I spent most of yesterday looking around on Facebook and making contact with people I haven’t talked to in years. I discovered that roughly half my graduating class from high school (Springfield High School, Class of ’87) is on there, and, well… what a trip. Seeing the people I grew up with looking like adults and posing in pictures with their spouses and children is both disorienting and flashback inducing.
In the spirit of the flashback, I decided to take a few minutes to reflect on some of the music that accompanied my high school years. The town I grew up in (Springfield, OR) is a very blue collar place, supported mostly by a dying wood products industry. In her book about child-murderer Diane Downs, author Ann Rule described Springfield as an ugly step-sister to neighboring city Eugene (and I’m not sure which hurts more – the semi-truth of that analogy, or that I just cited Ann Rule as an “author”). She may be right, but Springfield is a place with many interesting nooks and dramatic vistas, and I spent a lot of my teenage years behind the wheel of a red 1972 VW Bug, driving all over that town and dreaming of the day that I could leave its sawmills and orchards behind.
All of my trips up Hayden Bridge Road and down Main Street were punctuated by music from my modest collection of cassette tapes – remember those? Some have held up pretty well, others are as embarrassing as the bowl haircut I sported in my 5th grade photos, but they were all part of the soundtrack of a time when I was a restless kid, rolling down the road to somewhere else.
Prince | Sign O’ The Times
dk says: Prince was an essential for me in high school. Around The World In A Day, Under The Cherry Moon, and 1999 all got play, but Sign O’ The Times was the dominant tape in my deck.
Listen: [link removed]
AC/DC | Who Made Who
dk says: The original AC/DC best-of, this compilation leans heavily toward the Brian Johnson years, but rocks from start to finish.
Listen: Ride On
INXS | Kick
dk says: The band behind my first concert, it seemed like everyone at Springfield High listened to these guys in 86/87…
Listen: Need You Tonight
Beastie Boys | Licensed To Ill
dk says: This tape stayed in the deck for two straight months during spring term of my senior year.
Listen: The New Style
Def Leppard | Hysteria
dk says: This one really speaks for itself.
LL Cool J | Bigger And Deffer
dk says: I knew every word of this album back in the day, but it hasn’t held up well.
Listen: Get Down
Bon Jovi | Slippery When Wet
dk says: This one also speaks for itself, although it led to a good debate here.
Listen: Or not.
Dead Or Alive | Youthquake
dk says: This one has drawn some verbal fire from friends and family over the years, but it’s still a thumbs-up in my book.
Listen: Lover Come Back To Me
The Cars | Greatest Hits
dk says: Not necessarily a favorite, but a staple nonetheless…
Listen: Since You’re Gone
Billy Idol | Vital Idol
dk says: Billy Idol is funny. And another debate ensued…
Listen: Catch My Fall
QUESTION: What did you listen to when you went cruising during high school?