I started working at my first ‘real’ job when I was 13; I delivered meal trays and did dishes at the local hospital. I still remember getting my first paycheque, it was $112.00 and I remember feeling like I could buy the whole world if I wanted to, I had never had so much money that was completely mine to spend on whatever I chose without any parental or peer input. After spending $7 on some candy (Hey, I was 13) I headed straight for the place that spawned my reason for getting a job in the first place: the local music store.
I remember spending a lot of time in musty music stores growing up. My father was forever looking for a rare LP, or a box set or something else obscure that would have me wandering around these places, having been given the monumental task of being allowed to select just one thing for myself. I had a yellow maxell tape deck that I lugged around and while he leafed through hundreds of vintage vinyls, I was always in the corner trying to decide between a Janet Jackson or TLC tape (hard decision, but TLC ultimately won out). I miss that tactile connection with music. I miss the search, the release date of a new album, the hours spent using your fingertips to find something you didn’t even know you wanted until you saw it. The first tape I ever purchased, Michael Jacksons ‘Bad’ was $2, my father gave me $1.50 to wash his car and I took the other fifty cents from my piggy bank. He was always generous with the purchase of music for me, evident by a rather well stocked tape collection that even had its own special carrying case.
That is, until I grew up and inevitably began to grow into my own person and select my own music. There were just some things we could not agree on, and my affection of several genres was not reciprocated . Thus, I got a job so I could buy my own damn music. So armed with approximately 700 pieces of penny candy, I walked into the store and purchased my very first album, Blink 182′s ‘Dude Ranch’. I was in love with its infectious ‘Damnit’ and already two feet deep into the pop-punk scene, as small as it was during the time.
Blink 182 were real pioneers in that scene, they made california punk hyper-relevant again. What is it about listening to an old Blink 182 song that seems to make an entire generation of people feel young again? If your first album was purchased in any other decade than the 90s, you’re probably not going to relate very well to that sentiment, but on behalf of my generation I think I can safely speak for most of my peers and say that Dude Ranch was an absolute modern punk classic album. That album, and the subsequent ones that follow can invoke a level of nostalgia that is very rarely paralleled by any other band. There are so few bands out there that I listened to when I was young that are still churning out quality material that I still seek out and buy now that I’m older.
I am feeling a little old today, the summer feels like it’s fading and instead of laying out my flyest fall outfit for the first day of school, I’m now doing adult things, like cleaning my closet and making soup stock. So I’ve been listening to Blink all day, and I don’t really know why. I’ve got tons of music that makes me yearn for the past, but Blink is different. I suppose bopping around my apartment singing along to ‘What’s my age again?’ or songs with ‘I guess this is growing up’ as the chorus might have something to do with it, and I’ve always thought that if you can listen to ‘Adam’s song’ in its entirety without getting emotional about getting older than you probably have no soul, but I think it’s just that I don’t ever want to get so old that I don’t allow myself to be moved by a Blink 182 song. Who knows, maybe it’s my aging, or the change of seasons, or nostalgia, or maybe it’s just cause a lady never forgets her first.
Below, please find my very favorite Blink songs, in chronological order of when I first fell in love with them.