Aug. 16, 2022

Back to the 90s

Back to the 90s

What if Bill And Ted went to the 1990s —the age of Nirvana, grunge, punk, Lollapalooza—and stopped off in Portlandia along the way? Join us as we ride with Darby on her trip back to mid-1990s Chicago with author, Andy Frye, as the conductor. You'll enjoy the good times with Darby as she relives her carefree twenties, soaking up all the pop culture and nostalgia you could ever imagine in Ninety Days in the 90s.

If you could time travel back to the 90s…
Would you go see Nirvana’s first gig? Form a punk band? Play a winning lottery ticket? Buy Amazon stock?
Sounds great, but Darby has other ideas. 

Darby Derrex is not experiencing an early midlife crisis. (Or is she?) She’s failed on Wall Street and in her relationships. She returns to Chicago to take over her uncle’s record store and imagines a “do-over.”  Little does Darby know a time machine rumbles under her feet.

Chicago, 1996: Grunge tops the charts. Concertgoers are crowd surfing. Bands like Smashing Pumpkins rescue us from Celine Dion and hair metal. And it’s the year Darby left behind her music critic job—and her true love. Once Darby goes back, she has a blast—and that’s part of the problem. She’s got 90 days to return or stay back forever. Both are tempting, but Darby has to face the music.

Proceeds from every book sold of Ninety Days in the 90s is donated to KT's Kids Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit that plans and provides recreational events, field trips, and outings for Chicago children and teenagers with physical disabilities.

Check out the organization at KTsKids.Com.

In this episode, we discuss everything below and more with author Andy Frye about his book, Ninety Days in the 90s. For timestamps to these topics, see the transcript below. 

  1. Music as Therapy
  2. The Path Less Travelled
  3. Music Keeps Memories Alive
  4. The Grass Isn't Always Greener
  5. Realistic Characters and Us 
  6. Generational Coping Mechanisms
  7. Guilt vs. Imposter Syndrome
  8. Use of Album Titles
  9. Match. Gasoline. BOOM!!!
  10. Visiting Old Concerts
  11. Marccella's Final Questions
  12. Final Thoughts

All links to support and follow our authors are located in their personal profiles.

Join our fan webpage on Facebook to get updates about the show, talk to the authors, and so much more. You can also donate to the show at $BeyondthePenPodcast on CashApp to help us create a better product for your listening pleasure.

Thank you.


Introducing the Guest

Hello everyone, I'm gonna be solo today because Marcella had some family emergency go after again, but you know what? We're going to stand by her supporter, keeper in her thoughts and prayers, and just keep moving forward as usual. So today our guest is a time traveler from the nineties who loves Chicago Cubs and is a walking rock log of historic rock and roll trivia and information, or at least according to his latest time, traveling fantasy novel called 90 Days in the 90s. And he does this in a way that makes you look back and rediscover all the tremendous nostalgia in your life, just like his protagonist Darby does. But anyways, I will digress and we'll just get right into it. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you the gray liner himself, Andy Frye. Andy, welcome to this show. 

Mack, thanks for having me on it's. Good to hang out with you on a Thursday. 

Tell Us Something About You?

Oh, you know what? It's always gonna be fun. I appreciate you coming on here because you know,  one of the things that I was really interested in your book is (1) just because I'm 42 and I live the nineties and it's always nice to go back to that nostalgia sometimes. And having that idea of like, what would you do if you could go back into the nineties and just do what you wanted to do? Would you be like one of your characters, Dale, who just wants to watch all these great baseball games; all the way back to 1947, or would you like to be like someone who just wants to go back to the music or someone who actually decides to changed little things in their life? And that's something I thought was really cool, but we'll talk about that here in a bit, but right now, go ahead and introduce yourself to our listeners, and most importantly, tell us something about you that we can't find on the internet.

Well, I don't know, you know, I, I, something can't find out about meanness. Well, probably you might find out that I I'm a late bloomer- maybe a, a term. I've not been professionally writing forever. I didn't go to journalism school. I actually used to work in a cubicle, like a lot of people. And I had a good career.  I sort of developed some habits that helped me as a writer, but yeah, I mean, I used to be working stiff like anybody. You know, I still I'm not a staffer at Forbes, I write on a freelance basis, but I get to interview athletes and talk about their business ventures and sometimes just their sports. And I've gotten to interview great people like Billy Jean King, and Jenny Finch about two weeks ago. I made this little shtick for a while mostly with ESPN, but a little bit after that, just interviewing aging rock stars and talking sports with 'em and that was super fun. 

Music Therapy

You know, here's the great thing about this is that you've taken these life experiences and you've been able to bring them into your book, which is really cool because a lot of these aging rock stars have amazing stories to tell. And there's a lot of times where honestly, I really believe that if they start putting books out, that people are going to pick them up left and right. Because it is it's, I don't know, maybe more for nostalgia than anything, but other than that, it is the idea that we want to know as much about these great stories that people have experienced.

And you've done that in a way that is something that people can really, truly connect with [ Yeah] and when we start to meet the protagonist Darby, she's dealing with a lot, which has strained her mental health. She went from having everything, you know, a career on wall street, a socialite fiance, and the wealth and power that comes with it.

And then everything changes[ mm-hmm]  and she makes a bad deal and loses her career and her wealth, you know, her fiance leaves her and then to top it all off she loses a family member who she was very close to. Yeah. And now, as I said before, this through her for a loop. And instead of this driven woman who worked her entire career to have it all, we're seeing someone dealing with imposter syndrome, who believes that she is stupid, she's broken she's a little inauthentic.  So my question is what made her begin to believe she was an imposter?

Well, it's interesting cuz I just kind of dropped in lightly the, I didn't even say imposter syndrome, but I was thinking about it that, you know, one of the things is that. Yeah, so she's high flying on wall street. I'm, you know, I'm a little bit of a crypto skeptic or at least I'll jump on bandwagon and things very often. So I just thought it was kind of timely that, you know, if someone's gonna kind of, you know fail on wall street, they might do it through trade. I always wanted the, the story. I mean, I fell in love with the idea when I came up with it of time travel back to the nineties seeing shows and just kind of hanging out like they do in one of my favorite movies Dazed and Confused.

So I, I guess the roundabout way back to your question is,  she felt like a little of imposter inheriting this record store that her uncle Martin founded. The main thing is she feels bad that she lost touch with this uncle and she, you know, got busy with life and hadn't talked to him in a while and then he goes and dies and she took over his record store because they have this kind of relationship that she loved music as much as he did, even though she kind of put it on the back burner. Of course he would leave the record store to her. And then when she moves back to Chicago, it's like, I have this awesome record store, but I kind of feel like I didn't do anything to, to help build it. Why is it mine?


To receive a full copy of this transcript, reach out to us through our contact form with the episode number and a $5 donation on CashApp to @BeyondthePenPodcast.

Andy Frye Profile Photo

Andy Frye

Author and Journalist with Forbes

Andy Frye wrote a time-traveling fantasy novel called 90 Days in the 90s. This nostalgic trip down memory lane for our protagonist, Darby. A late 40-something woman who discovers a time travel train stop under her record store and goes back to the glory days of the 1990s. But the real question is, is she rebooting her life or just reliving the past?

Andy has also written for Rolling Stone, ESPN, and other publications. Currently, he writes about sports-business for Forbes. Over his career, Andy has interviewed hundreds of athletes, rock stars, and other celebrities. Among the bands and solo artists he has interviewed are Smashing Pumpkins, Oasis, Morrissey, Jimmy Eat World, Rage Against The Machine, and Alice In Chains.