-When I was in 7th grade, my sister's boyfriend Will (a classic hippie-jock, who later died of a drug overdose), gave me a mixed cassette with these albums on it:
and the advice (although it was more of a stern warning) that I was never to listen to the radio again. I listened to that cassette to death. Although I'll probably never listen to a whole Led Zeppelin album again, I'll always appreciate Will giving me my first taste of non-top 40 music (even if he was a jerk who tried to make out with me when he was drunk).
-In 8th grade, my loner, computer-dork brother Asher, made me come into his room to listen to a tape he had just picked up. I still remember the feeling I got even in the first 20 seconds of hearing it...that cliche of being completely floored, and never viewing music in the same light again?...yeah, I got that feeling. It was this album:
and we listened to it nonstop for a month. Asher later introduced me to Pavement, Sonic Youth, and this album:
which makes me wish I had ignored the gutter punks I hung around with, and had stuck by his side (oh, the shows he's been to!)
-I went to my first show was when I was 13 years old at the now-defunct IceHouse in Fullerton, CA. It was to see my then-favorite band:
I was buzzing with excitement the entire time. Aside from the fact that I was about to see my favorite band play, I had never seen live music in this way before. The sweaty crowd, the opening bands, no parental supervision...it was almost too much for my little self to bear. The Vandals started playing, and my heart was racing. Then, two songs into their set, a couple skinheads (who were pretty prevalent in the early 90's Orange County), stabbed a guy. The show was immediately shut down, and not long after, the venue was, too. I heard a rumor that the skinheads stabbed the guy for wearing a Jimi Hendrix shirt, but I don't know if that's true.
-On my first day of high school, I wore ripped jean shorts, ripped black tights, 8-hole purple docs, a cat collar, and a shirt with this print on it:
Don't judge me, it was 1994.
-Midway through my freshman year of high school, an older goth kid named Christian moved into my neighborhood. He was new to our small, suburban town and he and I became friends. Before he had started dying his hair black, wearing long, black flowing dresses, and listening to Sisters of Mercy, Christian had been a punk. Wanting to purge himself of that image, he gave me all his old punk cassettes, which I was thrilled to inherit. I treasured these rickety old cassettes, and played them constantly. These bands still hold a special place in my heart: