91X, 1983 & ME

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91X 1983 Top 91 Year-end Countdown from the January 1984 X Magazine. Please note ski rental expiration date. Best/worst songs? We say That’s Good/Red Red Wine. Leave a comment with your love/hate.

1983 might be the last New Years Eve I can’t remember. My family was never much for late-night partying, so I’m not sure if I’d ever stayed up for midnight. At the time, I was in my first year at Roosevelt Junior High School, located conveniently next to the San Diego Zoo. After a touching sixth grade graduation ceremony where we sang “The Greatest Love Of All” WAY before Whitney, my friends and I went from ruling Grant Elementary to being the youngest middle schoolers on campus.

Now we were going to school with kids from other neighborhoods but not quite old enough to really have obvious social cliques. There were definitely some Quiet Riot and Iron Maiden metal kids but I don’t remember anyone else really standing out.  Just a bunch of normal suburban white kids uneventfully intermingling with inner-city folk for the first time. The biggest segregation seemed to be with the kids who got put in advanced classes (slowly raises hand). Pretty normal.

Adam Ant Halloween costume?  Nope.  7th grade junior high colonial fair attire.  I did add a white stripe for Halloween that year, though.

Adam Ant Halloween costume? Nope. 7th grade junior high colonial fair attire. I did add a white stripe for Halloween that year, though. Note: ant (upper right)

It was definitely the last year that I didn’t notice 91X’s year end countdown for a very long time.  More and more of my friends were getting out of loving top 40 and classic rock and getting into new wave but I was a holdout, sticking with more middle-of-the-road rock radio. I was habitually watching MTV but wasn’t buying many records and had never been to a real rock concert. That didn’t stop me from drawing band logos all over everything I owned.  At one point, I started drawing them on index cards with the names of band members underneath.  You know, for filing purposes.mtv-song-titles who-drawing83rock-drawingsbeat voodooThe first concert 91X sponsored was a show at the Del Mar Fairgrounds with the English Beat and Wall Of Voodoo, just two months after the station changed formats. A month after that, they staged the first, epic XFest at Jack Murphy Stadium with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Bow Wow Wow, the Ramones, the Stray Cats, the Flirts and Modern English. Not a bad first festival(!).  I saved the full-page advertisement for it from the San Diego Reader, even though my parents wouldn’t have let me go.  I cut it up to fit in an album meant to hold individual photos and threw it out when I started a real concert scrapbook, which means it’s possible no one saved it.  Oh well.  At least Hilary found this bitchin’ shirt!

91X DJ Hilary Cha shows off her award for best t-shirt with her O.G. 1983 XFest garment. Chirs Cantore won the "Cheek Stuck On Hair" award.

91X DJ Hilary Cha shows off her award for best t-shirt with her O.G. 1983 XFest garment. Chirs Cantore won the “Just Some Vans Sweatshirt” spirit award.

xfest lineup

The first issue of the X Magazine. c/o Dwight Arnold

Dwight Arnold's XFest backstage pass 1983

Dwight Arnold’s XFest backstage pass 1983

From SDSU alumni archives (click for info)

From SDSU alumni archives (click for info)

I was still dying to go to my first rock show.  The nearby US Festival had a toll-free hotline for lineup updates and I’d call it every few days even though there was NO way my folks would’ve let me go. “They added Wall of Voodoo!” I’d sigh. Late that summer, I went to a sports camp at SDSU and listened to the Police soundcheck.  There I was, listening to my favorite band play but couldn’t actually go see them.  Going to a concert seemed like such a far-fetched magical grown-up thing that I don’t even think I asked if I could go.  Maybe next year….
police-paints

police2

What? I said they were my favorite band.

UPDATE
Emptying an old file cabinet, I found a few more fun things I probably did around this time…

The Rosetta Stone of my music list-making has been unearthed. Long thought lost, it was recently rediscovered along with other historic gems in a long overdue purging of neglected folder files. I have NOT been desperately hanging on to almost all of my elementary school report cards. It's just taken 30 years for me to free up a night to go through the archives. Since "Sinchronicity" (sic) came out in June of 1983, I must've written this in my last days as a sixth grader. I seem to remember classmate Dylan Halberg excitedly coming up with a list of his favorite songs and I wanted to make something better. That's me. Still an eleven year old jerk. Yes, I know "Can't Stand Losing You" wasn't on Sin-chronicity. Now YOU'RE the jerk.

The Rosetta Stone of my music list-making has been unearthed. Long thought lost, it was recently rediscovered along with other historic gems in a long overdue purging of neglected folder files. I have NOT been desperately hanging on to almost all of my elementary school report cards. It’s just taken 30 years for me to free up a night to go through the archives. Since “Sinchronicity” (sic) came out in June of 1983, I must’ve written this in my last days as a sixth grader. I seem to remember classmate Dylan Halberg excitedly coming up with a list of his favorite songs and I wanted to make something better. That’s me. Still an eleven year old jerk. Yes, I know “Can’t Stand Losing You” wasn’t on Sin-chronicity. Now YOU’RE the jerk.

Who logos from either the Kids Are Alright LP booklet or the book Maximum R&B.  Anyone know?

Who logos from either the Kids Are Alright LP booklet or the book Maximum R&B. Anyone know?

I did one of these with songs and one with bands.  This one has both because I never cared for homework.

I did one of these with songs and one with bands. This one has both because I never cared for homework.

91X.com supported local music even earlier than they remember. Their 30th anniversary website called their 1984 compilation Local Heroes their first local record. But, in 1983, they put together Rags To Riches, released by Starstream Records, who put out similar records for radio stations nationwide. Two of the songs from the LP made their top 91 countdowns: "1-2-3" by NE1 (#64 in 1983) and "Then I Turn Away" by the Seventh (#82 in 1984).

91X.com supported local music even earlier than they remember. Their 30th anniversary website called their 1984 compilation Local Heroes their first local record. But, in 1983, they put together Rags To Riches, released by Starstream Records, who put out similar records for radio stations nationwide. Apparently, Miller High Life sponsored a contest to be on the album. The big winner was Tami & The Monthlies, whose singer was dating Steve West, who named the band. Two of the songs from the LP made their top 91 countdowns: “1-2-3” by NE1 (#64 in 1983) and “Then I Turn Away” by the Seventh (#82 in 1984).

rags  to riches back 1983

The flipside.
SIDE ONE: Emotion (Exhibit A), Just For Fun (Darlowe), Burnin (Trousers), Gotta Be Right (Luna), Voices From Below (District Tradition)
SIDE TWO: 1,2,3 (N-E-1), We All fall Down (The New Presidents), George & Marguerita (Fabulous Spud Brothers), Then I Turn Away (the Seventh), Invade Me (Tami and the Monthlies).

ON TO 1984
BACK TO XXX MAIN PAGE
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2 thoughts on “91X, 1983 & ME

  1. Pingback: XXX: Thirty Years of 91X Year End Countdowns becomes The Top 888 Modern Rock Acts of All-Time | "Yer doin' great." (a muzak clickclack)

  2. The doodles are *amazing*. And a concert where I would have seen The Police, Madness & Oingo Boingo? *faint*

    What would a similar show be like today, I ask myself? Who would I be floored to see on one bill, together?

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