Bad Confessions

I have a checkered past. Musically, I mean.

I listen to pretty decent stuff now, but when I was younger, I had an unfortunate tendency to fall madly in love with bands ranging in quality from terrible to godawful beyond human comprehension. So, I've decided to come clean. But if, while reading this, you start to get all snooty, just remember what you were listening to in elementary school. Rachmaninoff? I thought not.

Debbie Gibson: When I was seven, I was a big fan of teenybopper girl singers. I was into Tiffany, bien sur, but Debbie was my #1 idol. She was so pretty! So cool! And she wrote all those songs when she was just seventeen! (And it shows! But I didn't realize that back then.) I used to boogie around my room to "Shake Your Love" and dream of the day when I, too, would be a teenage pop sensation. It hasn't happened yet, but hey, you never know.

Milli Vanilli: By the time I was in fourth grade, Debbie and Tiffany were so passe, and Rob and Fab (I never did know which was which, but did it really matter?) were the thing to be into. I had this friend, Annie, who was the cooolest girl in my elementary school, and cool stuff always happened to her. One day, we were listening to her brand-spankin'-new MV tape, and we discovered that at the beginning of one song Rob (Fab?) intoned, "This one's for you, Annie," which made her even cooler: "Her name is on the Milli Vanilli album! Ohmigod!" (Her name was also in a Marky Mark song, years later. There are never any songs with the name "Sara" in them, though, except that one, which has been the bane of my existence since kindergarden. "Sara... Saa-a-a-ra!")

New Kids on the Block: A low point, even for me. What's truly sad is, I was like the last girl in my school to start liking them, so by the time I was into them, everyone was like, "Aren't they... gay?" and I was like, "I want to marry Joey!" I'm a dork. (However, I was not the last girl to stop liking the New Kids... that honor went to this chick Tammy, who still wore a "Jordan" t-shirt in the fifth grade, by which time even I was like, "Eeeew!")

Poison: By the sixth grade, I had become a junior metalhead, but not Metallica-type metal. I mean poodle-haired, lipstick-and-headbands, sock-in-the-stretch-pants metal, a la Bret Michaels et al. Any band with bad rock songs and a pretty blonde frontman and I was down. I thought Poison was especially cool, not only because they had the finest (to my eleven-year-old eyes) frontman, but because they were deep, man. Every rose has it's thorn! Just like every night has it's dawn! Just like every cowboy sings a sad, sad song. (I hope you're cringing right now, because I am.)

The "I Love You, Period" Guy: When I was thirteen, I more or less started listening to decent music, with a few errors in judgement (hello, Candlebox!), but when I was twelve I was into the most terrible crap imaginable. The top (or, bottom) of the heap was a singer whose name I can't remember, but whose big hit song was like, "I love you period, do you love me, question mark?" I thought that was the cleverest thing ever. I was wrong.

Now: So what's in my stereo these days? Oh, you know... Backstreet Boys, Mase, Insane Clown Posse... Or not. Actually, it's more like The Cure, Joy Division, Violent Femmes, Tori Amos, Sublime, Finley Quaye, etc. Sure, I have my guilty pleasures (Culture Club, anyone?) but at least I have one thing going for me: nowhere in my CD case is there a Debbie Gibson disc. I've come a long way, baby!