According to police reports, White Stripes leader Jack White and his model wife Karen Elson have added another kid to their ever-expanding tribe. Henry Lee White will join his sister Scarlett Teresa White in the rock n' roll playpen. The couple tied the knot in June 2005 and, as you see, productivity has been up. They've got a FUZZBOX and they know how to use it.
Whether or not these kids will grow up to be rockers in their own limelight remains to be seen. Even though it seems as if every son of a rockstar releases his or her own album, from Lisa Marie Presley to Ziggy Marley, there are far more who don't. You just don't think about them. After all, if "all of Chuck's children are out there learning his licks" as Bob Seger once said of Chuck Berry, then where are all the little Berry solo albums? Huh? There will be time here to fantasize about what great solo careers could still be in the making someday, but right now, we'll take a quick look at the five most notable progeny who followed their parents' footsteps. Some of whom, you sticklers, will note are not even rock by pure definition. So sue me.
Loudon Wainwright III - responsible for Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright. Old people might remember Loudon Wainwright for singing "Dead Skunk" and briefly appearing on MASH. Not quite so old people might remember him from the sitcom Undeclared. And people who read liner notes and album and movie credits might know that he supplied the music to Knocked Up. But Loudon's real claim to fame--besides recording something like 55 albums and writing a song a day for the past 60 years--is his ability to pump out musically inclined children. Part of this is because he wrote about them ("Rufus Is A Tit Man" turned out to be slightly, uh, off) and kids are vengeful and part of it is because he didn't prepare them for any other career. "You want to take accounting courses, Rufus? Learn to play the flute." "You want to go into hotel management, Martha? Why don't you stay out all night and sleep late instead?" Hey, it worked!
Tim Buckley -- responsible for Jeff Buckley. Jeff Buckley never really knew his dad. But that didn't stop him from pursuing his own doomed career in music. While dad struggled with drugs and a musical wanderlust that led him to sing 10-minute songs that adhered to no known musical scale about how he was going to sing a song for you, son Jeff struggled with simple bad fate as he drowned in a river before he could officially complete a second album. But in an unintentional case study involving nurture vs. nature with nature proving a strong finish, Jeff exhibited many of his father's musical tics, in his own penchant for wailing into the abyss and taking 10 minutes to do what could've been done in three. Had these two lived, the duet albums would've been mind-boggling and very, very long.
John Lennon - responsible for Julian Lennon, Sean Lennon. In another case study of bizarre parenting, John Lennon pretty much ignored son number one (Julian) and then showered tons of attention on son number two (Sean), practically guaranteeing that the two offspring would never record or tour together. Son number one (Julian) sounded an awful lot like his dad, had a brief hit, and then got ridiculed for sounding too much like his dad. Son number two (Sean) played lots of loud guitar, backed his mom (Yoko Ono) and got tons of hipster cred, and now gets lukewarm reviews for not sounding enough like his dad. I keep waiting to see these two on a reality show. What's the hold-up? Flavor Flav got your tongue?
Hank Williams Sr. - responsible for Hank Williams, Jr., who is then responsible for Hank Williams, III. I don't know how "responsible" any of these folks are. Jr. was just a baby when Sr. died and trying to live up to the legacy of country music's greatest star only served to make him record songs like "Are You Ready For Some Football?" and be an unreliable live concert performer. Then he had a son who was largely touted as being the "real deal" and in a true showing of country music solidarity performed with Pantera's Phil Anselmo's Superjoint Ritual, a band so damned close to the family legacy that you'd be excused if you mistook "Stealing A Page Or Two From Armed And Radical Pagans " for "Your Cheatin' Heart." I know I did the first time around.
Bob Dylan - responsible for Jakob Dylan. Who would've guessed that from the weirdest, least penetrable performer of the Twentieth century would come a son that would seem so well-spoken and so, uh, Tom Petty. Yet, with the Wallflowers, Jakob Dylan got that classic rock sound and with good looks he got from his mom pursued a career that within a few years had him selling more records than his old man. As if Thanksgiving wasn't awkward enough!