What You Missed if You Missed the Last Three Decades

Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.
I finally got a chance last week to meet and hang out with The Long Winters guru and fellow Seattle Weekly columnist John Roderick. To be honest, I was a little bit nervous when first seeing John; he seems to be the smartest guy in the room, and intellectualism has at times fed into people also being smart-ASSES to me. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe I am just an easy butt for a joke. But in my case, at least, last week, he was also the NICEST guy in the room, and he shares my low and classless taste in humor. Cool dude.

I started a new job this week as a weekly columnist for ESPN.com. I will for sure be staying here at SW on Thursdays, but I am excited to write about my other passion--sports. I tried it a time or two here at SW, but it seemed to leave a lot of people just kind of scratching their heads ("Why is the rock/book guy writing about the NBA?").

Sometimes my interests and the Seattle Weekly's do not mix. Shit, I feel very lucky to be writing now for TWO prestigious online ports. That is, of course, until ESPN catches on that I am truly just a passenger, and not any sort of a real "journalist" per se.

A story on CNN caught my interest this morning. Cornelius Dupree Jr., a Texas man who has sat in prison since 1979--wrongly accused for rape and robbery--was just freed on DNA proof that overturned his conviction. Just think of that for a minute: 32 YEARS IN PRISON FOR A CRIME THAT YOU DIDN'T DO! Just think about it:

1. Jimmy Carter was still the President of the United States (he won the election with the help, for the first time in U.S. history, of a surging Southern Evangelical voter base. That is why, boys and girls, every President since then has kowtowed so much to the Evangelical Church. They possess VOTES.)

2. 1979 is the year Prince recorded his self-titled record. That's four whole records BEFORE Purple Rain.

3. In 1979, Michael Jackson was still recording with the Jacksons (formerly the Jackson 5).

4. Led Zeppelin was still a touring band with all its original members.

5. AC/DC still had Bon Scott.

6. An actor from California named Ronald Reagan was laughably running for President of the United States.

7. The Clash did their first tour of the U.S.

8. I saw The Clash on their first U.S. tour.

9. U2 were still an Irish pub band.

10. Motörhead were making Ace of Spades.

11. Metallica was not a band yet.

12. "Ant" music and the "New Romantic" era in music were just being born in the UK.

13. Home computers were still about 14 years away.

14. The compact disc was still 10 years away.

15. Artists and bands were still actually selling records (can you smell my bitterness about that whole thing yet, AR?)

16. The Seattle Seahawks were only a 2-year-old NFL team. The cagey QB/receiver team of "Zorn to Largent" was in its infancy.

17. My wife was 9 years old.

18. I was 15 years old.

19. Kinky.

20. Stop thinking about that, you sick bastards.

21. KCMU was cool then. too.

22. My editor here at the Weekly wasn't even born.

23. I was in the Fastbacks.

24. Most of you reading this were probably not even born.

25. "Y.M.C.A.," "Le Freak," "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?", and "Reunited" were all hits that year.

Cornelius Dupree Jr., you are still a relative youngster at 51. I wish you a long life now in freedom. You deserve it and more.

Need more Duff? Check him out his other column on ESPN.com every Wednesday.

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