90’s music was a black void for me.
When I should have been reveling in the grittiness of Nirvana, the angstiness of Alanis Morissette, the demureness of Beck, and the whateverness of Bjork, I was too busy going through my awkward Elton John phase where I’d only wear sequin vests and pant suits. I’ve been told that I’m an old soul, and considering that I always wanted to be a drunk flapper from the ’20’s, listening to current music was not a priority of mine.
However, as I got older, my normally nonstop-talky self noticed gaps appearing in the conversations with my peers about the music of our childhood. When the subject of 90’s music came up, I had nothing to add, no little anecdotes about the first Gavin Rossdale t-shirt I bought or the countless hours I listened to Live Through This on the basement floor.
Still to this day, I don’t feel like I missed out on 90’s music (and let the violence commence), and there have only been a few artists that I’ve been interested in discovering after the fact.
And one of those acts is Weezer.
The Blue Album and Pinkerton, of course.
Did they actually make any records after that?
I never thought about Weezer until I met Michael.
Michael was a former actor from Germany and charming as shit. He’d sweet talk the pants right off of ya. Maybe he actually did at one point. Who knows? Michael also was the manager of a band called The Rentals. I had no idea who the hell The Rentals were. Someone told me that the front man was Matt Sharp, formerly of Weezer and I was all like, “Woopity-do!”
Michael invited me to a number of The Rentals shows and I just didn’t get them AND I DIDN’T GET THE FUCKING WEEZER!
Who were they? Why did everyone love them so much? Why would someone name their kid Rivers and why do I get turned on every time I see him wearing those giant horn-rimmed glasses?
What entailed after that was a long journey of self-exploration, love, heartbreak, acceptance, and enlightenment.
But, let’s pretend!!!
Please please please pleaseeee?
I first noticed in the beginning of my research that though girls dug early Weezer, that it was the boys that pitched a tent when describing their love for the band.
“Why do you boys cream your pants over early Weezer so much?” I asked Josh, Sims, Mike, Richard, Luther…any other lovably nerdy male friend between the ages of 25-35 that I could think of.
They all had the same answer.
1.) First, to be clear, that they loved Weezer. Not love. LOVED.
2.) That the band symbolized a very important time in their adolescence
3.) That they learned to play guitar from the The Blue Album and Pinkerton
4.) That their lyrics were relatable to their young male ears, their guitar parts resonating, and their melodies catchy
The Blue Album came out when I was 11 year-old and I recall dismissing it as typical radio ga–ga. “Buddy Holly” was the hit music video of the year and watching those dorks strumming their guitars militant style on the set of “Happy Days” did not warm my cold, tween heart of steel.
Sixteen years later, I sat down with the album and tried to envision being a prepubescent male suffering from wet dreams and lusting after my friend’s exchange student from Japan and low and behold…it worked!
The wave of nostalgia for a time I didn’t experience of a gender that I am not totally overwhelmed me.
By the end of record I was lamenting for my alcoholic father, wanting to be a lazy surf bum, putting up a front, dreaming about stepping on someones toes, seeing where I could buy a KISS poster, and checking my sweater for holes.
At this point, understanding who I was listening to, I moved on to Pinkerton…and I got that too! Except for the whole tired of sleeping with a bunch of chicks thing. That one was hard to relate to.
Then I moved on to The Green Album and….what the fuck happened?!
“I‘ve often compared Weezer to an ex-girlfriend you’re still in love with,” my friend Mike was telling me yesterday. “You keep expecting that at some point it will click again, but it just moves forward and never works out again.”
I’d like to think that Weezer took a dump after Matt Sharp left and Rivers went all commercial, but who knows? All we know is that the rawness and magic of the first two albums will never be captured again.
That’s not true.
Everyone knows why Weezer sucks now.
Where am I going with this post?
I have no fucking idea, but I’m just going to keep singing, “Say It Ain’t So” over and over until my co-workers tell me to shut up.
What’s your favorite Weezer song? Was Weezer an important part of your teenage music listening experience?