I found the promise of singing along to 80s music videos hard to resist and so Kelly and I headed over to the Hollwood Theatre. (Our group was supposed to be bigger. One person backed out due to illness and one person didn’t show up due to date confusion.)
We received our kazoos, so as to play along with the sexy saxophone solos, (!!!!!) and lustily sang along.
- Our host pointed out that he loved 80s videos because some of them are bat-shit crazy. Indeed.
- The best sexy saxophone solo came with our first song, “Careless Whisper.” Let me say that the narrative established in the video leaves me not feeling sorry for two-timing George Michael.
- The screams–actual screams–that came from the females of the audience with the opening chords of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.” While I appreciate that song, it’s not on such a visceral level. “Oh my god, he had such good hair!” Kelly exclaimed breathlessly. I’ve concluded that when the song was released, I was still pre-pubescent, and did not have that potent cocktail of hormones coursing through my system that people slightly older than me experienced.
- I did, however, scream at the first notes of “Never Tear us Apart” by INXS. Man, Michael Hutchence. And that band in general.
- Some of the videos did not translate well to the current decade. “Tainted Love” was particularly icky, as the lead singer is singing to a young girl. We’re talking an eight year old young girl. Gross.
- Some of those videos I had never seen because we didn’t have cable when they were originally in rotation and had fallen out of favor by the time we did have cable.
- The host pointed out that people often ask him why there are not more videos of heavy metal bands. He then said that it was because metal sucks. That got a very loud “boo!” from me. He then played one (1) song: Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” which was awesome for viewing the trappings of being a 1980s heavy metal band, but is one of two songs of Bon Jovi’s that are always played. A better choice would have been “Born to be my Baby.” (Released November 24, 1988 and peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100, yet I never hear it played on classic rock radio, but that’s a topic for another day.)
- The host encouraged us to dance from the get-go, but it was Erasure’s “A Little Respect” that got people out of their seats and dancing.
- The original video for Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” is a hilarious unintentional (?) homoerotic love fest featuring Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer.
- We got Rickrolled! The host introduced the ultimate 80’s love song, we heard the first few bars, and then! Record scratch and a detour to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” That was one of the first 45s I bought as an adolescent.
- The ultimate 80’s love song, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” has perhaps the craziest video ever. I had never seen it, and ho-boy. It has everything.