Senior Year, 1993: Grunge Jock
by Justin Farrar | March 15, 2011
Ah, the Grunge Jock. He was an odd fellow.
Way more into tackling than subcultural orthodoxy, the young man was a mainstream rock dude who pieced together his mishmash record collection from whatever was hot on both the radio and MTV (back when the channel still played videos, of course). As a result, his Walkman contained the oddest assortment of tunes; the only thing connecting all of them was an affirmative answer to the question "Will this track get me pumped?"
Obviously, Grunge Jock dug the sounds of Seattle (in order from most metal-friendly to most anti-sports): Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Nirvana. He also clung to hair metal holdovers like Ugly Kid Joe and Guns N' Roses, both of whom were still haunting the Billboard in '93. Then there were all the alt-metal acts breaking into the mainstream, bands such as Jane's Addiction, Faith No More, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the incomparable Green Jelly (then called Green Jellö). Grunge Jock fortified this dose of metal with a mix of even heavier metal (Biohazard, Helmet, Rage Against the Machine, Pantera, Body Count) and a ton of stoner and gangsta rap (Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill, Onyx, House of Pain). Side note: a lot of these groups would go on to help invent nü metal when they collaborated on the Judgment Night soundtrack.
Grunge Jock rounded out his record collection with a short list of bands and artists that didn't really fit nicely into the major trends mentioned above. These included the Smashing Pumpkins, Fishbone, Blind Melon and The Black Crowes.
One other thing: the inclusion of the Spin Doctors and Blues Traveler might feel odd at first blush. However, both groups blew up big time in 1993, making the leap from jam-band heavies to straight-up pop stars. Everybody -- even 18-year-old boys in tight pants and shoulder pads -- was grooving to the funky shenanigans of "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong."