My memory is a funny thing.
On the one hand, it seems more than capable of recalling key dates and details of historical figures and events. Other times, my mind will float away, generally mid-conversation, meaning I immediately forget what my interlocutor was just saying, meaning I wind up looking rude, inconsiderate, or colossally stupid. I find myself particularly poor at remembering incidents of my earlier years. Details become murky, years blend together.
So I'm going to spend the next 30 days remembering things. Mostly things from the 30 years I've been in existence. Hopefully they'll trigger other memories. However, as I'm still wrapping up the #30before30 challenge, I want to avoid its long, prosaic style, and go for a shorter, sharper approach.
I hope you enjoy "Remember November".
I was reminded of "What's Up?" the other night, when it unexpectedly popped up on my car radio. In one of those lovely moments of synchronicity, the line "25 years of my life and still/Trying to get up that great big hill of hope" came just as I was punting the Yaris up a particularly steep incline at Alderley.
This was the poppiest that grunge got at the time; or more accurately, the grungiest pop got. Lead singer/songwriter Linda Perry had a mouth like a European high-altitude mountain rail tunnel, and it produced a similarly big sound. Much of the video clip are close-ups of her tonsils. She also adopted the wispy dress-with-big-boots look that was de rigeur for your average 90s grunge girl. But she added gigantic hats - mostly because she was barely taller than the drum kit and they boosted her overall height.
Despite the 4-Non-Blondes being a 1-Hit-Wonder, Perry went on to some success as a songwriter for pop divas like Pink and Christina Aguilera. She's the one responsible for Aguilera's "Beautiful", no doubt a response to all those hurtful jibs about her big mouth and lack of height (I mean, what kind of insensitive person would crack jokes about that?)
In early 1993, when this song came out in Australia, I was a fresh-faced gawky Year 8 student. At the time I sat with Briony, Clare and Debbi at a group table. We all loved the song, and decided we were going to form a cover band called the 4-Non-Redheads. Then Clare went and dyed her hair with henna so that dream went down the gurgler. Still, this is a great one to belt out. Its chorus, mostly repeated "Hey-Yeah-Yeahs" and the question "What's going on?" continues to be a musical yearning for truth and clarity in our confusing world.