Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Keeping the 90s Alive


Steve Penhollow

Whatzup Features Writer

Published June 1, 2017

Heads Up! This article is 5 years old.

The 1990s were a simpler time.

In those days, people had not yet given up their search for Carmen Sandiego. The success of Madonna’s sex book proved that literacy was alive and well. And a movie studio had to wait a minimum of 10 years before it could reboot a franchise.

We were more innocent then. We thought “sagging” would go out of style but that the soul patch would last forever. We thought that the best way to impress a woman was to show her what we could do with our devil sticks.

We couldn’t envision a world in which Joey Fatone would host The Price is Right Live! and Vanilla Ice would host a home improvement show.

Yet these things came to pass.

With revivals of, and sequels to, Boy Meets World, Full House, The X-Files and Crystal Pepsi filling corporate coffers, nostalgia for the 90s is big business.

In that lucrative and sentimental vein comes I Love the ’90s, a music tour that will visit Memorial Coliseum on November 3.

It features a bevy of one- and two-hit wonders from that decade: Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa, Tone Loc, Young MC and Color Me Badd. Coolio, Kool Moe Dee, Kid ‘n Play, All-4-One and Rob Base pop in for some of the shows.

The tour was organized by Mr. Ice (aka Robert Matthew Van Winkle) with the help of a DJ named Johnny Quest.

“Johnny Quest said he wanted to book some acts because he wanted to get into promotion,” Van Winkle told the East Valley (Arizona) Tribune. “So I said book me, Color Me Badd, Rob Base and all these great acts.

“We did it and we sold out Miami, Tampa and Orlando,” he said. “From that point, all of these other promoters bought the show. It’s amazing.”

Van Winkle said people come to the show in 90s clothes, which can makes it seem more like a Halloween event than a fashion show.

“People come dressed up like the Ninja Turtles or with spandex on and neon colors,” he said. “It’s turned into a costume party. Guys are wearing Z Cavaricci pants. Girls are wearing tight spandex and puffing up their hair. It’s great.

“It’s a great excuse for everybody to come out and be teenagers again,” Van Winkle said. “That’s what it’s all about–celebrating great music.”

Mark Calderon of Color Me Badd told the Santa Barbara Independent that none of the acts knew each other before this tour.

“I’m just getting to know (Winkle),” he said. “Tone Loc, Coolio, Rob Base: They’ve been great. We’re all grown up; we all have families. Backstage, everyone gets along. No one’s big-headed.”

Color Me Badd’s Bryan Abrams, who worked in his father-in-law’s tire business after the band stopped paying the bills, told Billboard magazine that this unexpected opportunity to re-experience Color Me Badd’s glory days has been sweet.

“The 90s tour is nowhere near what we made at our peak,” he said, “but I make enough in one show to take care of what I would have made in three or four months at a regular job, maybe more.”

Calderon said Color Me Badd recreate their original choreography on stage, which has to be a bit tougher to accomplish a quarter-century later.

Deidra Roper, aka Salt-N-Pepa’s DJ Spinderella, admitted to the Washington Post that the years have slowed everyone down a little.

“We’re having a good time,” she said. “We’re pacing ourselves because we’re older. But we’re thankful we can still be doing this 30 years later — and still be hot, you know?”

Roper said the three members of Salt-N-Pepa have always gotten along because they have always focused on the big picture.

“Yeah, I think we all have come to the conclusion that this is bigger than us,” she said. “Our goal is to, number one, maintain a respect for each other, and an understanding of each other. Salt and Pepa will tell you in a heartbeat: They are literally best friends. Spinderella and Salt-N-Pepa — it’s like a sisterhood, the three of us.

“We understand each other, and we understand that this has to happen,” Roper said. “Without Salt-N-Pepa, just think about it, it feels like there’d be a void there in music, in our genre of music. And we see that. We definitely enjoy what we’re doing now. It’s come to that point where it’s not just work to us now. It’s like we’re learning to enjoy it.”

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