Here in your bedroom, I feel safe from the outside. I can tell that you’re changing, but still I feel so high. –John Feldmann, “Here In Your Bedroom”
Goldfinger’s eponymous album was released in 1996 and the only song off of it I remember is the catchy “Here In Your Bedroom.” Goldfinger was one of the bands – along with Reel Big Fish, Dance Hall Crashers, possibly pre-Tragic Kingdom No Doubt, and Rancid (depending on how you feel about them) – that became popular in the mid-’90s, riding on the renewed interest in ska. The music video doesn’t make a bit of sense, but I promise you that elements of it – the oversize suits, the skanking, the soul patches – are historically accurate for the period.
Other than being super-singable, the song itself is not important to me; it is not on my iTunes playlist. 1996 came smack-dab in the middle of my high school years and “Here In My Bedroom” is something of a weird footnote in my musical history. My friend Geno and his brother Ron introduced me to rock and metal bands in the 7th grade. I liked Metallica and Megadeth. During our freshman year of high school Geno and two other classmates – Chris and Darnell – formed a band with a sophomore. They covered Metallica songs and entered a talent show under the moniker “The Four Horsemen” (c’mon, you see what they did there, right?). They played “Nothing Else Matters.”
Membership in the band fluctuated, and later in high school, they played songs like “Here In Your Bedroom.” They performed in the gym at school and my friend Dan was the suited skanker/hypeman. In my memory, he wore a mask. Maybe he wore a mask? During senior year, they played Blur’s “Song 2” at an assembly.It was awesome, but it was also a long time ago, but I want to say it was the last time I saw them play together.
“Here In Your Bedroom” and similar songs like “Sell Out” by Reel Big Fish remind me of a very specific time in my life when MTV played music video on a loop ad nauseam. It should have been obvious then, but it is painfully so now: so much of what I thought was popular was fed to me by MTV. A song was “buzzworthy” because MTV said it was. When I referred to Goldfinger as a footnote earlier, I meant that when I look back at all of my favorite bands and albums, I would never ever think to include them or this song, but there it is, bright as day. Maybe it only lasted for a day. I don’t know. I can’t remember.
Back then, I assumed the song had something to do with sex. The phrases “here in your bedroom” and “I’m on top” might have led to this conclusion. But since I was only 16 and hadn’t experienced an adult romantic relationship, I didn’t really get it. It’s established pretty early on that his lover’s bedroom is an escape. He can turn his head off there. He feels safe from the outside there. But the problem is, he can already detect changes in his partner. “When I wake up tomorrow, will you still feel the same?” he asks, because time changes everything. The most frequently repeated lyric in the song is the singer’s statement that he still feels the same, despite his lover’s perceived transformation, however slight. But isn’t that how we always feel? At the time of my high school graduation, I didn’t feel as if I had fundamentally changed – other than physically – from the start of my high school career. But to look back on it now, it seems preposterous that I could have felt that way. There’s an entire world between the ages of 14 and 18. Only I never saw it coming or happening.