Friday, September 23, 2011

What if Kurt Had His Way?

I'm in a Nirvana and "Nevermind" state of mind today, so I thought I would blog about a little fun fact about the record.

The reason the album became so popular is because of the first song and first single "Smells Like Teen Spirit." But what if that song was never included on the album? Kurt Cobain actually wanted to cut it from "Nevermind" because after listening to it he thought it sounded too much like Boston's "More Than A Feeling." He was afraid the band and the record company would get sued.

Have a listen and see for yourself.

Here's Boston's "More Than A Feeling."

And here's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

What do you think??

Luckily Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl and their record company talked Kurt down from this ledge.

Twenty Years Old

September 23, 2011 is the twentieth anniversary of the release of "Nevermind" by Nirvana. Twenty years. TWENTY YEARS! I can't wrap my head around that. That's just... I don't even know. It doesn't feel like twenty years already, but then again a LOT has happened since I first heard that record. Or should I say cassette. Yep, the first time I heard "Nevermind" was on tape. It was laying on my best friend's brother's bed and I saw that baby going after the dollar bill and I just had to listen to it.

I am listening to it again and trying to put myself back to 1991. Jeez. Nineteen ninety one. It's a lifetime ago. But I remember it as if it was yesterday.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Just from those first few strums of the guitar I was hooked. And then when Dave Grohl started pounding on the drums-- it was over. There was no going back. Kurt's vocals were like nothing I was used to hearing. There's a reason why "Nevermind" knocked the King of Pop off the top spot in the Top 40 countdown. There was a reason why Hair Metal bands everywhere started to fade away. Everyone was tired of hearing the same old thing re-hashed and re-done. They wanted something new and this was it.

And it reflected the sentiments that my friends and I were feeling. It was loud and it was soft. It was angry and sad. It was different and unique and so totally us.

This little group has always been and always will until the end.

In Bloom

By the time I got to the second song on the album everything else had disappeared. I wasn't sitting in a room with my friend. I wasn't in Niagara Falls. I was somewhere else. I was completely engaged with Kurt and Krist and Dave.

We can have some more, Nature is a whore. Bruises on the fruit, tender age in bloom...

I just couldn't get over how different it was. I needed to do more with my life. I needed to be more. I needed to take this tape and run home and listen to it over and over and over again.

And that's exactly what I did.

Come As You Are

Come as you are, as you were, as I want you to be. As a friend, as a friend, as an old enemy...

This was my thing. It was for me and no one else. No one else would understand this record. No one else could begin to understand how much it affected me. I cut my hair myself. I died and bleached my hair and no one understood why. I wore old jeans I found and the thrift store. I had burn marks in my sweater and didn't care. No one understood me.

Or so I thought. When I got to high school there were more people like me. When we went to local shows we met even more people like us. But it was still underground. It was... well there really wasn't a name for it. Years later the moniker Alternative was used, but we hated that term. We never used it.



Oh god. The intro to this song made me insane. Or it put me in an insane mood. Or something. It starts out so heavy and fast and full of energy and then Kurt's lyrics...

I don't care, I don't care, I don't care
I don't care, I don't care, care if it's old
I don't mind, I don't mind, I don't mind
I don't mind, mind, don't have a mind


I wanted to write songs like this. I wanted to make people feel the energy and apathy and aggression that Kurt and the boys were making me feel. I wanted to fornicate and fight. I wanted to scream. I wanted to leave this sad excuse for a home-town. I needed something else.


The way the songs are arranged on the record is perfect. Slow songs follow fast songs, angry songs are followed by sad songs. But all the songs are perfect for that moment.

I'm so happy 'cause today I found my friends. They're in my head.
I'm so ugly, that's okay 'cause so are you. Broke our mirrors.

And even the sad songs are kind of angry. And the angry songs are kind of sad. There's a fine line Kurt balanced on and as his fans, we did too. We were all adolescents anyway. We were already a mess. We were already a little manic depressive and obsessive and screwed up in the head. This music was just a mirror we could look into and see that we were okay. We were not alone. We were okay.


