The mid to late 1980s were my most formative and rebellious years.
I can remember as far back as sixth grade when we had an art assignment to design a record album cover for our favorite album. Of course, at the time my tiny record player was wearing grooves into Duran Duran’s epic album Seven and the Ragged Tiger, so I set out to design my very own cover for the album. I decided to do a split face tiger and woman with a graffiti style background. I wish I still had the art because it came out pretty damn good for being in sixth grade!
This past weekend I celebrated 30 years since my first punk rock haircut.
Those were the days!
I remember asking Mom-ster before her and dad went on vacation that summer of 1988 if I could cut my hair shorter on one side. She yelled, “I don’t care, it’s your hair! Leave me alone!”
After they left, I walked my happy little punk rock ass up to the nearest salon and had my hair cut exactly as I wanted it -- super short on the right side. Shortly after, I ran home, sprayed a ton of hairspray on my new do, and spiked my hair for the first time; the other side I crimped and it covered part of my face.
The punk rock transformation had begun, even though I had the attitude long before the look.
In memory of my young punk rock self and to garner some much-needed inspiration to break through my creative block, I attempted to channel the spirit of my sixteen-year-old self by purchasing a throwback Pepsi, a bag of Cheetos, a classic Slim Jim, completing the ensemble with a Marlboro menthol (which I still have yet to light up), a fresh, new composition notebook and a red ink pen.
I ventured out to where I used to go to be alone and write when I was younger, although the trip was short-lived due to the extreme heat and humidity we had in the area. That didn’t stop me from jamming out to the music from the magical Summer of 1988 in my car.
Music definitely lead the charge of my rebellious youth with a powerful soundtrack filled with Depeche Mode, The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees, and The Smiths -- just to name a few.
These Post-Punk Classic Alternative bands not only helped me make it through some tough times as a teenager, but they also fueled and fostered my creative flow, whether it was my writing or my art.
But it wasn’t just those Classic Alternative bands who fueled that creative fire inside of me -- it was also pop and rock music videos of the ’80s as well, you know, when MTV actually played music videos.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, J. Geils Band, and Van Halen were among the top rock bands with videos that planted creative seeds in my head, of which I am still reaping the benefits of today. The playlist that follows has most of these amazing music videos showcased.
Since I’m writing this I’d say the offering to my sixteen-year-old self did indeed work.
The one thing that absolutely boggles my mind though, is how the hell did I survive the Summer of 1988 wearing all black 99% of the time, along with a black London Fog trench coat in the midst of a massive heat wave?
That was pure punk rock dedication to my look.
Vive le Punk Rock! Here’s to the next 30 years!
- Love Stinks -- J. Geils Band
- The Sun Always Shines on TV -- a-ha
- Mexican Radio -- Wall of Voodoo
- Don’t Come Around Here No More -- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
- Hot For Teacher -- Van Halen
- Just Another Day -- Oingo Boingo
- I Need A Man -- Eurythmics
- Notorious -- Duran Duran
- Election Day -- Arcadia
- Get It On (Bang A Gong) -- The Power Station
- What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy) -- Information Society
- Pump Up The Volume -- M|A|R|R|S
- Buffalo Stance -- Neneh Cherry
- Big Time -- Peter Gabriel
- Walk On The Wild Side -- Lou Reed
- Venus -- Bananarama
- One Night In Bangkok -- Murray Head
- Love Is The Slug -- Fuzzbox
- Peek A Boo -- Siouxsie & the Banshees
- Blue Jean -- David Bowie
- Never Say Never -- Romeo Void
- Behind The Wheel -- Depeche Mode
- Bring On The Dancing Horses -- Echo & The Bunnymen
- Ask -- The Smiths
- A Night Like This -- The Cure
- The Great Commandment -- Camouflage
- Sympathy For The Devil -- Laibach
- Inside Out -- The Mighty Lemon Drops
- What You Need -- INXS
- No New Tale To Tell -- Love & Rockets
- Spirit In The Sky -- Doctor & The Medics
- It’s A Sin -- Pet Shop Boys
- Blue Monday 88 -- New Order
- Underneath The Radar -- Underworld
- Stigmata -- Ministry
- Kooler Than Jesus -- My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
- Head Like A Hole -- Nine Inch Nails