It's the Sunday night of a three-day weekend. I've done the dinner out with friends thing and I've run errands all day long, so now I'm going to kick back.
My sweats are on, my hair is in a bun, and a movie is about to start.
The opening credits start to roll and music from the 80's fill the room with the sweet, overly synthesized sound of my teenage angst.
What is it about the melodies of yore that can make me nostalgic almost to the point of homesickness?
Whenever I hear the theme song from St. Elmo's Fire by David Foster, I go back in time.
I find myself in a place where I didn't have a mortgage, or a nugget asking me twenty questions a minute about who would win in a fight between zombies with AR-15s or robots. No bills to pay and no groceries to get.
Sometimes a song will come on and I'm fifteen again. Hanging out on a Friday night, thinking about the boy I like and wondering if he is thinking about me too.
I'm at a high school party with underage drinking. I'm laughing with my friends, knowing that I'm either going to be in big trouble in the morning or carefree with theknowledge that I have a place to crash for the night. No worries about going home to face the parentals with the sweet stench of Bartles and Jaymes on my breath.
I'm sneaking kisses in the party room at Saints Roller Rink while Journey plays overhead.
When "West End Girls" plays, I'm taken back to freshman year, in the midst of Spring break, driving to a party at my friend Nina's house with my driver's license ink still drying.
"Say You, Say Me" finds me sneaking out of a Junior Achievement meeting with the senior from another school that I had a crush on.
As soon as Echo and The Bunnymen break into "The Killing Moon", I'm transported to the Galleria where I'm waiting for my partner in crime, Cheryl, to finish her shift at Pasta (holy shit, you say?? Yeah, that dates me.) so we can hang out the rest of the night.
A thousand songs and a thousand memories all flood through me when I hit the 80's station.
It doesn't matter where I am at currently in my life, when anything from that musical generation comes on, I'm swept right back.
The 80's have and shall remain a reverent musical period for me. They formed my John Hughes roots and spread to my John Cusack soul.
I understand that it is only normal for someone of my age to have such a deep connection for that period since it was the time that I was coming into my own, so to speak, but it's more than that.
Don't get me wrong, I have sentimental feelings for the 70's singer-songwriter ballads that were popular. Croce, Manilow, James Taylor, Gino Vanelli; they all send me back to Saturdays. My mom would open up the windows, load up
the record player and I'd spend the morning listening to albums while she cleaned the house.
Ambrosia, Bread, Atlantic Rhythm Section, Little River Band; these bands filled my ears as we drove to the mall on summer afternoons. Sun shining through the window, the heat warm on my cheeks.
I'll always treasure that decade, but it will continually come in second to the synthpop sweetness of the '80's.
The '80's stormed in with an energy that we were looking for. They came in and abruptly swept the mellow hits we had been holding on to right out the door. Gone were the faded jeans and feathered Farrah Fawcett hair we were rocking. In came miniskirts, neon, parachute pants and Jellies.
Vanelli was out, valley was in.
When I throw my BluRay edition of "From the Hip" starring Brat Packer Judd Nelson (don't even get me started on my Brat Pack obsession) into the DVD player, the first few bars of the intro set me in a mood. A mood where I'm magically transported back to a glorious time.
A time of Aquanet and Anais Anais.
Blue eyeshadow and Bon Jovi.
Agree, disagree, it doesn't really matter. There are more 80's retro bands than any other genre and nothing gets a party started like an outbreak of Wham! (That is a true statistic that I pulled out of my ass and I will stand by it all day long.)
I respect the music of all generations. With them, we wouldn't be where we are now, we wouldn't have taken the lead from our musical founding mothers and fathers and created this amazing library of tunes that we have at the push of a button. We've sprung forth from Johnson and Joplin, Bach and Beethoven. Miles and Monk. The Clash, the Stones, the Beatles and the Kinks. Bill Monroe and the bluegrass boys.
Every single genre has a special place for someone, and the special place I go to is the 80's. I drive my crazy train there daily.
So, long may the reign, long may they play. Long may the blue eyeshadow stay the hell away.