This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s stuff off the top of my head that I remember being in love with at some point during my childhood. I’m sure that I’ve forgotten some big ones, but if the list had been exhaustive it would have gone on for weeks worth of video. When huge ones come to mind, maybe I will do a part two or something.
Some pretty awesome stuff on here, and some pretty embarrassing stuff on here. Don’t judge me… okay, judge me a little bit.
They are in no particular order. Not even chronological.
What were your favorite music videos?
Watch closely, and you will see that this video features another Philly icon who would someday become my favorite Philadelphian… Mr. ?uestlove.
/ a lifetime of memories / goin’ down the drain / i’d like to keep stepping, but i can’t get past the pain! /
I was five when this came out, and it’s the first video I can remember being my favorite music video.
In due time, “Thriller” would become my favorite video of all time. Yet, when I was a little kid it scared the living shit out of me. These were my favorite Michael Jackson videos, instead. So many of them.
Once one begins travelling down the road of memory, he quickly finds it to be a tricky one to get off of, because each exit has another delightful distraction. Yes, it might as well be a one way street. A one way street that is paved by YouTube.
I was so in love with Shai. I listened to and sang their songs, alone and with my little brother, countless times. Endlessly.
Their biggest hit, “If I Ever Fall In Love”, (for me, the a capella version is the only version) gets stuck in my head all the time, to this day.
And, “This is the Place Where You Belong”, from the soundtrack to the cinematic masterpiece, Beverly Hills Cop III.
My ten and twelve year old self listened to these songs like hymns. Over and over and over.
God, I miss the soulful harmonies of 1990’s R&B groups.
I lay here in bed in the wee small hours of the morning, beginning my last day as a 20something. It makes sense that I reminisce, looking back on all of the things that have made my life what it is for my first three decades in this world.
So many things come to mind unbidden, many of these things make perfect sense. I loved pop culture early, so as far back as my memory goes I can think of all sorts of awesomeness, and plenty of embarrassment as well.
The first icon I idolized: Michael Jackson.The first record I owned: “Born in the USA” (I also owned “Bad” and Lionel Ritchie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling”). The first tape I owned: Bon Jovi’s New Jersey. The first concert anyone ever took me to: Rod Stewart. The first baseball game I ever attended: Yankee Stadium, Yankees vs. Royals, Mattingly homered. Favorite childhood pajamas: glow in the dark Superman symbol. The first CD I ever bought, BLACKstreet, by Blackstreet. I remember when my favorite bands were A Tribe Called Quest, Boyz II Men and Shai. My brother Matthew and I used to watch Newsies and Bedknobs and Broomsticks every weekend. Also, as much as I hate Michael Bay in my old age, I’ve actually seen Bad Boys and The Rock over a dozen times each (“What’dya say we cut the chitchat, A-Hole?!?”). There was a time when my favorite television shows were The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Simpsons, and Martin (yup, that’s right, Martin)[this also explains why I was so excited when Bad Boys came along]. I remember the summer that Jurassic Park and Robin Hood: Men in Tights came out, easily solidifying my belief that the movie theater was the greatest place in the universe, where very special things can happen.
I remember imagining I was turning into a superhero as I pulled up my underoos, just like in the commercial. I remember Thundercats, Gummy Bears, DuckTales, and later on, Animaniacs. I also remember making sure my grandma called me in from the basketball court at 4:30 every afternoon so I never missed Batman: The Animated Series. I remember the awe of Captain EO at Disney World. The earliest movies I remember seeing in the theater are Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Little Mermaid, Look Who’s Talking, and Oliver & Co. I remember seeing Sharon, Lois, and Bram do The Elephant Show live. I also remember wishing Bram was my dad. That was a cool live experience, but not as cool as when I got to go see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Coming Out of Their Shells Tour.
One person I didn’t think would come to mind, but who was actually the guy who got this whole trip down memory lane started: Kendall Gill.
Growing up, my dad didn’t like sports, and my mom only liked baseball and football. Basketball was a complete mystery to me, but it was something I thought seemed pretty awesome from a distance. One night, with a Sonics/Rockets game on TNT, I decided I would teach myself the rules of basketball by watching it on television. I found what would become my first great sports love. Eventually I would settle into a long, initially happy though obsessive, eventually miserable marriage with the New York Knickerbockers. However, before the Knicks, there were the Charlotte Hornets. My God how I fell in love with the Charlotte Hornets. They were young and cool. They had awesome teal and purple uniforms. They had a crazy dunking mascot guy.
They had Kendall Gill, as well as sixth man Dell Curry. They also had up-and-coming superstar Alonzo Mourning. I had this poster on my wall (along with Barry Sanders and Marshall Faulk as a Colt).
