I have mentally blacked out most of my Long Island high school experiences, but one memory that oddly remains in my head is me standing at the bus platform of Brentwood Sonderling High School in the fall of 1993, debating with some friends what in the actual fuck the lyrics were to the Breeders’ “Cannonball.”
Not sure why a bunch of 10th graders were so tripped up by a chorus of “Want you/Coocoo/Cannonball,” but this was pre-internet and no one owned the CD or tape yet and we were all probably tired from staying up after midnight the Sunday prior to watch the Kim-Gordon-and-Spike-Jones-directed music video on 120 Minutes, where we first heard it. (Side note: One friend would sometimes tape 120 Minutes on VHS all renegade-like and we’d go watch it at her house after school because the ’90s were awesome that way).
Anyway, this is all floating through the mush that is my brain today because tomorrow, Friday, August 9, is the 20th anniversary of “Cannonball’s” release on 4AD/Elektra Records. The Breeders’ full-length, Last Splash, which Kim and Kelly Deal gave the anniversary tour and deluxe reissue treatment earlier this year, would come out a few weeks later, on August 30.
I fully get the widespread appreciation for Last Splash as a whole, especially around Boston, but when I think of the Breeders, I think about “Cannonball,” especially the music video. And I also think of a bunch of suburban dipshit kids in ratty Operation Ivy and Nirvana t-shirts arguing over the words to the song.
Happy birthday, “Cannonball.” Next year you can legally drink.