Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories’ “Stay (I Missed You)” came out in the summer of 1994 on the soundtrack to Reality Bites (a film that is my go-to film for any day which I have off from work and nothing to do — “Stay” plays over the closing credits) and hit #1 for a few weeks in August, when both the song and the video, which features Loeb walking around an empty apartment while emoting the lyrics, were more or less inescapable.
This wasn’t a song I was supposed to admit to liking. I had spent the majority of my high school career trying to fit in with my friends’ love of heavy metal–in fact, at least a few of my friends from high school are still hard core Metallica fans. I owned just about every Metallica album up to that point, plus had B-sides and rarities on mix tapes made from imports that my friend Brendan had spent an inordinate amount of money on at Middle Earth Records in the Oakdale shopping center.
Needless to say, rolling up at anyone’s house with this song on my Walkman would have been a huge mistake, kind of like the time I left a Righteous Brothers cassette in and someone grabbed my Walkman out of my book bag, listened to it for a moment, and gave me a look that said, “What the fuck is this?” But I’ve always had a love of music that wasn’t total aggro and didn’t threaten to blow out my eardrums with every single distortion guitar chord.