The 1980s actually arrived in the summer of 1979 with My Sharona.
The opening bars of 'She Bob' as I step into The Parade dance club on Bourbon Street..
The smell of stale beer in the sticky summer air, the art coming out of New York and the craziness we see from Keith Herring and Robert Maplethorpe...
We stand on the balcony, laughing, talking, cruising... The first notes of Whitney Houston's 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' fire-up and we go crazy, nearly trampling one another to score valuable dance floor real estate. We dance, take the poppers from the unknown guy next to us, inhale deeply so it'll last long, and pass it on to the next reveler... Sunday nights are magic. This feeling, this youth, this music will never, ever end!
[quote]Sunday nights are magic. This feeling, this youth, this music will never, ever end!
Here in NYC, I remember the early 80s as a literal graveyard, with empty bars and clubs, lots of guys either too scared to go out, or too sick. I have my nostalgic feelings for the decade as well, but primarily some of the pop culture crap that was the soundtrack for high school and college--the realities were really terrifying, and even in the biggest city in the world, you could feel really alone and terrified at times.
I'm curious to know, as someone who was very young in the 80s, what about 'My Sharona' signaled the arrival of the 1980s? It would seem that it mostly signaled a shift away from disco giving rock aficionados an anthem to circle jerk over. In hindsight, I think the 80s defining sound was more New Wave than Rock (along with Rap and Metal), which makes me think that the 1979 songs 'Pop Muzik' by M and Gary Numan's 'Cars' were ultimately more indicative of the coming sound of the 80s. Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer's work on the Bad Girls album from '79 was also somewhat prescient of the 80s sound. New Order's 'Blue Monday', a quintessential 80s song, even samples Donna Summer's 'Our Love'. It seems like 'My Sharona' gets a lot of credit for the death of disco, but it didn't really result in much more.
Yeah R5, that was my expression of 'poetic' nostalgia, how I think of the time. I was so young, just out of high school.
As for New York, I think you must have been a bit older during that time of the 80s because few young people were expressing "terror" over going out. Young people rarely ever express fear or a feeling of mortality when they're young.
I was in and out of New York at that time and mostly home in New Orleans. While I knew about AIDS, it was something foreign to me. I think for many of us, it didn't really become common to know someone with HIV/AIDS until much later on because so many people hid it until the last days.
Also, WHY do so many people, particularly the much older gay crowd insist on making the 1980s all about AIDS and the fear and politics thereof?
As important and tragic and horrifying as it was and still is, there was much more to that decade. Looking back, there was also a lot of happiness, the gay community really began its national movement, gays and lesbians were beginning to come out of darker corners and it was reflected in music and film and even some on television. It was an excessive decade but also one filled with a lot of dancing and technological advances.
I loved it and still do and am lucky it was my time as a kid coming into adulthood. In many ways I long for it, so mmmmmmmaaaaary me all you want.
New Wave was rock, though. New Wave allowed rock fans to dance, so was popular with both sexes. But I don't remember it being in any way considered different than rock, though it naturally was something entirely else than say, Led Zeppelin. My Sharona was clearly a rock song, and you could dance to it--best of both worlds, especially since rock wasn't much of a dancing form for a while before. But no one thought about it much. (And I was in high school at just that time, from 79-83.)
MTV helped open up the idea of what rock was as well--they considered themselves entirely rock at the beginning, and were playing the Buggles and whatever.
NYC wasn't a graveyard, it was electric, with Danceteria, Private Eyes, Club 57, the 9th Circle, the International Stud, the Anvil, the Mineshaft.
[quote] I think you must have been a bit older during that time of the 80s because few young people were expressing "terror" over going out. Young people rarely ever express fear or a feeling of mortality when they're young.
Not really so much. (As I also just posted, I graduated high school in 1983.) While, yes, the young don't think of mortality much, it was difficult not to when you saw it all around you. There were plenty of fun times too, but things were very subdued early on. Not thinking about it doesn't mean you escaped it. Particularly if you had any kind of acquaintances who were even slightly older than you were.
