Melancholy Morning Memories

The 90's as a decade of music, and specifically the Grunge/Punk (ish) aspects of the 90s were major in my musical taste development.  It was the first time in my life that I wasn't listening to music that I'd inherited from my parents, the first time in my life I was exploring new music on my own, was the first time I fell ridiculously in love with a rock star (20 years now and still going strong - what's up, Eddie Vedder?) and seemed to be the perfect therapy I needed during those angsty, hormonal, confusing teenaged years.

My English teacher in Grade 9 gave me an assignment that I have never forgotten; she told us to pick 3 songs that we loved, write out the lyrics and then write our interpretation about the message of each song.  I can’t ever remember being more excited about homework in my life.  I remember going through my grunge catalog and having the worst time narrowing the songs down to my top 3 most important songs at the time. 

I honestly don’t even remember which 3 I chose (Hunger Strike/Temple of the Dog was probably in there, as was The Day I Tried To Live or Fell On Black Days/Soundgarden, but I probably struggled over Sliver/Nirvana and Creep/STP and When I Come Around/Green Day and The Sweater Song/Weezer and Jeremy/Pearl Jam and Porch/Pearl Jam and Alive/Pearl Jam and Indifference/Pearl Jam...ummmm…I really loved Pearl Jam).   

I wish I could go back and talk to that teacher (I even forget her name now) about her true intent behind the assignment.  Now as a mental health professional in my adult years, the value in that assignment given to teenagers seems profound.  What better way to dig into the minds of teenagers, who are so often guarded and blocked and distant from adults, than to ask them to dissect their favourite current songs and then tell you what the song means  to them and why.  You want a teenager to open up?  It seems genius. 

That 90’s music was so important to me at that stage of my life, that hearing the news of Scott Weilands death has made me feel like a part of my youth or my innocence or a friend has died.  How many hours did I spend every Friday after school watching the Much Music countdown, waiting for my fave videos to come on so I could tape them, so that I’d have one entire VHS tape that would play all my favourite videos that I could watch over and over!?  How many Saturdays did I spend in my room listening to Casey Kasem and waiting to hear the latest from all those bands because the internet didn’t exist and you couldn’t just have access to that stuff at your fingertips. 

Music has become a huge major part of my personal identify in so many different ways, and I love all kinds of various bands and singers…but there’s something about the 90’s that still pulls at my guts and wells up in emotions behind my eyeballs.  My friends and I spend hours (literally hours…one night recently was 6 hours straight) taking turns watching our favourite 90’s videos on youtube (wassup Moe, Evan, Rebecca!).  Perhaps this is because of our impressionable developing brains at the time, and maybe everyone’s teenage music taste mean this much to them, or maybe it’s because ever since then, new/current music has left me less and less satisfied. 

I don’t know, that’s an argument I won’t go into...but what I DO know is that I was watching Much Music at the gym the other day and all I saw was some girls butt cheeks and all I heard was a guy singing about how she shouldn’t be giving him grief for being a player and should just accept that he’s a man who wants to sex up all the girls.

ANYWAY all I wanted to say was that Scott Weiland’s death is making me sad, and it’s making me sad for many reasons, especially the reason that we are so so so so bad at dealing with and treating addictions and mostly I think its because we still don’t really understand addictions in the way we need to in order to do better.  It’s also making me sad because those songs, those guys, those videos, those MTV unplugged sessions meant and still mean so much to me for reasons I guess you just had to be there for.

And finally here’s Scott Weiland literally rocking out on MTV,,,

...and also here’s a video of Chris Cornell doing an unreal version of this song.  Bye for now.


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