Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lucubratio (V)

On this slightly chilly September night, I can't help but sit and reflect on the momentous significance of a certain anniversary coming up. One that changed the world as I knew it forever, with the ripples still evident to this very day. I don't usually care for all that sort of melodrama surrounding arbitrary attachments to big round numbers, but life-altering events like this are so few and far between, I feel it's only right to pause and acknowledge them. I do know people who were devastated by the seismic changes that followed in the wake of this event, clinging to their memories of what they feel was a happier, purer, more innocent time before, and I raise my glass in tribute to them tonight.

Yes, I speak of September 24th, 1991, when Nirvana's Nevermind was released with an initial run of only around 200,000 copies (though it would later sell about 30 million copies worldwide). Within the next few years, L.A. hair metal was all but extinct as music fans everywhere shook their heads as if waking from a MTV-induced dream, twisting their fingers in their ears in disbelief that a decade had passed in collective musical madness as image completely trumped substance and bands produced what would quickly become some of the most atrocious, dated sounds imaginable. Hairdressers all over southern California were reduced to lives of homeless begging and sales of hairspray plummeted; landfills overflowed with skin-tight, zebra-patterned leather pants and purple suede high-heeled cowboy boots. Occasionally, one could hear guitar solos from the stereo of a passing muscle car, drifting forlornly on the wind like tumbleweeds composed of excessive, frenetic fretwork.

Has it really been twenty years already? O, youth...