Alejandro Escovedo Celebrates Album Release in New York
Growing up, Alejandro Escovedo looked for guidance and validation in rock 'n' roll songs. Should his 18-year-old son, Paris Diego, do likewise, he might start with 'Down in the Bowery,' a standout track from his old man's latest album, 'Street Songs of Love.'
As Escovedo explained Tuesday night at New York's City Winery, midway through the first of this week's three record-release shows, he wrote the tune in honor of the teenager, a sullen graffiti artist and punk-rock singer.
'He's six-foot two, size 13 shoe," Escovedo said Tuesday, describing his son for both the capacity crowd and community of fans listening live via WFUV, Fordham University's radio station. "He kind of reminds me of Joey Ramone."
Escovedo knows a thing or two about punk legends. Long before the San Antonio native reinvented himself as a roots-rock troubadour, he played guitar in the Nuns, the San Francisco group that opened for the original incarnation of the Sex Pistols at their final US gig. He later moved to New York City's Chelsea Hotel and hung with such gutter luminaries as Sid Vicious.
While Escovedo's punk past would seem to qualify him as a cooler-than-average dad, Paris Diego is not impressed. Asked recently what he thinks of his pop's music, the youngster held nothing back.
"He said, 'It's old man's music,'" a grinning Escovedo recalled Tuesday, adding that when he was 18, he probably would have said the same thing.
The extent to which Escovedo sees himself in his son explains the compassion behind 'Down in the Bowery,' a tender ballad in the tradition of Bob Dylan's 'Forever Young.' In the song, Escovedo tells the boy to be as loud and snotty as he wants, just as long as he stays true to himself