Back Among My People—The People of the 1980s


Last night, some friends and I went to see a band called The Reagan Years in Annapolis. By their name, you can probably guess that they specialize in covering 1980s music to an audience who thoroughly appreciated it. As a music lover—and one who lived through and sported big hair, wore black Madonna rubber bracelets up the arm and a see through mesh top with a black bra, and can name every MTV original v-jay—I was one of those people who relished every moment of the show.

It reminded me that I need to download some stuff I don’t have: Billy Idol, the Outfield, Morris Day and the Time (used to have “Jungle Love” on vinyl), Dead or Alive (“You Spin Me Right Round, Baby, Right Round”), Ah-ha (“Take on Me”–only one of the best videos ever on MTV), and a few more Journey tunes. From the moment the band played, they were high energy, which made us all high energy: we all sang along, reminisced about the songs, and even went so far as to dance. Yup. Just like we did in the clubs in the 80s and 90s.

Music was really good then.

But what’s funny about last night was that we weren’t sitting there thinking, “Gosh, music was good in the eighties,” as if it were a revelation. We KNEW music was good then. It was damn good.


And then, all the nostalgia came rushing back when the lead singer jogged our memories. It made me remember passing notes in class (folding up the paper really small and handing it off to someone–the hell with texting–this was the way it was done!), taking typing class (only the greatest course I ever took because I’m sitting here typing this without even thinking about my fingers…they just know where to go), wearing stonewashed Jordache jeans, teasing our hair and getting perms or sporting mullets, watching all the Brat Pack movies, and the list goes on and on.

In my everyday work week, I am around students who clearly did not exist in the 1980s. I speak their language now, but last night, I was surrounded by and among only my people: the people of the 80s. In those few hours of appreciating The Reagan Years, We Walked Like an Egyptian, Got Into the Groove, and Put Another Dime in the Jukebox, Baby.

To use the words of Jeff Spicoli, it was totally gnarly.




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