Punk Rock Summer of 88



Yesterday, I took a drive early evening with the windows down and music up. It was such a beautiful night; warm air with all the wonderful smells of summer combining into a swirl of memories for me. Isn’t it funny how scents have the power to transport you to another time?

I drove to the spot I used to go and sit alone, and sometimes with you, to think and be at peace. I parked my car and made my way to the steps. I sat and watched the sun go down in a miraculous show of glowing colors over the treetops. The noises of the area silenced for a few short moments and I closed my eyes to breathe in the moment.

I could swear I felt your presence there with me in those moments.

I pulled out my phone, which I had purposely put on silence, opened YouTube, called up my Summer of 88 playlist, and hit shuffle. It’s funny how your two favorite songs ended up at the top of the list. I smiled, remembering the talks about everything and nothing we shared there as two lost innocent teenagers.

We both wore our disguises of confidence and strength well in public, but we saw through each other. I looked up to and admired you. Your aura was so much bigger than life itself. I was drawn in.

I don’t think I shared so much with another before and since you. I can only wonder if you learned as much from me as I did you, my friend. I miss you.


The summer of 88 was one of the best summers I ever had. It was a time of growth, innocence, love, and most of all, freedom. I started coming out of my shell, yet still maintained my wall of isolation from the world. I made a lot of mixtapes that summer. The following mixtape playlist was created from notes I found in one of my old journals, and from memory, of the songs I listened to a lot of that glorious and amazing summer.

What was your favorite summer growing up? What would be on your playlist?


Image from MashKulture - click pic for article on Cassette Tape Spine Art article
Image from MashKulture – click pic for article on Cassette Tape Spine Art


Summer of 88 YouTube video playlist

  1. Johnson’s Aeroplane – INXS
  2. Boys Don’t Cry – The Cure
  3. Never Let Me Down Again – Depeche Mode
  4. You’re Lost Little Girl – Siouxsie and the Banshees
  5. Prove My Love – Violent Femmes
  6. Reptile – The Church
  7. Punxsie – The Divinyls
  8. Me & My Friends – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  9. Paul Revere – Beastie Boys
  10. Holidays in the Sun – Sex Pistols
  11. Rock & Roll High School – The Ramones
  12. Bitchin’ Camaro – The Dead Milkmen
  13. I Hate People – Anti-Nowhere League
  14. Rise Above – Black Flag
  15. Rain in the Summertime – The Alarm
  16. Alone Again Or – The Damned
  17. No New Tale to Tell – Love and Rockets
  18. Inside Out – Mighty Lemon Drops
  19. The One I Love – REM
  20. Notorious – Duran Duran
  21. Under the Milky Way – The Church
  22. Jumping Someone Else’s Train – The Cure
  23. Temptation – New Order
  24. Bedbugs & Ballyhoo – Echo and the Bunnymen
  25. Don’t Change – INXS
  26. Route 66 – Depeche Mode
  27. The Passenger – Siouxsie and the Banshees
  28. Rise – Public Image Ltd.
  29. Spirit in the Sky – Doctor and the Medics
  30. Love is the Slug – Fuzzbox
  31. Crash – The Primitives
  32. I Touch Roses – Book of Love
  33. Just Like Heaven – The Cure
  34. I Melt With You – Modern English
  35. The Sun Always Shines on TV – a-ha
  36. Surfin’ Bird – The Cramps
  37. Fight Like a Brave – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  38. And She Was – Talking Heads
  39. The One Thing – INXS
  40. Killing an Arab – The Cure