This video popped up on my timeline last night and damn it man. How was this 23 years ago? It feels like just yesterday.
I mean, seeing those outfits, hairstyles, and humans walking around actually interacting with each other and not glued to device screens may as well have been 50 years ago, but I don’t care. I want those simpler times back.
Think about how great we had it back then.
We weren’t at war yet. 9/11 wasn’t even imaginable. The economy was booming. Hip hop was enjoying its golden years. Awesome movies were still coming out on a monthly basis. The Yankees dynasty was in full swing, and the Patriots’ was just about to begin.
Look at this list –
and this one –
And video games were still fucking amazing. They were right in that sweet spot of having improved, but not graphics that were so good they made you question reality like they do today.
You could argue Playstation 2 changed all that.
It was such a leap ahead in terms of not just graphics, but processing speed, gameplay, and even the controller. Sony took things to a whole different level with it.
If you were fortunate enough to own one you already know how lucky you were.
Chances are you either had a very very good hookup, or you or your mom or dad waited in line for one.
Also, midnight releases were the shit. It wasn’t like today where kids a zillion options of shit to do at all times. We had cable tv if we were lucky. No internet really. I think America Online was a thing then but it was a zillion dollars to use since they charged by the minute. No cell phones. It was basically physical activities outside, and video games. That was our entertainment. The highlights of our days were waking up and watching Craig Kilborn and Dan Patrick on Sportscenter, going to school and seeing your friends, after school practice, getting home and watching TRL on MTV, calling your same friends you talked to all day in school on your house phone, and listening to the radio or your cd player while you fell asleep in bed. On the weekends you’d be lucky if somebody’s mom would drive you and your boys to a movie theatre and dropped you off, or the mall.
Malls were the place to be back in the day.
Even if you didn’t have money, you’d just walk around, window shop, run into and flirt with girls from other towns, fight with guys from other towns, and just kill time basically.
So when there was a reason to hit the mall for a video game or cd release at midnight, it was a fucking event.
You’d coordinate your ride. Strategize how early you needed to get there without being there too-too early. And of course you’d have to budget and save up.
I was a weird kid who worked his ass off bussing tables from like the age of 12, and spent every cent on made on three things: 1- alt rock and rap CDs. 2- baseball cards. and 3- Tommy Hilfiger clothes I had zero business wearing.
When a new album would drop (always on a Tuesday back then), there would be lines a mile-long outside of record and CD stores. (Shout out newbury comics)
So when Strawberries or Newbury Comics would post a new album release date up on their wall, it was like breaking news. (again, this was a thing, remember no internet back then. We found out about album release dates via Kurt Loder on MTV News, Rolling Stone magazine, or at the actual record stores. They had these walls with lineups of artists and bands and dates for new music that we’d study and write down in notebooks and calendars.)
Word would spread and then plans would materialize.
Back then people used to wait in lines for everything. It was the only way to get shit you really wanted. You showed up early, and you fucking waited. There was no online. No workarounds. No people online offering to wait for you for money. No secondary markets online you could pay premium to get what you wanted.
When big enough bands or games would announce “midnight releases” it was like the Super Bowl. The buzz would get crazy. There would be news stations out covering shit and interviewing people just like in that video.
The one I remember the most was hitting the Solomon Pond Mall in Marlboro, Mass at midnight for the “Wu-Tang Forever” double album release.
One of the best albums ever and one of the biggest music release events ever. I remember seeing on the evening news the next night lines in NYC at Virgin Records and Tower Records stretching miles long to get in and get the album. The group’s members showed up to surprise fans and people lost their minds.
Again, simpler, better times.
What the fuck happened to us?
P.s.- this blew my mind. Totally forgot about babbages
p.p.s. – one of the best segments from one of the best late night shows of all time. conan’s “in the year 2000”