Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Age.*
Last Sunday, Trent Reznor won a Golden Globe. I imagine he'll probably win the Oscar, too, and I hope he does. He was humble and genuine, dressed in a classic tux with a high and tight haircut. He was so . . . grown up and appropriate. This is by no means a complaint - I would not have wanted him to get up there in vinyl sleeves and bondage pants to flip off the HFP - but it was very, very offputting.
My introduction to Nine Inch Nails came in 1992 0r 1993. I was with my friend Jenny Queen in her VW Rabbit. We were probably on our way to The Tavern to smoke cigarettes and drink coffee. She pulled a casette out of the console and said "have you heard this yet?" I was fascinated. A black cassette?!? What is this? I had seen the transparent cassettes, many of my butt metal bands released in that particular variety, but never a black cassette - with blue writing, even! I was intrigued. "Um, I've heard of them. I've been wanting to check them out!" I honestly cannot remember if this was truth. No matter. She said "every song on this album is about sex," put the cassette in and quite literally, my life changed.
Out came this tinkering, this angry, metal tinkering. I was instantly smitten. And oh Lord was she right - every song was not only about sex, but it was also about "bitch, you FUCKED me up," and that was insanely cool. It was new, it was identifiable in a way that most of the music I had listened to never was. True, I had never actually had sex, but I sure did know what it was like to get hurt, and since I was 15, I think it's very safe to say that a large part of me WANTED to have sex. I think it was probably somewhere during "The Only Time" (yeah, you know what part I'm talking about) that I realized I was listening to the coolest thing I had ever heard.
And I still think it's one of the coolest things I've ever heard. While "The Downward Spiral" is probably a better record, I don't know that it will ever be my favorite. PHM has since been remastered, but I don't even know if I want to hear it. I like that home production, and I would probably even listen to it on cassette, if I could.
My point, since I should probably have one, is that seeing Mr Reznor up there, looking and acting like a responsible adult, made me assess my own mortality. That's a poignant way of saying "made me feel old." I'm so happy for his well earned success, but the man that helped me discover sexuality . . .
Is all growed up now.
EXTRA SPECIAL "WHERE ARE THEY NOW" EDITION!
Jenny Queen is now a popular country singer in Australia, and has worked with some amazing alt country musicians.
Kathleen Coyle blogs twice a year and is still a weekend goth.
Trent Reznor is still wicked talented. And sexified.