My best memories of the 80s were really about college and afterward, when gay and AIDS activism had really started kicking in and we were all (mostly) involved in that in some way.
Oh, and, again:
(You know that was said affectionately, don't you?)
r2 little known that one was settled out of court.
[quote]NYC wasn't a graveyard, it was electric, with Danceteria, Private Eyes, Club 57, the 9th Circle, the International Stud, the Anvil, the Mineshaft.
Yes, true. There are a lot of things coloring my memories of that time, more so than I realized (and for god's sake, I'm always telling people how much better it was then). But yes: Danceteria was pretty spectacular, and irreplaceable, really. And I though pretty much everyone had forgotten about Private Eyes!
I feel you R11... Gotta keep those 70s/80s adjectives alive. ;-)
I remember as a Freshman at LSU, our famous, Wednesday afternoon 'Free Speech Alley', somebody gets up and announces the death or Rock Hudson from the new gay disease that was already being used as a political wedge issue.. Many in the crowd cheered.. I can forgive it now because it was stupidity and naïveté of the times, but looking back on it, it's none the less terrible.
I remember the Shuttle being blown up live, as I walked into the student cafeteria, the launch live on the big jumbo TV. Crazy. We never thought we'd see anything like that, like and horrific, again in our lifetimes. We were all, as a society, just so naive.
But man, the music. Sneaking into my first gay bar, the good, backwoods Southern Baptist boy that I was, the overwhelming guilt but the rush of excitement.
You could look and dress 'cool' without a lot of money. You could even manage to be "preppy" if you weren't a rich kid from the East Coast. A pair of Sperry Topsiders, a couple of pastel Izod shirts and you were ready to go. Don't forget to have the navy blazer and college striped tie on stand by.
I guess I'm becoming an old man now because I look back on it, and I'd nearly give my eyesight to live it just one more time. Life goes by too fucking fast. It's not fair. MAARYY! That's me bitches! ;-)
I remember the movie Ruthless People and how Helen Slater was a fashion designer and when Bette Midlerv lost weight she began wearing Helen's dresses. They were soooo 80s
Homeless guys kicking in the door to my apartment building lobby and dozens of crack vials lying under a tree on Park Avenue. "No Radio" signs on parked cars. Bernie Goetz, Howard Beach, Central Park rape case, the Preppy Murder, the Thriller album, Ghostbusters, I Want My MTV, WWF wrestling, SNL's "A Couple of White Guys" Rap; Chicago Bears Superbowl Shuffle....
1983 at Limelight in NYC, dressed in my black Z-Cavaricci's and white Capezio shoes, tight white muscle shirt showing off my 20 year old perfection. Dancing to Madonna, Michael Jackson at their best.
Can I just vent about SiriusXM's 80s on 8 channel? It's practically all Bon Jovi/Def Leppard all the time, with the occasional Michael Jackson/Madonna tune thrown in.
Well, it's almost that bad. What pisses me off is that it's completely missing the "Urban Country" sound of the early 80s (Kenny Rogers, Juice Newton, Eddie Rabbitt), the Soft Rock of the era (Christopher Cross, Air Supply, Chicago), and nearly missing most of the R&B stars of the era (Pointer Sisters, Kool and the Gang, Lionel Richie) and the Freestyle artists (Expose, Sweet Sensation, Stevie B).
Everytime they start the Raiders of the Lost Ark theme for a Lost Hit of the 80s, I'm hoping against hope that it's one of the above, but no, it's usually some crappy Warrent song that barely charted.
Straight girls wondering if Boy George is gay
David Letterman on NBC when he was actually funny
Reruns of MTM and The Bob Newhart Show after Letterman
Early Kids in the Hall
Channel J -- Al Goldstein, Robin Byrd, Ugly George, that married coup,e at Plato's Retreat
Channels C and D on NYC public access where every lunatic got to rent a studio for $50 and be on tv for a half hour
2010s: "Duck Dynasty"
Sums it up.
From Channel J, I give you Dance of the Sphinx and the Chimera, featuring a naked, dick-bouncing Willem Dafoe 1985