On March 10, 1990, my mother was in the stands at the Polo Club of Boca Raton for the semifinals of the Virginia Slims of Florida Women’s Tennis Tournament. Sitting directly behind her was the New Age composer Yanni and his girlfriend at the time, Dynasty actress Linda Evans. Jennifer Capriati was making her professional tennis debut at age thirteen. I was on the court, too: an eleven year old ball boy who was convinced that at some point in the match, in the process of asking for a tennis ball, Capriati was going to fall in love with me. Somewhere in the parking lot was my mother’s white 1989 Toyota Cressida, the name derived from a Trojan woman who defects to the side of the Greeks. When I think of the car, I immediately think of Yanni’s Chameleon Days, the album she played over and over. For the ninth straight month, the unemployment rate in America was 5.3 percent.
Yanni is the musician most emblematic of America in the 1990s. He speaks to that time more than Nirvana or the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who both catered to an inchoate sense of rebellion; more than Biggie or Tupac, who had more impact on the 2000s than they did the ’90s; more than Pavement or the Pixies, whose resonance will always be limited to a certain kind of intellectual rock fan. A Greek immigrant who claims to be self-taught, Yanni began playing in rock bands while at the University of Minnesota, then moved to Los Angeles, became friends with fellow New Age musician John Tesh, and was soon self-producing albums of instrumental music bursting with unbridled optimism. Beginning with 1986’s Keys to Imagination, he released an album a year, culminating with 1990’s Reflections of Passion, which went double-platinum. Unlike Tesh, whose NBA TV theme “Roundball Rock” hides a playful wink behind its exuberance, Yanni has never produced anything tongue-in-cheek.
Like the country music people, most of whom are
And the fact that so many of them still have really long hair. (Except for the funny-looking ones in the idiotic gigantic cowboy hats.)
Anyway, the southerners' disdain for hippies and long hair in the 60s and 70s (and into the 80s) evoloved. It evolved into long haired southerners and country "music" "artists"--after everyone else left that look behind.