Here’s a fun game to play this summer: Put on an 80’s Hits station, either via Pandora, Spotify, satellite radio, or your collection of CDs in the back of the Honda CRX that’s up on blocks in your backyard, then write down the first thing that pops into your head with each song you hear. Because once you’re in your 40’s, these songs are not without their years of baggage.
Here are some of mine:
Men At Work “Land Down Under”: Vegemite
Depeche Mode “Enjoy the Silence”: Clove cigarettes
Def Leppard “Hysteria”: Shaun Chelius, the fat guy from my English class who always smelled like weed and doughnuts and who carved “Deff Lepord” into his desk. He’s probably dead.
Huey Lewis “The Heart of Rock and Roll”: Waiting outside a convenience store with Megan and Karen, trying to work up the nerve to ask someone to buy us beer. Then getting mistaken for prostitutes. Prostitutes in a VW Beetle—who had perms.
Madonna “Material Girl”: The song Kelley Johnson danced to in the high school talent show, right before she got caught drinking Bartles & Jaymes with the gross PE teacher. Or maybe the song was “Like a Virgin”? No, people would have thrown things at her if it was that one. Hypocrisy.
Queen “Under Pressure”: Vanilla Ice is such a moron.
The Police “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”: Didn’t Sting used to be a teacher before he was a Sting? I think this is a pedophile-ish song. The video had sexy schoolgirls. But Sting would never really do something improper, I’m sure of it. He’s not David Lee F-ing Roth.
Billy Idol “Eyes Without A Face”: This reminds me of that Sunday morning I spent trying to zoom up a snow and ice covered steep driveway with Karen in my Chevy Nova. This played on her boombox because the car stereo didn’t work. Neither did Reverse. And the heater smelled like split pea soup.
Bill Medley and Jennifer Warren “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”: Drunkenly dancing to this with 10 girls in the dorm hallway while screaming, “DON’T YOU PUSH BABEEE IN DA CORNERS!” (RIP Swayze Gone 2 Soon)
Michael Jackson “Wanna Be Starting Somethin”: Thank god I didn’t get that “Mama say mamma say mamma mo-coo saw” tattoo because I might regret that now.
Wham! “Wham! Rap”: OMG THE BEST SONG EVER! But I’m truthfully very worried about George Michael. He needs to stop crashing his car. Why are you so lost, George? I’m sure Andrew Ridgely is no help. Jerk.
And to thank you, here’s a video of the only rap song I can sing by heart, which is not as embarrassing as you’d think: