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Monday, September 12, 2011

Never Gonna Give You Up: The 80's Obsession

I was an 80's girl.  I had big hair, bright clothes, wore Zinc Pink lipstick & was monumentally tan. I listened to Madonna and secretly tried to dress like her. (loved those black rubber bracelets & star earrings.)  I worshiped Duran Duran, thought Huey Lewis was adorable & actually believed Milli Vanilli was singing.  For as much as the 80's is ridiculed for it's lack of musical talent & fashion disasters, the obsession has never gone away.  The stores are once again filled with neon clothes, Flashdance-type off the shoulder sweatshirts & leggings.  Go ahead, make fun..but we all secretly still love it.

What amazes me the most is the never-ending popularity of the 80's music.  I believe it can be broken down into 3 sub-types:  pop, new wave & hair bands.  (Of course, 80's on 8, Hair Nation & 1st Wave are my go-to presets on Sirius.)  Being in the "cover band" scene just proves to me that these songs will live on forever.  Even the newbies still love that shit.  We did try to omit these crap-tastic songs from our set list on several occasions, but to our chagrin, they wanted to hear them.  So, we obliged & played them..over & over & over & over.......

Topping the "pop" list is the "i want to cheat on my girlfriend tonight" anthem "Your Love' by the Outfield.  The squealing screams from half-drink girls start from the the first mention of Josie.  This song is about as mediocre as it's cheesy, paper-propped video.  But they love it...and not just the girls. I challenge you to find one person that cannot recite the chorus.  It's a strange phenomena. 

We then move on to what my old band called, The Forbidden 3.  Those would include: " Jessie's Girl," "Summer of 69," and "867-5309, Jenny."  I am proud to say that we NEVER played these 3 tunes, but secretly know in our hearts that they would have killed in any room at any time.  Why?  No one really knows...but these songs are a sure-fire way to make the ladies dance & sing. (which really is your goal in a cover band.)

Moving on to some 80's rock...  You can't even think about the 80's without hearing that tasty intro by Slash in the oh-so-popular "Sweet Child O' Mine" in your head. I have to admit I do love this song & apparently so do the masses.  Another over played, over done song would be that damn Bon Jovi tune "Living on a Prayer"  not to be outdone by it's usual counterpart "You Give Love a Bad Name."  These 2 can be found on any cover band set list in the USA.  And let's not forget the king of all that is holy in the 80's...... (drum roll please..)  "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey is one of those tunes that gets you every time.  Love it or hate it this is one staple that is not going anywhere.  Everyone also loves a good hair band tune and anything from Whitesnake, Warrant, Skid Row or Ratt will do.  Poison & Motley Crue also deserve a mention as they seem to be the 2 bands always represented in the set list.

Now there are tunes that we, as band members, wished we could play out.  Maybe a B-side type ditty?  Every once in a while a band may sneak in one of these gems but it usually causes confusion.  What is this song?  God forbid we play something....different?  I think this will be my next venture.  A cover band that covers shit no one knows.  Maybe we will call ourselves: WTF?  GFY or Unpopular. The set list will be comprised of songs like the following:

Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry
Going Back to Cali by LL Cool J
Smooth Up In Ya by The Bullet Boys
Never Say Never by Romeo Void
Talk to ya Later by The Tubes
Change by John Waite
Let's Go All The Way by Sly Fox
Never Gonna Leave You by Pat Benatar
The Theme to The Greatest American Hero or
something by Air Supply  (just to really mess with your minds)

I think I would just like to see what kind of reaction playing "different" music would have.  That would be an interesting experiment.

No matter what the argument, the 80's, my friends, are never going away.  You can try but the people have spoken.  Damn you Josie!


  1. Did you really say BulletBoys - Smooth Up In Ya?!?
    I'd definitely go see WTF?.
    When I'm doing my acoustic shows, I do a lot of those songs that make people go "Huh?". (Antigone Rising, Gilby Clarke, obscure Gin Blossoms) And yes, I still have to do the occasional Summer of '69, Every Rose and (as the whole band rolls their eyes as the opening riff begins to play..) Blister In The Sun.

    Great post, Rockin' Mama!

  2. STREET LIGHTS, PEOPLE-OOOAAAA! No lead singer can escape it... even the stop sign by our house has "Don't" and "Believin'" spray painted above and below the writing.

  3. I may or may not resemble any or all of those remarks. *coughcoughcough*


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