The Wide Angle: 80s had a lot to remember — hair and music

Published 5:53 am Saturday, October 5, 2019

I had an epiphany Tuesday night while in the office. It’s okay, I’ve used “epiphany” before in a sentence.

I actually touched on this some a few columns ago so consider this a sequel of sorts and we’ll start this sequel with a declaration.

Music in the 80s was amazing.

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I lived a large part of my life in the 80s and horrible fashion trends aside — I’m looking at you rolled up jeans — it was a pretty epic time of life.

Hair was gigantic, colors were flamboyant and pastel — all at the same time — and for some reason we didn’t tie our shoes. Looking back, I don’t really get it. In particular though, the music really shined through.

They were poppy, schlocky and the videos were amazing. Cheap, but amazing.

There were plenty of bands who ruled the 80s: Duran Duran, Toto, Tears for Fears and a host of others that I can’t recall at this point, yet we all know them immediately when we hear them.

In a lot of ways though, the 80s were for one-hit wonders. They may have had two, maybe even three songs that got radio play, but they would never overtake the big song.

Take for instance Boy Meets Girl, the husband/ wife duo of George Merill and Shannon Rubicam, known primarily for their song “Waiting for a Star to Fall.” You may not even know the song off the top of your head, until of course, you listen to it. When you do, it then wedges in your mind like gum under a desk.

Songs from the 80s do that. They’re addictive, even a little bit of a guily pleasure.

I’ve been listening to a lot of these songs lately. Toto gets played quite a bit, as our sports writer Rocky Hulne can attest, which is a little weird because I was never much of a Toto fan back in the day.

I guess that’s another mark of 80s music. They are pretty easy to catch up on. Maybe it’s the nostalgic feel of it. The feeling of driving on back roads at night, your favorite station playing and just like that a song comes on that just stays with you.

Or maybe it’s more specificially a memory. There are songs today, that when I hear them brings me back to driving through Montevideo on the way to our family vacation spot up north. Or of weekends at Atokad Park in South Sioux City, Nebraska where we raced horses with my grandparents.

It’s crazy specific really and of course they are mostly 80s songs that strike me with memories.

More than likely though, it’s the power of music in general, which is a favorite subject of mine — as you may well have noticed. Music is a major part of life and it’s wound it’s way through my memories.

Anything that helps a person remember founder days is well worth the effort.

So in closing, I invite you to take a spin through Spodify or YouTube and find yourself some Toto or The Go Gos, maybe even some Tiffany if you’re so inclined. Some of you will know these, others not so much. But if you did, congratulations on the height of your hair.