing louder than you’d ever heard before.

When I was 11 years old, my sister and her boyfriend took me to my first concert – Warrant (remember them? They sang Cherry Pie) at Festival Hall in Melbourne. I remember everything about that concert; what I was wearing, the smells (mostly BO from the crowd), the sound that was a thousand times louder than putting my tape deck up to “MAX” and sitting on my sister’s boyfriend’s shoulders while staring in awe at the rock gods on stage. It was bloody magical.

Here’s a little refresher for you….

Just one year prior, my favourite band, Motley Crue (no judgement), were in Australia and my parents didn’t let me go to see their Dr Feelgood tour at the Tennis Centre. I guess they thought songs like She Goes Down weren’t really appropriate for a ten-year-old but I was SO devastated, especially because my older sister was going. I cried for hours and when she got home, poured over the tour book and swore I would NEVER do that to my kids. I’m still kinda dirty on them for making me miss out.

My love for the long-haired, heavily-tattooed screamy bands of the 80’s has never strayed and has filtered down to my son who is mad for the music I grew up with – Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Poison, AC/DC, he loves them all. The louder, the better for my little boy.

So when news broke that Guns N’ Roses will be touring Australia next year, my little guy lost his shit when he saw it advertised on TV….and you bet your arse I had my laptop at the ready when the Telstra pre-sale went live. Immediately I snapped up three tickets, for me, my husbo and our son. Our SIX-year-old son. Hmmm. As soon as I pressed ‘Purchase Tickets’ I started second-guessing myself. Is this inappropriate? Is a Guns N’ Roses concert really the kind of environment a little boy should be in? What about the swearing?

And then I remembered my tears over Motley Crue. So I’m taking him. I’ll put him in his little Guns N’ Roses T-shirt I got from Kmart, his ripped jeans and we’ll listen to his favourite Gunners tracks on the way to the MCG. We’ll buy a tour book and some chips (for him) and a beer (for me) and I’ll watch his face as the curtain falls and he sees Axl Rose in the flesh for the first time.  I’ll hope all the “fuck yeahs!” go over his tiny head and if they don’t, I know I’ve taught him better than to repeat.  I hope he gets goosebumps and I hope that he’ll remember it forever – even if just for a flash of a moment – that he and his parents rocked out at a Guns N’ Roses when he was only six. And it was rad.

Monty, Brooke and Stace talk about their first concerts….

What was the first concert you went to?