In Which Our Adolescence Journey Goes One Two Three Ay Be Sea

George W. Bush in between his parents. I’d like to see those three get…it…on.

Part One (Rebecca Wiener)

Part Two (John Gruen)

Part Three (Tess Lynch)

Part Four (Jess Grose)

Part Five (Molly Young)

Part Six

The Beta-Alpha-Cal Guide To My Adolescence

by Lucas Stangl

Z ~ Zeppelin

Because I fell in love with Zeppelin IV and “Stairway to Heaven” in seventh grade. Every time the marching band was bussing to a parade, I listened to that epic song and “When The Levee Breaks” on my Discman. It got me psyched to play my trombone.

Y ~ “Youth is wasted on the young” – Billy Corgan

I got into the Pumpkins at the tail end of my adolescence. Although, this was back when Billy had long hair. In fact, when I still had hair.

X ~ Ex

As in I had a few ex-girlfriends. Many of them dumped by yours truly (read “K” for further study). The only one I still hold a slight grudge with = “M”.

W ~ Winona

My hometown. And yes, Winona Ryder is named after the town; we were born in the same hospital.

V ~ Vanilla Ice

I was one of the millions of kids who bought To The Extreme.

U ~ “Unbelievable” — EMF (mp3)

T ~ They Might Be Giants

The first “alternative” group I listened to. I loved their short songs. The obtuse lyrics. And making the accordion cool. When Clarissa Explains It All debuted on Nickelodeon, she was into TMBG. Which intensified my crush on Melissa Joan Heart.

Clarissa never explained why her two favorite words were ‘no’, either.

“Road Movie To Berlin” — They Might Be Giants (mp3)

S ~ Swimming

My sport of choice starting in fifth grade, all the way up to my senior year. At one point in time, I was ranked the 11th fastest 500 Freestyle swimming in the start of Minnesota. I swam against the future-Olympian Thomas Malchow all four years of high school. (He always beat me.)

R ~ Raps (Yo MTV)

I spent many afternoons park on the couch watching Ed Lover and Dr. Dre. Watching the early stages of Hip Hop (back when it was called Rap). I was partial to the Native Tongues (De La, Tribe, Jungle Bros) and Ice-T.

Q ~ Q-Tip

A Tribe Called Quest’s debut album (People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm) was the first rap tape I ever bought. Tip’s haircut inspired “D.”

“Bonita Applebum” — A Tribe Called Quest (mp3)

P ~ Pink Floyd

In some ways, I see my discovery of Pink Floyd as the end. I dated this girl who was into Floyd. (On our first date, we made out with “Momentary Lapse of Reason” on in the background. Because of her, I became a man.)

O ~ O’Connor, Sinead

Her big hit was all over the radio. I remember biking to middle school with my next store neighbor singing the song like it was Metal. Thinking some heavy distortion would make the Prince song that much better.

“Nothing Compares 2 U” — Sinead O’Connor (mp3)

N ~ Nirvana

It amazes me that within a year or two my musical tastes jumped from rap to alternative. The tumultuousness of adolescence.

M ~ (I Touch) Myself

I made out with my eighth grade girlfriend (call her Maria) while this video was all over MTV. I used to bike over to her house in the icy cold afternoons of January. Of course, Maria dumped me on Valentine’s Day.

“I Touch Myself” — The Divinyls (mp3)

L ~ “Love Song” — The Cure (mp3)

The video freaked me out. But it was a good “slow dance” number for our Middle School Fun Nights aka dances. Not that I got many slow dances in middle school.

Never knew the ’40’ referred to the number of members in the band. We like to play Where’s Waldo with the hidden bear in this picture. Can you see him?

K ~ “Kingston Town” — UB40 (mp3)

Yet another make out song. This time, I dumped the girl. Mostly because I didn’t want to string her along. I started dating her for our eighth grade trip to Valley Fair. I wanted someone to hold hands with on the bus ride up (it was two hours long), sit next to on the rides and then snuggle on the way home. Once summer rolled around, I decided to end it. You might think this makes me an asshole; I dumped her was because she was head-over-heels for me. It was that I didn’t want both of our first times to be tainted by my unrequited love.

J ~ Jane’s Addiction

My sister got a mixtape from a college friend with “I Would For You” on it. I got their first, self-titled album and became a huge fan. I might be able to argue that my college exploration into Buddhism can be traced back to “Pigs In Zen.”

I ~ Industrial:

After shaving my dreads, I got into industrial music. Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, stuff like that. Thankfully, that phase didn’t last very long.

“Jesus Built My Hot Rod” — Ministry (mp3)

H ~ Haircuts:

My adolescence was a confusion sandwich served on bad-haircut bread. See “F” and “D” for further study.

G ~ Golf

My spring sport. I only went out for the high school team because they played on the city’s only country club.

F ~ Flattop

My sixth grade haircut that earned me the nickname Spike. That got me a few dates because the girls liked to “pet” my head.

E ~ Everything I Do I Do It For You

Maybe the best song to come out of a movie in all of the ‘90s.

D ~ Dreadlocks

Thanks to a love of nappy headed rappers, I decided to get dreadlocks my freshman year of high school. What the hell was I thinking? This haircut did nothing to help me with the ladies.

C ~ Chocolate Chipwich

Is there any better type of dessert than vanilla ice cream smashed between two chocolate chip cookies? I still love those things.

B ~ Bike

I rode my bike everywhere. Swimming, golf course, just around town for exercise. With headphones connected to either my Walkman or Discman, I’d play some tunes and pump the pedals.

A ~ AA Bondy

This guy has nothing to do with my adolescence. But I really like this song and felt like sharing.

“There Is A Reason” — AA Bondy (mp3)

Besides critiquing music for the blog The Late Greats, Lucas Stangl dabbles in poetry, fiction and screenplays. If you Google him, you can read more of his work.


Our eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

6 thoughts on “In Which Our Adolescence Journey Goes One Two Three Ay Be Sea

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