Sunday, June 22, 2008

Growing up in the 1980's: The Best and the Worst

I (Peter) recently attended 2 events that remind me of some of the best things that came out of the 80’s. One was the newest Indiana Jones film, which was vintage adventure. The other was an R.E.M. concert this past weekend, which was vintage Athens, GA music. These two events also remind me of many things that make me glad the 80’s are no longer. Here are a few of my thoughts—you are sure to relate to something!

The Worst…I should have bought stock in aerosol hair spray. Any of you girls remember twist-a-beads? High top Reebok aerobic shoes (with the 2 velcro straps) with leg warmers and a long sweeter? I loved the acid washed Guess jeans with tapered legs. And if they weren’t tapered enough then we’d tight roll them ourselves. Neon colors and jelly shoes.

The Best…Parachute pants, which I’m waiting to come back into style. We used to wear them to slide down the grass hill at the Dalton High football stadium. Other than that maybe the red Coca-Cola rugby shirts that were such a big hit.

Pop Culture.
The Worst…My sister, yes that’s Carrie Hyatt Hulsey, must have had 200 posters of Kirk Cameron on her walls she got out of teen magazines.

The Best…Carrie redeemed herself by playing the Go-Go’s on a 45 record player and introducing me to songs such as Drivin’ n’ Cryin’s “Catch the Wind” and R.E.M.’s “Superman”. I’ve also got to throw in here Pac-Man and all video arcade games. My dad ran an arcade game business where he rented the big arcades to restaurants (such as Godfather’s Pizza), bowling alleys, roller skating rinks (such as the Roller Disco), and places in the mall (such as Time Out). Often times when the games were being repaired they would be stored in our basement. Once they were fixed every kid in the neighborhood would be over playing Space Invaders, Galaga, Frogger, and Centipede. The spinning ball on Centipede always pinched my hand.

The Worst…Gosh, where do I begin? Wham, Madonna, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Belinda Carlisle, Olivia Newton John, New Kids On The Block, Hall and Oates, Kenny Loggins, George Michael, Lionel Richie, Cyndi Lauper, Boy George, Pet Shop Boys, Bon Jovi, Duran Duran, and Def Leppard. Some of you love Duran Duran, don’t lie.

The Best…Michael Jackson. You know you loved him. We all did. Kids could be seen moon walking to the bathroom at school. One girl in my class used to wear one white glove. And remember that cool red and black leather jacket he wore? Others groups are the Pixies, the Smiths, ZZ Top, The Bangles, John Mellencamp, and Midnight Oil. Some maybes could be Huey Lewis and the News, Tina Turner, INXS, The Go-Gos, Run DMC, Guns-N-Roses, and Twister Sister (just kidding, although I can play We’re Not Gonna Take It on the guitar). Everyone loves U2. Back to the R.E.M. show I saw Saturday night with my good friend John Temples and his girlfriend. When music like Boy George was the norm, R.E.M. gave us a sound that no one else was producing. We all seemed to love Peter Buck’s guitar playing and the lyrics even though we couldn’t understand a thing Michael Stipe was singing. During the show Saturday night the band pulled out more of their 80’s tunes than I expected. They rocked out songs such as Driver 8, These Days, Pretty Persuasion, Gravities Pull, The One I Love, and many many more. They were definitely playing to a home town crowd that knows the old stuff. Thanks to R.E.M. for redeeming the 80’s and making Athens known for more than just Hershel Walker. Hershel made the 80’s all that much better too.

The Worst…My sister and her friends liked to watch Children of the Corn. I hated it. Dirty Dancing, sorry…didn’t like it. Flashdance? Gremlin’s? Nightmare on Elm St., Purple Rain, Teen Wolf, and Spaceballs.

The Best… Yall remember Police Academy? Hilarious! Footloose, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, A Christmas Story (Ralphie and the BB Gun), Blue Lagoon, The Breakfast Club, Caddyshack, Raising Arizona, Empires Strikes Back, E.T., We used to act out Rambo scenes in the woods next to my house, which got dangerous at times. What fun. Ghostbusters, Top Gun, and the Goonies. What about ROCKY IV!!!!!

The Worst…Miami Vice, Doogie Howser, Knight Rider

The Best…The A-Team, CHIPS, Cheers, Growing Pains, Family Ties, Saved by the Bell, and the Dukes of Hazard!!!! Friends and I would fight over who was going to play Bo, Luke, Cooter, and Enos. We’d peel out our big wheels as if they were the General Lee.

Styles and fads from the 80’s started in California then moved to the east coast (Georgia) and then finally made it to the middle of the country to states like Louisiana. How do I know this? Because I was looking at Tanya’s pictures from growing up in Louisiana and said, “Wow, that must have been from the 80’s”. She responded with a laugh, “No, that was 1994”. Ha!

I know I left something fun out. Please feel free to add in your favorite 1980’s memories.

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