October 11, 2014

The 80s: Big Babes with Big Hair, Big Shoulders, and Big Sounds. Guys in The Big Suit

Ah, the 80s. Ronald Reagan for the Right and Leather Bars for the Left. Talking Heads fitness videos for everyone else. What was not to like? Except PC, AIDS, mortgage rates north of 12% and its rollicking sidekick, an inflation calculated to give you a permanent facial twitch.

All that and the rise of the Psycho Killer as cultural icon.


"Hi. I got a tape I wanna play."


"Whoa, you like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah...."


"She's got it . Yeah, baby, she's got it."


"I'm the reason that they don't smirk, cuz they know I'm the queen of the cool jerk."


"I walk without a cut through a stained glass wall."


"If you're lost you can look--and you will find me."


"I am the flower. You are the seed. We walked in the garden. We planted a tree."


"I got a girlfriend with bows in her hair. And nothing is better than that."


"Thank you. Does anybody have any questions?"

"This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
This ain't no mudd club, or C. B. G. B.,
I ain't got time for that now
Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh, P. A.?
You oughta know not to stand by the window
somebody might see you up there
I got some groceries, some peant butter,
to last a couple of days
But I ain't got no speakers, ain't got no
headphones, ain't got no records to play

Why stay in college? Why go to night school?
Gonna be different this time
Can't write a letter, can't send a postcard,
I can't write nothing at all
This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
this ain't no fooling around
I'd like to kiss you, I'd love you hold you
I ain't got no time for that now"

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at October 11, 2014 10:19 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I hope the years have been kind to Ms. Carlisle aka "Dottie Danger". She and Susanna Hoffs sure where cuties back in the day....

Posted by: joe buzz at May 1, 2012 11:12 AM

Happy memories of me and my better half. I didn't really start listening to pop music until the 80s. It was classical and jazz for me til then. I caught up on all the 70s bands in the 80s...and the Beatles, too. Better late than never, I guess.

Posted by: Jewel at May 1, 2012 11:40 AM

The Heads at the Greek in Berkeley = a peak experience, concert-wise.

Posted by: BJM at May 1, 2012 12:35 PM

I saw the Talking Heads at least twice. The first time was in college about 1978-79, and I was third row center, one of the best seats I've ever had at a concert. David Byrne was making his faces right at us, and it was a bit hard to keep from laughing at times.

Several years later I saw them in Philly, with an extremely pregnant Tina Weymouth on bass.

I liked Belinda Carlisle better when she was a little chunky, before she went all PETA and everything.

Posted by: rickl at May 1, 2012 5:29 PM

I have noted here before that I watch The Last Waltz about once a week here in Mauritius. I brought two other movies with me. Stop Making Sense and Fleetwood Mac's The Dance.

I can hear groans over the Fleetwood Mac choice, but it's the one with the USC band at the end, doing Tusk. Back when Belinda was cute and chunky, I was living in Orange County. I also had season tickets for USC football.

My teenage kids love Stop Making Sense. You can hear it blasting from my daughter's car when she pulls into the driveway. My wife gives me the stink eye everytime.

Posted by: Mike at May 1, 2012 7:49 PM

@Mike - Isle Maurice? What an island! Did you know that Polish chanteuse Basia's backup singers are from Quatre Bornes? How well I remember Vacoas.

But! No one wants to point out how stunning the Wilson sisters are? Even today though Ann has put on weight, she's a gorgeous big woman. And Nancy! Those eyes, that guitar playing. What a babe. And a lot of great songs.

Posted by: BlogDog at May 2, 2012 8:24 AM

I graduated HS in 1980, graduated college 1985 and was a single professional in Hotlanta until 1996. Good times, good music, fun cultural background coming out of the dreary Nixon/Ford/Carter years. Very first vote ever was for Reagen...no brainer.

Posted by: phil g at May 3, 2012 12:27 PM

@Phil, I was there 1982-1991. I agree; a great place and time.

Posted by: Cris at October 11, 2014 7:33 PM

Texarkana High School, Class of '83. I was the school punk rock kid. I hated Reagan and loved the Dead Kennedys. I doubt I could sit through more than a few minutes of any Dead Kennedys album today...

Huey Lewis and the News... country club girls with bows in their hair... Izod Lacoste... Schaefer beer... debate... Square Pegs... ah, the '80s.

Posted by: B Lewis at October 11, 2014 8:08 PM

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...."

Let me fix that for you.

Here's to the new boss,
Same as the old boss.

If I want to press the point that there seem to be certain truisms concerning human nature, I dial up the wayback machine to Aesop's Fables, Brothers Grimm, or Tales from 1001 Arabian Nights. I avoid professional "philosophers", famous for being famous, ESPECIALLY French ones. See? I'm not Chauvinist AT ALL!

Posted by: CaptDMO at October 12, 2014 1:07 AM

Class of '87.

Thing I miss most about the 80's is the original ideas for all of the remakes these dumb assholes are making today.

Come up with your own fucking ideas. The Equalizer was an old English guy, not Denzel Washington working at home depot.

Posted by: Bradoplata at October 12, 2014 4:44 AM

The 80's, I barely survived them.
Went in as a single 25 yo with a chip on his shoulder and a lifetime of pavement under my feet. Came out the other end a 35 yo married business owner with a kid and carpet burns and that ever permanent chip. And thousands of guitars, guns and gurlz. Now, it's all just a gray blur....until I pause and focus....

Posted by: ghostsniper at October 12, 2014 6:33 AM

Class of 67 small town MS, saw Jimmy at Tuscaloosa. That 80's music was bubble gum music compared to 60-70's.

Posted by: mhf at October 12, 2014 1:37 PM

Bitchin'!

Posted by: leelu at October 12, 2014 2:49 PM

I think the eighties sucked. Of course the greatest decade of 'em all was the sixties.
We wouldn't be into iPhones and Windows 8 and Big Brother if it wasn't for the sixties. We'd still be doing punch cards and DOS.
I confess Jack Daniels Black got me through. From what I hear of the eighties I'm glad I was in blackouts.

Posted by: chasmatic at October 12, 2014 10:29 PM

I hail from Aerosmith and J. Geils country. I believe Byrne got his start at RISD. We lived (or tried to) live the Toxic Twins lifestyle. Punk was amusing, provided you didn't get too close. I saw something called G.G. Allin come out of the North country, and that was about enough of that. Moved over to the blue side of the street in the late seventies, Fabulous T-Birds, Roomful and that whole Austin/Boston thing. Wretched excess. It's a wonder I yam still here. Now? It's the sound of the birds at the feeder, and the occasional twang of guitar at church. "No more, no more..."

Posted by: Will at October 14, 2014 12:33 PM

@Will — " When I was a child, I spoke as a child; I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

a bit of I Corinthians 13.

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