My most formative years occured during the 1990s. There’s almost nothing about them that I don’t look back on fondly.
The music was awesome (I’m listening to Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger right now), I was either in high school, playing in bands, partying hard or at the beach and I still had that residual sense of indestructibility – that feeling that there was so much more ahead and that the end was too far off to even fathom.
While one has to wonder how many more defunct bands could possibly come out of the woodwork and reform, it’s been nice to see bands like Faith No More, Alice in Chains, Cold, and even the return of Dave Ellefson to the Megadeth camp eventuate. If we’re really lucky, it looks like John Bush will make a permanent return to Anthrax as well. On top of all that, we’ve been treated to ‘classic’ ’90s TV, like Heartbreak High each night on ABC3 and daily repeats of Seinfeld, Frasier and a stack of others.
Even the dreaded fashion industry has tried to inject the odd bit of ’90s fashion into recent lines.
But wasn’t it just the other day that we were experiencing and loving the 1990s? It only feels like a moment ago for me… most of the time. Sometimes it feels like three lifetimes ago.
In some ways it is kind of sad that we’re going to soon reach the point where music from the ’90s starts appearing in classic rock magazines and finding itself broadcast onto radio and music video channels for the middle aged, like those ‘retro’ ’80s programmes. That will surely make me feel old. But if you ask me, there hasn’t been anything as earth shaking as the ’90s since. Sure, we had the end of the nu-metal period in the early 2000s, but that was a flash in the pan against such movements as the birth of alternative, the tail end of thrash and the grunge period that was big enough to wipe out hair metal and shred.
Oh what a monumental movement was grunge. It took the world by surprise and grabbed the youth of the planet by the scruff of its new flannel shirt and gave it an almighty shake. It spoke to the kids of every culture in a way that the grandiose nature of rock never could. It’s constituents spoke of fucked up childhoods, broken homes and life’s misadventures in a way that reverberated with teens everywhere – and they listened.
You can’t tell me that new wave did that for anyone, or nu-metal after. Arena rock was too busy singing about getting laid and sinking beers or snorting coke off of hooker’s arses to be relevant to the massive fan base that was the 13 to 30 year olds. It was an inevitable revolution of culture that has lad lasting effects. It was the modern iteration of the blues for a younger audience that spoke of hardship, depression and being trodden on by ‘the man’.
I fucking miss those days. They were fun, exciting and will stay with me forever.
Sadly, it wouldn’t matter an iota if the rock world turned around tomorrow and decided to orchestrate a renaissance of the ’90s. It’s done. It happened. It can’t be replicated. Just like so many attempts at reviving the ’80s have failed to capture that feeling and spirit, only to flood the market place with ugly sunglasses and flouro t-shirts; no one can replicate the experience of the 1990s.
As much as I’d love to jump aboard a time machine and relive them, I can’t. Anyone who tries is simply embarking upon a foolhardy endeavour bound for failure or trying to cash in on the nostalgia fad that has engulfed the scene over the last 5-7 years.
It doesn’t mean I’m not out there digging up all my old ’90s CDs and reminiscing! Ahh, warm, golden memories of times gone by.