Forgive this rant…I think …well, someone asked about why there was so much darkness in the music of the time in the early 90’s… if we were screaming at the darkness…made me sh-peel this…
I remember West Hollywood/Hollywood and the Musicians, actors , artists, clubs, etc…of the day, that lived around there (at least part of the time)… All dark words, ideas, concepts, grounding in the idea of “darkness pulling their angst” artistry. Very existential time… lots of drugs & screaming “screw it” attitudes… .. the Corey Haims, Drew Barrymores, River, Kurt C., Greg Araki.. etc…etc, etc… lot of quietly and not so quietly angry music, angry screenplays… fame and sorting through the screwed up rules/values that seemed placating fake value structures… surrounding us. Odd dark existential was the theme of the time. I managed the Tower Video on Sunset Blvd. next to the Viper Room, the Roxy etc… I was drowning in it there.
There was/seemed to be an overall fight going on with faith in dogma suddenly coming to a point where people realized it was made up…happening…and people not knowing what to turn to in the face of a decade of neon and MTV flashiness. In that kind of culture a lot of artists… well it was dark and they were falling toward it, yet fighting it… They were “raging against the dying of the light” …people saying dark things to say “here. look. it exists and your faerie tales aren’t going to make them go away”. It’s not authority we have to fight…but what authority believes in. Often with older audiences thinking the artists were endorsing the darkness…when actually they were singing the pain of it. I think they had to drag the darkness out to try and get help fighting it. A lot of that fight bordered on giving up and many did…the drugs alone were often …just giving up… …between raging to not give up.
If any of that makes sense… while I was typing it…just had images of many nights at the Viper Room, and the events at the video store…Courtney Love being taken care of by her Nanny (who was trying to take care of Frances) …Johnny Depp sitting for hours in my parking lot in his truck …screwed up on something & talking to the parking attendants for hours… the night River died and how obviously sweaty he was… the poetry shows that would just appear in an evening in an abandoned mall storefront… etc… the loss of purpose… the rise of celebrity for celebrity sake as empty purpose. I had a kinda unique view of it all … and often feel it was the “village” of our day…the rise of Sundance and birth of Slamdance etc… the discovery of Tarantino and the death of Billy Wilder. The death of innocence when the stories of “Mr. Brady” came to light and the curtain that was pulled back post the AIDS witchhunts and pre- the numbness to it. All of us struggling.
I think many that I knew…quietly died or now live in squalor… or maybe they just went home. I am pretty sure… I only survived because luckily I don’t do drugs. It was a very unique time and place. Plumbing depths to understand how well we could swim.
The 90’s were about screaming/giving the bird at the darkness.