My First Album

I stared at the cover a lot. And I gawked at the inside album art even longer, wondering what the hell they were all wearing, vaguely aware that they were badass and I was not.

The only song my mom ever played off of Guns N' Roses Use Your Illusion I was "November Rain." And she always turned it off before what I later discovered was the good part: When the horns and strings kicked in as Slash dances on top of the piano, ripping into the solo as Axl moans like a wounded cat. This would not surprise you, given that her favorite artist was Rod Stewart.

I was actually really disappointed when I put it in my Sony boombox for the first time. Before my mom was my mom, she cared about things like her stereo system. She got it in the late 70s, I think. It's in storage now. But whenever I heard music at home, it was on this massive system through these four giant speakers that were two feet tall, with a pair stacked on either side of the entertainment center. You could only crank it up to 1, because it was so loud. Past that, the neighbors bitched.

It's probably been six years since I've heard Slash's squealing guitar on that stereo, or anything else, that still makes me giddy.