My buddies had a band but none of them could sing. They went through lead singers like so many cigarettes smoked in their parents' garage. I hung out and watched them play covers of our favorite bands' songs, but they still needed a lead singer. When it came time for the school talent show they weren't exactly sure what they were going to do. They didn't know which song they were going to play. They were kind of freaking out a bit. I was doing a microphone check for them and I just started mumbling the lyrics that were stuck in my head at that moment:

Polly wants a cracker
I think I should get off her first
I think she wants some water
To put out the blow torch

My friends freaked out. "You must be our singer!" "I can't believe we didn't think of it before..." "You'd be perfect!"

So we played the show and we got second place. We broke up almost immediately after winning the fifty dollar prize because two of us wanted to buy a silk screening kit and two of us wanted to go out and get someone to buy us beer.

Territorial Pissings

The fact that Krist starts the song out by mimicking some hippie sentiment was just perfect. My friends and I were anything but hippie-dippie. We were angry, we were pissed off, and we broke stuff. We didn't try to love one another...

We were all trying to find something better for our lives. We were all trying to escape the lives we had in one way or another. We were miserable in a miserable town surrounded by miserable people. There was nothing here.

Gotta find a way to find a way when I'm there
Gotta find a way, a better way, I better wait

Dave's drums and Kurt's screaming and Krist's bass-line just got me so ramped up.

Drain You

Oh God. If this song doesn't send me right back to the 90s, I don't know what does. This song was what I wanted out of life. I wanted someone I could spend the rest of my life with and would be like this with me.

Chew your meat for you, pass it back and forth in a passionate kiss from my mouth to yours. Sloppy lips to lips, you're my vitamins. I like you.

My girlfriend at the time, in my mind, was that person. She was perfect. She was beautiful. She was into me.

Sure she treated me like garbage and cheated on me and dumped me a couple few times, but we always got back together full of rage and emotion and bile and love and tears and I didn't even care. She was hot and she was into me. At least while she was next to me.

Lounge Act

But things don't last. Nothing great lasts. At least not in my life.

Don't tell me what I wanna hear.
Afraid of never knowing fear. Experience anything you need.
I'll keep fighting jealousy. Until it's fucking gone.

She didn't like that I just showed up at her house unannounced. She didn't like that I gave her stuff. She didn't like that I loved her. She dumped me. And this time it was for good. And I was crushed. I thought that listening to Nirvana would help, but it didn't. All of their songs reminded me of her. I was sad and angry and full of rage. I wanted her back and I wanted to hurt her. Like she hurt me. Over and over and over.

But if she asked, I would have taken her back in a heartbeat.

Stay Away

Monkey see monkey do. Rather be dead than cool.

I was surrounded by a bunch of followers. Everyone started wearing flannel shirts they bought at the Gap and ripping their jeans just right to look cool. And they were everywhere. I hated it.

Stay away...

I hate all of you. I never want to be your friend, I don't even want to talk to you. I hate that you're sitting in the same classroom as me and living in the same city as me. I need to get the deuce out of this city, this state, this country.

On A Plain

The finest day that I've ever had was when I learned to cry on command. I love myself better than you...

The record is almost over! I never wanted these songs to end. I wanted it to go on and on and on. Sitting in my bedroom the first time I listened to this tape, I felt like I could stay in that place forever. Like freeze myself in time and be myself and be free.

But you can't be frozen in time and be free. I know that now. Twenty years later.

The "Ooo Oooo"s at the end of the song are so perfect. A harmony that you don't hear anywhere else on the record. And it leads right into...

Something In The Way

The final song on the album. And one of the saddest songs I've ever heard. Seriously. They way Kurt sings the chorus still kills me. I'm sure I cried the first time I heard this song. I remember driving in my Ford Taurus with some girl and the "Unplugged" version of this song came on. It made me so friggin' depressed. There was something in the way. There was something not right with my life. I probably shouldn't have told her I felt like just driving my car into a wall. She kind of freaked out. Looking back, that was a bad move on my part. But back then I really didn't have a filter between my brain and my mouth. I didn't say much back then, but when I did, I didn't think before saying it.


Twenty years later I still believe this is the best record front-to-back there is. Obviously I am only basing this opinion on albums that have come out in my life-time. But I am also extremely biased. I was deeply affected and effected by this record. The "Nevermind" CD I own now is the third copy that I've owned.

The first version was the cassette that I stole from my friend's brother. I wore that tape out to the point that it just refused to play any more. Then I bought the CD. But after my girl friend dumped me for the final time, I broke it into a million pieces. Along with all of my other Nirvana CDs. And my Hole CDs. A day later I mounted all the broken CD pieces to the wall of my dorm room. I used them as a mirror my entire freshman year of college.

