Editor's note: In honor of the final week of Camp Freddy's December residency, which happens tonight at the Roxy, West Coast Sound asked members of the band to chime in on their favorite music of the decades. Two weeks ago Billy Morrison highlighted his favorite things about the 1970s. Last week Donovan Leitch listed some of his favorite things about the 1980s. This week the band will play songs of the 1990s, and Leitch and Morrison are celebrating the decade by offering a list. Herewith:
Billy Morrison and Donovan Leitch List Ten Exciting Cultural Moments of the 1990s.
Billy Morrison: “The 90's. A decade of shoe-gazing, flannel shirts, McDonalds, insane technology growth, down-tuned guitars and Leonardo DiCaprio. The countdown of the 10 most important cultural events of the 90's has been a joint effort between Donovan and myself. The fact that I finally woke up from well over a decade of narcotic-induced haze during the 90's means I really have no idea what happened between 1981 and 1995! So we decided to collaborate on this one. Five each. Here we go”…..
Donovan #5: Ren and Stimpy – I just loved this cartoon and it was really one of the 1st mature animated shows on television and I believe it paved the way for so many other groundbreaking animated series. I've gotta get the DVD collection, come to think of it.
Donovan – #4: Hammer Time – those baggy pants! That haircut! The videos! MC Hammer was the James Brown of the 90's and it was infectious. I don't care who you were or what you listened to, “You Can't Touch This” was on everyone's tongue and it was hilarious. I remember walking into the lobby of the Universal City Hilton hotel and there were at least a hundred people wearing MC Hammer tour jackets. I asked someone what was going on and I was told that Hammer toured with his entire family and friends. I knew it was only a matter of time before “Can't Touch This” became “Can't Afford This!”
Donovan #3: Grunge – I've got to admit I'm not the biggest fan of flannel shirts and depressed rock stars. I like glam. But you can't deny the fact that grunge, led by Kurt Cobain, came out of nowhere. What I did like about it was the fact that it wasn't some music industry invention. Eventually the industry came around and marketed bands like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden for all they were worth. But I liked the idea of it all and Teen Spirit continues to kick ass.
Donovan #2: OJ Simpson – I was living in New York City at the time and everyone was watching the NY Knicks in the playoffs. I'm doing my best to blend in, being a So-Cal boy and all. Suddenly there's a split screen shot – the Knicks game on the right hand side and a white Bronco on the left. Driving down an LA freeway with OJ in the back. Obviously the murders and his trial became one of the biggest cultural moments of that decade.
Donovan #1: Bill Clinton – remember the good old days when our President was Elvis? Playing sax on Aresnio Hall, boxers vs. briefs, pizza parties with Monica Lewinsky. It's like the bumper sticker says – When Bill lied, nobody died. I miss Bubba.
Billy #5: I crawl out from rehab yet again and notice a staggering increase in French people wandering the streets of London. I come to learn that they built a tunnel from England to France. Under the ocean. Whatever will they think of next? Cigarettes and alcohol become extremely cheap and the English finally get some decent cuisine.
Billy #4: One of the few 90's cultural icons to permeate my heroin chic is Trent Reznor. Aware of the majesty of Nine Inch Nails despite my self imposed bondage, I realize that one man is single handedly changing the face of music and singing about torture, drugs, fetishistic sex and other taboo subjects…… and is being played on the radio. The man is a genius.
Billy #3: Britpop sweeps the nation (or at least takes a walk through Camden Town). Oasis, Blur, Suede, Pulp and Supergrass all become huge for approximately four minutes. The only one of them to really transcend the craze and become a world super power is Oasis. Two brothers from the north of England who like to punch each other and rip off the Beatles. Pudding bowl haircuts and unibrows are all the rage.
Billy #2: A generation begins staying home for days on end and killing things. The Playstation is released and lives change. Realistic graphics and an abundance of exciting new titles mean that video gaming enters a new phase. And humanity begins to lose brain cells by the billions.
Billy #1: “Look, ma! I pierced my penis!” This became a battle cry among the youth of the nineties. If it stuck out, we pierced it. Lips, noses, ears, nipples, genitals, eyebrows….. you name it and it was a place that cried out for a metal ring. And the more the merrier. Airport metal detectors were the enemy and faces full of jewelry were everywhere. The ridiculous question of …..”Did that hurt?”….. is asked fifty times a day.