League XII: “When I Was 12….” Part 1 – Music.


This week’s assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers asks about memories from when we were 12 years old.

Grab Rufus and head to the phone booth, because this week, we’re going back in time! Dial up the year you turned 12, and revisit the last official year of your “childhood.”

Well to show my age, when I was 12 years old it was 1990.  I graduated 8th grade in 1992 (and I could probably tell you my graduation presents as well) and high school in 1996.  This helps a lot to remember where I was with my collections and interests.  Some things that happened in 1990 I discovered later on.  Some I was there for day one and then running into 6th or 7th grade (depending on where we are in the year) and talking it over with my geeky friends.

While looking around the internet to remind myself of what happened in the world in 1990 I was reminded of how big a year this was for me.  It truly changed my life.  Comics, music, movies, friends, books, TV – everything that makes me who and what I am today.  So much of it can be traced back to this year.

Sorry friends this is far from a short post this week.  In fact it might have to be broken up into numerous posts.

Music when I was 12 years old:

I’m sure many of the other League members will note that 12 years old was when they discovered their personal musical tastes.  No longer were they bound by what is played on radios their parents or older siblings control.  Now its time to choose your own FM station, or buy your own cassettes down at Tape World.  But the year 1990 was more than when I turned 12 and music changed for me.  Music was actually changing in 1990.  MTV was about to change, all of popular music was about to change.  Lets go through some of the cassettes that were released in 1990 that I bought and see with the knowledge that time and distance provides just how much the world changed.

I’ll split this up into rock and rap cassettes.  Within 1990 I could get Slaughter’s “Stick it to ya”  with Fly to the Angels, or Nelson’s AFter the Rain, Poison’s Unskinny Bop or one of the best examples of hair metal – Firehouse.  Then on the other side of things you have Nine Inch Nails Head Like a Hole, Queensryche Empire, and Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell.

On the rap side you have Public Enemy, Run DMC, Ice Cube, A Tribe Called Quest in the same year as U Cant Touch This AND Ice Ice Baby!

Do you see how absurd this is?!  In the same year we have:  Been Caught Stealing, Cowboys from Hell, Epic, and Cherry Pie!

The best example of this crazy year can be seen in one week.  According to Wiki (yes, I know, but this is a blog not a matter of life and death) these are the albums that were released on August 21, 1990:

Against the Law –  Stryper
Detonator – Ratt
Facelift – Alice in Chains
FireHouse – FireHouse
Persistence of Time – Anthrax
Ritual de lo Habitual – Jane’s Addiction

If you’re into rock/hard rock/heavy metal all of those names are familiar to you.  The fact that these records came out in the same year, let alone the same week sounds absurd.  Its like Lou Thesz and Rey Mysterio debuting at the same time.  Steamboat Willie and Fritz the Cat.  Yes, they are within the same world, but also very far apart.

Throw a 12 year old into this mix and which way do you go?  Aquanet is being sold next to flannel shirts.  Can I cut Z shaped lines into my hair, wear pajama pants and still not have to use my AK?  (Damn right it was a good day.)

I will return with further posts on this topic.  But I leave you with the sounds of August 21, 1990.


Remember, Stryper was a Christian hair metal rock group.  A fact that of course is obvious in this 1980s cover of a much better song.  The video oozes leather and chrome.  Watch out for the mini skirt roller coaster!



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