I thought I was done with Nirvana at that point. I was going to start listening to new music. I was in the latter half of the 90s and I needed to change things in my life, starting with my music. But things don't go the way you want them to sometimes. Before the 1990s ended I had shiny new versions of all my old albums. I felt like such a poseur buying them at the record store.

I never did get the hell out of Western New York. Well not for very long anyway. And I have never lived outside of New York state. All of the things I wanted to do with my life never happened. And when a Nirvana song comes up on my iPod and I happen to be driving past an old hang-out or past my ex-girl friend's house or past where my high school used to stand, I get sad and I get angry and I am immediately transported back to the 90s.

And I kind of like that.

I found it hard. It's hard to find. Oh well, whatever. Nevermind.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Day A Solo View

I must have been on auto-pilot all morning. I don't remember anything before getting off the highway and onto the surface roads that lead to my work place. Seriously. I know I showered. How can you forget taking a shower? I tweeted and updated my facebook status. I dressed in clothes that sorta/kinda went together. I grabbed my usual two Quaker bars and filled my mug with OJ. But I honestly do not recall any of it.

Like I said, I was on auto-pilot.

Checking in to foursquare at work was the first thing I did today that I was conscious of. And then came the planning part of my day. A lot of teachers write lesson plans. Not me. "Lesson plan" denotes that it is all about what the teacher wants the students to know. It denotes that the students are being schooled. Not in my classroom. Don't get me wrong, I want my students to learn, but I prefer for it to happen organically. So I jot down notes on scraps of paper and I make notations to myself just in case the conversation and discussions get stuck or get off track, but on the whole the students are teaching each other. They are teaching me. They are learning on their own. I arrange the scraps of paper on my desk and then I rearrange them and I rearrange them again until they are just right.

From this point I attempt to type up a Planned Learning Experience so that I have something other than scraps of paper to work with (and so my boss can see, if she asks, what we did in class on a particular day). But it is NOT a lesson plan.

I always dread the point in the morning when I have to deal with the copier. Sometimes I will just print all the copies I need on my printer, but sometimes the copy machine is a Necessary Evil as a teacher. But this damned thing is going to be the death of me someday.

Or maybe I will be the death of it!

After class I had to run over to campus to drop off a few pieces of paper work and try to grab a few minutes with my boss. I was a little early so I wandered around and ended up in what appeared to be an old library or storage for the library or something. I'm still not exactly sure. But I came across these AMAZING looking card catalogs.


They remind me of being in elementary school. I went to school right next door to a huge public library. Every so often my teacher would bring us over there so we could learn something new of research a book report or something. I used to love looking through the card catalogs. To be honest, I'm not sure if I would still remember how to look something up in a card catalog. But I love them. I wish I could have one in my home. All those little drawers... and they seem to go on forever.

After work I went to the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center (NACC). One of the theater groups I work with has storage here. It is a complete mess.

Like I said. A mess.

I some how got roped into organizing everything for them. Have they seen my apartment? I found four bundles of what at first glance appeared to be plastic vines tied around colored cords. each bundle was wrapped with about thirty layers of plastic wrap.

But at closer look those colored cords were actually lengths of copper.

Orange and blue and gold and green pieces of copper. That stuff is worth money, you know. The guy told me get rid of the crap, and anything that's worth anything we can split. Sounds good to me! So now came the tedious task of removing the vines and leaves from the copper tubing. It was connected with zip ties and electrical tape.

After an hour, I was able to detach the leaves from the copper from one of the bundles.

Pretty sweet, eh? Just as I was about to start unwrapping the second bundle, the fire alarm started going off. At first I had no idea what it was. The NACC used to be a high school. The building is probably 100 years old. So when I say a fire alarm started to go off, it wasn't the usual "Please walk to the nearest exit..." computerized voice as I am used to hearing. It was closer to what the Flintstones were probably used to hearing. I'm talking Pterodactyl banging its beak into a metal bell kind of alarm. When I first heard it I had no idea what it was. I made my way to the exit and then the fire truck arrived. Maybe it was all the years watching "Rescue Me," but I just had to snap a picture of this:

All the gauges and buttons and lights and dials... it's cool right?

