When Nirvana's album Nevermind was released it was like a revelation. It had been years since I had heard music that sounded like it was sincere, like it meant something. We had endured the 80s with its hair metal and Euro trash keyboard pop. Here was music that was urgent, loud and unexpectedly melodic. One thing I noticed about Nirvana was that if you changed the arrangement and rerecorded it, you would have some pretty snappy pop music. They were the Gen. X Beatles. They came and everything changed.
At the time I lived in southern California, working in LA. There was a youngish girl of the indie persuasion working there too. I mentioned to her that I really like Nirvana and was curious about her opinion. With a touch of disdain she said, "Well, I liked Bleach ..." Bleach was Nirvana's first release on Sub Pop and almost no one had heard it at the time because they were just a Seattle band. Now there's nothing wrong with Bleach, but it's that phenomenon where people want to prove they were early fans so they reference some obscure work and act all shocked when no one knows what they are talking about. I bet you anything that there were Liverpudlians in 1963 who said, "Well, Please Please Me is all right, but I really liked My Bonnie ..."
I read an article about Barack Obama's campaign and how people who support him think it's cooler to have old, tattered Obama stickers because they showed they got into supporting him early. What is it about humans that they need to feel like they were the first into something?
In our family we now call it the Bleach Syndrome. Whenever anyone references liking something first or some obscure work, we all shout, "Bleach!"
Yes, we're dorks.