FEATURE: I’ve Made A Huge Mistake

limpbizkitNote: This column will address previous (i.e. now defunct) obsessions with rock bands and chronicle just what it was that made the obsession so powerful in the first place. In addition, we’ll explore how well the artist in question has held up in the intervening years, obsession now lifted. Not every band explored in this column is a “mistake” per se, but maybe not worth my youthful undying love.

Today’s Adventure: “Limp Bizkit’s in the House and You ain’t Shit” or “Summer/Fall 1999.”

I grew up in the 90s, and like literally any person who grew up during any time period, I did some really dumb things. I booby-trapped my bedroom door so that it sent a hefty can of fish food flying at my mother. I kicked a hole in the wall and disguised it with a painting, “Shawshank”-style. And, like any child who grew up loving music, I developed some bad habits by the time I turned 15 and was about to enter high school.

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This was the age of Total Request Live with Carson Daly, a show which purported to air the top ten most popular music videos (A now extinct medium that used to be a way to showcase a band’s newest “hit song”). This was based on actual votes submitted by people like me. More often than not, it was riddled with boy bands, but once in a while something that could be considered “rock” crept in. More often than not, this was a showcase for “rap-metal” bands, like KoRn, Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit.

Oh, how I loved Limp Bizkit.

And, let me put this in context. This was not the first band I had ever listened to. I had various obsessions previously with Queen, Aerosmith and Collective Soul. I was raised on a healthy diet of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, and I should have known better. My father must have felt completely powerless as he watched me pay American currency for an album by Limp Bizkit. (My mom, I’m assuming, didn’t give a shit). Limp Bizkit, of course, were a genetic mashup of Florida Scumbag and Hip-hop-Listening Florida Scumbag. Imagine Jeff Goldblum going through a telepod with the titular fly, only the result uses phrases like “Keeping it fresh” unironically. It kind of makes you yearn for a man-sized fly with soulful monster eyes.

Limp Bizkit’s member with the most “credentials” was former House of Pain member DJ Lethal, but the mouthpiece was Fred Durst, a confusingly-hatted guy with a soul patch and no discernable musical talent. Oh, and anger. There was a healthy dose of anger. But it wasn’t really adult man anger. It was more of a misplaced 14-year-old-anger, but it was housed in the body of a guy who could grow a soul patch.

In other words, I loved that shit. It spoke to me. Girls also ignored me, and I felt awkward in my own skin. I had all these feelings, dammit. Mom and Dad couldn’t possibly have helped me, since my feelings were so powerful and they were totally robots. They were better off leaving me alone while I wildly speculated as to what “Nookie” might mean.

This got to the point where I dressed as Fred Durst for Halloween. I scalped my sister’s Barbie doll so that I could make a soul patch for myself out of synthetic hair. I purchased Durst’s signature red Yankee’s cap and wore it backward. I was hooked, man.

So what happened?

Well, I grew up. I fell in with a new group of friends, a bunch of dudes that made it pretty clear that Limp Bizkit was terrible. But by that point, the whole “I’ve got a chainsaw/I’ll skin your ass raw” mentality didn’t really jive with my current situation, and I got into Eric Clapton instead. In other words, I became addicted to cocaine, and then nothing seemed to matter at all.

No, not really. The truth is, listening to “The Bizkit” 16 years on, I don’t really dig the aggression, but guitarist Wes Borland got some pretty interesting sounds using alternate tunings. I love Sonic Youth, and they more or less traffic in the same sort of thing. Even so, Limp Bizkit were probably not worthy of my teenage obsession. However, I think we can all agree that it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never heard Limp Bizkit at all.

Photo Credit: By Дмитрий Рузов (http://ruzovdmitry.livejournal.com/60059.html) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

7 comments to “FEATURE: I’ve Made A Huge Mistake”
  1. Their cover of George Michael’s “Faith” doesn’t necessarily make me want to claw my own eyes out.

  2. I was just going to say I love that cover of Faith… My Way and Rollin… They actually rock pretty hard.

  3. I want to say Rage Against the Machine shou;dn’t be compared to Limp Bizkit, but I can’t say exactly why

  4. Rage is a much better band and isn’t even in the same league as those other wannabees. They are in a better league. The major league. I should probably go kill Jordan now.

  5. My official answer is that though RATM is obviously a better band, they are still in the same basic “rap-metal” genre as Bizkit.

    Plus I needed three examples and I couldn’t think of another one.

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