If I had to choose a summer from my youth to describe as the best summer ever, hands down it was the summer of 1988.
That summer was the best three months of fun, teenage rebellion, music, and transformation for me; I shaped and formed my future character. I lived every day as if it were my last. It was my “Summer of Anarchy!” and I was a Punk Rock Girl!
The eighties were filled with amazing music, no matter what genre you listened to. My musical tastes ran the gamut from pop music and hair metal to new wave and punk rock, with everything else in-between.
Best of all, MTV still played music videos, believe it or not!
That sizzling hot summer of 1988, I was deep into my punk and new wave roots; I didn’t go anywhere without my purple boom box and case of my most treasured cassette tapes.
The tapes you would find almost always in my case that summer were:
- The Cure – Standing on a Beach: The Singles
- The Cure – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
- The Cure – Head on the Door
- Depeche Mode – Music for the Masses
- Violent Femmes
- The Smiths – Strangeways, Here We Come
- The Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols
- The Dead Milkmen – Big Lizard in my Backyard
- The Dead Milkmen – Eat Your Paisley
- Siouxsie & the Banshees – Once Upon a Time: The Singles
- INXS – Kick
- INXS – The Swing
- The Church – Starfish
- Duran Duran – Seven & The Ragged Tiger
Most of these albums and artists still take up residence as CDs in my car.
In addition to my variety of artist cassettes, I also had one or two mixtapes on me at all times – my thought was that you never know when a mixtape might come in handy!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, making a mix CD today from my iTunes isn’t even half as fun as making a good old-fashioned mixtape back in the ’80s. I went through a lot of Memorex and TDK tapes, as well as a lot of scotch tape – if you’re old enough, you get the reference.
Nothing beat the music of the 80’s – why do you think there are stations today dedicated to that era? The ’80s brought artists such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Duran Duran, Wham!, Prince, Cyndi Lauper and Bon Jovi, just to name a few, into the spotlight. It was truly the decade of decadence when it came to music.
In the summer of 1988, I lived that decadence, both musically and personally.
I was on the brink of starting my junior year of high school; I was beginning to find my true identity and make my presence known. I didn’t want to be popular, just infamous. Bold, blunt, daring, weird, crazy, and outspoken were the adjectives most people would describe me with back in those days – I made sure that I lived up to each and every one of those words.
I always wanted to jump up on a table and shout “ANARCHY!”, just like the Dead Milkmen sang about.
Anarchy was my battle cry, yet I also had a softer, earthier side that wanted peace. That summer, I remember taking paint pens and writing “Anarchy for Peace” (but with the symbols for each) on the graffiti door everyone inked up at our high school. I still hold that philosophy close to my heart. If there is such a thing as a punk hippie, that would be me.
That glorious summer of my youth held lots of late-night talks with wonderful friends that turned into morning chats, tons of walks around my neighborhood, crazy and almost daredevil acts of “anarchy”, and parties that none of us ever wanted to end.
I met some very interesting people that summer – I had a somewhat clandestine relationship with one of them and fell in love for the very first time. Such wonderful memories. He will always hold a special place in my heart.
I also had my poor little heart-broken in two when Robert Smith from The Cure married his longtime girlfriend, Mary Poole, in August. This upset my future plans of one day becoming Mrs. Robert Smith. This is still a running joke between myself and a few close friends.
The summer of 1988, I reveled in freedom, adventure, and my love of music and I did not give one single fuck what others thought of me. My true Summer of Anarchy! Hmm… sounds like some things never change.
The best part of it all was that I spent so much time away from home that Mom-ster was almost non-existent that summer.
1988. Best. Summer. Ever.