• 8 months 17 days ago
    • Posts: 6
    So I’m a young writer currently working on a novel that I need some research for.

    The novel I’m pursuing chronicles the adventures of four teenage boys growing up in The 1990’s as they make their way through high school. It’s going to be a “period piece” essentially, and will take place from August 1990 to June 1994 (aka their high school years). I’ve been conducting a lot of research on the 1990’s, honing in specifically on the youth subculture of that time period. Because of all of this, I am in need of first-person accounts that pertain to growing up during the early nineties.

    If you happened to be in high school from 90-94 could you share some of your thoughts and memories with me? What music did you listen to? What were some of your favorite things to do with friends? Anything else you feel like sharing.

    Would really appreciate it! Thanks!
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      • 8 months 17 days ago
      • Posts: 987
      Where will the story take place?
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        • 8 months 16 days ago
        • Posts: 289
        How old are you if you don't mind me asking and when were your high school years? Couldn't you just research what was popular in 1990-1994 in pop culture? The internet and Youtube is flooded with stuff from that year.
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          • 8 months 16 days ago
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          I think he's looking for personal anecdotes that will influence his writing. There's tons of pop culture but that doesn't all fit into the high school setting.
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            • 8 months 16 days ago
            • Posts: 331
            I liked Baby Got Back. "Oh my God, Becky! Look at her butt!" :lol:
            So you're gonna get in my face...BETTER BE READY TO BACK IT UP!

            I'm a bitch who likes sirloin.

            Come at me, bro.
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              • 8 months 16 days ago
              • Posts: 9999
              I'd help you, but I was in elementary school around that time period.
              thecrow174: Lover of martial arts cinema.
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                • 8 months 15 days ago
                • Posts: 289
                Can't you just ask people around where you live about their high school experiences? Shouldn't be too hard to find some people in their late 30s or early 40s and ask them.
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                  • 8 months 14 days ago
                  • Posts: 6
                  Thanks for all the responses guys!

                  The story will take place in a small town in Pennsylvania. I am 22 years old so I was around in the 90's, but obviously not old enough to fully "absorb" it. I've done an extensive amount of research on pop culture (and culture in general), but I just haven't been able to find that many raw personal accounts. I have all the facts, but I want stories from ALL walks of life from around that time. I just don't want to start writing the book without having done that, because I want "real" stories of what people really were thinking, feeling and doing. Personal anecdotes are exactly what I'm looking for. Any and everything. I know that's a super nebulous question, but that's just the nature of the research. I've tried reaching out to people in my area, but it's been like pulling teeth. I think some people are kind of weirded out because I am basically asking "Just talk about your life" and some people don't know how to respond to that. So, again, anyone who was around that age at the time, responses or private messages would be greatly appreciated.

                  Thanks guys!
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                    • 8 months 14 days ago
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                    I'm currently living in a small town in PA. If I were you I'd try to find some books published and aimed at teens in the 90s, including magazines.
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                      • 8 months 14 days ago
                      • Posts: 66
                      ttb1112 wrote:
                      Thanks for all the responses guys!

                      The story will take place in a small town in Pennsylvania. I am 22 years old so I was around in the 90's, but obviously not old enough to fully "absorb" it. I've done an extensive amount of research on pop culture (and culture in general), but I just haven't been able to find that many raw personal accounts. I have all the facts, but I want stories from ALL walks of life from around that time. I just don't want to start writing the book without having done that, because I want "real" stories of what people really were thinking, feeling and doing. Personal anecdotes are exactly what I'm looking for. Any and everything. I know that's a super nebulous question, but that's just the nature of the research. I've tried reaching out to people in my area, but it's been like pulling teeth. I think some people are kind of weirded out because I am basically asking "Just talk about your life" and some people don't know how to respond to that. So, again, anyone who was around that age at the time, responses or private messages would be greatly appreciated.

                      Thanks guys!


                      From '90 to '93, the late 80s were on their way out and the oncoming culture of the mid 90s (1993-1996) was brand new. I cannot tell you anything about 1993 and 1994, but '90 to '93 was the 80s on steroids.

