When I was a teenager in the 80’s, music videos were a new phenomenon. (Wow, that sentence screams old.) The launch of MTV in 1981 (who remembers which video was played first? The answer is at the end of this post.) made it possible for music fans everywhere–especially teens–to enjoy their favorite acts at a higher level than ever before. The visual experience of music videos back then was something to behold: most videos had a storyline and were shot like mini films. Most teenagers watched MTV during every waking moment, waiting for their favorite videos to appear in the rotation. Or maybe that was just me.
For me, one of the byproducts of MTV was that I had multiple celebrity crushes. It just happens that way when you spend endless hours staring at the television and analyzing every second of every music video with your friends as if the world’s survival depended on it.
I was, of course, gaga over Duran Duran. Just about every teenaged girl back then felt the same way. I loved both Simon LeBon and John Taylor, and when “Hungry Like The Wolf” and “Rio” were in heavy rotation on MTV I was in heaven. My friends and I ate up every video, interview and live concert clip that featured those dreamy young men. When they Guest VJed on MTV back in 1983, it was as if we had hit the lottery.
I also loved Jon Farriss, the drummer from INXS. I was a drummer wanna-be who never actually played the drums for real (just the air variety), so anytime dreamy Jon showed up in videos I studied up. He got some great coverage in “Original Sin”, which was, coincidentally, one of my favorite songs. (FYI: I am currently the proud owner of the “INXS: What You Need Video Collection”, so if I wanted to get reacquainted with
Jon my air drum kit I can just pop the DVD into the player at any time.)
I had it bad for John Crawford of Berlin. Many of my friends didn’t understand this choice at all because Berlin in all its New Wave glory didn’t get heavy play on the radio until “No More Words” and later, “Take My Breath Away” (which happen to be my two least-favorite Berlin songs by the way). They did, however get great exposure on MTV and I eventually recorded their videos (on VHS tapes) so I could replay at will, and pause or rewind-replay whenever John appeared in the scene. My favorite was “The Metro”; luckily the powers-that-be at MTV loved it too because they played it all the time. Recording the videos was a big feat, too: I had to sit there for hours–as I usually did anyway–with my finger poised on the remote button so I was ready to hit “record” the second I noticed one of their videos starting. That’s how we had to do it in the olden days, kids.
There was one man who had my attention above all of those others, though, and that man was Adam Ant. Born Stuart Leslie Goddard on November 3, 1954 (I did not have to look that up just now, in case you were wondering: I remembered.), Adam was the subject of my teenaged crush from 1981 until, well, I don’t yet have an end date for you.
I adored the heavy drum beats of the music of Adam and the Ants first and then Adam Ant as a solo act. Oh, and I adored him, too. (Still do, shut up.) His videos were sometimes cheesy (Exhibit A: “Ant Rap”), sometimes kitschy (Exhibit B: “Goody Two Shoes”), and sometimes both confusing and totally smoldering (Exhibit C: “Desperate But Not Serious”).
Like any card-carrying teenaged 80’s music fanatic, I had posters hanging in my room that I stared at for hours. (The hours I wasn’t watching MTV, obviously.) I had this poster of Adam hanging on my bedroom door:
I have–somewhere–a picture of me posing next to Adam, err, this poster, while holding a Rubik’s Cube. Between the poster, the Rubik’s cube, and my hairstyle, the photo looks like an 80’s explosion. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it in time for this post so you’ll have to use your imagination on that while you gaze at this picture from Halloween 1984, on which I dressed up as–you guessed it–Adam Ant. Note the striking similarities.
I think we can all agree who
1. deserves the prize for costume originality
2. proved the depth of her devotion to a certain music artist.
Don’t you agree? (Say yes.)
While times have changed greatly since I was a teenager, something that has remained the same is the level of excitement that teenaged girls maintain over their favorite music artists. Yesterday (err, thirty years ago) it was Duran Duran and Adam Ant: today it’s One Direction and Justin Bieber.
Lucky for teenaged girls of today, Hallmark has a new line of Justin Bieber greeting cards. (My teenaged self is so jealous!) There are more than 48 of them (!!!!). Some of them play music, some have lights, some can be used as door hangers. They all, of course, have pictures of Justin splashed all over them. Hallmark sent me a great assortment of the cards to send to my friends:
Although I’m sure the reaction would have been heard round the world if I were a teenager sending these cards to my teenaged friends, I can say that my friends, who are forty-somethings, were still pretty darn excited to receive the Bieber cards because they’re so fun. (Well, except for one of my friends who is still mad at me for the Bieber earworm that hung around in her head all day. I’m certain she’ll get over it.)
Check out the Justin Bieber line of cards at your local Hallmark store: they’re great for putting smiles on the faces of those you care about the most!
I am BEYOND thrilled to be partnering with Hallmark on their “Life Is A Special Occasion” campaign for 2012. I am being compensated to write about every day moments of all sizes, family traditions, the relationships I cherish the most, and much more. All words, opinions, and photos are mine. Thanks so much to the folks at Hallmark for selecting me for this campaign: it’s an honor for me to be a part of it.
By the way, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles was the first video played on MTV, but if you grew up in the 80’s I bet you knew that already!