I graduated high school in 1993 and ended my high school career in a pretty shaky place academically. I didn’t have the grades to get into the schools I wanted to go to and I was on the fence about what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to Berkley School of Music in Boston but my parents felt going to school for anything in the arts, especially at a school dedicated to the arts, was a bad idea. You know, you gotta have that “fall back career” just in case, right? That sent me into a phase where I just didn’t want to go to school. I didn’t want to go to school for what my parents wanted me to do but what I wanted to do, so I dragged my feet on college applications and missed submission dates for almost every other school I was going to apply to.
Now I was in a weird rebellion phase where I didn’t want to go to college at all. I was dating a guy who lived in New Hampshire who I met through one of my best friends. She’d graduated the year before and met this guy Chris who was friends with the guy she started dating and she thought he and I would really hit it off. She was right, we totally did. I would spend every other weekend throughout my senior year of high school taking a bus from Hartford, CT to Concord, NH to stay with Chris at school.
By the time my graduation was rolling around I thought I was majorly in love. I hadn’t gotten into any schools and I just wanted to be away from my family and go live my life with my boyfriend. We had decided we’d get married and I’d move up there with him, but my parents were definitely not down for that. After a huge blowup my parents they agreed let me go to New Hampshire with him for the summer but I still had to apply to schools and go to interviews and if I got in somewhere, I had to go. I agreed and off I went. Sometime I’ll tell the story of how that all played out because its was…dramatic.
Chris got us tickets to the Lollapalooza Festival at the Quonset State Airport in North Kingstown, RI in July that summer. I was really excited because it was my first music festival and some of my favorite bands were going to be there. Two bands in particular, Primus and Babes in Toyland, who I loved more than anything at that time were in the line up. Since it was my first festival I was fearless and had no problem pushing my way up to the front of the main stage when Primus played. Chris was a huge dude but not exactly the fighting type. Honestly I would have been more likely to get in a fist fight than he would. But he insisted on being a human wall behind me the whole time.
I have a lot of great memories from that summer and that festival. Unfortunately, Chris passed away a few years ago after a sudden illness. We hadn’t spoken in years (again, drama that I’ll share another weekend) but about two years before he died he found me on Facebook and we’d been chatting off and on. He was an amazing artist who did a lot of comic book style art, especially things of a dark and gothy nature. I still have a few things he drew for me way back when like this one of Death from Sandman. Any time he made anything just for me he signed it “Ghost” because that was a nickname I had for him (it was a nod to a character in Poppy Z. Brite’s books…which I read and reread obsessively at the time).
For this weekend’s playlist I thought I would share some of my favorite songs from some of the bands that were on that tour. It was an awesome experience and it honestly helped me realize that I did not like music festivals…lol. Now I cringe at the thought of going to one.
I did go again the following year. The 1994 lineup for Lollapalooza was amazing. Smashing Pumpkins, The Beastie Boys, Green Day, The Breeders, George Clinton & P-Funk, Nick Cave…that was an amazing show. But, sadly, I’ve gotten so old it seems because I can’t remember who I went with. This is why I’m so thankful for today’s technology because now I never forget anything![col_wrapper] [col2]
Bands that played the specific ’93 show I went to included:
Alice in Chains, Tool, Rage Against The Machine, Primus, Babes in Toyland, Girls Against Boys, Front 242, Genitorturers, Arrested Development, Fishbone, Mercury Rev, The Goats, Thurston Moore, Dinosaur Jr., Free Kitten, Lucious Jackson[/col2] [col2_last][/col2_last] [/col_wrapper]
…those are the bands I remember. Sadly Tool are one of the bands that don’t allow their music on streaming services so I wasn’t able to add them here. I do remember that, while I’d heard Tool before, after seeing them perform I was turned into an instant fan and they remain one of my all time favorite metal/rock bands. They don’t put out nearly enough material but I’m very excited for their new album that is expected to come out this summer and I’m keeping an eye out for tour dates! I’ve seen them a few times since 1993 and they put on one of the best shows!
Looking back at this and making the playlist for this weekend I had to chuckle at how many of the bands on this tour I ended up being a huge fan of and seeing multiple times when I was in college (yes, I did eventually go). I saw Rage three more times, Dinosaur Jr. more times than I can remember, I had seen Alice in Chains once before this and then once again after this, and I saw both the Genitorturers and Primus a few more times over the years.
Enjoy this weekend’s playlist…and tell me what your favorite music festivals were! Do you still go to them? Have you ever ended up finding new bands at them, like on side stages, that you ended up really loving?
(playlist not showing? follow this link!)
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