It's like the exact opposite reason why I was so attracted to the card catalogs, I think.

And of course it was raining as everyone was waiting for the firemen to tell everyone what we already knew: FALSE ALARM. You can't burn a building like this down. It's made of stone and mortar and memories of kids smoking in the boys room.

Speaking of The Boys Room, I was met by this note as I attempted to use the facilities after coming back into the NACC:

Don't Flush Good? Um, no. I think you mean well. I think you mean the toilet doesn't flush well. Or at all, knowing this place.

Finally I was on my way home. It seemed as though everyone was just taking their time on the highways. Cars driving 45mph in a 55mph zone, cars driving 55mph in a 65mph zone, cars driving way too friggin' slow and they were all in front of me. I was starving, they had to know this. How could they not? My stomach sounded like a large black bear. No, that was not thunder-- that's my stomach growling. So get the lead out lady!

By the time I finally got to home sweet home, I was greeted by the greatest thing ever: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese!

Greatest. End. To. The. Day. EVER.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Very Ape and Very Nice

I think about twenty years ago and I wonder where I would be now if I wasn't such a good kid or if I wasn't so in love with whatever girlfriend I was dating at the time. I would have left Niagara Falls sooner. I would have ran away from all of my issues and problems that I thought I had.

I would have went to Seattle or San Fransisco or Austin.

If I knew most of my friends were going to die or leave or change, maybe I wouldn't have invested so much love into them. If I knew Kurt was going to kill himself and with him the entire grunge scene, maybe I would have tried to do something different. Maybe I would have been a better person. Maybe I would have cut my hair sooner.

When I graduated high school there was three things I could have done: backpacked across the country, started a band (or joined one of the bands that asked me to sing for them), or go to college. Sometimes I kick myself for doing the latter. Sometimes I hate myself for taking the road that everyone wanted me to take.

But where would I be now?
But who would I be now?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blame My Mom

I’m sure most of you realize by this point that I really have a lot of issues. I have problems. I’m a catastrophe. But in all honesty, I’m really an okay guy. I’m not so bad. I’m not as melancholy as my writing may portray me to be. Really. I’m serious.

Who are you trying to convince, chaz?
I’m not saying I’m without faults. Obviously I have some eccentricities. I’m unique. I’m like a snowflake.

A snowflake? Really?
One of my peculiarities is that I count things. A lot. I count things while I’m walking and I count things while I’m driving. I count things that I’ve counted a million times before. I count and I count and I count. Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not so bad off that if I miscount or forget to count that I have to turn around and recount whatever it was that I was counting, but I am pretty bad when it comes to this oddity.

I count steps. There are thirty stairs between the floor I live on and the exit to my apartment building. I count these every morning when I leave and every evening when I come home. The strange part about this is that when I come home, and I walk up the stairs, I walk up a different set of stairs than the ones I walk down to get to my car in the morning. So there are twenty-six steps coming home and thirty steps leaving. This is odd, right? Why would one staircase have more stairs than another? It freaks me out every time I take the stairs.

I count train cars. If I am driving past a train or if a train is going over a bridge I am driving under, I try to count all the cars. This is normal though. Everyone does this. Sometimes it gets more problematic to count the train cars when I am moving at a different speed or in a different direction than the train. Trees and buildings that come between the train and me also make this more difficult. I try not to reduce or increase my speed when I see a car, because I know other drivers would probably get upset with me.

I count cars on the road. Let me be more specific: I count strings of cars. If I pass a whole string of cars, I count them to see how many I am passing. If a bunch of cars, all in a row, pass me, I count to see how many cars are passing me. If there is a string of cars all driving behind one slow car going the opposite direction as me, I count them. For example, there were forty cars sitting at the red light at Lockport and Ward Roads on my way home today. Forty cars! Could you imagine being the 40th car? When that light turned green, there’d be no way you’d make it through before it turned red again.

So why do I count all of these things? It’s an impulse, I’m sure, but really, it’s my mom’s fault. When I would ride in the car with my mom as a kid, we would count the train cars. I’m sure it was just a way to keep me occupied while riding in the car or a way to shut me up for a little while, but obviously it stuck. When I was learning to count steps my mom would count as I climbed each step: “one… two… three…” and so on. The house I grew up in was a raised ranch. Going from the living room down, there was seven steps, then a landing where the front door was, and then another six steps to get to the basement where my bedroom was. Coming in the backdoor, there were eight steps from the backyard or garage to the door. (This came in handy when I would come home late and all the lights were off: Eight steps up, then seven steps down, then a landing, then six more steps to get to my bedroom.) And to this day, obviously, I continue to count things.

