“Stop Rewind Fast Forward: 1992”

Jason McGathey
6 min readAug 22, 2022
Stop Rewind Fast Forward 1992 by Jason McGathey

1992 would prove a fascinating, pivotal year in music history, particularly in my genre of choice, rock and roll. This marks the dividing line between one category of such, grunge, whose artists suddenly, unexpectedly find themselves pitted against the major label titans, in a battle for chart supremacy. However, this didn’t quite play out the way you were told it did, or might even think you remember it happening.

After stopping and starting on this project for over two decades, I have finally released Stop Rewind Fast Forward: 1992, which examines that year in detail, with a dedicated focus on two specific bands: Guns N’ Roses and Soundgarden. It is now available as an ebook wherever such fine digital offerings are sold. I don’t plan on posting individual chapters or anything like that here, but did want to give you this opening excerpt, in case you wanted to read some more. So here goes…

January 13…..Dayton, Ohio…..Nutter Center

The biggest band in the world. This is a really difficult point to determine, at pretty much any given time in the history of recorded music. Beatlemania aside, and maybe a few other brief lightning rod moments, a person attempting to ascertain what’s “really going on” will always have multiple forks in the road from which to chase down a legitimate answer.

Take a year like 1977, which is the year punk punched through to the mainstream…except it’s also the year disco danced its way into the same, as Saturday Night Fever slung a gold medallion around the airwaves and made the Bee Gees into gold lamé suited gods. Meanwhile, obscure middle of the road rock bands with names like Fleetwood Mac or Eagles did pretty well for themselves, too. So what kind of year was this? What was really “going on?” Depending upon one’s own experiences, or news reports witnessed, or magazine articles read, a person might conclude that 1977 was definitively The Year Of _____ and would be correct in doing so.

Having said that, the one we have just left behind, 1991, has proven far more divisive than most. Some eras, granted, render the point moot by way of an uncontested fight. There is so little of interest going on it’s as though nobody wants the throne. 1989 was such a year, with hair rock for the most part toast and nothing else of…