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1998 was one of those years that we should just have skipped, and pretended never happened. Sorry if it was a good year for you. If you got married then, or born then or something. But we should just quietly forget about it, and scurry on by to 1999. Or possibly 2015.

1998 began with my sister being diagnosed with acute leukaemia. And not just acute leukaemia; that would have been far too simple. She had to contract a fabulously rare combination of syndromes that had doctors all over the world conferring on her treatment. Which was actually good, in one sense. If you're going to get really sick, you might as well go for something special, and get all the best minds in medicine thinking about you. She was down and out for the whole of the year though, and is still dealing with the consequences now - and whilst it could have been a lot worse (especially for her), it was still pretty rubbish. It was a really weird time though. When a member of your family is ill, people start asking after them in hushed tones. They don't just ask how she is, they sidle up to you, and ask like they're delivering a top secret message from the head of MI6.

The younger of my two grandfathers died this year too. I didn't know him very well, so it wasn't a personal loss, but it was a strange sort of time nonetheless. Mind you, the funeral turned out to be unexpectedly entertaining. Are funerals generally hilarious? I've not been to many, but it does seem that they wind up being a whole lot funnier than they probably ought to be. For this one I somehow got sandwiched between my two more irreverent sisters, with the one inclined to get emotional just up ahead. Every so often she'd sob, and they'd giggle. I didn't dare look at anybody!

Honestly didn't pay much attention to the wider world this year. Government being rubbish, Blair being a smarmy git, etc and so forth. I do remember that General Pinochet visited the UK, and was put under arrest on an international arrest warrant. He was supposed to stand trial for crimes against humanity, but the government twiddled its thumbs for ages, and then Margaret Thatcher said that he was a personal friend, and could they please let him go. So they did. So we very nearly did a good thing, and then didn't. Not that anybody really dared hope that he'd stand trial anyway, but it was a nice idea for a little while.

Babylon 5 ended this year. I was sorry to see it go, although obviously it couldn't have gone on any longer. It was my first proper experience of fandom, with all the obsessive discussions that used to take place on the Channel 4 internet forum. I'd never had fellow fans before! And it was such an amazing series. Cold Feet started. I did quite like that, although it was hardly a suitable replacement. Oh, and The Mask Of Zorro hit cinemas! Now there's a good film. The sword work is excellent, and it's such good fun. Dark City too, although I didn't see that until some time later. Again, though, a terrific film.

Music is a different story. I just looked up the Top #100 for the year, and that's a nightmare! Billie Piper, Aqua, Boyzone, Steps, B*Witched, Cleopatra... blimey. Must have been the International Year Of The Power Ballad too, as the top fifteen includes My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion, I Don't Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith, and Angels by Robbie Williams. Bloody hell! What happened between 1997 and 1998?! Did somebody outlaw rock music?

And, of course, 1998 was the year when Frank Sinatra went off to join Dino and Sammy. Robert Young and Roddy McDowall also died this year, and Cozy Powell, British rock drummer extraordinaire. Admittedly that was rather his own fault, but it was still a shame. Scuppered Brian May's touring plans for the year ahead, too!

This was the year when Roger Taylor came out with his much belated third solo album. I say much belated - in all fairness he'd had plenty of distractions the past ten years or so. Anyway, it was more than worth waiting for, as it turned out. This is one of my favourite tracks,London Town, C'mon Down. On the album, there's a brief pause after the song, then the phrase "One night stand", which was the secret pass word to unlock a special section of the website, and a hidden song there. Seemed very exciting at the time!

Manic Street Preachers and You Stole The Sun From My Heart:

Worth it just for the dancing! This is Run-DMC vs Jason Nevins and It's Like That:

Cozy Powell with Dance With The Devil, from 1973:

Frank Sinatra and That's Life:


( 14 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Dec. 15th, 2015 10:22 pm (UTC)
That's awful about your sister. :/

I love the song "Angels". <333
Dec. 16th, 2015 04:57 am (UTC)
I suppose somebody has to like it. :p
Dec. 16th, 2015 05:04 am (UTC)
Must've been a hard year for all your family. :-(

You lost me again music-wise ...
Dec. 16th, 2015 05:11 am (UTC)
I'll have to give some German music a listen. :) There were quite a few German artists in the charts in 1999 for some reason.
Dec. 16th, 2015 11:11 am (UTC)
My 1998 was pretty awful too. It sounds as though yours managed to be even worse! Clearly, that year should have just been banned. :-/

I was thinking at the time that a lot of the music had got better; but then I never liked rap or grunge or loud rock... or anything cool!

Edited at 2015-12-16 02:13 pm (UTC)
Dec. 16th, 2015 05:30 pm (UTC)
Oh dear. Sorry to hear that your 1998 was rubbish too! It was clearly a demon year.

And you were the one buying all those pop records, were you! I shall have to think of a suitable revenge. ;)
Dec. 16th, 2015 05:36 pm (UTC)
I think I bought Madonna's Frozen on tape? That was the one and only single I ever bought! So, no; save your revenge. But I think 1998-style was a lot easier for me to listen to on the radio at my temporary having-left-uni place of work (a nuclear power station - we used to have these nice little fake apocalypses every other week) than mid 90s would have been!

1998 was the worst year of my life until 2010-2011 came along and trumped it. So, yeah. Damned year; I hope 99 was better for you!!
Dec. 16th, 2015 09:26 pm (UTC)
Did you work at Trawsfynydd? When I was a kid we used to holiday over that way, and it was one of the landmarks that let us know we were nearly there. Terrifying looking place!
Dec. 17th, 2015 06:52 am (UTC)
No, at Hinkley Point in Somerset - a local landmark that could be seen from all around in my childhood, no holidaying needed!
Dec. 17th, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
Ah, I see. I thought perhaps you might have still been based in Aber.
Dec. 16th, 2015 01:39 pm (UTC)
Gosh a bad year indeed:(

Can't beat a bit of Zorro:)

I think music was gearing itself up for unleashing rap-metal on the charts, argh. I had hidden from chart music and disappeared into a pile of no-hoper John Peel bands and 80's charity shop LPs by this point.

Dec. 16th, 2015 05:31 pm (UTC)
Very wise! There's always some good stuff coming out, but some years it's easy to forget that.
Dec. 20th, 2015 05:55 am (UTC)
You don't like Angels? I've heard of such folk, but I thought they were mythical beasts... I'll grant you that Robbie Williams, while endearing, can also be a bit of a tit.

Ooh, my favourite Frank, that's blissful. Well, maybe my fave. Luck Be A Lady is also a contender.
Dec. 20th, 2015 05:31 pm (UTC)
I don't actively dislike it, but it's not my sort of thing. And I do rather wish it had been sung by somebody else!

"Luck Be A Lady" is a good one yes. I also really like "Come Fly With Me".
( 14 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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