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Music Time Capsule Log #11: 1989: A Year of Major Transitions

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Music Time Capsule Log #11: 1989: A Year of Major Transitions

10 March 2019

Mark Antony Rossi

I didn’t start 1989 feeling anything different but it was the year my life changed in many drastic ways. First, I decided not to re-enlist for another stint in the US Air Force. My college degree was nearly complete. I traveled to 32 countries in over five years and there wasn’t much more I could see from Europe. I was eager to return Stateside. But musically 1989 sucked other than Candlemass, most acts either commercialized themselves to insanity (Crue: Dr Feelgood) or others started coming down the pike that made my stomach turn like Warrant, Bullet Boys, and their ilk. Little did I know these were precursors of more putrid music, the grunge scene that combined bad singing with bad hygiene for a potent combination of ungrateful oxygen stealing.

I took it for granted the past decade that great metal could continue forever, even Queensryche started to sound like crap and this is before Degarmo took a hike. I was feeling alone and thankfully for Gary Moore I started hearing someone bluesy and connected to his harmonic genius. As I got my affairs in order, I started missing West Germany even before I officially left. My apartment, my art, my writing all gone in boxes shipped to home in New Jersey. I especially missed my CD collection and from that moment I started feeling old and listening to records from the past years because I could tell the music coming at me was devoid of soul and creativity. It was the first time I felt old.

East Germany was about to explode and all my work towards its demise was about to pay off in a big way. Millions of imprisoned people will soon find their freedom. I arrived the 2nd day and saw the Wall in major pieces. I saved one for myself. I composed a poem about a Communist tower guard beaten to death and once published was questioned if my lack of action was unethical. My reply is still my feelings today 29 years later: Who are we to stop justice when it appears messy. We urged these people for over fifty years to break free. Now in their moment of liberty we have no right to curb their appetite to punish the wicked. I watched for a moment. I wrote my poem. I walked away and had dinner content my job was accomplished.

I left West Germany a week later closing that chapter of my life. I was hoping a new metal scene would emerge and rescue us from the dreary radio of lite rock and looney tunes.

Mark Antony Rossi


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