By the latter half of the Nineties, life had drastically changed for me. I had reached the quarter century mark, my schooling was entirely finished, I had a job, and I was living in a new city in a new province thousands of kilometres from “home”. I was an adult.
I was certainly enjoying my new status. Twenty-something adults have the very best of both worlds, in a way. They get all the perks of adulthood but can still get away with a lot of stupid shit. Those years in Saskatoon certainly had no shortage of stupidity; gloriously fun stupidity.
Still, change ruled the day. I had left home for many reasons. Desperation for a job was a big one. The offer in Saskatoon was pretty much the only opportunity that had come my way since graduation 5 months earlier. I wasn’t going to pass on a full time gig due to fear of change. But perhaps more importantly, leaving presented me with a reset of sorts. It was a chance to go somewhere new and far away where my past was erased, or more accurately, non-existent. I wanted a fresh start; one that I hoped would take my life in a more personally positive direction than the one I would be leaving behind. Ultimately, my new life proved little different. We can change a lot about ourselves but it’s very hard to change who we are. Acceptance is often the wiser path.
That’s not to say the attempt was pointless. In attempting change, I set myself on a path to all that I have now including an amazing bride and two fantastic children, none of which would be as they are had I stayed the course back home. I have no regrets, though my demons remain eternal. In my opinion there is a try, contrary to what Yoda may think.
1997 would see me make another change in my life. I found myself a new favourite band. As I tried to change myself, I decided I needed a more current, cool act to claim as my favourite. University had been a tumultuous experience musically as I veered wildly from genre to genre. From guitar/jock rock to classic rock to new country to obscure, goofy one hit wonders to mainstream CanCon, I was truly all over the map. I needed to focus my aural desires and turned to the second-generation of Alternative Rock, as it were.
This was an odd choice, to be honest. The last year of university had seen me drug, hesitantly, into Phil’s Grandson’s Place in Waterloo, the defacto alternative/freak club in town. This was a dingy, basement club where all kinds of colourful patrons would hangout and listen to and/or mosh to all the hot alt. bands. Groups like Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails, along with a plethora of lesser known groups were blasted from the sound system. A good friend of mine from school often took me there. He was really into that music. I didn’t mind it but I sure as hell stood out for all the wrong reasons at this place. My short haircut, blue Jeans and t-shirt were a blinking, neon “square” sign for all the cool I was exuded in a place crawling with black makeup, ripped shirts, and wild hairdos. I went from girls ignoring me out of disinterest to girls ignoring me out of disgust.
Regardless, the music stuck with me and eventually my hunt for a new favourite band stopped at this new trio with the weird name and a particularly high profile founding member. I’m of the Nirvana generation. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit midway through my high school career. It was very much my generation’s Beatles or British Invasion. I liked it, sure, but wasn’t a raging, obsessive fan. By 1997, however, Cobain was long dead and Dave Grohl, Nirvana’s drummer, had formed this band and began to make a name in his own right as a songwriter and lead musician/singer.
That new band I decided was my favourite was, of course, Foo Fighters. Their tenure as my favourite was short-lived, but long enough for me to purchase a few of their albums. I was really into it for a while but eventually drifted away back to my old favourites. You can try to change but you can’t change. Not permanently. It was great while it lasted, though.
I’m going to kick off the weekend with my absolute favourite Foo Fighters track from those days when I sought to re-invent myself. This is a terrific, haunting song even if the improper pronunciation of February drives me to distraction. Folks, I hope you enjoy the fabulous “February Stars” by the Foo Fighters from the album The Color and The Shape released in 1997.