In mentioning this palindrome of a year, no rock critic can resist dredging up Nirvana's Nevermind and how it changed everything, knocking Michael Jackson off the top of the album chart, rendering all hair metal irrelevant, etc;. Sadly, Nevermind never meant much to me. I tired of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" quickly (although I loved that even the rap/dance heavy radio station Hot 102 played it), admired "Come As You Are" from a distance, and rather disliked "Lithium". To this date, I've never heard the Most Important Album of My Generation in its entirety.

People tend to forget Nirvana arrived at the year's end. We spent most of it reluctantly putting up with the likes of Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, Bryan Adams and Color Me Badd. Only Was (Not Was)'s three-year-old What Up, Dog? and the indispensable compilation Monty Python Sings (part of a Python kick that began with my first viewing of Monty Python and the Holy Grail at someone's birthday party the previous December) made much of an impression on my life; as for the other stuff I was into then (Lisa Stansfield, Simply Red, Jesus Jones (!), Londonbeat, (New Power Generation and butt-hole pants-era) Prince), well, I'm sure the tapes are festering far down at the bottom of my increasingly untouched crate o' cassettes.

Really, this was an insignificant year in my musical development, especially in comparison to the next few. At sixteen, I was more focused on developing my own talents rather than seeking out others to appreciate. I'd been taking guitar lessons since 1986, and after watching my high school's guitar-less jazz ensemble perform, I knew I had to be a part of it. I switched from acoustic to electric and spent a good year practicing, practicing, practicing until auditioning for the band in early '91. I still had a lot to learn, but I passed the audition and earned a spot for my Junior year.

As I would later describe my move out to Boston, band was frightening and exhilarating. I'd never played with other musicians before, and it took me awhile to get used to doing so, not to mention staying in tune and the one thing that has sucked out the soul and will of many a budding musician, Sight Reading. In retrospect, it would've helped me immensely to actually listen to some jazz at this time. For another year, though, I faked my way through it until I improved adequately enough that I didn't have to.