I’m a 90’s kid.
I was born in 1986 but grew up in the 90’s and I loved every single minute of it.
Great television, great films, great music – the 1990’s is the generation that defined me.
It really was the last decade where kids played outside, used their imaginations and didn’t have their face stuck to a tablet screen.
Every now and then when I’m feeling nostalgic, I’ll play my old school Nintendo 64 (Mario Kart is the greatest video game ever made) or watch those classic teen movies that cemented the late 90’s place in cinematic history.
Often times I miss pop culture’s best decade, so on March 4, when 90’s icon Luke Perry passed away, my 90’s loving gut took a punch.
Everyone knows Luke Perry.
To audiences today, he’s Archie’s dad, “Fred Andrews,” on “Riverdale.”
To audiences of yesteryear, he’s “Dylan McKay,” the bad boy son of a millionaire (and boyfriend to Brenda and Kelly) in the role that made him a star on “Beverly Hills, 90210.”
I am fortunate enough to have been alive to watch both of those shows while he was on them, and while “Dylan McKay” is one of television’s most famous characters, my personal favorite role of Luke’s was in the Lane Frost biopic, “8 Seconds.”
“8 Seconds” tells the story of bull riding legend Lane Frost, whose rise to rodeo fame was cut short in 1989 when he was killed in the arena at Cheyenne Frontier Days.
I have mentioned that my dad was a professional calf roper (who also had his heyday in the 1990’s) several times in the past.
We went to Cheyenne Frontier Days quite often when Dad roped there and Dad had known Lane in real life, so when “8 Seconds” came out, although not a huge box office success, it was a massive hit at our house.
Actually, a dream of mine as an actor was to one day play Luke’s son in a movie, but sadly, that will never happen.
To share a personal story, I think one of the main reasons I look at Luke as one of my idols, other than his body of work as an actor, is because everyone tells me that I look just like him.
When I was younger, I went through the “problem years” we all have experienced.
I was overweight, and I was bullied at times because of it.
I laugh now, but at the time “Fat Chance” wasn’t easy to hear.
I would watch “Dylan McKay” on “90210” and I would think “If I could just look like Dylan, people wouldn’t be mean to me.”
Later in life, circa 2007, I lost 60 pounds and was waiting tables.
Over and over, people would tell me “You look like that guy from ‘8 Seconds,’” or “Has anyone ever told you that you look just like “Dylan McKay?” '
A nice compliment to which I’d reply, “I get that a lot,” but also inside I thought (and still do) “I DID IT! I wished it would happen, and it did!”
Coincidental, I know, but God it made me feel good!
I could go on and on about Luke Perry because he’s someone I look up to, but I don’t have to.
You know his career, you’ve seen him in just about every entertainment medium, and if you love the 90’s as much as I do, a small part of you will lament the loss of one of the decades brightest stars.
Luke Perry suffered a stroke at his home in California on February 27, 2019.
After a second stroke in the hospital, his family decided to remove him from life support.
Luke died on March 4, 2019. He was 52 years old.
Goodbye, Luke, and when you see Lane up there, tell him we said to “Cowboy up.”