91X, 1986 & ME

XXX-logoI was so determined to write these year-by-year stories when we did our XXX Countdown but gave up after three.  Two years later, let’s see if I can breeze through my overly normal teenage years…..

86 91x countdown

“Fall On Me” might be my favorite on here. Choosing a least fave? Eek. I guess “Invisible Touch”. No. “Higher Love”. What do YOU think?

86 gen pub

General Public w/Wall Of Voodoo in 1986 (& me guiltily asking Andy Prieboy about Stan Ridgway and then getting his autograph). When the concert scrapbook was on the Cover Me Badd page, I sent this to Andy Prieboy of Wall Of Voodoo and he left this classic comment: “Hey Adam, I remember this show. Please. No guilt. Answering questions about Old Voodoo and New Voodoo, and about Stan and Andy, were all part of the job description. Thanks for sharing this. Next time, bring a bigger piece of paper. All my best, Andy Prieboy.”

1986?  Not much to say.   I don’t have a lot of memories from that year. I finished the second half of ninth grade in a new neighborhood without a friend to speak of.  Cordial with folks but no one to really hang out with.  My Spanish class did a two week trip to Mexico, which was a blast. The Space Shuttle exploding. Matt Page doing 7 Seconds by himself at a lipsync contest. Filling an entire cassette with TV themes. Seeing a few shows (pictured). A Poli Sci class with a teacher that liked to slam a ruler to get attention. That summer, I worked at the nearby Jewish Community Center’s hot dog cart and took a memory class at UCSD because I never did homework and my poor parents thought that my help.  A kid in my class made me a mixtape that was my introduction to the Damned, Love & Rockets, Dead Milkmen, Velvet Underground & Robyn Hitchcock. A memorable tape indeed. I think it was a memory class. See what I did there?

86 mexico

The only photographs I have from my first year in University City were….in Mexico. Don’t remember a whole lot about our trip, chaperoned by our teacher Juan Valdez (yes, actually his name). If you went or know folks that did, please tag them and refresh my memory. I do remember getting suckered a bunch of us into playing basketball at a school we visited where six foot teenagers ran circles around us. I hit one amazing long jump shot and slid around, keeping a kid in the backcourt Harlem Globetrotters style for awhile but otherwise it was embarassing. Kids asked us for our addresses so we could penpal but some just wanted autographed. So strange. Lots of pretty churches & pyramids. An unscheduled seaside stop where we all saw fresh shrimps with eyes and legs on a plate for the first time. A mod kid played me a tape of his band the Five Infidels and I was stunned that I knew someone that could play.


Eddie Murphy with the Weather Girls opening (Raw era). The Del Mar Fairgrounds show was definitely at the track, not inside O’Brien. Great. Now I want mini donuts…



Having completed my one year at Standley Junior High, I headed north down the hill to tenth grade at University City High School. I finally started making friends in a lot of different social circles at school.  I didn’t go to any shows for almost ten months but ended the year seeing Oingo Boingo at the San Diego Sports Arena.  91X listeners voted “Dead Man’s Party” the #1 song of the year, so I’m sure I felt real special.  I don’t remember if they mentioned it at midnight but I sure remember Wall of Voodoo covering the Beach Boys’ “Do It Again”.  

86-nyeTypical of my voting career, I filled out a ballot for that year’s countdown but then kept it. I never really cared if my favorite bands were high up the countdown or not.  I was just always fascinated by what got popular and what didn’t. I can live with my choices except for “Pain”.  Shouldn’t have crossed out “No One Lives Forever”, kid. Did I really like that song?  Wait, I also picked “Every Little Counts” instead of “All Day Long”, a huge all-time fave.  Oh, youth.  86-91x-faves



One thought on “91X, 1986 & 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)

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