Twenty years ago a new decade started – the decade in which I really became a teenager: the 90’s (ok, so I really became a teen in 1988 but you know what I mean!)! It’s a scary thought to realise that I remember what I did exactly twenty years ago…
In February 1990, I moved for the second time in my life. The first time was in 1988 when the whole family moved to England for a year. After my first expat experience we moved back to the house in Veberöd where I had grown up. However, we didn’t stay long since my parents decided to buy my maternal grandmother’s house in Eslöv and move the whole family to my mother’s childhood home. I started a new school, for the 2nd time, and made some new friends. My friend L who now lives in the south of France and I have known each other for exactly 20 years this month (week 9 to be specific – the week after the February school holidays)!
Anyway, I have been interested in music for as long as I remember, but the 1990’s was when it really took off. I would say that hearing REM’s Losing my religion was a turning point in my taste in music. This song symbolises my interest in alternative music, which is quite ironic, since it was a highly successful main-stream song by an independent band that until releasing “Losing my religion” never really had had a big chart hit. I remember listening to the song with our American exchange student who lived with us during the spring of 1991.
Even if I started listening to alternative music, I continued to also like chart music, but I would not publicly admit to liking pop bands such as Take That or 90’s dance music (link to my blog post about “18-års disco”). Take That actually became an internal joke with my two best friends, we kind of liked their music which was a little embarrassing. However, since we were part of the ironic generation, we could just like them “with irony“*.
Nirvana released its album “Nevermind” in 1991 and I didn’t understand the fuss… Or rather, I decided that I was not going to like Nirvana, just because everyone else did (same happened with the Swedish band Kent that I nowadays love!)! Even my English friend A, who loved Kylie Minogue, Michael Jackson and Madonna liked Nirvana! Instead I really liked Pearl Jam and especially the song “Alive”. In the end I did succumb to Nirvana’s music and bought “Nevermind” when on a school trip to Prague in 1994.
My best friends and I even had two sets of male friends; the group of guys with whom we would go to discos, who thought that we had a weird taste in music (they listened to Dr Alban and Ace of Base) and the three guys whose music taste was more like our! These guys introduced us to [old] Swedish bands such as Ebba Grön, Imperiet, and Nationalteatern.
So what does all this have to do with walking in heels? Well, I repeat: I was a teenager in the 90’s… and the fashion ideal was grunge. We wore [imitation-]Dr Marten’s, lots of black clothes and t-shirts with cool ironic texts (my favourite was : “The one who has the most stuff when he dies, wins” which one of my classmates had). Such a contrast to Annika’s fashion experience of being a teenager in the 1980’s with high heels and blue eye shadow!! 😉 Even when going to discos, I can’t recall dressing up much – I remember a blue and white striped shirt and a black vest that I used to wear… Definitely nothing too sexy!
My best memories of going out are from London, where we went in November 1993, May 1994 (class trip) and July 1995 (interrailing in the UK including Wales, Yorkshire and Scotland). Our favourite place was called The Raw Club in Camden and on Thursdays they had an event called “The Cabbage Patch” playing lots of alternative music such as Primal Scream, Pearl Jam, Manic Street Preachers – right up our alley! We discovered it by chance on a flyer found in Leicester Square, we took the tube to Tottenham Court Road and walked to Great Russell Street where the club was located several floors underground (I think in a parking garage). It was dark, dingy and smoky, but we thought that it was such a cool place!**
It was during our first trip to London in 1993 that we discovered another great band, Therapy?, through a guy from Örebro who always wore t-shirts with the band name. We became curious and bought a cassette EP (oh yes, they existed!) with Opal Mantra and loved the Irish band! A few months later they played at Mejeriet, a small venue in Lund and that was the second concert we went to together. Bryan Adams in Copenhagen 1992 was the first, which was not so alternative!
Speaking of concerts, I was sooo disappointed when my parents wouldn’t let me go to Stockholm to see The Lemonheads, they were the supporting act for the more famous band Soul Asylum (of “Runaway train” fame). Instead my friend Å went with her younger brother 😦
I now challenge the rest of you: What are your memories of the 90’s? What kind of music did you listen to, and did that reflect your sense of fashion?
Next time, my favourite films from the 90’s…
*) When, in July 1995, it was announced that Robbie Williams was leaving TT, my friend Å and I were in Cardiff, Wales visiting an English friend of mine. In true 90’s ironic style we held a minute of silence…
**) We did actually go to Hippodrome and Equinox as well, which were the more main-stream clubs on Leicester Square in central London but they were definitely not as cool! We also went to The Marquee once but I almost got into a fight with a guy who pulled my hair!