I bought my first tape at 6 years' old: Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet. The second was Guns 'n' Rose's Appetite for Destruction, a few months later. I really did have some awesome musical influences very early on.
The earliest confirmed memory that I have is of seeing Return of the Jedi in the theatre when I was around two and a half. Sitting in a big-to-toddler-me movie theatre seat and seeing the Emperor hitting Luke with Force lightning is etched in my memory. I'm sure I saw other movies before on TV, but that's the first movie I know I saw, and it left a big mark on me, and not just helping make me a huge Star Wars fan to this day (pre-order Battlefront today, by the way!).
Two thoughts come to mind when I think about this. First - Slippery When Wet and Appetite for Destruction will be to Little T like what Elvis' Jailhouse Rock or Buddy Holly's That'll Be The Day were to me. Same goes with Return of the Jedi and From Here to Eternity. Yeah, I know, I'm getting old.
But the real thought that comes to mind is - how will I deal with entertainment with Little T? Penny Arcade had a particularly trenchant take on this subject a few weeks ago, which is perhaps why the question is burbling in my head. Chris Connelly also had a really interesting take (skip to 10:48 on the video) about how parents and kids just can't share their alienation together. Yeah - had my parents tried to share a movie or piece of music that they liked when they were teenagers with me, I certainly would have hated it more than anything.
Assuming they're right - it's probably a fool's errand to try to introduce him to things to get him to like the things I do, since Dad Things are always weak sauce. That's a law. Including Dad Terms like "weak sauce." Look it up.
So, the right attitude is to just let him discover what he likes on his own and not get in his way, I think - within reasonable bounds. I mean, if he's six years old and I find him listening to "Welcome to the Jungle" - well, we can't have that, can we? Ahem.
At the law firm I worked at way back when, one of the partners, David Fink, had a particularly great attitude about music with his kids. I remember he said that for one birthday, he gave his then-tween daughter an iPod and told her that he'd put whatever music she wanted on it, no restrictions - even if he hated it. He saw enough friends whose kids resented their parents for being judgmental about the music they liked, and he didn't want to be that dad. That attitude is pretty great.
Anyway, it all comes down to peer influence, doesn't it? Pretty much all the music I liked growing up - from Bon Jovi, GnR, Metallica, and Nirvana, to Michael Jackson, Madonna, Sarah McLachlan, or MC Hammer - was music that I was introduced to by a peer influencer - be it my sister or brother, my neighbors, older family friends, or high school friends. It wasn't until high school when I discovered electronica, jazz, and blues for the first time that I found music that I liked on my own (thank you KCRW!). All the boys I grew up with loved Transformers and GI Joe, and so did I, probably as a direct result.
I think my niece Indra developed her love for Yo Gabba Gabba and then Frozen due to peer influencers, Little T surely won't be any different.
Yeah - he's not even here yet and I'm already pondering my irrelevance in his life. Maybe I should slow my roll a bit.