Rock ‘n’ Roll High School 54: How Have We Not Talked About INXS?

Back in the saddle with Rock ‘n’ Roll High School after a sliver of time away from the topic. Feels so good to swim around in the murky depths of adolescent music memories once again! Today’s post is from my dear writer pal, Hanna Martine, who is an amazing author and semi-professional beer drinker. Her debut paranormal romance, Liquid Lies, is out now and I think you are a complete fool if you don’t run right out and buy it. (No pressure.) Hanna writes about so many amazing bands in her post today, I hardly know where to start, but one thing that really stuck out to me is that I’m fairly certain no other RNRHS guest has mentioned INXS. How is that possible?

Hanna Martine

Western Chicago suburbs, Class of ’92, currently does mommy things, drinking things, writing things, happy things

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: I entered high school in 1989, and was promptly introduced to “alternative.” You know, back when that word actually meant something. I was obsessed with Ministry and Nitzer Ebb. I think I tried to become an alterna-kid, but failed miserably. By the time I graduated high school I was on the dance team. A complete one-eighty.

My senior year was 1991-1992, which was when grunge just exploded. All the hair bands were shoved aside and suddenly–it felt like overnight–there was this completely new sound coming out of tape decks and car stereos everywhere. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is the obvious song choice for that time, but I remember being more affected by Pearl Jam. “Ten” made me go wow. It still does, to this day.

U2’s “Achtung Baby” came out at the end of 1991 and it (besides being absolute perfection and my most favorite U2 album ever) completely defined my senior year. I “re-discovered” who would become my all-time favorite band (after a brief flirtation with them during junior high), each song makes me think of a different episode in my senior life, and it signified a shift in how I thought about myself and my future direction (deep thoughts, I know).

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: I get a little lump in my throat when I think about my Sinead O’Connor T-shirt from her 1990 tour. Once upon a time it was white, with a blue dove on the front and “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” scrawled in gold on the back. It was huge and baggy, and when it finally dissolved into molecules I might have given it a funeral.

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: I’ve never been a fan of either Mariah Carey or Gloria Estefan. And I don’t think I ever took Color Me Badd seriously, even back then.

Best show or concert you saw in high school: INXS with the Soup Dragons opening. I was more excited to see the Soup Dragons and wore their T-shirt for years. We missed the first few songs because my boyfriend at the time was the worst driver ever and for some reason couldn’t find this giant arena just off the interstate. Michael Hutchence was a god, and their CD “Live Baby Live” was recorded that night.

Best high school make-out song: “Say Anything” came out my freshman year, solidifying “In Your Eyes” as the Make Out Song De Rigueur for my entire generation. This was before standing outside a girl’s house holding a radio was considered stalker-ish.

Hanna Martine’s debut, Liquid Lies, Book One in the Elemental series, is out now. You can learn more about her at

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