Mixology is a recurring feature in which I take a look at one of the many mix tapes I made over the years. Some are better than others, but all of them are fun to revisit.
Mindful Aggression (1/22/91)
Less than a week before this tape was made, Operation Desert Storm began. I went to an Indian restaurant on Route 1 with a couple of friends and when we came out, the news was on the radio that U.S.-led forces had begun bombing Iraqi forces in Kuwait. It was a strange time. It was the first real war of my generation; Vietnam was happening when I was a little kid, but I didn't know what it was (and besides, I lived in Canada, which wasn't involved in the conflict). This was some heavy shit. I was 23 at the time. I remember a bunch of us hanging out, watching the constant war coverage on CNN with a combination of awe and dismay. There was a general feeling of helplessness and wondering why the U.S. was getting involved in this thing.
Despite the objections of me and my friends, the nation was whipped up into a jingoistic frenzy by the Gulf War. Super Bowl XXV took place on January 27, with the New York Giants taking on the Buffalo Bills. Whitney Houston sang the national anthem in such electrifying fashion that it ended up being released as a single and hit #20 on the charts. The Giants edged the Bills 20-19 when Bills kicker Scott Norwood missed a field goal in the dying seconds. I was living on Butman Street with my roommate Bryan and was extremely bummed by the missed FG, not just because I was rooting for the Bills but also because I would have won $250 in a Super Bowl squares pool had he made it. I had already won $225 from the halftime score, which a few days later I would have to hand over to the oil guy to get our heat working again. Brutal.
The day after this tape was made, I headed off to the Worcester Centrum to see the mighty Iron Maiden with my buddy Tat. In February, I saw Living Colour up at UNH and INXS at the Centrum. Later on in the spring, I saw An Emotional Fish and The Tragically Hip in separate shows at the Paradise in Boston, which was my introduction to the joy of club shows. I had been to a few before at the Channel (Black Crowes, Death Angel), but these shows opened my eyes to the vitality of seeing a band in a room as opposed to an arena. Previously, most of the concerts I had attended were in hockey rinks or amphitheaters. It was definitely a revelation.
I was still a big radio listener at this time, mostly WFNX and WBCN. Still, a lot of the songs on this tape were never heard on the radio around here. I was all about the guitar rock, weaning myself off the metal and listening to a lot of bluesy stuff as well. Neil Young's Ragged Glory was an absolute ass-kicker that I was digging at the time. Later in the year, the Temple of the Dog and Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger got me into a whole new area of rock that I would explore for the rest of the decade.
As for the Gulf War, it didn't last too long. The ground campaign began on February 24 and 100 hours later, a cease fire was declared and President George Bush declared Kuwait liberated. Of course, that was from the last time U.S. forces were sent overseas in the coming years. Back home, things went back to normal. For those of us in our early 20s, when we weren't working, there was much goofing off to do and Rolling Rock to be consumed. That was about as complicated as things got back then.
Drive Time - Rik Emmett
Deep Dive - Kim Mitchell
Baby's on Fire - David Lee Roth
The Candy Song - Masters of Reality
It's Love - King's X
Raspberry Beret - Hindu Love Gods
Burger Man - ZZ Top
The Forecast (Calls for Pain) - Robert Cray
Keep On Loving Me Baby - Colin James
Telephone Song - The Vaughan Brothers
High Landrons - Eric Johnson
Mansion on the Hill - Neil Young and Crazy Horse
Suicide Blonde - INXS
This and That - Michael Penn
Love Rears its Ugly Head - Living Colour
Phone Call from the Moon - Adrian Belew
Still Got the Blues - Gary Moore
Traveling Riverside Blues - Led Zeppelin
Prodigal Blues - Billy Idol
2000 Blues - ZZ Top
She Talks to Angels - The Black Crowes
Expedition Sailor - Kim Mitchell
Tick Tock - The Vaughan Brothers
Traveling Riverside Blues: