20 years ago next month I graduated from Prescott High School. My 20th high school reunion is coming up this summer, but I won't be able to go. Instead, I'll be spending that week in Boston enjoying the 4th of July and seeing Madonna from the 24th row. Something I find amusing is that in 1985 the three major acts on tour were Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Prince. Here we are in 2006 and the three biggest acts on tour this summer are Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Prince. What are the chances of that? I'm not one of those people who considered high school the best years of my life. As a matter of fact, I'm not sentimental at all when it comes to my high school years. I was a social misfit who looked 5 years younger than my actual age. I wasn't good at sports and didn't particularly study very hard. I excelled in theatre my senior year, but how cool is that in the heirarchy of high school? I had spiked hair and I emulated Billy Idol and Madonna, so I had a vast collection of crucifixes and rosaries. It may have actually looked cutting edge if I hadn't looked so young, so for the most part it ended up looking like a costume or even worse, "Ducky" from "Pretty in Pink." As you've seen before, the collage is me at 17 and the one with the buzzed head is me now. At 37, I still look really young for my age, but as you might expect, I don't mind it all that much now. This is the payoff for what I went through as a teenager.
The 80's were an interesting time to be a teenager. We were completely convinced that Russia would one day blow us all to radioactive bits in what would be the final world war. Disco had given way to New Wave and MTV was born. And yes it's true, video did kill the radio star. Our fashion sense in the 80's left a lot to be desired. We cuffed our jeans, pushed down our socks, put up our collars (a fad which has unexplicably come back and its still not cool), and teased the f*ck out of our hair. And that was just the boys. The girls had bangs so tall they had to dodge low flying airplanes. They wore bobby socks with high heels, neon colored sweatshirts belted with mini skirts and tied rags in their hair (thanks Madonna). We were a self-involved bunch jumping onto every trend like it was a freight train to stardom. We quoted John Huges movies and we all wanted to go to Ridgemont High and hang with Spicoli. Pat Benatar and Stevie Nicks were the queens of rock 'n' roll and Loverboy had us workin' for the weekend. The music you listened to was a direct reflection of who you were. The Mods listened to Modern English and The English Beat, the big haired stoner boys listened to Motley Crue and Ozzy. The pop crowd danced to Bananarama, The Flirts, The Go-Go's, The Police, Prince, Madonna and Cyndi Lauper....to name a few. The punks listened to The Ramones, The Violent Femmes, the Clash, Siouxsie & the Banshees and the Sex Pistols. The jocks blasted Bruce, Journey and John Cougar. The ones who fell between the clique cracks listened to The B-52s, REM, Echo & the Bunnymen and INXS. Me? I went from my obsession with Olivia Newtwon-John to an obsession with Pat Benatar. Then one summer night in 1983 I first heard Madonna on the radio. We've been together ever since. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a HUGE Pat Benatar fan, but Madonna is my gal. Faux British accent and all.
I was also never one of those people who ever thought 80's music was cool after the 80's. It never dawned on me that it would come back. As a DJ, you'd think I'd have a pretty decent collection of retro music. I actually didn't until I DJ'd a christmas party and they wanted all 80's music. I stocked up on it all. Everything from pop to punk. We had a blast. It seems now that whenever a movie comes out that is set in the 80's, the soundtrack never gets the music right. I recently discovered a few cds that contains updated remixes of some great 80's songs. Stuff like INXS, New Order, Howard Jones, Echo & the Bunnymen, Peter Schilling, Book of Love, Blondie and YES. And I've noticed a lot of music coming out today that sounds VERY much like the music of the 80's. So on Saturday May 13th, I'll be throwing the "FUTURE RETRO" party at the bar "Springstreet." I'll be re-inventing the 80's. It should be a blast. Then it dawned on me that I should probably get a retro t-shirt to wear that night. And that was how I discovered the site for 80's Tees. I've already ordered the shirt I'm going to wear that night. Even though I'm not very nostalgic about my highschool years or the 80's in general, this site is a blast to look through. I'm sure some of you will be placing orders. Here are some of the great items I found on there.
If you're in or around Portland, come out and join the retro fun on May 13th. The best thing about my highschool reunion coming up is that I got back in touch with my old friend Vicky Shively. We were both in Theatre and I think we knew then that there was so much more in the world waiting for us beyond the walls of our high school. And 20 years later we've reconnected and I think we'll be friends forever. She's an animator in LA. Way to go Vicky. And remember, we'll always have "the Poconos."
To the Prescott High School Class of 1986, have a great reunion!
Ck out my buddy Rick's Blog today. www.mondoricko.blogspot.com