In yesterday’s post I referred to the early 90s as the time when I became a fan of alt rock. That’s not exactly accurate. It’s more like the early 90s were when I became a fan of music. Okay. The early 90s were when I became an obsessive fan of music. It’s also when I became a fan of contemporary music.
See, when I was little I didn’t really seek out music. Sure, my parents played music in the car and around the house. Hell, I even became obsessed with Olivia Newton-John’s Greatest Hits 2. (True story: I knew the words to several songs from Grease years before I heard of Grease.) On vinyl. And I learned the words to hundreds of songs. But it was all very passive.
Plus the stuff my parents played was mostly oldies. Except for Thriller, they played the crap out of that. On cassette. (I’m old.) Most of the 80s songs I know I first heard in the 90s (or later).
Yesterday I couldn’t pinpoint a specific thing that caused the change I was writing about. Today, though, I can tell you exactly what caused me to start seeking out current music: middle school dances. Seriously. Middle school dances changed my life. (And not in some tragic, ABC Family original series way.) As I became less and less familiar with the songs being played at the dances I felt more and more out of touch with my friends. What was a tween to do?
I started listening to the radio. And not the stations that my parents listened to. At the time, Eagle 106 (a Top 40 station) was the station of choice for everyone I knew. But after Eagle 106 became a smooth jazz (!) station, we jumped en masse to Y100. And I was hooked. I listened for hours every night, even falling asleep with the radio on. And waking up to Barsky in the Morning. But, more importantly, I no longer felt left out at middle school dances.
Eventually, following music and discovering new artists wasn’t about fitting in. (At least not with those girls.) It was about the love of music. But it all started because of middle school dances. Weird, huh?