Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mindboggling: People Born After Appetite for Destruction was Released

So we're in the warehouse last night, you know, picking produce, and the initial guitar strums from "Paradise City" come over the radio.

I immediately crank it up, start playing air guitar and wonder why the guys I'm working with aren't doing the same.

One has an easy excuse: he's from India. In the two or three years he's been here, there are more important things for him to learn than the sonic awesomeness of Guns 'N Roses.

But what about the other guy? He's Victoria born-and-raised. What's his excuse? The answer blew my mind...

"Gio, when were you born?" I questioned, knowing where the response was going to lead me.

"1991, why?"

My mind exploded, and not in the good way like when you just read something that makes the world make sense or you see the greatest fight you've ever seen.

This was a "holy shitballs I never thought this was possible and can't comprehend it right now" kind of mind explosion.

There are people out there - a great number of them actually - who were born post-Appetite for Destruction.

Let's get something clear: it's not so much the fact that people have continued to give birth to infants post-1987 that rattles my brain, but more that this album was one of those seminal albums of my youth, a "remember where you were when you first heard it" kind of monster that shook the foundations of my musical being.

And no, I'm not exaggerating in the least.

To these people, "Sweet Child O' Mine" isn't the song me, Jeff Sanislo, Joel Richardson and Jason Morris ripped for Grade 7 airband, it's classic rock. They were one when Nevermind changed the way a whole collection of disenfranchised kids looked at the world. Well, they still looked at it the same, but at least now they had someone to point to and say, "See? He gets it."

What shook me even more than the realization that Appetite wasn't relevant to this entire demographic was thinking about music actually was meaningful and the music of their generation.

Let's say you're six or seven before you can really start making your own choices about music. Before that, you're listening to whatever everyone else is listening to, whether that's mom, dad, brother, sister or whoever.

That means for people born in 1991, we're looking at '97 as the earliest chance to decide "this is my kind of music." The popular choices at the time where:

  • "I'll Be Missing You," then Puff Daddy's anthem to the fallen Notorious B.I.G. - chances of these kids knowing the beat was jacked from The Police: 250 to 1.
  • "Barbie Girl"
  • "Mmmmmbop"
  • Anything by The Spice Girls
Let me put it this way - Britney Spears still hadn't happened...

I learned last night that I came along at a great time; I have gotten to experience the awesomeness of Guns 'N Roses debut album, the entire Grunge era, and classic hip hop that wasn't sampled or made by computers and focused solely on asses, guns, drugs and money.

Realizing some people were born after Appetite for Destruction kicked in the door blew my mind, but it also made me understand how lucky I am to be 31...

I've grown up with changes and experiences that are routine and normal to most, and that's kind of cool.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go make a mixtape of all the awesome music that happened before this kid was born so he can understand how great it used to be.


Ashley said...

What ever happened to Aqua and Hanson?!?!?

E. Spencer Kyte said...

Hanson actually got good! They grew up, stopped making ridiculous songs like MMMMMbop and started doing good music...

Aqua died in a horrible bus accident... that's not true, but they pretty much fell off the face of the Earth, and I'm okay with that.