Saturday, March 26, 2011

Everyone needs a blowfish and its accompanying hootie

Note: Song 17 in my 322-part series.

Song: Only Wanna Be With You
Artist: Hootie and the Blowfish

Longtime visitors to this neck of the interwebs aren’t good at navigating the information superhighway. They’ve also likely noticed a few Hootie and the Blowfish songs in my little iPod tour. As best as I can remember, Hootie was the first concert I ever went to without my parents.

The year was 1995. Clinton was president. Tupac had a number one album while in prison (a precursor to him having number one album while in the afterlife). The first Toy Story movie was released and a plucky little team from Chicago would once again not win the World Series.

I was a young lad of 16. Never really got into the whole Nirvana, grunge scene. Sure, I managed to convince my youngest brother to buy Nevermind with his allowance because I wanted it, but not enough to spend my own money on it. I enjoyed my role in high school as the soccer playing sports nerd who spent endless hours obsessing over my NCAA brackets, memorizing sports statistics (this was at the beginning of the internet when having useless trivia knowledge meant something. Not like today’s kids who can just pull up Willie Mays’ career homerun total (660) or Bob Gibson’s ERA in 1968 (1.12). Sadly, I fear my son will never have the need to learn such vital aspects of our nation’s history.)

A friend of mine got two tickets to see Hootie and after what I can only assume was a potential date falling through, he asked me if I wanted to go. It wasn’t soccer season and I wasn’t exactly beating the ladies off with a stick (something about being taught not to hit a woman, either with my hands or a stick), so after convincing my parents we’d go straight there and come straight home (which we did, I wasn’t exactly the rebelling type), we embarked on our journey.

After sitting through an opening act that, at the time, we didn’t really care about (it was Edwin McCain, who, as we all know, went on to have a successful career as a VH1 commentator for their various “I Love The” series. I’m not sure if he ever made it as a musician.) Anyway, after McCain performs to what can be described as a lukewarm reception, Hootie comes on and proceeds to play basically every song on Cracked Rear View. What else are they going to play? No one knows any of their other songs.

But I was 16 at the time, so I didn’t care. I enjoyed the show. Bought the t-shirt and did basically everything a good concert-going consumer is supposed to do. It was a fun night that, even 15 years later, I’m still willing to write about (granted, I wrote poorly about it and not in much detail, but I did. Mostly because I needed to fill out 500 words for this post and couldn’t think of a humorous way to write about “Only Wanna Be With You” (cue my readers going “Don’t feel bad, you can’t find ways to make most things humorous.” You’re a cruel group of readers, you are.))

Anyway, Hootie remained one of my favorite bands, even after the inevitable backlash to their popularity started. So now you won’t have to keep asking yourself “why does he have so many Hootie and the Blowfish songs on his iPod?”

Next song: Get On Your Boots
Artist: U2

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