                      Fashions
                      ---------

                      Bolero jackets ('90)
                      Hammer Harem pants ('90)
                      Bootleg 'Black Bart' Simpson shirts (Mid '90 - Late '91)
                      Don't Worry Be Happy Shirts (Early '89 - Mid '92)
                      Crystal necklaces (Mid 1990)
                      Mood Rings (Late '90 - Mid '91)
                      'Shirt King' sweaters with animated characters on them (Early 1990- ???)
                      Lyrica shorts (Mid '89 - Fall of 1990)
                      'Just Do It' tops and bootlegs (Just Do Me) (Mid '90 - Mid '92)
                      Levi 501 Jeans and shirts (Early '90 - 1995)
                      Hermitcrab necklace (Early '91)
                      British Knights sneakers (Late 80s - Late '91)
                      Keds Tennis shoes (Mid 1990)
                      Catsuits ('Mid '92 - mid '93)
                      Cocktail dress (Mid '90 - Late '90)
                      Used Jeans by Elle ('90 - Mid '92)
                      Cross Colors (Mid '90 - Mid '94)
                      IOU Sweaters (Mid '90 - Fall '90)
                      Fleece Hoodie Vests (Mid '92 - ???)
                      Flannel (1987 - 1997)
                      Zubaz (Early '91 - Mid '92)
                      GAP clothes (Mid '90 - 2002?)
                      Red Eraser shirts (Late '92 - Mid '93)
                      Carhartt (late '92 - ???)
                      Dark Pink shirts (1991 - 1996)
                      Timberland/Karl Kani (Late '92 - 1997)
                      Stonewashed Jeans (1989 - ???)
                      Peace shirts ('88 - Late '94)
                      Fido Dido tees (1987 - Mid '92)
                      ALF shirts (Mid '88 - Late '90)
                      Reebok Pumps (Late '89 - Late '92?)
                      Camp Beverly Hills (Late 80s - Late '90?)
                      Benetton (80s - 1997)
                      Guess Jeans (Mid '90 - Early '94?)
                      Pop Swatch Watches (1988 - Late '90)


                      Slang/ Lingo
                      -----------
                      "Get with the program" - Come up to my level. ('90 - Late '91)
                      "Stupid" - Uber (Late 80s - Late '92?)
                      "Baby Got Back" - Woman with a large glutinous maximus. ('91? - Late '93)
                      "Pump it Up" - Turn up the volume or exercise the muscles. ('89 - Late '91)
                      "Hoopity" - Car ('87? - Early '90)
                      "Hype" - Cool ('86? - Late '92)
                      "Livin Large and In Charge" - Living as if you are sitting on the lap of luxury. ('86? - Late '92)
                      "Totally Uncool" - It's not 'in'. ('90 - Mid '92)
                      "In the House" - Someone's present. (Mid '91 - '97)
                      "Boss" - Wayy cool. (Late 80s - Mid '91)
                      "Bummer" - A disappointment. (80s - Mid '92)
                      "All that" - Person who has a lot going for them. (Late '91 - ???)
                      "What's the 411?"- What's the news on so and so. ('91 - Mid '94)
                      "Wicked" - Awesome. (1984 - Mid '92)
                      "Badd" - Sharp. ('88 - Early '93)
                      "Rad" - Extremely exquisite. (Late 80s - Early '93)
                      "Deck" - Beat the crap out of someone or something. (Late 80s - Early '92)

