Found out about Me [Part 2/4]
Found out about Me:
My (not so) New, (not so) Miserable Gin Blossoms Experience
By Geoff Stephen
I had not yet joined the world wide web (though terms like world wide web/cyberspace were gaining traction).
In such an age, finding a satisfactory answer to the ‘where are they know?’ question was difficult.
As a result, when I saw the video for Follow You Down enter the MuchMusic countdown, I was ecstatic.
The Gin Blossoms had returned!
In 1996, any changes in the Gin Blossoms were not terribly noticeable to my relatively unchanged 14-year old self.
Which meant that the scenarios #1 & #2 above did not apply, but there was a chance of losing interest via scenario #3. A chance that the group could come across as treading water, I’d lose interest and move on, seeking new sounds.
If there was a chance, it was a microscopic, Dumb & Dumber-esque probability. For me, at the time, such sameness was exceptionally comforting.
But now that I’m two decades older and marginally wiser (I’ve changed, scenario #2), will I still enjoy Congratulations I’m Sorry?
Here’s what I think in 2016:
What’s changed in 20 years?
Well, I knew less about ‘coolness’ than any other grade 9 student in 1996 but I was at least cognizant of 2 mandatory rules: No socks + sandals and you must not, never, not ever, profess to love country music.
In my grade 9 classes this semester, students wear socks and sandals, regardless of the weather, as they eagerly & proudly listen to country music.
Whether both changes are improvements, who am I to say!
But one sure improvement is my appreciation of the GB track, Memphis Time. It would have been a clear-cut ‘I’m sorry’ for me in ’96, thanks to the social need to distance myself from anything that could be perceived as ‘country.’
Though the recording’s unchanged, I’ve most definitely changed my tune: I’m now a proud Memphis Time fan. The pedal steel is a nice touch & the track adds some welcome variety to the proceedings.
Thinking about all those wonderful songwriting ingredients & looking back at that (somewhat less wonderful) post-opening, guitar-holding photo of me, I’m appreciating how influential the Gin Blossoms have been in my personal songwriting.
I’m also relieved to see that I was abiding by mid-90s social norms, socks yes, no sandals in sight. Not to mention the appropriately brooding-facial expression & disheveled hair, as any self-respecting, aspiring 90s teenage musician would have done!
But why the shirt?
(to be continued)