Over Memorial holiday weekend, Brandon and I dug through stacked boxes in our garage to locate my old VHS tapes. I was on a mission to find three magical tapes marked 120 Minutes. That’s right. Those three tapes were hours and hours of the coolest alternative music videos from MTV’s Friday night show which aired between 1986-2000. Instead of going out on Friday nights only to be crammed into the backseat of a car, drinking Mad Dog 20/20 bought by someone’s big brother, and cruising Polk street downtown, I chose to stay home and watch all of the newest and coolest videos…..because, clearly, I was the epitome of cool. I didn’t need to (as my own daughter calls it, today) live that “teenage life”….I had a date with Crockett and Tubbs THEN 120 Minutes.
There they were…intermingled with my mother’s collection of Master Classic Disney movies. I remember her telling me, “One day these Disney movies will be worth a lot of money.” Could that have been true? My brother must have been hip to that idea too by taking and pawning them back in the mid 90’s for extra cash. My mother and other brother combed every pawn shop in town one Saturday afternoon to retrieve them. What were they, the equivalence of the fucking Hope Diamond? Understanding their importance to her, I kept the tapes under lock and key all these years, fearing she would haunt me if I threw them away. No thanks to my storing skills or lack thereof, they withered with time. After seeing the cracked and dusty cases, I knew there was no way in hell I could sell them on E Bay for $15,000 each. Plus, what kind of a douche bag would I BE to sell them, knowing how much they meant to my mom? So, I shrugged my shoulders, grabbed my VHS tapes, whispered ‘sweet sorry’ to Disney and closed the bucket.
That afternoon, Brandon and I watched over 4 hours of recorded videos. The tape lagged in places and the wave of sound was as if it were ducking in and out of water but, I didn’t care. I let out a squeal at every other video, “OMG, I haven’t heard this song since junior high!” I am grateful for YouTube and Spotify to have access to all of my favorite music from my generation but, on that particular day, the sights and sounds of Peter Murphy, Xymox, The Cocteau Twins, and The Jesus and Mary Chain were not blaring from a YouTube app on my phone. They were on my fucking TV screen once more after all these years. A slew of memories came rushing into my mind and, just like that, I was proud all over again to be a Generation X’er.
The go-to playlist I listen to while I am in the kitchen cooking on any given day is this one right here. My Catch-All-Coolness Spotify Playlist is almost 19 hours of kick ass songs (some you’ll know and some you won’t) I want to share with you. If you don’t have a Spotify account, well, it sucks to be you. If you do, hopefully, these tunes will take YOU back somewhere familiar and nostalgic. Have at it!
Now….shall we watch some John Hughes films today?