                      Trends
                      --------

                      Stamp collecting (1990)
                      Airbrushed anything ('89 - Late '92)
                      Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Yep, there were Junior High and High School boys secretly buying these up. (Early 1990 - Mid '91)
                      Oakley Sunglasses (1990 - Mid '92)
                      African Garbs (Early '89 - Mid '92)
                      Malcolm X hats (Late '90 - Mid '93)
                      Starter snapbacks and jackets (80s - Early '94)
                      Inside Out Clothing (Early '91 - Mid '91)
                      Bandanas (Riiiiicooooo Suave, couldn't help myself) (Late '90 - Late '92)
                      Overalls and Bookbags with one strap down (Mid '90? - 2000)
                      Hypercolor (Early '91 - Mid '92)
                      The NES (My Mother used to call the cartridges "tapes".) ('86 - Late '91)
                      Blossom Hats (Mid 1988 - '95)
                      Kris Kross backwards clothing (Late '92 - Mid '93)
                      High Top Fades (Late '86 - Late '91)
                      Hair Carvings (Remember ogling at the Yankees sign in the back of a young man's head, I do) (Mid '89 - Late '92)
                      Varsity Jackets (Mid 80s - Mid '93)
                      Highlights in Gumby hairdos, High Top Fades and Flattops ( Mid '88 - Late '92)
                      Surfwear (Late '86 - Early 1993)
                      Silly Earrings (Dangling Triangles, Globes and Treasure Trolls)(Early 1990 - Early '93)
                      Oversized Everything (Mid '88 - Early '94)
                      Skidz Apparel (Early '90 - Mid '92)
                      Railroad tracks on the Clust of a Person's ear (Sidelines) (Late '89 - Late '91)

                      Those are the only ones I can think of for now.
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                        • 8 months 14 days ago
                        • Posts: 2943
                        You might be able to get people to talk about themselves if you put an ad on craigslist if you are comfortable with doing something like that.

                        I noticed when I took a memoir writing class many of the people in the class would not stop talking about themselves. So that might be an idea if you can find a class like that.
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                          • 8 months 14 days ago
                          • Posts: 66
                          moldyoldie1 wrote:
                          ttb1112 wrote:
                          So I’m a young writer currently working on a novel that I need some research for.

                          The novel I’m pursuing chronicles the adventures of four teenage boys growing up in The 1990’s as they make their way through high school. It’s going to be a “period piece” essentially, and will take place from August 1990 to June 1994 (aka their high school years). I’ve been conducting a lot of research on the 1990’s, honing in specifically on the youth subculture of that time period. Because of all of this, I am in need of first-person accounts that pertain to growing up during the early nineties.

                          If you happened to be in high school from 90-94 could you share some of your thoughts and memories with me? What music did you listen to? What were some of your favorite things to do with friends? Anything else you feel like sharing.

                          Would really appreciate it! Thanks!


                          [u]My Favorite Artist From Back Then[/u]

                          Sonic Youth
                          The Pixies (I got a Pixies shirt in the summer of 1992)
                          Depeche Mode
                          Morissey
                          Public Enemy
                          EMF
                          REM

                          [u]Artist I Completely Despised Then[/u]

                          Paula Abdul
                          Mariah Carey
                          Janet Jackson
                          Karyn White
                          Madonna (Radio stations were still playing 'Material Girl' in 1991. I hate that song.)

                          [u]School Memories[/u]

                          Race Wars between African Americans and Hispanic Americans
                          School Gangs
                          The Asbestos Exposure Scare
                          Condom Distribution
                          Homosexual Bashing
                          "Crack Kills" Awareness

                          [u]Favorite Things to Do With Friends[/u]

                          Play Gameboy
                          Hang out at the Bowling Alley
                          Have frozen yogurt after School
                          Write Slambooks
                          Watch TGIF on ABC to mock the characters (My Grandmother loved Urkel.)
                          Go to dilapidated houses
                          Make fun of ourselves
                          View music videos together and poke fun at the titles of songs . (i.e. Rhythm Syndicate's P.A.S.S.I.O.N. became P.I.S.S.I.N.)
                          Talk about who's dating who
                          Go to the Gym to work out.
                          Check out the Mall (If I had a dime for every time Poison's "Unskinny Bop" played in the Mall, I'd be a rich person.)
                          Actually lip sync to Milli Vanilli
                          Speak of people we wish we were married to. (Johnny Depp was at the top of everyone's list in the early 90s.)
                          Look through yearbooks from the 1970s
                          Dance
                          Ogled pencil break games


                          I hope that helps.
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                            • 8 months 13 days ago
                            • Posts: 6
                            Wow, thank you so much guys! That's all really good stuff. Let me know if you think of anything else.

