Right now, I'm watching the 2017 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Some of my best music memories involve my bro (like this pic from a Primus show at Roseland Ballroom in 2011). So I'm feeling inspired to write a post.
Bud, this one's for you!
First, I've got to say, there's something super depressing about aging rockers. I think it's because good music takes you back to a great memory. And memories, by definition, take place when you were younger.
So when you see that the guy singing your favorite song is now all gray and wrinkly and old, that means so are YOU.
Aint nothing rock & roll about that.
Anyway, here is my very own Hall of Fame -- 12 inductees in all -- and my memories to go with them:
I Became a Fan in: 1977, I was 4
Fave Memory: Growing up, there was this huge wooden cabinet that my parents had built to house a record player my dad brought back from Vietnam. The earliest music I remember came from those records -- in our 2 bedroom apartment in the Bronx. My mom would turn on the music when she cleaned, and I clearly remember the Brothers Gibb. They're still great! CBS just did a disco-rific special on them, and I watched it twice You are legit dead inside if their songs don't get you dancing.
Fave Member: Barry Gibb
Fave Album: Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Fave Song: Tragedy
I Became a Fan in: 1982, I was 9
Fave Memory: Fun fact -- this was my very first concert! Til Tuesday opened. Seeing Dr. Noah Drake for my 12th birthday with floor seats at Brendan Byrne Arena (now the Izod Center) was a dream come true. I know he was singing just for me and my mom. I'm pretty sure my poor brother (who was 7 at the time) had to wear earplugs. This was HIS first concert too. You're welcome.
Fave Member: That's easy.
Fave Album: Working Class Dog (1981)
Fave Song: Jessie's Girl (did you honestly think it would be anything else?)
I Became a Fan in: 1983, I was 10
Fave Memory: This band reminds me of my childhood best friend and the co-ed birthday parties we would go to in the 5th and 6th grades. It was usually in someone's basement, and Duran Duran music videos were on the TV. Looking back, I can't believe anyone's parents let us watch them. They were scandalous! But then again, so was Judy Blume.
Fave Member: John Taylor
Fave Album: Duran Duran (1981)
Fave Song: Rio
I Became a Fan in: 1986, I was 13
Fave Memory: This was the first concert I was allowed to go to with just friends -- no parents. Well, except for my friend's dad who was a NJ State Trooper and worked security at the arena. Anyway, I remember bleaching a pair of Guess jeans, ripping a few holes in them, teasing my hair way up to the sky and rocking out. Skid Row opened. Then they made an announcement that they were filming some of the crowd scenes for an upcoming video. It was Livin' on a Prayer!
Fave Member: C'mon, you know it's JBJ
Fave Album: Slippery When Wet (1986)
Fave Song: Tie -- Livin' on a Prayer & Runaway
I Became a Fan in: 1987, I was 14
Fave Memory: I really have 3 here, but I think I'll go with my 1st. Seeing Rattle & Hum in the movies. It was Thanksgiving weekend and we went in a huge group to the Willowbrook Mall. I was a sophomore and I think my whole high school was at the theater. It was part documentary, part concert, and part a chance to flirt with cute boys. A fun night.
Fave Member: Bono's cool as shit, but I do love The Edge
Fave Album: Joshua Tree (1987)
Fave Song: I CAN'T PICK. Where The Streets Have No Name. Electrical Storm. Vertigo.
I Became a Fan in: 1988, I was 15
Fave Memory: While all my friends were sneaking out to go to the Limelight, I was home watching 120 Minutes on MTV and drawing in my sketchpad until the wee hours of the morning. It's funny that I loved such moody, melancholy music when I looked like an extra from Valley Girl. But it really spoke to me. I'm a riddle wrapped in an enigma.
Fave Member: Robert Smith
Fave Album: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987)
Fave Song: Just Like Heaven
I Became a Fan in: 1988, still 15
Fave Memory: There were a ton of concert movies being made around this time, and I remember when we got 101. It was on 2 video tapes and I think we watched it 101 times, like a concert in the living room. The band filmed it on a tour that ended at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, all in black & white. Those VCR tapes make me laugh too, because my brother and I invented an older brother named Jimmy so that we could get Columbia House/BMG to send us more CDs or movies for 1 penny. Getting one over on the man. Super rock & roll.
