So. It all began some time between the third and fifth grades. I seem to remember things from this period by grades. Each year is divided by that one major change–moving to the next level in school; like the next level of a video game the enemies get craftier and stronger, the bosses more lethal, and your weapons more potent. Or something. So there are several possible beginnings. Or perhaps it’s a series of events…
I saw the music video for the Smashing Pumpkins’, Tonight, Tonight and was, for some reason, struck by it. Logically, I went out and bought the CD, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. I wouldn’t understand the title of the album for at least five years. At least, I wouldn’t know that I’d understood the title. The meaning is a bit hard to miss when you hear the music. The album was released on October 24, 1995; so I was around 10 years old. Which is like, third grade, right? I always have to recount from the beginning to figure that out. So I bought the CD, a double album, despite the fact that the one song I knew was nothing like anything else on the album. Yet I don’t remember realizing that, or particularly caring at the time. But the songs I listened to most where the heavy ones. Like the buzz-sawing, Zero; the crushingly distorted Bodies; the ever-classic, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, with the timeless chorus, “Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage”. Etc.
The most random segment of the story; I saw the music video for Breakfast at Tiffany’s before a movie at the local theater. I liked the song, and borrowed the CD from a friend/babysitter. I distinctly remember the chill I felt upon realizing just what it was about the songs on the album (by Deep Blue Something) that spoke to me. The aggressive distortedness. But I wanted more.
My friend bought it. Someone brought it into school on their discman. I was intrigued. So I bought Smash by the Offspring. It 0wn3d me. It still does.
Thus began The First Era. And it was Pretty Good. But the Second Era would be Better.