A Tale of an 80s Baby

For a long time, I’ve felt I’d been born a dozen years too late. My tastes in music, fashion, and other things is mostly that of my [much] older half-siblings. My brother and sister were born in 1968 and 1970, respectively, so they grew up in the era of which I associate: the eighties.

Sure, I was born in 1985, but the only bit of the 1980s that I remember are random bits of our old house (that we moved out of in the summer of 1990), how I developed my phobia at age 2, and many clumsy things I did between 1987 and 1990 (falling down tile steps, nearly drowning in a neighbor’s pool, pissing off my sister’s cat and thus getting scratched across the face). My father, being a dozen years older than my mom, played lots of “oldies” throughout my childhood: Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and the like. Both of my parents, together, enjoyed everything from disco to modern music, so I was also fed a lot of Donna Summer, Bee Gees, Moody Blues, The Carpenters, Meat Loaf, Billy Joel, and Sonny & Cher (to name a few!).

Then I started listening to music on my very own. The 90s ruled my musical life. With the exception of some more soft-rock/pop stuff my parents played and what I’d heard on the radio (Meat Loaf, Billy Joel, etc.) I didn’t really dive into anything outside of my comfort zone or what was fed to me on the airwaves and in my household. Love them or hate them, I never even heard those staple 80s bands or artists (Billy Idol, Queen, Flock of Seagulls, Pat Benetar, etc.) until I was in high school and went through my rock/punk/goth phase! Until then, my music was what was new and cool, and in the early-to-mid 90s that was comprised of artists like TLC (the first CD I ever purchased!), Seal, Ace of Base, Will Smith, No Doubt, and Boys II Men (the 2nd CD I ever purchased).

As the 90s progressed and I hit 13-14 years old, I discovered slightly less poppy stuff (maybe a precursor to my temporary punk/rock phase in ages 16 and 17?) while still fulfilling my newfound appreciation for boys sans shirts, mostly involving Sugar Ray. (In fact, I still own the Rolling Stone pictured here… and I may still get that feeling in my stomach when I look at the cover…) My parents can attest to this infatuation fascination completely; when they were re-painting my old room so they could sell our house a few years ago, they had to scrape off dozens upon dozens of Mark McGrath stickers from my walls. In fact, they ruined my walls, causing the paint (sometimes down to the drywall!) to peel off. Hey, you can never ever have too many likenesses of the gorgeous Mark McGrath on your walls… am I right??

Eventually, I became a bit bipolar in my music: I focused both on discovering 80s bands that I had overlooked as a wee one and finally embracing new music. College consisted of ditching the super-hard-core-wannabe-punk-rocker in me and realizing that the more poppy stuff isn’t that bad. In place of Sum-41 and Linkin Park, I found Dido and A Simple Plan. Almost 10 years later, those groups in the early 2000s hold the same place in my heart as the 80s stuff because I was loving it at the same time in my life (which is weird, I know!).

It wasn’t until I was moving out of Cincinnati two months ago that I had a flashback to that middle-ground of 90s love I had. A local radio station played a commercial for the Summerland tour. Lit, Marcy Playground, Everclear… and Sugar Ray


As soon as the giddiness entered my brain, my heart was shattered: they were coming to town after I move. It became so strangely frustrating. Why did I care? I’m a [wannabe] 80s baby! I was meant to be born in 1972, not 1985! “Oh, well,” I told myself.

Until I arrived in Boston and got an e-mail from Goldstar. Normally I ignore the e-mails from them because they’re for deals that I either don’t care about or that aren’t good/affordable enough for me to partake in. Well, when the words “Summerland Tour” showed up in this fateful e-mail, I opened it… and proceeded to purchase two tickets.

On a very rainy Sunday, July 29th, I was 14 years old again.

I saw Mark McGrath in the flesh, 200 feet away from me, and pretty much ignored my boyfriend’s existence ever time he was on stage!

Hottness aside, we became enveloped in 1990s awesomeness: “Sex and Candy”, “I Will Buy You A New Life”, “You Make Me Completely Miserable”, and “Someday” flowed in our ears into our brains and brought me back to a decade that I’m now proud to call mine: the nineties.


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