Fave Member: Dave Gahan, the beauty (and shout out to Martin Gore, the brains)
Fave Album: Violator (1990)
Fave Song: Behind the Wheel
I Became a Fan in: 1989, I was 16
Fave Memory: This reminds me of when I first got my license. I was 17 and got a white Jetta for my bday (lucky girl). There was always a mixtape playing. One of the first times I drove without my parents, I took my brother to 7-11 for Coke Slurpees. NIN was on the radio when we pulled into the garage, and I proceeded to scrape the whole left side of my car along the wall. No bueno. Luckily, my dad buffed the scratch out and it was good as new.
Fave Member: Trent Reznor (honestly, I don't know the name of the other dude)
Fave Album: Pretty Hate Machine (1989)
Fave Song: Head Like a Hole (Sin is a v close 2nd)
I Became a Fan in: 1991, I was 18
Fave Memory: I think these guys may have recorded the best debut album in the history of music. There's not a bad song on Ten (except maybe Oceans, that's a bit of a clunker). The best was seeing them at MSG with my bro -- maybe in 2003? Not totally sure about the year, but what I do remember is that they put on 2 encores. Eddie just decided he wanted to keep playing, and he said they were going to charge them a ton of money but he didn't care. It was epic.
Fave Member: Eddie Vedder, but I like Stone Gossard too
Fave Album: Ten (1991)
Fave Song: THIS IS SO HARD. Can't pick one. Alive. Black. Better Man. Rearviewmirror. Porch. State of Love and Trust.
I Became a Fan in: 1995, I was 21
Fave Memory: This one is bittersweet, I'll be honest. I had probably the best date of my life at a DMB concert at Jones Beach in 2009. But that all went to shit. So a close second is summers I spent in Newport, RI. For years after college, my friends, my brother and I would rent houses there. Every weekend was filled with beach, beer, and this band. His early stuff reminds me of suntan lotion and day drinking. A carefree time.
Fave Member: Dave's great and all, but I like Boyd Tinsley best
Fave Album: Under the Table and Dreaming (1994)
Fave Song: Dancing Nancies (next is Two Step)
I Became a Fan in: 2002, I was 29
Fave Memory: It was 2008 and I'd just back moved into the city after a couple of tough years. I was still living with boxes, but one of my best friends came in to celebrate and we went out to eat, drink, and dance. I remember Michael Phelps was raking in the gold medals at the Olympics in Beijing on TV and while the bar was cheering, we were dancing to Maroon 5 -- then the 80's tunes kicked in and we really got down. We wound up with hoarse voices, sore feet, and a late night trip to a diner for grilled cheese. But that wasn't the beer talking, I'm pretty sure it's the law.
Fave Member: It's got to be Adam Levine, I'm a sucker for an arrogant jerk
Fave Album: Songs About Jane (2002)
Fave Song: Harder to Breathe
I Became a Fan in: 2005, I was 32
Fave Memory: These guys know how to crank out a catchy tune! I remember Uma Thurman was the first song that came on when I drove my new car off the lot last summer -- and I turned it up loud. It was torture not having wheels for 8 years when I lived in the city. A car is freedom! There's honestly nothing I like more than driving. Fast. To great music. Oh, hell yes.
Fave Member: Patrick Stump
Fave Album: From Under the Cork Tree
Fave Song: Centuries & My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark
So that's my list. And don't think I haven't fallen in love with any new bands in the past decade. I have!
To name a few: Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes (I freaking love this kid -- you need I Know What You Did Last Summer in your life). They're all great future members of my Hall of Fame.
Congrats to the REAL class of 2017: ELO, Joan Baez, Tupac Shakur, Yes, Journey, Nile Rogers & Pearl Jam.
The show was great -- Lenny Kravitz's tribute to Prince was awesome. Pearl Jam killed it, per usual. But the big shock of the night was with Journey. I had NO idea Steve Perry was mindblowingly replaced by a small, young Filipino guy in a pink suit.
But man, can he sing!
Like my bands? Think they're lame? Give YOUR faves a shout out below...
tags: music, pop culture