The first step in the transition is to burn my copy of Peter Cetera's Glory of Love and invest in some "gangsta rap"...
NWA: Straight Outta Compton (1988)
Picture a sixteen year old version of the Fresh Off The Boat kid bumping NWA in his mom's Ford LTD... and you have me back in 1988. It sounds ridiculous... but it's true. I've been a big fan of NWA for a long, long time.
Growing up in a middle class neighborhood in Northern California, I can't really relate to what life in Compton was like...
1978 Topps #36
But I know Eddie "Mother F'n" Murray can.
Metallica: Eye of the Beholder (1988)
In high school, I wasn't only listening to "gangsta rap", I was also rocking out to Metallica.
...And Justice for All was the first album of theirs I ever purchased, but not the last. It paved the way to my Metallica fandom. It wasn't easy choosing a favorite song on this album, because they're all good. So I decided to pick a song with a title that fit one of my all-time favorite insert sets...
1999 Topps Gallery Gallery of Heroes #GH5
2000 Topps Gallery Gallery of Heroes #GH2
We all have our own definition of beauty. When it comes to insert sets, there are few that match the beauty of the Gallery of Heroes cards inserted into Topps Gallery packs in the late 90's and early 2000's. Well... at least in my eyes.
The D.O.C.: It's Funky Enough (1989)
A year later... I have my first real job scooping ice cream at Thrifty's, and I'm still bumpin' in my mom's LTD. This song is a classic and like the D.O.C. says, "no crowd can avoid, the D O to the C".
1985 Donruss Box Bottom #PC1
Back in the 80's, baseball fans from all over the country wanted a chance to see the other DOC pitch.
Do The Right Thing is my favorite Spike Lee movie. I've probably watched it twenty-plus times... and every time... I'm treated to Rosie Perez dancing to Public Enemy's Fight the Power in the opening sequence.
It's a beautiful way to kick off a beautiful movie... and here's a beautiful card related to this beautiful song:
2015 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-SH
The 2002 Oakland Athletics and their third lowest payroll in baseball were the David's in a league filled with Goliath's... yet they found a way to fight the power and have one of the best records in baseball. Along the way, the Athletics set the American League record with 20 consecutive wins.
Hatteberg's home run in the bottom of the ninth against the Kansas City Royals on September 4th, 2002 gave the A's their 20th consecutive win and the record.
They Might Be Giants: Ana Ng (1990)
1990 was a big year for me. I found myself working at a baseball card shop called National Pastime and living the dream.
That's also the year I made the transition from high school to college. I was accepted to San Jose State University, but my dream college (UC Davis) turned me down, so I decided to attend De Anza Community College in hopes of one day transferring.
At De Anza... I met a guy who always wore They Might Be Giants shirts to class. I don't remember his name, but I definitely remember the music.
The first album I bought was Lincoln (in 1990... even though it was released in 1988) which features the song Ana Ng. I heard that they came up with that name after seeing a lot of Ng's in the phone book. That got me thinking... what's the most common last name in baseball?
1998 Donruss Significant Signatures #R2
2000 Revolution MLB Game Ball Signatures #1
1998 Bowman's Best Autographs #5
A Tribe Called Quest: Check the Rhime (1991)
My students think it's cool that I grew up listening to Run DMC, NWA, Tupac, and Biggie. But whenever I mention A Tribe Called Quest, the response is always the same. Who? It cracks me up, because almost everyone who listened to hip hop in the early 90's can appreciate some Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.
1977 Topps Cloth #8
Check the Rhime is an all-time classic and one of my favorite parts is when Q-Tip compares himself to the legendary Lou Brock.
Anthrax: Bring the Noise (1991)
Next up is another Public Enemy song... but this time around they've teamed up with Anthrax to Bring the Noise.
I've always enjoyed seeing musicians (especially from different genres) collaborate to produce something special. The title of this album along with an article from an old issue of Topps Magazine reminded me of Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, and how these two guys with completely different personalities came together to produce something special in the early 90's.
Temple of the Dog: Hunger Strike (1991)
Let's slow things down a little and close out this post with a change of clothing styles, a different hobby, and enter new era of music for this nineteen year old college student.
In the early 90's, I wasn't only collecting cards anymore. I started wearing flannels and Doc Martens, hanging out at record stores and listening to music, and building my collection of CD's. I still have a section devoted to the whole Seattle Sound comprised of groups like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.
Guys from both of these groups teamed together to form Temple of the Dog, which produced an iconic gem from that era: Hunger Strike.
Sadly... I can't actually say I've ever fasted in protest.
1983 O-Pee-Chee #143
1985 O-Pee-Chee #10
Well that wraps up my teenage years... which is a shame, because 1992 would be a big year for me both hobby wise and in terms of music. But I'll save that for another day in another post.
In the meantime...
What are some of your favorite songs and groups from the late 80's and early 90's?
Happy Tuesday and sayonara!