Nirvana's Nevermind turns 20 this year? Besides making me feel incredibly old, the anniversary's got me feeling reflective. Spin Magazine's caught on to that nostalgia, and their feature "What Nirvana's Nevermind Means to Me" gathers an extremely eclectic assortment of artists' musings on the watershed moment. Locals Billy Ray Cyrus and Patrick Carney are among the most polemic musicians featured, but artists as diverse as Patton Oswalt, Yelawolf and Lenny Kravitz join Eddie Vedder and Dave Grohl and Carrie Brownstein and Peter Buck and — surely you don't need me to explain the wide-ranging impact of this album, but the list just goes on and on. It's an incredibly identifiable event, like a musical version of Pearl Harbor among the generation too young to recall The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Oh, and while we're on the subject, Spin is putting together a Nevermind tribute album called Newermind, and it features a cover of "Something in the Way" by Nashville's own JEFF the Brotherhood.
Here's my memory: I was in sixth grade, and there was a group of us hanging out, maybe during recess. One of them mentioned seeing the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video the night before, sort of making fun of how weird it was. Then everybody got quiet, and I said sheepishly, “I kind of liked it,” and then somebody agreed with me, and then somebody else. And all of a sudden it seemed safe to be weird. I remember it really clearly, like it was a turning point. That was the first time I knew it was cool — by the standards of an 11-year old, mind you — to be non-conformist.
Where were you when you heard Nevermind for the first time, and how were you affected?