Tuesday, February 5, 2008

80s revisited

I've been trying to write a post about the 80s since my last post about the 80s but I haven't found it easy. More like strange memories...flashbacks of bad fashion decisions, 80s disco music (let's face it, it was disco, just with a techtronic beat to it), and big hair.

I haven't quite figured out how to put it into a post without sounding like I hated the 80s, because I didn't hate the 80s. I just look back on them and wish I had dressed better. And that the 80s were cooler than we thought they were. There is a lot of cringe worthy stuff from the 80s when you think about it.

Like big hair - seriously, what WERE we thinking?? In the Philly area, I swear you used to be able to tell what area of the Delaware Valley a girl came from just from the height of her hair. How we made it into the 90s with hair left on our heads is beyond me, considering some of the things we did to it and the stuff we put in it. Eeek!

Okay, 80s fashion. Parachute pants, Member's Only (you KNOW who you are), shoulder pads? Need I say more?

If I refrain from watching clips on YouTube ,I remember Dancin' on Air fondly (links go to Dance Party USA which was the national incarnation of the Philly local Dancin' on Air show that started airing in 1981. I think Dance Party started after I left for College, I don't remember it much). Yes, I watched it. Yes, my lovely cousin Tim invited me to join him on it once (maybe twice??). Tim was a regular! I had connections! ;-)

I remember when the dance craze hit the area in the 80s and we all wanted to be dancing. Several night clubs/bars in the area started having Teen nights so that those of us underage could go dance at a real night club. The first one in this area that I remember was Pulsations - and yes, there's a website dedicated to Pulsations, even though the club was razed in the late 90s to make way for a retirement home (oh, please no comments on that!)

[TANGENT] The land that Pulsations stood on was important to me for two reasons, one was I used to go dance there when it was Pulsations, but prior to Pulsations, it used to be the Longhorn Ranch - a themed restaurant that, when we were kids, we used to go to for every birthday for many years in a row. I remember, as a kid, I thought it was the best place on earth! [END TANGET]

On Sunday nights we would dress up, tease our hair and put on our shortest, tightest jeans skirt and go line up with all the other hopefuls to be let into Pulsations so we could dance the night away. It amazes me, because I'm lucky if I can dance for a whole 15 minutes now without needing to take a nap, but we would dance for HOURS without so much as a sit down (of course, if we sat down, we might lose our great dancing spot!)

I don't think I went more than a small handful of times before I was off to College - the club was a good 45 minutes from my house and I think I remember my Mom dropping me off once, maybe twice, but that's about it. I may have gone with friends when I was supposed to be doing something else. But I think I remember going there more often when I had gone off to college and would come home a weekend here or there and head on over with my friend Kim or other friends, depending on who I was crashing with that weekend. What a blast.

I discovered "alternative" music in the 80s - R.E.M., Violent Femmes, They Might Be Giants, The Smiths (and, subsequently, Morrissey), Midnight Oil, New Order, and Red Hot Chili Peppers to name a few. Of course, I had been a huge U2 fan way before college, and that's continued to today. This is the music I remember the most from the 80s - the stuff that made the biggest impression on me. Yeah, I dug Janet Jackson (hey, I danced to her stuff at the clubs, it grew on me) and maybe even a little Michael Jackson and of course we all know how much I loved George Michael. But the stuff that stuck with me the alternative stuff I discovered in college.

The 80s wasn't so bad. I danced a lot and I listened to some great music. I bet I could remember more good things if I could get the bad fashion decisions I made out of my head. What do you remember from the 80s?

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