…and here we are in 1992, which was a pretty big “life change” year for me. Actually, the next three or four years qualify as pretty big “life change” years for me. To wit:

-1992 was the year my grandfather passed away. I grew up without an actual father (the truth is complicated and I don’t feel like explaining it in full here) and my grandpa was the closest thing I had. Even if I had a dad, my grandpa’s personality was so outsize, he’d have been the man of the house anyway. Despite the fact that we didn’t always get along (understatement) during my teenage years, losing him was a huge blow, and gave songs like “End Of The Road” and “They Reminisce Over You” (to say nothing of U2’s “One”) an extra layer of poignance.

-1992 was also the year my writing career began in earnest. I got hooked up with a minority writing program at Queens College, and the work I did there led me to an internship at Newsday, one of New York City’s big 3 tabloids. It was a paid internship (a pretty big deal when you’re 16) and I also got a couple of bylines in the paper (which is a HUGE deal when you’re 16). Plus, a year later, I was able to use those published articles as credit towards an English class I’d failed back in my sophomore year of high school (basically due to depression/ennui).

-Towards the end of 1992, I befriended a schoolmate, and for some reason or another, we grew really close really quickly. I was a big letter writer during this period, and we traded notes on pretty much a daily basis. It wasn’t until my best friend at the time suggested that this guy might be gay and interested in me that I made that particular connection. At the time, even though I knew I had romantic and sexual feelings towards men, acting on them was a major no-go (although, seriously, if I’d been real with myself during my high school days, I’d have wound up a much better adjusted young adult and I’d have gotten laid a lot more.) I’m embarrassed to say that once this friend sort of confessed his feelings to me, the insecurity I felt drove us apart. And I kind of made his life hell for a while. What can I say? Teenagers do dumb shit. Particularly insecure teenagers who are protective of their images. For what it’s worth, we reconnected a decade or so later and I got to apologize.

Musically, I was still low-grade schizophrenic. This playlist proves that ’92 was a solid year for hip-hop and what was now being termed “hip-hop soul” instead of “new jack swing”. I still had (and always will have) a soft spot for pop balladry, as evidenced by Bonnie Raitt, Genesis and the past-their-commercial-prime New Kids. I ended up buying (and kind of enjoying) the Body Count album only because I did a school report on “Cop Killer” (which I didn’t have the heart to include here–I like “There Goes The Neighborhood” better anyway, and although I wasn’t an “indie” kid by any stretch of the imagination, I’d already gotten tastes of alternative culture (my friend Vaughn LOVED “There’s No Other Way” by Blur, which I should’ve included here) and rave culture (the aforementioned crusher had a thing for techno). I also fell madly and deeply in love with Toad The Wet Sprocket, and still nurse a crush on Glen Phillips, who I’ve now met twice.

Anyway, here’s the playlist. Enjoy.

You Think You Know Her-Cause & Effect
Too Funky-George Michael
Jump Around-House of Pain
My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)-En Vogue
Real Love-Mary J. Blige
How I Could Just Kill A Man-Cypress Hill
Jump-Kris Kross (ever notice that the drum tracks on this song and the Cypress Hill song are identical?)
Tennessee-Arrested Development
One More Night-Bobby Brown
She’s Playing Hard To Get-Hi Five
Hot Sex-A Tribe Called Quest
Not Enough Time-INXS
Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover-Sophie B. Hawkins
Just Another Day-Jon Secada
Stay-Shakespear’s Sister
I’d Die Without You-P.M. Dawn
Under The Bridge-Red Hot Chili Peppers
All I Want-Toad The Wet Sprocket
Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)-Mint Condition
Money Can’t Buy You Love-Ralph Tresvant
Remember The Time-Michael Jackson
Come As You Are-Nirvana (I swear I didn’t intentionally place MJ & Nirvana back to back.)
Right Now-Van Halen
There Goes The Neighborhood-Body Count
Throw Ya Gunz-Onyx
Uptown Anthem-Naughty By Nature
What About Your Friends-TLC
You Can’t See What I Can See- Heavy D & The Boyz
The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)-Black Sheep
Baby Got Back-Sir Mix a Lot (pretty sure I bought these two cassingles on the same day)
Sesame’s Treet-Smart E’s
The Show Must Go On-Queen
If You Go Away-NKOTB
I Can’t Make You Love Me-Bonnie Raitt
Hold On My Heart-Genesis
End Of The Road-Boyz II Men
They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)-Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth

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