Body modification may predate civilization, but it didn’t hit mainstream American culture until the early ’90s.
Sure, ear piercing became a fad in the ’80s and nose piercing gained traction toward the end of that decade, but in terms of full blown phenomenon, we didn’t start punching holes in our bodies until the grunge era. Now it’s so commonplace that it’s a little boring. A belly button ring is a cliche, and gauges look dated. I haven’t worn any jewelry in my piercings for close to 20 years.
But listen: There’s value in that ritual, or there is if you want there to be. For some it’s a rite of passage, for others a way to feel something. Folks who have experienced trauma might consider piercings or tattoos as ways to reclaim their bodies. For others the value is no more than cosmetic, and that’s okay, too.
Regardless, when it’s time to face the needle you may want to pack some music. Most of the following needles are of the hypodermic variety, but set aside that little factoid and brace yourself: You’re going to feel little pinch.
“Needle Time,” Elvis Costello.
“The Needle and the Spoon,” Lynyrd Skynyrd.
“Needle and the Damage Done,” Neil Young.
“The Needle Lies,” Queensryche.
“Needles and Pins,” Ramones.
“Raining Needles,” Screeching Weasel.
“Needle & Thread,” Brad.
“Needles,” System of a Down.
Are you going to pop my balloon and tell me that I missed a song? Stop needling me and make your additions in the comments. I’m listening.