On Tuesday’s Glenn Beck Program, musician, columnist, and self-described “joy boy” Andrew W.K. joined Glenn for the full hour to discuss a myriad of topics. W.K. has been in the news lately because of some remarkable advice he has handed down to readers via his weekly Village Voice column “Ask Andrew W.K.” It was a combination of those articles and their conversation on Tuesday that had Glenn calling W.K. “one of the more important voices to unite America.”
Glenn asked W.K. to explain a bit about his childhood, which very much informed how he came to have such a diverse viewpoint. Born in California, W.K. and his brother were raised in Michigan. His father is a professor of law at University of Michigan Ann Arbor. W.K. described his mother as “the world’s greatest mom” who is “dedicated to making our dreams come true.”
W.K. said he enjoyed growing up in southeast Michigan because of the breadth of thinkers and opinions in the area.
“You have a lot of radical thinking,” W.K. said, “meaning mind-blowing stuff, ways of looking at the world that I never imagined, kinds of music and culture that I never knew existed and probably wouldn’t have known existed if I hadn’t had the good fortune of meeting people there. So I had a lot of mentors early on, including piano teachers and good school teachers.”
Additionally, W.K. said his father constantly challenged him to reevaluate his thoughts and beliefs, and what he considered to be true.
“He would always just sort of flip things for me, and I would get infuriated because I really just wanted him to agree and cheer each other on and get all excited about it,” W.K. recalled. “But he said, ‘Well, who’s to say that that’s the way?’ And I said, ‘Is that what you think?’ He’s like, ‘I don’t know.’ So he had that very open mind in that it would force me to consider other points of view.”
Considering his father’s academic background, Glenn asked W.K. if his parents were concerned that he chose not to go to college. Interestingly, W.K. aid his father was particularly supportive because of how familiar he is with the university system.
“Well, he was very concerned at first, but, as he’s been quoted saying, he said, ‘Look, I teach college. Believe me, it’s no big deal,’” W.K. explained. “I think he was so deep into it also that he was able to see that… maybe that it wasn’t entirely crucial. He was concerned for my well-being, what I was going to end up doing… but, in a way, that was of course also very motivating for me.”
Ultimately, W.K. said college can be a very important and exciting time for young people, though it may not be for everyone.
“When it comes to college… I think being faced with that moment out of high school of ‘do I go to college or not’ is not just about education or not education,” W.K. concluded. “It’s the first moment where you can actually maybe break out on your own, and I think that’s an exciting moment for any student to have.”