Here’s a glimpse into the music I was listening to at 15. It should be noted that I almost bought Pinkerton in October of 1996, only to buy Blues Traveler’s Save His Soul instead. Damnit.
Blues Traveler’s Four was huge in 1994 (or at least I remember it being big.) On the radio domination of “Hook” and “Runaround” I bought the album at The Wall in one of Frederick’s malls. To my surprise, the rest of the album was good. Then in the summer of 1996, they released the live compilation Live From The Fall that I snatched up as soon as I saw it. Not having been exposed to many jams bands – it was new sonic territory for me. I didn’t know songs could go on 15 minutes and in retrospect, guitars could sound as masturbatory as that. But at the time, Blues Traveler seemed awesome. Luckily my Blues Traveler phase didn’t last too long.
For a long time, I was obsessed with Throwing Copper. Sure Live had the big hits off the album – “I Alone”, “Lightning Crashes” – but it was the small town anthem “Shit Towne” that grabbed me. They were talking about my hometown! “Stage” was so raw and angry especially when Ed Kowalcyzk shouted, “c’mon motherfucker!” off the cuff. And then there was the sheer poetry of “Pillar of Davidson”. Too bad they threw it all away for the craptacular Secret Samadhi.
No snarky comments here. Though I don’t listen to The Who as much – for a brief period of time they really captured exactly what I was feeling as a teenager. In his own way, Pete Townshend is a great social commentator. “My Generation” will always be adored by some kid who thinks that his or her elders don’t understand anything. And “Substitute” remains the perfect soundtrack for a guy who knows his girlfriend is only dating him because she can’t find someone else. I don’t remember how I got into The Who, but a good two years I listened to them every single day. I finally saw them in 2007, and while it was awesome, it totally would have meant a lot more to them if I had seen them ten years before.