My memory of everything that happened in the 90's is fuzzy, so I can't tell you how I found Blink; my earliest memory is listening to What's My Age Again? on the radio. From there on, it was mostly through a steady stream of music videos [The Rock Show, Down, I Miss You, etc]. I can tell you, however, exactly how I found MyChem. It was right before Three Cheers was released, and I was a member of a Thrice community on LiveJournal; a guy I met through it pointed me to MCR's website, where I watched a lo-fi video for I'm Not Okay. Then I clicked on the page's music widget and listened to Thank You For The Venom. That one-two-punch was all it took to reel me in. I also remember when Helena showed up on MTV's Total Request Live after the album dropped, and even though it portended the rise of emo as a cultural whipping boy, I was still elated for the band. And thinking how many years it's been since then makes me feel old. Dammit.
Please excuse the terrible sound quality, mediocre guitar playing, and my mistyped lyric in the first line.
For those who don't want to watch, here is basically what the video says:
I first heard about Blink 182 in the first grade when I got the very first Kidz Bop for Christmas. "All the Small Things" was on it, and that was my jam. I played and sang it all the time. I also distinctively remember reading "T. Delonge" in the song booklet and thinking that "Delonge" (which I also mispronounced) was the weirdest last name ever. Maaany years after that, in the tenth grade (2008), I made a friend who was all about Blink 182. She made me realize that I wanted to get into them, so I did. The first song I really heard this time around was "Dammit." Just a few years late, but I was in love. From that point on, I was obsessed with Blink 182.
My Chemical Romance is a different story. In the eighth grade, I was reading my monthly J-14 magazine when I saw this strange picture of a band wearing make-up. The lead singer was wearing a tiara. I had never seen anything like this before, so I looked them up. After hearing "Welcome to the Black Parade," my life changed forever. I had no idea music could sound like that. I listened more and more, and they became my first ever "favorite band." Eventually, they opened me up to a whole different realm of music that I thrive in today. If I had never looked up that weird, makeup-wearing band, I do not know what my life would be like today. It is for this reason that I am glad I followed the trend of reading the poppy, preteen celebrity magazine that is J-14.
I first heard Blink-182 when I was 6 or 7, I think. I was watching Video Hits one morning and The Rock Show came on. I enjoyed the hell out of that song and loved the video clip too!
I first heard MCR when I was 11. I got a ps2 for my birthday a long with some cool games and, dare me to say it, Singstar. One of the tracks you could choose to do karaoke on was Helena. I heard the song I immediately fell in love.
Will probably turn this into a video later but...
"I look like a homeless man at the moment." - Jason Tate, this thread, 2011
I was first introduced to blink without even realizing it. When I was about 11 or 12 a kid on my CYO basketball team would always wear a Dude Ranch shirt to practice and I never knew what it was. I forget when I actually heard Dammit, but I distinctly remember listening to that and a clip of Alien's Exist on AOL before Enema came out. There was a picture of the Dude Ranch cover somewhere on the site and I realized what the shirt was. I ended up buying Dude Ranch and then getting Enema for Christmas or something and that's when I really fell in love and they became my favorite band.
As for MCR, I saw them open for The Used at the Chance in Poughkeepsie long before they hit it big and they had just released I Brought You My Bullets... They played Headfirst for Halos and I fucking loved it (still do and actually listening to it now, haha). After the show I went to their merch table and bought a copy of their cd and listened to it as my mom drove me and my friend home.
My first exposure to MCR was hearing their song "I'm Not Okay" on the radio. At that time, I was indifferent to music, but that song hit me like none other had. The energy, the honesty, and the overall passion in the song really stuck with me. I took my bike to K-Mart and bought Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, my frist CD ever, and listened to it like none other. I'd sit in my computer chair with my discman CD player and listen to one song at a time with the lyric booklet. I wouldn't move onto the next song until I had the previous one memorized. I remember rewinding songs just because I loved the way Gerard sang a certain word and wanted to hear it again, and again, and again. I remember singing every word to "Helena" at the bus stop, even when I forgot the discman at home. As I discovered more bands, my music taste grew and became more diverse, but there will always be a special place in my heart for My Chemical Romance.
blink-182: The first memory I have of them had to be All The Small Things, the music video and hearing them on the radio. I was only 10 at the time and didn't have a serious opinion on music, instead just watching TRL for the fun of it, which blink was on regularly at the time (1999-2000?). What sticks out the most is that line "Work sucks, I know" that I and all of my friends would always change to "School sucks, I know."
MCR: My family and I were going camping roughly four-five hours away, so my parents wanted us to have something to do in the car. We went to Target and my sister picked out "Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge" due to the cover. I was blown away by the first song on the album, Helena and ended up hogging the portable CD player we were sharing at the time. Since then I've been a big fan.
I remember the DJ refusing my request to play Dammit at the 8th grade dance. Said the song was too vulgar for such virgin ears.
As for My Chemical Romance, well, now that's another story entirely so children, let us all gather 'round the campfire. I had seen bits and pieces of this vampire rock concoction that had emerged from the sewers of New Jersey, and while Mr. Geoff of Thursday was quite high and mighty on them, I wasn't sold. It seemed as if it was a gimmick, zombie-Ziggy Stardust ripoff looking to exploit the feeble minds of America's youth. But as I paid more attention and delved deeper into the labyrinth of the world of chemical romances, I realized there were far more powerful and nefarious forces at work. (It should be noted that up until this point all I had known regarding romance was the Swiss Army type, so this was a dramatic departure for me.)
My relationship with My Chemical Romance took a dramatic step forward upon their release of the video Helena. Was it the vampire makeup? Was it the stunning choreography? Was it the monumental combination of jazz hands and umbrellas? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Looking back, I feel that all the pieces were finally connected upon my realization that the extremely visually pleasing dancer representing Helena of Troy was none other than the daughter of Buffalo Bills football coach Wade Phillips. Being a die hard Buffalo Bills football fan since my days of dancing around in a Bills infant sized onesie as my parents wept over Scott Norwood's missed field goal in the Super Bowl against the New York Giants, I realized only one thing could be responsible for this outrageous and sensational connection. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call destiny. Fucking fate. You can't make that shit up if you tried.
Also, hanging out with Thursday backstage on the last tour with them and MCR, I asked to say hey to the guys in MCR before they went onstage. The security lady told me to get fucked. I ignored her existence, but Mikey came to the rescue and said hello to me in a timely fashion, and Gerard followed. We had a charming discussion, Mikey asked if Jared Kaufman still worked for AbsolutePunk, and I laughed out loud, all the while overwhelmed by the fact that I had just taken a piss in the same urinal as the guys from My Chemical Romance.
Sometimes the stars align just right...
Is it cool to take these chances and fake romances?
Super jealous you got to meet Mikey. They all seem like such nice guys.
I discovered My Chemical Romance in 2003 when I saw them opening for The Used and Finch at Irving Plaza in NYC. Only a few fans knew who they were at the time and went crazy for them. After I saw their set I downloaded their first album and was hooked after that.