I learned at an early age not to count sheep to fall asleep because it doesn’t work. It actually has the reverse effect: How many sheep can I count to? I remember once I stayed up all night counting sheep when I was in junior high. I think there was over a million. So blame my mom. It’s all her fault.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Younger Me

I've been thinking about my younger me a lot lately. More than usual. And that's saying something.

I like to believe that I am still pretty similar to my former self, other than my hair and my physique. I was cursed with male pattern baldness. I'll admit it. I'm not too proud. I'm sad when I think of all the things I used to do to my hair, but I'm not angry. I don't shake my fist and scream at the gods for taking my hair away. At least I still have my health.


I have horrible eating habits. And I drink more than I should. Oh, and I don't exercise. But other than that I'm the same as I used to be. I could kick my younger self's ass for wanting a pot belly. That pot belly turned into a beer gut right quick and it hasn't gone away since. And now I'm too lazy to do anything about it. I'm lazy because I'm fat and I'm fat because I'm lazy.

Vicious circle.

Other than my physique and my (lack of) hair, I'm basically the same as I was 20 years ago. I listen to the same music. If my iPod was buried and dug up in 2111, the people who found it might at first think it was buried in 1995. That is if they didn't research the fact that iPods weren't around in the 1990s. But still. I could totally DJ a "90s Night" party with just my iTunes as the record collection. Part of me is sad that I'm still not that guy who is on the cutting edge of music. That guy who knew the cool new stuff before everyone else. The guy who scoffed at the kids who called cool music "alternative" in 1994 and bought their flannel shirts at the Gap. But I'm not that guy any more. At some point I decided, subconsciously I think, that the music I was listening to was the greatest ever, and new bands weren't worth my time. That's not entirely true, but by the time "new" bands get to my ears, I have a feeling they aren't very new anymore.

I don't even know you any more, chaz.

Younger me would hate me now. Younger me would walk right past me on the street while making rude comments about the bald fat dude wearing ties to work. Younger me would probably kick my ass if he knew he ends up growing up to be me. I still have my very first driver's license. I barely recognize that kid. Other than his record collection. If I saw younger me on the street I would envy him. I would be jealous of his jean jacket covered in safety pins and his olive green Chuck Taylor's. I would silently hate him for having a full head of red or green or blue hair.

Why am I shell of my younger self? Why am I such a grown-up? Eww. I hate it. I don't want to have responsibilities and a career and bills to pay. I want to be hanging out at record shops and going to shows and forgetting what day of the week it is. I want music to speak to me. I want to have deep conversations about the liner notes of the "Singles" soundtrack. I want to stop being such a complainer.

Maybe I need to just stop bitching and just finish growing up. Maybe I need to stop listening to Mudhoney and Pearl Jam and Nirvana and Black Flag and the Pixies and Mother Love Bone and Nine Inch nails and Green River and Soul Asylum and Ministry the Smashing Pumpkins. Maybe I should just ditch all these old CDs and tapes and move on. Maybe I should wear a suit to work everyday and forget about my younger me. Maybe I should just kill my self.

I think it's too late for that. I can't end it all any more than I could get rid of my record collection. And even if by some Act Of God my record collection burst into flames, it's still inside me. It's a part of me. I'm still that grunge kid. I'm still that kid dumping a bottle of Clorox on his head in the shower. I'm still that kid with his head in the clouds. I'm still that kid scratching NIN lyrics into the desks at school. I'm still that kid lying to his parents about where he's going or where he was.

I don't own a pair of Chuck Taylor's any more. I haven't been to a rock show in months. And I wear a tie to work almost every day. But nine times out of ten I have an old concert tshirt on under that dress shirt and tie. I still have that safety pin-covered jean jacket to remind me of younger me. No matter how much he may hate me and no matter how jealous I am of him, we are the same.

Other than the hair.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Grunge Life

I had the chance to watch the documentary "Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story" yesterday. To a viewer in their twenties, it probably would be nothing to write home about. It's the usual "boy comes from dysfunctional family and decides to become a rock star and dies from drug over dose just as his band is making it" story. We've all heard a ton of these stories. It's nothing original.

