When was the last time you looked back on your childhood and had a sudden sense of nostalgia? Some of us have great memories of the past, some don't. Either way for each and every one of us there is always that special place we go to from time to time that puts a smile on our face looking back at it now. Being 28, I actually never stopped craving for that RETRO moment. Whether it's music, games or toys, I still love to revisit that part of my life. There are many times when me and my friends meet up and talk about "the good old days" so I decided to make a list of my earliest memories that will forever stay carved inside my head.
I was about 4 years old when this cartoon was showing on TV and it's my earliest recollection of any cartoon back in the day. It took me some time but I finally managed to find all of the episodes online and watch them again. This cartoon actually has a story! Well they all do but when you are so young all you care about is the action on screen. Until I got to watch all the episodes again, I had no idea what this was even about. For me it was a cool cowboy, guy with robotic horse, racer dude and hot blonde chick and they kicked everybody's ass with style! What stuck forever was the main theme, the most badass theme song ever!
What could top up a space cowboy and a robotic horse? The endless battle of good and evil, the coolest cars at the time that could only become cooler by transforming into a robot. Autobots and Decepticons, The Transformers!
Its actually crazy how popular this franchise is to this day with a huge following. For a 5 year old kid, this was a dream come true. We would go outside and pretend we are the good guys (autobots) or bad guys (decepticons) and just chase each other around in the park, coming back home full of mud and sand on us. The holy grail were the toys. I don't think you could get anything cooler for a boy at the time than a Transformer. I was so obsessed with my friends tiny Thundercracker figure that I stole it from him. When my mom found out, she made me give it back, was quite embarrassing :/ Unfortunately at the time we had a bad economic situation going on back home so our parent were low on cash and I never had a chance to have my own Optimus Prime. Since it was the biggest, it was also the most expensive figure.
Once I moved to Pretoria, South Africa, I remember my dad taking me to the arcades in some huge mall. Probably to get rid of me for a few minutes because I was always very impatient. Throw video games in my face and I zip it. To this day, I never stopped playing. So I walk in and theres this huge arcade cabinet with a game called Mortal Kombat. So much blood, so much violence, bad ass ninjas, AWESOME! My dad never liked these sort of games so he never wanted to buy it for me. Instead I was playing it on a Sega Mega Drive at a VHS rental place where they charged some quarters for like 30 min or so. That was all I played for years! And the award for my favorite in the series goes to Mortal Kombat 2 \m/
This is when the Power Rangers started. Obviously I was a fan and Red Ranger could kick Green Rangers ass any day of the week. Its one thing that this show is still alive and kicking but how the fuck do they still manage to make it look so low budget and crap. They still use cardboard boxes for buildings instead of some quality 21st century CGI. The Black Ranger stopped aging, The Yellow Ranger died in a car accident back in 2011, The Green Ranger put on some tattoos and hit the gym to become an MMA fighter, The Red Ranger is now a fat paramedic, The pink ranger still has an acting career and The Blue Ranger is fighting for gay rights.
Few years later I moved to Zimbabwe and met this guy that introduced me to Super Nintendo. Legend of Zelda, Killer Instinct, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong Country all day every day when we were at his place. Then Nintendo 64 arrived with Super mario 64 and our heads were blown! So many gaming memories from that period. Going back to Killer Instinct, this guy also had a soundtrack CD for the game. I don't think any fighting game ever produced a soundtrack as good as this. For the two of us this was the most macho collection of songs, the soundtrack to our "cool" life. I did not have a cd player at the time so he burned it for me on a tape. If you used a pen/pencil to rewind your tapes, bro fist! Whoever thinks Im lying here is the soundtrack, maybe you can be cool as me one day :)
Speaking of music, this is when I was slowly developing my own taste and actually liking a specific band. I went over to a friends house and he played for me "techno". Today we call it gay euro dance but hey for us that was techno. Obviously I liked the songs so I wanted him to copy it for me on a tape. This guy was cheap, he wanted me to either pay him money or make an exchange with some comic books or floppy disc games. So I shelled out my belongings and got it…but only one side of the tape. Side B would cost me extra.
The tape included songs by 2 Unlimited, Snap, Dr Alban, Culture Beat and others. Problem was back then, there was no internet to search the name of the artists or albums so this tape was labeled TECHNO…and that's it. Fast forward 10 years and you realize you want to hear these songs again and have them in your collection but cant because you didn't know the name of any of the songs in the first place. Luckily I managed to grab a CD with 40 best eurodance hits and found all of my childhood songs again. Eurodance 4 life!
Soon after, I was introduced to two albums that greatly influenced my future taste. The first one was The Prodigy - Music For The Jilted Generation and second one was Guns n Roses - Appetite For Destruction. The Prodigy was soon my favorite band. Much edgier electronic sound, I was slowly growing up. GnR though at first they sounded OK, the only reason I had the album was because I liked the song in the Terminator 2 movie. And maybe in total there were 2-3 songs I liked. Rest I thought was boring. Today, Apetite For Destruction is on my top 3 albums ever created.
Couple of years later we moved back to Serbia. I changed schools for the 7th or 8th time by now and I was hating my first day. My mom escorted me to school because I was new and it was embarrassing. An 8th grader going to school with his mom… totally gangsta. Luckily on that same day I met a guy who is to this day a very good friend of mine. Guess what he had back at his place? Sony Playstation!
The most time we spent on was Need For Speed 2, Pandemonium and 2Xtreme. AGAIN I could not afford myself a PS but luckily there were a lot of Playstation clubs where you could play by the hour all the latest games. Only problem was that you could not save your game so you either play for hours to try and finish it ( and go home with an empty wallet) or you would play 2 player games and such for a quick fix. Honorable mentions: Tekken 2, Twisted Metal 2, G-Police, Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Resident Evil 1 and 2, Clock Tower, Need For Speed 3, Vigilante 8, MDK, Abe's Exodus, Soul Blade, Wipeout XL and many,many,many more.
It was 1997 and The Prodigy released The Fat Of The Land album. Smack my bitch up song is almost 17 years old today and it sounds just as fresh as it did day one. I just turned 13 and the rest is history as they say.