Hows Your Dad?: Living in the Shadow of a Rock Star Parent

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Living in the Shadow of a Rock Star Parent. One of the issues with being the child of any well-known figure is the fact that whatever you do is automatically upstaged by the fact that your parent merely exists. It is more a study of a phenomenon, an attitude we have towards the children of rock stars, an opportunity to look at the preconceptions we have and why. All of their children have their own unique stand-point, all are connected in some ways, disparate in others. As Bob Geldof once observed: Britain doesn't have a Hollywood.

So the glamour is in rock, rock stars are all over the tabloids, and those kids were born into that sort of atmosphere.

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How's Your Dad: Living in the Shadow of a Rock Star Parent by Zoë Street Howe

So are the preconceptions fair? Are they just lazy assumptions? But there are other elements that create the sort of barriers that those of us from more conventional backgrounds never need consider. Of course, there are those who happily accept, as they whizz up the freeloading freeway, that the only reason they are famous or outwardly interesting is because of their connections, they are cool by association and are doing rather well out of it — whether simply getting stoned and watching Miss Marples all day, knowing that funny thing called rent something to do with Monopoly?

But how long can this last? Should it even matter? Or not, of course To the rest of us these rather nebulous questions seem quite fair, and they promise potentially intriguing answers. The response tends to be: It takes time to be honest even with oneself. We all know normality is a relative concept. Keith Richards, the consummate rock pirate, always insisted on tucking his son Marlon in and reading him a story regardless of what carnage was occurring beyond the bedroom door.


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Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain loved nothing more than bathing their baby girl Frances Bean while Kurt talked in a Donald Duck voice and dive-bombed rubber duckies. Elvis Presley was a kind, fun-loving dad, performing puppet shows for Lisa Marie and singing her to sleep. He became rather grumpy when his daughter asked for Elton John records for Christmas though, as opposed to one of his own. This chapter will serve as a starting point. There are many components apologies if they sound like a bill of 'reefer madness' style B-movies: The truth is sometimes less spectacular and bizarre than what we assume, but not always.

Legend has it that the only time Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann came close to throwing a TV out of a window was when his son Justin refused to come to the dinner table until the Generation Game had finished. Acting since the age of nine, Eva Amurri Martino is perhaps best known for her work in 's Saved! While she's had a decent career, it's still dwarfed in comparison to that of her mother's, who just happens to be on-screen icon Susan Sarandon.

Though they've had very different careers, daughter and mother have shared the stage on more than one occasion. While Rashida's career might out shine her mother Peggy Lipton's, best known for her role on Twin Peaks , it's still a drop in the bucket when you consider the significant impact of her father, legendary music producer Quincy Jones. Responsible for some of the biggest albums of all time, Jones has worked with artists of such caliber as Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra, and has a record 79 Grammy Award Nominations to boot. Having Hollywood actors as parents doesn't always mean that you are going to be forced to live in their shadows.

There are instances where the child's career outshine the legacy of the biggest names in their family. Such is the predicament of Grace Gummer. Since her acting career began in , Gummer has nabbed numerous roles in critically acclaimed televisions series, such as The Newsroom , American Horror Story , and USA's breakout hit Mr. Unfortunately, that all pales in comparison when you mom holds the record for the most Oscar nominations of all time.

While no one can call Gummer a novice when it comes to acting, there's just no outdoing the best that's ever lived. The role allowed her to branch out into other projects, including the dino-blockbuster Jurassic Park , up to this year's revival of Twin Peaks.

Laura might have a long and fruitful career, but it still falls a tad short when compared to her father Bruce Dern. However, Laura's career isn't done yet. While she might be in the shadow of Bruce Dern, her inclusion in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi might just bump resume up to surpass even her father's. With a career that spans as far back as the s, Amanda Plummer has popped up in some of the biggest films of the last couple of decades, most notably in Quentin Tarantino's landmark accomplishment, Pulp Fiction.

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Still, although Amanda has had a lengthy career, it's not quite as lengthy as the one of her father Christopher Plummer's. The actor has been starring in hit films since the s, beginning with such classics as The Sound of Music , all the way up to modern-day hits, like Up , The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo , and A Beautiful Mind. Christopher's hard work finally paid off in , when he became the oldest actor ever to win an Academy Award at age 82 for his performance in Beginners. In the s, Jennifer Grey was one of the biggest up-and-coming stars on the planet. However, Jennifer's star began to fade shortly after Dirty Dancing.

While the actress has worked steadily since then, she's never fully been able to step out of the shadow of her father Joel Grey. With a career spanning five decades, Joel is most widely known for his work in Bob Fosse's Cabaret , for which the actor took home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about How's Your Dad , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jul 24, James Perkins rated it really liked it. Most of us believe that the children of rock stars are a bunch of spoiled brats. There are a few like that, but they get a lot of the media attention, so that's what has produced the stereotype. By accident of birth, they may have possessions, associates, or opportunities that we never had access to, but in actual fact, most musical progeny are the same as all of us: Most just want to be normal, away from the constant spotlight and publicity that Most of us believe that the children of rock stars are a bunch of spoiled brats.

Most just want to be normal, away from the constant spotlight and publicity that their elders have brought them; they don't like how the press judges them only by assocation, and many have felt hampered by the pressure to be just like mum or dad, as the public tends to assume them to be similarly talented, especially if they take up a musical career - yet their abilities often lie in other directions.

Many are conflicted by the differences between the public persona of their famous parent s , and what they see at home. And of course, parents are still embarrassing to teenagers, no matter how "cool" they may be to their fans.

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A lot of people expect such kids to be filthy rich, but many of their famous, successful parents have actually encouraged their offspring to work for themselves and earn an honest living rather than rely on handouts and inheritance. Some of Ms Howe's writing is a little sloppy, and I was worried whether the publisher felt the topic was already interesting enough that people would read on, regardless of careless editing. If so, they were right: I did exactly that, despite the limitations of the text. The author is a music journalist by trade, and it sometimes felt as if the book was one long magazine column.

Nevertheless, she did her research well, and managed to get a lot of good interviews with celebrity children. An enjoyable read, it provided an insight into the reality behind the glamour of being in the family of a rock star. Aug 20, Alexia rated it liked it Shelves: Have to admit that I love behind the scenes books about rock stars.

Didn't matter that these were all before my time, I still got a kick out of the up-close-and-personal look at life as a wild rock star. So when I was offered the opportunity to review a book about said rock star's children, I thought it would be interesting to see them from their child's perspective. Whil Have to admit that I love behind the scenes books about rock stars.


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While I really like the premise of this book, I don't think it ultimately delivered. May have been because I didn't know many of the rock stars mentioned Ian Dury? I was left wanting more. The author kept coming back to Steve Howe and his family, which made sense as she's married to Steve's son Dylan. I have heard of the group Yes but couldn't tell you the member's names, so glad she told us who was who.

And while I have heard of Bob Geldof, there seemed to be an awful lot about his daughters, especially Peaches. Guess she's a regular in the British tabloids, but I'm not all that interested. All in all, this wasn't really the book I was expecting. It's a good overview about how expectations are high if your parent is famous, but we sort of already knew that.