Watch out Jay-Z, Diddy, Eminem!
When Dick Van Dyke and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith got together in the recording studio to make their new kids’ CD Rhythm Train, the result was unexpected: “I did a rap number,” says Mary Poppins star Van Dyke, with a laugh. “Chad did the drums and I laid down the rap. We had a good time. I really can’t wait to do another one.”
So how did this unlikely duo join forces? Van Dyke — famous for his roles in musical classics like Bye Bye Birdie and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang — and the Chili Pepper were brought together by Leslie Bixler, a music teacher who won a Parents Choice Award for her 2005 kids’ CD Moon Food.
“Music is so important to young children’s development. We didn’t want to dumb it down — we wanted to make them real songs,” says Smith, who has two sons — Cole Madison, 4, and Beckett Cash, 1 — with wife Nancy. “My kids listen to The Beatles and everything I listen to in the car and love it. It’s not like they have to have little nursery-rhyme songs. We wanted to make it contemporary and fun — and fun for the parents to listen to, too.”
Love to take a listen for yourself? We’re giving away an autographed copy of the CD to 10 lucky Moms & Babies readers.
Click below for more photos and news from the CD’s launch event!
Celebrity parents including Julia Roberts and Danny Moder, Jakob Dylan and Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis came out — along with their kids — to celebrate the release of the 13-track Rhythm Train at Smith’s Malibu home on March 6.
Roberts’ twins Phinneaus and Hazel, 5, took in the band’s performance of songs like “Roly Poly in My Guacamole” and “Cherry Pants” before Phinneaus and Everly Kiedis, 2, got their faces painted by an artist dressed like a mermaid.
Also at the bash with their families: Scrubs’ John C. McGinley, Christa Miller and Bill Lawrence, plus former Pearl Jam and Chili Peppers drummer Jack Irons.
Smith admits that his CD’s afternoon party timeslot is more his speed now that he and his bandmates are all dads. “You come home and you have to take the garbage out and you’ve got to change the diapers at 6:30 in the morning,” says Smith. “So my hard-partying rock star days are over.”
Smith, 48, says he’s in awe of Van Dyke, 84. “I mean, if I could be half as cool and half as together as he is at that age, I would be counting my blessings,” says the drummer. “He’s an inspiring guy to be around. He’s a really down to earth, nice man. He’s like the cool grandpa that everybody wants.”
A portion of proceeds from the album, available at cdbaby.com starting at $9.99, will benefit Children’s Hospitals in an effort to support uncompensated care, and Partners in Health, a non-profit medical relief organization.
— Pearl Barraclough