Would-be hipster dad: (to his son) Howdja like the show, kiddo? Wasn't it great? I mean, you know, it was a little wild for my tastes, but I was amazed at how much I liked it.

Son: (seeming embarrassed) Gee, I dunno, Dad. He's lookin' pretty old. I mean, he must be at least 30.Dad: I didn't think I liked punk, but Billy Idol was OK. I especially liked the newer stuff - "Rock the Cradle" and "Flesh For Fantasy." And "L.A. Woman." Did you know there was once a band called the Doors that did that song originally?

Son: I know, Dad.

Dad: And, boy, what a show, huh? I mean, all the smoke and the inflatable snakes and the mechanical hand . . . well, I was a little embarrassed at the obscene gesture, but I guess you've seen that before, right big guy? (wink)

Son: (sigh)

Dad: I have to admit it kinda makes me feel good that I can enjoy someone on the cutting edge like Billy Idol. Makes me feel a little less old.

Son: (with reluctance) Well, Dad, I don't know if I'd describe Billy Idol as cutting edge.

Dad: No?

Son: I mean, he's OK, and maybe he was on the cutting edge once - like, maybe 15 years ago. And some of his older stuff sounded OK. "White Wedding" and "Dancing With Myself" are both good tunes and, in their time, they were on the cutting edge.

But this new stuff off that "Charmed Life" album is pretty flat, if you ask me.

And what about that song he did called "The Untouchables"? He went on and on in his intro about how it was supposed to be this homage to punk, and then he goes into this sickly sweet, overproduced bubble-gum piece. Yuck.

Dad: Hmmm. But you have to admit he's a dynamo onstage. Reminded me of Elvis, to tell you the truth.

Son: Oh, Dad, c'mon. The guy was almost a parody of what he used to be. If you look at some of his old videos - especially the "Dancing With Myself" clip - you'd see how trim and athletic he used to look. Now that was energy. That was charisma. Wednesday night's show was pretty geriatric by comparison.

Dad: Well, but let's be fair. Remember, the guy was in a real serious motorcycle accident eight months ago. And, you're right, it was obvious that the cane he was carrying wasn't just a prop. But considering all that, he really performed amazingly well.

And just for the record, Mr. Negative Nellie, who would you describe as a dynamo?

Son: Well, Michael Patton - the lead singer for the opening act, Faith No More - for one. Now, there's a band to watch. They have a little bit of everything - rap, heavy metal, punk. And I bet their hit single, "Epic," will be only the first of many hits from their latest album, "The Real Thing."

Dad: Well, I did like them, too. I especially liked their version of that old Commodores song, "Easy."

Son: Dad, they did it as a joke.

Y'know, like when they did the N-E-S-T-L-E-S chocolate bar jingle? They did it to be funny.

Dad: Are you sure?

Son: Positive.

Dad: Well, I still liked it.

Son: (after a pause) Well, OK, I guess I kinda liked it, too.

Dad: That's my boy.

Son: Right.