I turned eleven in 1980. It was a big decade for me.
For weeks, I have been knocking around ideas for a 1980s themed post. Then, last week, Leah over at The Weather in the Streets beat me to it. She did a fabulous job, and really lit my fire to write about my own 80s memories. The problem is, I can't get them all to fit. Every memory, every song, every lipstick shade, just sends me off onto another tangent, like a big box of nostalgia chow mein. You can't pull out just one noodle.
And, I can't write just one post. So, I've had to prioritize.
Many of my trips down memory lane, I found ended here.
First, the disclaimer. I have not researched this story, but it is well known in these parts and I did use to work there. This is what I have picked up over the years.
Sometimes in groups, often alone, I would walk down there after school, still wearing my blue and white hearing bone pleated skirt and white ankle socks. My taste in music changed often and the list of records I bought I has no reason, thought there might be rhyme.
I bought a Def Leppard album, and Loverboy. The very first Maddona album anyone I knew had ever seen. We'd never heard of her, or any of the songs on it, but I thought it looked interesting and I was an adventurous spender. That is also how I ended up with imported 12 inch singles from bands with names like Strawberry Switchblade. Joy Division, then New Order, the Cure, OMD, ABC, A-ha whose lead singer looked just like this German boy I
All this talk of music reminds me of Friday Night Videos. Before MTV, before the whole country had cable and could see MTV, there was Friday Night Videos. I think it was on after Johnny Carson. Super late. Once a week, for 90 minutes, you could see videos of some of your favorite songs. And some of other people's favorite songs, which you hated, but you had to sit through, because this was before the DVR. I remember staying up with a friend until 1:30 in the morning to see the video to Wham's Wake Me up Before You Go-Go. We had heard the song, but never seen the group. We were stunned. Man, that was a lot of neon, and boy were they tan.
Do you see how I got off on the little television tangent when I was meant to be writing about Tower Records? I haven't even gotten to the part where I tell you that there was a Tower Books, too (before Borders and Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, again). You could buy copies of Melody Maker, imported from England, which always seemed cool, because all the English bands talked about reading it. One of my classmates was even so bold as to go down there, in full Catholic school girl regalia, to buy a copy of the nudie magazine Playgirl, because it had an interview with Paul McCartney in it. I bought my copy of The Bell Jar there, so that I could be bleak and depressed like any self-respecting fifteen year old girl.
Oh, I could go on. A little later in the 80s there was zinc pink lipstick and a job at, not one, but two ice cream parlors. A little earlier, and there was my tween obsession with Princess Diana, which sort of dove tails into my own coming of age story. But, I can't. I just can't go on now. Twenty-ten beckons.