Our good friend Scott, proprietor of Moonshine Mountain, has tagged this blog with a meme. Part of the assignment includes the instruction to “get nostalgic” regarding the music from the year I turned 18 (that’s 1990, for the record), so being the great Method actor I am, I must carefully prepare myself for the approximation of nostalgia. Ahem. Ah, the good old days.
So, here’s the list I’m working from. Sweet nostalgia! Sweet days of youth! There, that should get me in the mood. I’m going to pick five, starting at the end of the list.
74. Faith No More – “Epic”.
What a weird song for a hit! Considering the miserable sub-genre of rap/metal that it spawned, the world would have been much better without this little ditty, but ok. Anyway, nostalgia. My most keen remembrance associated with this song was my sophomore dorm room (so this would have been Fall 1991), which I shared with a certain Alan Jolly. Our place was the drop-in/drop-out room, always filled with a mysterious haze and reeking of booze. It’s fair to say we were far more interested in screwing around than classes. I had a shitty stereo, one of those all-in-one boxes that wasn’t a jambox but a faux-component stereo, and, even though it made the whole thing (relatively) more expensive, this semi-stereo also had my first CD player. I can’t remember who owned the Faith No More album, but I do remember that it was a frequent choice. Man, those days. So much drama, but so much fun.
61. Tom Petty – “Free Fallin'”
This one goes back to high school. I remember learning how to play it on guitar because a girl I had the hots for really liked it. I had a neat-but-crappy old Eko guitar, a 12-string that belonged to my uncle, that I strung up with 6 strings. I don’t remember which girl liked it, but I’m guessing it was Melissa Moore, who was a physician in Dallas the last time I spoke to her, almost a decade ago. Melissa was definitely the most interesting girl in high school, gorgeous and arty and super-smart and self-possessed enough to know that she was my unrequited love, but selfish (I mean, she was younger than 18 when we first started hanging out) enough to keep stringing me along year after year. Nostalgia is better when flavored with regret, right?
29. Concrete Blonde – “Joey”
I don’t remember what the deal with Concrete Blonde was, nor that they had a hit before their vampire song “Bloodletting”. I guess I sorta remember this song being in the background during my first semester of college, but I don’t have as many sharp memories of it as I do for “Bloodletting.” So… that’s the comment. Let’s move on.
6. Dee-Lite – “Groove Is In The Heart”
No two ways about this one. It was everywhere my first semester. I got along great with most everyone on my dorm floor, especially Matt Martin (now a chef in Huntsville, AL) and Chris Shaw (who is god-knows-where), and we’d have loud funk (or semi-funk, like this song) blaring in the halls most nights. This was in the U of Alabama’s infamous Mallet Assembly, which was self-governing and free of RAs. A couple of girls from Fitts, the girl’s honor dorm, would come over to partake in the revelry, dance, and accompanying mind-expansion devices. I remember having to explain to everyone who Bootsy Collins was one night. I remember one of the girls, whose name was Audrey, I think, who loved to dance to this song with maximum contact, if you know what I mean and I think you do, with many of the guys, but refused to go any further than that, which got her quite the little reputation in our dorm in the Fall of 1990.
I should pull one more song out, but most of the rest of these meant nothing to me at the time. But these were just the most-requested songs. Scrolling down to the No. 1 songs gives me:
April 21 – May 18: Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor
So this lost the No. 1 position to Madonna on my 18th birthday, May 19, 1990. This song reminds me of the house parties we used to have at Laura Walker’s place. She lived with her grandparents, who went out of town all the time, bless their souls. We drank and swam (skinny-dipped, even!) and stayed up all night and generally acted like kids with raging hormones and all the time in the world. It was heavenly. My first real girlfriend, Vanessa, was part of this scene. Once when this song was on the stereo, I made out with a girl (name lost to history) who was dating a good friend, which was really my first taste of being an asshole to someone I cared about. I didn’t like it much when I thought on it later, but man, I was young and selfish then. I guess I could blame the music, because my emotions were so easily controlled by external stimula then, and any 18-yr-old in 1990 who could resist making out with an attractive partner when this song played had a heart of lead.
OK, that’s memory lane! I’m not sure how many of my compatriots actually read this blog, but should they happen to catch the nod, I’m going to assign:
- Emlyn of The Emlyn Project, who is the same age as I am and was there at some of the aforementioned parties, although he may be too busy for this sort of nonsense right now, so his is more of a pinch-hitter kind of assignment,
- John J of Dix Hill Publishing,
- Andy of One Reporter’s Opinion,
- Tommy at Here Comes the Coda,
- Greg at What Greg Likes, and
- Michael at Crammit Hall. Go to, young men.