Spring Fling: I Heart The ’90s Edition

Whatup, daylight savings? We’ve cruised past the two-month mark for Spring Fling, and the internetz (okay, fine, the ACBz) are abuzz with  speculation: Who’s playing? Who isn’t playing? Who should be playing? And who in their right mind would call Big Boi “the other guy in Outkast”??


Kidding. Stay patient: this isn’t an announcement post—we’ll have the lineup for you when everything’s confirmed soon after break—but it is a bit of Fling history to tide you over. In the ’90s, Social Committee talks were way more last minute (check out the date on that headline), but not quite so secret. (Of course, there was no ACB to leak the info.) In 1996, committee chair Tony Bleach ’96 spoke to the Argus and let campus know what was up: precisely, ’90s indie hip hop, at the peak of its game.

A number of popular hip-hop and rap bands, including The Fugees and The Roots, have been targeted by the social committee to play for this May’s Spring Fling, according to committee chair Tony Bleach ’96. [ . . .] The rap band, Goodie Mob, has been mentioned as a possible third band. Bleach said the fourth band would be “something along the lines of a WESU band… probably a band few people would have heard of.”

Has anything changed? Just replace “WESU” with “Eclectic” in popular campus discourse. Popular indie hip hop (not an oxymoron) still dominates the headliner landscape, and few are complaining. Of the three acts named above, at least two have influenced recent Fling considerations: The Roots are as desired as ever fifteen years later (price got in the way this time), and Goodie Mob hails from the same Dungeon Family crew as Outkast’s Big Boi. Still, the best part of this article, if not the revelation that P-Funk played Spring Fling ’94 [clever PCU reference goes here], has got to be this:

In an interesting twist, however, Bleach said he believes The Fugees would play for “100 or 150 dollars and a lot of alcohol.”

Say wha? Does that offer still stand?

For more on 1990s Spring Fling history, here’s the 1995 lineup announcement—confirmed. As if it isn’t cool enough to have De La Soul leading the bill, I’m more taken by this insane factoid in the annals of Spring Fling history:

Repeated for emphasis: Sun fucking Ra once played Spring Fling. The Sun Ra Arkestra played Spring Fling. Sun Ra had already died. Whoops.

If you’re an alum, go ahead and comment. I’d really like to know how “Space is the Place” went down on Foss. Or just throw down some favorite Spring Fling memories in general. I’d love to hear them.

For an amusing anecdote on Spring Fling 1994 involving ska kings Mighty Mighty Bosstones and one disgruntled university dean, click here. Here’s the ’95 article, and here’s 96.

Here are some recent (and mostly fantastic) lineups:

  • 2010: Big Boi, Dirty Projectors, Black Lips, Linus
  • 2009: Santigold, Clipse, King Khan and the Shrines [these acts were booked to play; the show was canceled immediately following the shooting of Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10]
  • 2008: GZA, The Hold Steady, The Cool Kids
  • 2007: TV on the Radio, Deerhunter, Project Pat
  • 2006: Talib Kweli, Andrew W.K., Red Wire Black Wire
  • 2005: Cee-Lo, Deerhoof, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, MGMT
  • 2004: Ghostface Killah, Soulive, ESG, Monsters of Rock
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17 thoughts on “Spring Fling: I Heart The ’90s Edition

  1. S. A. S.

    Don’t get too excited about 95’s show – De La Soul, although one of my favorite groups then and now, were horrible – they really didn’t seem too happy to be playing for us that day, and I seem to recall that that was the general c0nsensus of all their live shows at the time. P-Funk on Foss Hill is still, to this day, one of the greatest live shows I’ve ever been to. Then again, I was high.

      1. S.A.S.

        Sun Ra was already dead three years by the time of the show. To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember the Arkhestra’s performance at all.

        1. Zach

          Ha: the Sun Ra Arkestra performed without Sun Ra. Post edited accordingly. [I like how the Argus article highlights that he was born on Saturn two-thousand years ago, but mentions his 1993 death as a brief afterthought.]

  2. Kadishnae87.5

    Late ’80s brought the Neville Brothers one spring, maybe ’86 – absolute musical highlight of my time there; Living Colour and Eek-a-Mouse played in ’87; Fishbone played maybe in Fall ’87, but I guess that’s outside the scope of the question.

  3. Alum '04

    2003 was Biz Markie (he played Just A Friend TWICE) and De La Soul. Trans Am played at least one spring fling between 2001 & 2004, I can’t remember which one. It was the token rock act one year.

    1. Alum '09

      07 was trash. 06 was will forever be remembered as legendary, purely on the strength of Andrew W.K.’s performance. With all of the artists, there is a distinct difference between how good their music is, and how well they perform outdoors with poor acoustics and 1000 plus college students trying to get on stage. Andrew W.K. embraced it, while Talib was just there for the money.

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