by Jason Kuznicki
I turned thirteen in 1989. At that age the mind kind of imprints on music — you notice it. Cosmically.
Everyone is at least a little crazy then, and sometimes more. Nothing fits. Nothing makes sense. You stand uncomprehending before the cruel, matter-of-fact changes of puberty. And the music starts talking to you.
What is it saying? You have no idea. No one’s ever said this stuff before.
The idiom varies. For whatever reason I never took to grunge. Rather the stuff that came right before it. When no one else was home I’d tune the family stereo to 97X — yes, that 97X (bang!) the future of rock and roll — and listen. And for once I wouldn’t have any words of my own.
My mom would get mad about 97X, which she hated. But I think you always remember the music from around that age.
I learned only today that 97X isn’t playing anymore. Neither broadcast nor online. There’s a song about that kind of loss, too: