Years ago, in the days before I really “got” Bruce Springsteen, I stopped by the Columbus Flea Market on my way to my Grandfather’s shore house on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. There’s no better way to start a trip to the shore – great food, thrifty deals, and old records. Browsing through the vinyl, I came across the 1st two Bruce Springsteen records. “Honey,” the woman in charge of the stand said “those early Bruce records are the essence of New Jersey. If you don’t have them, make sure you grab them.”. And so began a journey that continues to this day. A word to sum it up? Fanaticism.
Part 29 of a series that will run every Friday throughout 2012 as I discuss records that have affected me throughout the years – Flashback Fridays
Before I delve into the finer points of the 1992 debut album by Rage Against the Machine, I need to get something out-of-the-way. The word “fuck”. It is essential to this record in the way it is sung, rapped, and shouted and there is no way to honestly talk about this album without liberal use of the word. In other words – if this bothers you, feel free to join me next week (or catch my Green Day review that goes live later this weekend). For the rest of us, let’s talk about it. The word “fuck” as used in today’s context first originated in / or about the year 1475. It’s evolved over the years to incorporate sexual intercourse (“fuck”), an insult or expression of rage (“motherfucker”), or even to indicate a bad business deal (“that motherfucker fucked me”). Now that we got that out-of-the-way, let’s carry on, shall we?
World War III has already taken place. Sure, you may be sitting there thinking “What the hell is Jason talking about” but let me explain. In 2005 Long Beach Island, NJ switched from carrying all Philadelphia area channels to New York City area channels. In my world that’s like asking a Chicago Cubs fan to cheer for the Chicago White Sox – not good. For generations Long Beach Island, NJ (and the Jersey shore) has been the vacation haven for all Philadelphians (about a 75 minute drive from where I grew up). My family (Grandfather David RIP, Grandmother, Aunt, Uncle) has owned at least 1 house or condo “down da shore” ever since I was a little boy. New York and Philadelphia are two different cities, two different cultures. To suddenly switch to NYC channels was more than a defeatist notion that NY natives could no longer afford their own state – it was offensive (though not as offensive as suggesting Philadelphia was a new affordable borough of NYC)