But I am not in my twenties. I am in my (sigh) mid-thirties. I grew up in the 90s. I was a Grunge Kid. I was flannel and ripped jeans. I was red hair and I was green hair. I was Doc Martins and Chuck Taylors. I don't mean to discount those younger viewers, but this film meant a little bit more to me than them. Although the major players in the movie are a few years older than me (most of them were in their 20s in the 1990s while I was a teenager for most of that decade), I still related to them while watching them talk about Andrew Wood and Mother Love Bone and the Grunge Scene.

The best/worst part for me while watching the documentary was that even if I had the volume turned all the way down, I would still feel extremely nostalgic about those days. All it took were the images of the shows in warehouses and tiny clubs to take me back to my youth. Although I have never lived in Seattle or Washington state (where a majority of this film took place), I did have that scene here in Western New York. I was at the center of that scene, locally. The clothes and the footwear and the hair was just set dressing. For some of us. We didn't all look the same. But, I think, we all felt the same. And a lot of those feelings came flooding back to me as I sat and watched this movie.

Even though I came from a functional, happy family, I was miserable. I never felt like I belonged. I never felt happy. But then a friend of mine played a cassette of a band that I had never heard of and a switch went off in my head or my soul or something. From that point on, everything changed. I finally had people who were going through similar things as me (or at least they sang as though they were). I had an outlet for my emotions, I had a support system. I had people. They were My People. One of us would steal our parents' cars and we'd drive to Buffalo. In Buffalo there were so many more of us. Many of them hung out in or near Home of the Hits.

For those who don't know what Home of the Hits was, I shed a tear for you. Home of the Hits was the greatest record store. Ever. It was full of hand-made zines and gig posters. I would look through the stacks of records of bands I had never heard of and talk to the owner about the music. I would meet like-minded people and we'd talk about which bands we should check out. It was like cool-music heaven. Of course it wasn't just us Grunge Kids there. We met a lot of cool Punk People and Rude Boys and Straight Edgers to name just a few. And we didn't hate each other because we were into different music. We actually got along with each other and the older ones would show the younger ones some interesting bands to check out. We were all connected.

And watching the film, it was the same way in Seattle. When Mother Love Bone started, it was made up of guys from a few different local bands (Green River, Skin Yard, Malfunkshun, and Ten Minute Warning). The lead singer (Andrew Wood) lived with the lead singer of another local Seattle band (Chris Cornell of Soundgarden). They were all friends. Their bands all played shows with each other. They all helped each other. And when Mother Love Bone disbanded after the death of Andrew Wood, the members of the band went on to form two or three other bands. Without Mother Love Bone, we would never have Temple of the Dog, and Pearl Jam. Members of this band later went on to play in Brad, Mudhoney, and Love Battery, among others. Name any band that came up in the late-80s/early 90s in the Seattle area, and it's pretty probable that they are connected to Andrew Wood by two or three degrees of separation.

Watching this movie made me sad. I wasn't sad for the passing of Andrew Wood, which was sad in itself because of the potential that Mother Love Bone had, but I was sad because of the death of The Grunge Scene. Sure, a few of the bands that made it are still touring and still making records, but it's not the same. Alice in Chains has a new lead singer, Pearl Jam is playing arenas, and Soundgarden is just now getting back together after being broken up for over ten years. It's not the same. But nothing really is.

I can go on and on with my Peter Pan dreams of how I wish the 90s never ended, but it's kind of good that it did end. A lot of those bands imploded and died for a reason. And it was the same for my friends and me. Too much excess creates rips and tears and scraps and stupid decisions and death. Nothing is meant to last forever. Just look at the Rolling Stones. If I grew up in the 60s, I think I would look at that band as a laughing stock. And as a kid from the 90s, I do not want to see Pearl Jam on tour in 2051. Everything and everyone has a shelf life. Sure, I miss the hell out of all of my friends and all the great times we had and all the stupid stuff we did, but I couldn't be doing that still. Living as much as I did in the 90s has turned me into an old man (or an old-feeling man) in his mid-30s.

But the memories, man. It's all about those damn memories. And the music. And the chronic nostalgia.

Words and music, my only tools
Let's fall in love with music
The driving force of our livings
The only international language