May 6, 2012: His Earlobe Fell in the Deep

          I was chatting with one of the twentysomethings at the student show I did at Willo North last week.

          “I’m totally into the 80s,” he confided.

          “Oh, really,” I replied. “The 80s. How nice.”

          “It just sounds like the 80s was a great time to be my age,” he explained. He looked about 20.

          “Well, it was a good time to have an unusual hairdo,” I said. “We used to spend all day Saturday going to thrift stores, looking for vintage clothing that we could take home, chop into pieces, and then safety-pin back together. Then we’d go out dancing at downtown clubs until 3 in the morning.”

          “Did you do the pogo? Did you love the B-52s?”

          “Yes, to both. I saw the B-52s in concert three different times.” I was beginning to feel old.

          “Oh! My! God!” my new friend exclaimed. “Were they just the best? Who else did you see in concert?”

          “Modern English. Berlin. The Thompson Twins. A Flock of Seagulls. Lene Lovich. The Plasmatics. Haircut 100. Classics Nouveaux.”

          “Haircut 100! No way!”

          “Way,” I assured him.

          “They’re, like, my favorite band!”

          “Well,” I replied. “I never heard anyone say that before. Now, or in the 80s.”

          And then I excused myself before he could ask if I still had my Stiff Records tee shirt (I don’t) or if I’d ever worn glitter in my hair (I had; it was blue).

          Not everything about the 80s was magnificent. Need proof? Go watch this video:

 Thing I Hate Today: Kathy Griffin’s new talk show


4 Responses

  1. You forgot Romeo Void — “I Might Like You Better If We Slept Together.” My mother thought that was a terrible song. I quite liked it.

  2. Now I understand why Linda Ronstadt doesn’t move on stage when she performs. She is like Elaine dancing on Seinfeld. Tragic.
    But what about bands like the Cure, the Cult, REM (back when they were good and before Michael Stipe started shaving his light bulb shaped head), Duran Duran, the Pretenders, etc? I don’t even remember Haircut 100.

  3. I loved both halves of my ’80s life in my 20s — the half here, where I went to really odd films at Valley Art, pretended to be a grad student so I could pay rent, and did a lot of thrifting and dancing but was too poor for most concerts (Joan Armatrading, the Who, and Adam Ant were about it), and the New York half, where I had to do things like buy a Teddy Ruxpin for Patti Smith’s son and Fed Ex black silk trousers to London for my boss to wear at Bob and Paula Geldof’s wedding.

  4. We COULD re-achieve this look, like, tonight even. Come over.

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