He would go on to join the Miami Heat, bitter rivals of my beloved New York Knicks. In a brawl between the two teams, (a fight started between Zo and former Hornets teammate Larry Johnson) Jeff Van Gundy would literally be dragged around on the floor while holding onto Zo’s leg. Good times. Here’s low quality video of the event:
Speaking of which, they had former UNLV star (the last time UNLV was remotely relevant) Larry “Grandmama” Johnson. The one and only reason I started wearing Converse shoes.
He would go on to make more head fakes as a New York Knick than any other Knick in history, ever. Like, seriously, so many head fakes. It didn’t even make any sense.
He would also be a part of one of my five favorite Knicks moments ever.
Oh yeah, in Muggsy Bogues and they had a star PG who was only 5’3″. 5’3″!!! Let me just point out that if you are a short kid, whose last name also happens to be Small, being able to look up to… or sideways at… a 5’3″ NBA player is kind of the best thing that can happen to you. When kids in my fourth grade class started calling me Muggsy, I considered my life dramatically improved.
Oh, Charlotte Hornets. I’ve since moved onto a tumultuous relationship with the Knicks, and you’ve since moved on from Charlotte, but I will always cherish the memories. If you’re interested, we’re looking for a team to move to Seattle with the Sonics gone, so if you’re interested in a name change, it’s a great city to play in. Look me up when you get here.
Growing up, before I ever really got into music on my own, my ears were held captive by whatever record (and later on CD) my Dad happened to be into at the time. I was a child of the MTV generation. Not the reality show MTV garbage that kids these days know and, in some cases love, but the “let’s actually be true to our name and show music videos” MTV. I didn’t know what was or wasn’t cool, and what was or wasn’t considered quality music for a chap of my age at the time. Maybe the fact that it was Dad’s music made me uncool for liking it, but I’m talking about as far back as age 6, where my Dad was the coolest guy I knew … to quote “The Wedding Singer”, “You’re eight years old, you only know your parents.” It’s funny how you grow up thinking your Dad is the coolest guy in the world, and then you hit a certain age, and all of the sudden you want nothing to do with him … but i digress …
At one of my places of work, thanks to satellite radio, I am brought back into this world of my dad’s music. I had intentions of trying to include a song from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, but as it turns out, most of what I grew up with was 80s, either that, or the artist/band repeated … anyway, let’s see what I can come up with …
1967, The Moody Blues, “Nights in White Satin” (or as I thought at the time “Knights in White Satin”, HA!)
1967, The Moody Blues, “Tuesday Afternoon” (pretty epic, especially in the context of the entire album)
1975, Led Zeppelin, “Kashmir” (why, oh why Jimmy Page, did you let that no talent ass clown Sean “Puff Daddy ‘P. Diddy’ ‘Diddy'” Combs use the amazing riff from this song on one of his bland, unimpassioned “songs”?!?! AND, you played with him! Why?!)
Here we go …
1986, Paul Simon, “Graceland” (Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, FTW!)
1986, Pink Floyd (sans Roger Waters), “Learning to Fly”
1986, The Moody Blues, “Your Wildest Dreams” (yeah, i know, more Moody Blues, he always referred to their music as “hippie music”, heh.)
1987, George Harrison, “Got My Mind Set on You”
1988, The Traveling Wilburys, “Handle with Care” (how awesome is Roy Orbison??? also, you gotta love supergroups)
1990, Paul Simon, “The Obvious Child” (oh, Paul Simon and your Vampire Weekend inspiring Afro-pop)
1990, Eric Johnson, “Cliffs of Dover”
and because this is just way too fucking awesome to not include:
Anytime I hear any one of these songs, I am transported back to my childhood … a simpler time, where liking something your Dad liked was just fine … and I am glad that I am back to a place in life where I can say the same thing now. So, thanks, Dad, for liking good music (and for being completely oversensitive about the AC in the house, and for thinking “Predator” is the best movie ever made) … “HILARIOUS!”
Remember that stuff from the past that was really awesome? I love those things that you watch, taste, smell or listen to that suddenly takes you to a bygone part of your life. Even when the association may be negative, the sense of being transported to a feeling or state of mind that has long seemed dead and gone is a pretty remarkable experience.
Perhaps it isn’t nostalgia, but is just something that was awesome in the past, and is still awesome now.
That is what the 88 mph posts will showcase.
First up, the music video for Weezer’s ‘Say It Ain’t So.’ I’ve listened to The Blue Album countless times, but still, I hear a song from this CD and I am 12 years old, riding the Gravitron at the local fair.
It’s the last ride of the night, the guy running the ride tells us we can break the rules, turn upside down and such, and he will let us know when he is getting ready to shut down the ride. He blares Weezer, and lets the ride go for an unprecedentedly long amount of time.
It’s probably the best memory from my pre-teen years. It was so fun. As is this CD.