                            I've been reading a lot of books from that era/ about that era. I've also posted on Craigslist to no luck unfortunately :(

                            Obviously there were Race Wars occurring during that time period out in the world (Rodney King, etc.), but was that dispute like in terms of a high school setting? Just verbal taunting? Or did it ever escalate to violence?
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                              • 8 months 13 days ago
                              • Posts: 289
                              How about going to some casual local bars and striking up some conversations with people. With alcohol in their system, they could be more willing to open up to their experiences. Just don't be weird about. Ask casually but let them know you're interested in that era and you want to hear their experiences. Craigslist is just weird. That site should be avoided.
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                                • 8 months 13 days ago
                                • Posts: 66
                                ttb1112 wrote:
                                Wow, thank you so much guys! That's all really good stuff. Let me know if you think of anything else.

                                I've been reading a lot of books from that era/ about that era. I've also posted on Craigslist to no luck unfortunately :(

                                Obviously there were Race Wars occurring during that time period out in the world (Rodney King, etc.), but was that dispute like in terms of a high school setting? Just verbal taunting? Or did it ever escalate to violence?


                                In the 80s and 90s, the violent clashes between Hispanic Americans and African Americans in High School were incited over intolerance and disrespect for each other's beliefs. Disagreements were expressed with verbal taunting and resulted in physical altercations. I found a video on YouTube I thought you may be interested in.

                                http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WHo0gJ6DWPc
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                                  • 8 months 12 days ago
                                  • Posts: 66
                                  African Americans in those times also wore shirts with sayings like "It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand". I recall seeing shirts that were made in response to those "2 Black 2 Strong" tops. There were articles with mantras like "You have your X and we have ours [the Confederate flag]" and "Work…It's a white thing, you wouldn't understand." This was during the time my classmates were pulling their suspenders (another trend) and donning long sleeved pocketed pullovers.
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                                    • 8 months 12 days ago
                                    • Posts: 1860
                                    Many days after school we would go to the pizza place up the street and hang out there for hours. As long as we kept buying stuff it was OK, it's not like the owner was our friend like Al on Happy Days. There were a lot of places we would go. In a town, it was nice to be in public instead of somebody's house. That way anybody could show up at any time, and there was food available and also bathrooms. And at that point you could still smoke inside, whether you were in Burger King, the pathetic food court in the mall, a cafe, whatever and we did so prodigiously.

                                    It was nice to be together. Jokes and romance and expressions of awesome and sharing whatever we thought about whatever...in this way I can't tell you what it was really like. I know what we did but it's hard to put into words and the memory is too fuzzy to say exactly... I could talk about pop culture and technology but that's easy enough to find out.

                                    You should watch My So-Called Life. There's a concrete expression of what it was really like for a teenager in 1994. Better than most people could ever write out here.
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                                      • 8 months 12 days ago
                                      • Posts: 1860
                                      moldyoldie1 wrote:

                                      Bootleg 'Black Bart' Simpson shirts (Mid '90 - Late '91)

                                      All kinds of Simpsons shirts. Official, bootleg black or white, whatever. But Bart was definitely the focus. Most shirts were Bart or the whole family. In fact I think Homer got the least attention of all as far as merchandise went.
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                                        • 8 months 12 days ago
                                        • Posts: 66
                                        stake n sheak wrote:
                                        moldyoldie1 wrote:

                                        Bootleg 'Black Bart' Simpson shirts (Mid '90 - Late '91)

                                        All kinds of Simpsons shirts. Official, bootleg black or white, whatever. But Bart was definitely the focus. Most shirts were Bart or the whole family. In fact I think Homer got the least attention of all as far as merchandise went.


                                        There were about six shirts with Homer on them in the spring of 1990. Bartmania was in effect for most of the early 90s until sometime in the fall of '92. Quite a few of the season one episodes had Bart in the title. I knew people, in those days, who could relate to Bart as if he were actually real.
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                                          • 8 months 12 days ago
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                                          All my siblings were teens in the 90s. Try to watch the 1st season of MTV's The Real World.
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