I was reminded on Facebook this AM that Nirvana's "Nevermind" came out 20 years ago. In an instant, I was able to complete the mental math (because 33 minus 20 isn't exactly that difficult ...) and I realize that I was 13 years old and I remember getting a cassette dub of the album - "Nevermind" on one side and some of Pearl Jam's "Ten" on the other.
This album served as an antidote to some of the shenanigans of junior high. It didn't matter that I wasn't popular, that my mom wouldn't let me wear ripped jeans like I really wanted to, that my friends were geeks like me and that the worst possible situation of all time was pissing off Miss Smith in German class, the music of the Seattle grunge scene went beyond the badassery of bands like Metallica.
This morning, I've been going back and forth with an college classmate of mine who is in Norway. His opinion? Nevermind still sucks - never mind that it was an "awakening" of sorts in American music. As for me - I remember the awe I felt the first time I heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit." (Oh yes, I had that deodorant, my friends ...) I remember the prickles that I had the first time I heard the posthumous release "You Know You're Right" (driving on Interstate 43, just right into Milwaukee ... not a good place to get distracted).
If "Nevermind" is a shitty album, I embrace my bad taste with glee. And my 13-year-old self approves.