I love the nineties

11 May

I was a wee thing in a button down white shirt and navy blue pleated skirt – the school uniform – as I glued my ear to my brother’s bedroom door. He was blasting new music and I wanted to know what it was. Knocking to ask was useless; he couldn’t hear or didn‘t want to. Going in unannounced was… suicide; he’d charge to the door, screaming at me and my bad manners. Once he started locking himself in for hours, I had no alternative but to eavesdrop.

It was 1989 and I soon learned what he was listening to was Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction album. It was loud, fast, dirty, and way cooler than my dad’s rock n’ roll. It was also way cooler than the Balão Mágico (Magical Balloon) shit my mom bought for me. Once the band became insanely popular my sister also got into them, and the vinyl made its way to the living room records cabinet where I had access to it. The cover was more than I could grasp at the time – a Robert Williams painting of a robot ready to avenge an innocent woman’s rape – but I stared at it for a while,  with headphones blasting the album back to back in my young and fragile ears.  Every single song was good, but Rocket Queen, the closing track, was a favorite, and still is. The bass line and guitar riff were sexy right off the bat. I had no idea what the lyrics meant, but my little cousin and I danced and karaoked to it. Once in a while I’d “borrow” my brother’s guitar to “play” along (and break strings).

Here I am
And you’re a Rocket Queen
I might be a little young
But honey, I ain’t naïve
Here I am
And you’re a Rocket Queen
I might be too much
But honey, you’re a bit obscene

I eventually found magazines in my siblings’ stuff and got a hold of translations. The lyrics made me go “Yeah!” because I could tell they were about sex. I’d yet to come across my brother’s porn but that didn’t stop me from dreaming about the guitarist. Unaware of what sex really was and that doing it with Slash might come with a side of crabs, my subconscious had me kissing and rolling around in bed with him, as adults in soap operas did. I could never actually see his face behind all the hair, but that was part of the appeal. While other little Catholic school girls crushed on Menudo (Ricky Martin’s Mexican boy band), I perused magazines for pictures of a tight jeans-wearing, whiskey-drinking, cigarette-smoking, bad boy with magical fingers.

I wanted to go to a show really bad; I envisioned myself dancing to Rocket Queen and getting picked by Slash to dance on stage. I thought I’d finally get my chance at age 9, when Guns N’ Roses were set to tour South America, playing in Rio twice. My dad promised to take my brother and sister, but apparently I was “too young.” Completely desperate and totally out of character, I threw a minor fit, but they wouldn’t budge. My dad and siblings left for the venue in early evening and mom, feeling bad for her  self-proclaimed precocious daughter, let me stay up late to catch the show live on TV. Months later, Axl successfully pissed off every band member, the group was no more, and at 18, I got a Red Hot Chili Peppers tattoo instead of a Guns N’ Roses one.

Rocket Queen – featuring the drummer’s girlfriend moaning over the break, recorded as she had sex with the vocalist in the studio – is still one of my favorite tunes. It is raw and sexy and it’s possible that I do on occasion put on a 90’s type leather mini dress and dance to it at home.  I’m happy nineties fashion is in again; too bad the hipsters aren’t bringing back good music along with lycra skirts.
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7 Responses to “I love the nineties”

  1. Matt May 11, 2010 at 10:01 #

    Wait. You have a rhcp tattoo?

    • Juliana May 11, 2010 at 10:15 #

      yea! i was also obsessed with them. it’s a tramp stamp, unfortunately… i didn’t know 😦

  2. Sara May 11, 2010 at 11:04 #

    I wish I could get more tattoos. There just aren’t that many places to get them that I can hide well. Maybe I’ll put one on my forehead?

    • Juliana May 11, 2010 at 14:35 #

      sara. you are full of good ideas. but make it something that makes sense left-right and right-left, that way you’re not confused when you look in the mirror. i have great ideas too.

      • Sara May 11, 2010 at 15:08 #

        Is that how you did your tattoos? I can never think of anything really meaningful that isn’t entirely cheesy. I got one tattoo the day I moved out of my parents’ house, and I went by myself to get it. So that one is pretty special. Now I’m at a loss for the next one.

  3. Jason Simone May 11, 2010 at 19:08 #

    I was never into them. I spent my elementary and middle school years blasting Queen and Elton John from my Walkman.

    That, I now know, was foreshadowing.

  4. wanderingmenace May 12, 2010 at 07:36 #

    you are absolutely a girl after my own heart. I used to do the axl sway with a red bandana on my head whenever they came on MTV. And by the time I managed to weasel through puberty, Anthony Kiedis was there to guide me into full-throttled obsession.
    Dear God, those abs.

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