RTX Sunday Video: Charlie Robison ‘My Hometown’
"I don't think I saw a single classroom, but I drank a lot of beer. My buddies still love to listen to me when I talk about that year." Those two lines from Charlie Robison's "My Hometown" hit hard for 19 year-old me.
The song was on Robison's iconic Life of the Party album. Released in 1998 that song in particular, more than any other, became an anthem for overgrown kids in Texas trying to find their place -- but more importantly a bootlegger and a $5 warm beer on Friday night. Which, let's be honest, wasn't that hard to do in a dry county.
It wasn't the only song we wore out on burnt CDs, thanks Napster. We had several anthems. Robert Earl Keen's "The Road Goes on Forever" was a go to -- but none of us were going to rob a bank and go on the lam. Pat Green's "Carry On" was a mainstay, but we didn't need to get back to Texas. Most of my friends still hadn't left. We got our first listen to Cross Canadian Ragweed's "Alabama" on Highway 377, I still remember the first time I listened to it. It's a love song for the ages, but what in the hell did we know about love. Nothing. We knew nothing.
It was the honesty, and the relatability of Charlie Robison's lyrics that did it.
My friends and I were recent high school graduates. Some of us had been athletes, some of us thought we still should be -- and were holding on pretty tight to that. But mostly we were navigating life's new found freedoms, trying to decide between a job and college, and for the most part failing at our halfhearted attempts to balance both. "My Hometown" served as a real time reminder that that was okay. Everything was going to be just fine.