Saturday, April 8, 2017

G is for Grunge, The Golden Girls, & Graduation (2017 Blogging A to Z)

Welcome to my '92 Time Capsule, where I unearth artifacts and memories from a quarter century ago in alphabetical order everyday (excluding Sundays, with the exception of the 30th) during the month of April. 

Today's letter is G, so here we go...

Grunge music is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged in the Pacific Northwest and more specifically the Seattle area in the late 1980s. Grunge remained fairly regional for several years, but after the commercial success of Nirvana's Nevermind and Pearl Jam's Ten, the music gained popularity. 

"Smells Like Teen Spirit," the first single from Nirvana's Nevermind, was released in September 1991 and did not initially chart.  Thanks in part to college radio and modern rock stations who picked up the song, it started to receive heavy rotation.  By the end of 1991, the song's video had received heavy rotation on MTV during prime time and the song began to cross over to Top 40 radio.  

On January 11, 1992, Nevermind reached the number 1 album position on the Billboard 200, dethroning Michael Jackson's Dangerous in the process.  This event is often considered the point of where grunge fully entered the mainstream. 

Grunge music typically was characterized by heavy use of electric guitar and angst-filled lyrics.  Bands typically had a guitarist, bassist, drummer, and a singer.  In addition to Nirvana, other grunge bands that experienced mainstream success include: Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, and Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains, to name a few.

Members of grunge bands typically wore on stage what they would wear everywhere else, unlike the hair bands of the 1980s that had separate performance clothes/costumes.  The wardrobe of these musicians typically consisted of items found in  thrift stores.  Given the Pacific Northwest's logging economy, items commonly associated with lumberjacks, such as flannel shirts and denim, were a staple in the grunge wardrobe and style.  Once the music established a secure footing in the mainstream, the style began to gain popularity as well with teenagers and young adults across the country.

The grunge movement is said to have died in 1994 after the suicide of Nirvana's singer, Kurt Cobain.


In May of that year, The Golden Girls, a sitcom about four older women sharing a house in Miami, concluded after a seven year run.  The Golden Girls premiered in 1985 and consisted of 180 episodes during its seven seasons. The show starred Beatrice Authur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty.

Between 1985 and 1992, The Golden Girls received 68 Emmy nominations and won 11.  All four of the lead actresses won Emmys for their performances on the show.  The Golden Girls is supposedly only one of four shows (The Simpsons, Will & Grace, and All in the Family) in which all the main characters won Emmys.

Interestingly, The Golden Girls received the Emmy nomination of Outstanding Comedy Series every year during its run, except in 1992.


In June of 1992, something significant happened to me - I graduated high school.  Being a member of the Class of '92 is the sole reason for my Blogging A to Z theme.  Hard to believe that was me a quarter century ago...

On a personal note, I distinctly remember the first time I ever saw the video to Smells Like Teen Spirit.  It was a few days after New Year's and it came on MTV, which was about the only channel I watched back then.  Anyway, SLTS was so different from any song that I had heard before and it was in stark contrast to the Hair Band songs that had dominated the airways and MTV for the previous 4-5 years.  I knew in that moment that things were about to change.  

Were you a fan of grunge music?  (I wasn't, as you've probably already deduced.) Anyway, if you were, which band was your favorite?


  1. What a great idea for a theme. Of course I am biased I did a time capsule of the 1970s for last years challenge.
    If I Only Had A Time Machine

  2. Loved watching the Golden Girls but grunge is definitely not my kind of music. Dropping by from the A to Z Challenge
    Suzy at Someday Somewhere - Great minds

    1. I'm not, nor was I, a fan of grunge. Too... angst filled and kind of depressing. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. I'm not even sure I know it was grunge music even when I was listening to it, if I like a song, than that's it, no category needed unless I need to find a certain album. but I guess I was not a fan of grunge, at least, I was not listening to any of the bands you've mentioned here.

    I only saw a few episodes of golden girls years after the show ended, here and there and even then, I have no idea how successful the show is, but I kept hearing about Bea Authur for some reason

    cute graduation pic.

    have a lovely day.

    ~ How to be good ~

    1. Grunge was in such distinct contrast to the hair bands, they even looked... grungy. LOL! Thank you! You have a great day, too!

  4. Alice in chains is my favorite of grunge then stone temple pilots I have seen many episodes of golden girls my mom loved that show

    1. I'd have to really, really think about what songs STP and AinC had... I know some Nirvana and some Pearl Jam. That's about it. (What can I say? I was a hair band fan...)

  5. Hi Ericka! Hopped over the A to Z!
    I honestly don't think I've ever heard grunge music. I had very limited access to English music, here in India, in the pre cable-TV and pre internet era.
    I have heard about Golden Girls, but it was never run again on any of the channels here I guess. I would like to watch the series though.
    I love going through old pics. They transport us to faraway times, don't they?
    Happy AtoZing!
    Chicky @

  6. I was still holding strong to my love of hair bands in 1992, but I did become a massive fan of Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam in particular.
    You made me smile seeing your big hair graduation picture.

  7. never did care for nirvana.

    i can't remember the semester... i think it was the fall. my first year of college, pearl jam played a free concert at kansas university. the school i attended was about an hour and a half away. it bused students to the event (for free, i think). it was a small college; there were only about four hundred of us. i think nine-tenths of the student body went to that concert. i didn't go because i'd never heard of pearl jam. also, i'd never been to a concert and, with my social anxieties, feared i wouldn't do well in one. not going is one of the top five regrets i have in my life. i LOVE their first three albums, and there are songs off each additional one that i favor. but most of all, i think eddie vedder is a really cool dude. have you seen the interview steve gleason did of the band? it's amazing.

    i liked soundgarden, temple of the dog, alice in chains and mother love bone. the best songs to come from those four bands are outshined, say hello to heaven, would and heartshine.


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