I’m quite sure some of you haven’t yet experienced the effect that the 20th anniversary of the release of one of those albums you’ve been growing up with can produce. Let me tell you something. The feeling is a sweet and sour combination, and sometimes it tends go beyond, because the passing of time reminds that you’re getting old as if it was a twisting pinch. You start enduring but then pain arrives, and it always lefts a mark afterwards.
Since the beginning of this decade this anniversary thing has turn into something very frequent (who the fuck says 1990’s was dead musically speaking?), basically because it was more than 20 years ago I sold my soul for rock, to avoid labeling, to anything which exuded energy and distortion, and was capable of impressing by already stimulated teenager state.
A huge wave of nostalgia invades me, because that was a wonderful time in which every day a new record or a tape felt into my hands, it was like receiving a huge present, my ridiculous record collection was my most valuable treasure and every band was like discovering an unknown galaxy. So young and innocent!
Today I’m celebrating the release of one of these albums, Vs, or untitled when I bought it, with the company of a couple of beers, turning the volume up to 11, and yelling with Eddie Vedder, with the same passion as back in the day, when I thought Pearl Jam was the greatest band on earth.
In that time I was still assimilating their debut album, Ten. I was recovering from their impeccable performance on the MTV awards. They played Animal first, with Eddie Vedder looking insanely rabid and Jeff Ament jumping like a kangaroo, and then they covered Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World with Neil Young. I remember it was awesome! Old and new generation playing with same passion. I knew about the imminent release of a new album, but it was Felix (hey Felix, where are you?) who reminded me of it. As I wasn’t informed of the exact date of release, and I HAD to have the album the very same day, with some dough I had been given for my birthday separated for this purpose, I started my daily pilgrimage to the record store, waiting for the arrival of the album, with a level of patience and determination which would have been very useful for other activities.
And finally, the day came, and the desired trophy was in my hands and arrived home. Let’s admit the cover is horrible, but that particular smell which my booklet still keeps intact, the artwork with the guns, the bullets, rats, needles, and those cryptic lyrics with unfinished sentences which seemed to be Vedder’s thoughts interrupted by who the hell knows. I didn’t understand anything, but it was awesome anyway.
To be honest before pushing play, I had a slight panic attack, fearing the album was a shit, or the band had lost their sparkle. What if I ended disappointed by my favorite band? This kind of doubt or fear, which makes complete sense, throughout our lifetime music experiences has become something real. Eventually I overcame this fear, and magic came back to my room, and I was happy again. How many albums you can list which can include so many different yet awesome songs as Glorified G, Rearviewmirror, Dissident or Animal?
I’ve been listening to this album a lot these past weeks, and recovering some memories from 20 years ago, and exactly related to October 1993, has been very emotional. Falling in love with someone you barely know, with a band, Pearl Jam, and this album, as the main connection is weird, but I was young, he was older (very very) than me, and reminded me of Eddie Vedder. I couldn’t help it. Oh, Felix! Where are you? There are so many stories I’d like to tell you about myself… Lost your track 13 years ago, you weren’t a bad boy, but never very straightforward either. Once you were in my rearviewmirror.
Aaah, life again!