20 Years of Spin
Last night I went to Spin magazine's 20th anniversary party at Webster Hall and wow, did it bring up a lot of memories. Sure, some might call them drug-induced flashbacks, but hey, that's rock'n'roll, baby.
Arguably I'm really the wrong person to be discussing rock'n'roll, since, as all my friends know, I have awful taste in music. I also couldn't spot a trend in music if it hit me over the head like the guitar that bashed Nirvana bassist Chris Novoselic when he rather imprudently threw it in the air during one concert. (And I only know this reference because I probably saw it in one of those 100 Most Dumb Ass Moments in Rock on VH1.) But, to give you the perfect example of this, and to relate my own place in Spin magazine history, I'll admit that when I was in college, I applied for a summer internship at the indie, though now institutional, rock title.
Now keep in mind, this was the early 90s, and I went to the interview in their grungy offices in a long flowy floral skirt and heels, just as the rise of the Seattle scene style was coming into fashion. The editor I met with asked me who I liked musically and I think I told him Sarah McLaughlin and Kate Bush. Barely concealing a smirk, he then asked me what I thought of the emerging grunge scene and I told him I thought it was crap and would have no impact whatsoever. And come on, truth be told, flannel is very unflattering. "Grunge will be a flash in the pan," I told him confidentally. Needless to say, I didn't get the job, and we're all better for it.
But at the celebration last night, they did have some very cool musicians play that even I could appreciate: Death Cab for Cutie and Public Enemy. Okay, I might not be the most ardent Public Enemy fan, but when they enouraged the audience to call back lyrics that included: Fuck George Bush! Fuck FEMA!, well, they had me at "fuck."
So happy birthday, Spin! Long may you prosper and keep people like me out of your editorial offices.