she liked Imaginary Men best of all


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Gotta Have Some Faith in the Sound

2016 was an all-around shitty year. Personally I dealt with a family health crisis, relationship challenges, work and house stress and an overabundance of terrible things happening to people I know and love – accidents, illnesses, multiple deaths of people and their pets. It was unrelenting and I was counting down the days until it was over. And then George Michael died. On Christmas. I mean, REALLY WORLD???

At the start I had no love for George Michael. This particular 13-year-old found Wham! cheesy and deeply uncool. I loved English Pretty Boys in bands and Duran Duran occupied my walls and my record collection. Even though there seemed to be enough similarities between the two bands, for me there were none and I had no place in my heart for two goofballs dancing around in short shorts and fake trumpet playing in pools d879d5e12ec2938f1aadfe3ce81ad5a4(however, saxophone playing on beaches was a-okay. Such is the mind of a fickle teen girl!)

My junior high best friend and I were downright hostile about Wham! Their songs were lame. They were so dorky and they just were trying so damn hard which was probably the ultimate Wham! trait that cynical girls like ourselves with a growing appreciation for The Cure found most unforgivable. My mom and I giggled over George’s dramatics (see, “Everything She Wants”) and the fact that they let themselves get into absurd photo shoots like this:

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Yet despite not liking them I had a copy of this postcard!

Then George went solo and became a massive, MASSIVE superstar. He was all over the radio and MTV, he was spoofed on SNL (I still randomly quote Dana-Carvey-as-George’s “look at my butt! It’s hypnotic! You can’t look away!”), he was friends with Elton John and ultimate A-List. His songs started worming their way into my head and staying there. I still remember sitting in the front seat of our school van with my heart aching over every word of “One More Try” on the radio, despite the fact that I hadn’t yet had a boyfriend or any sort of heartbreak (and now decades later with plenty of both under my belt, these lyrics are even more painfully true). I can vividly recall a party at my first college where I was outside cooling down with friends and the first notes of “Freedom 90” came thumping from inside the campus center causing me to race back inside so I wouldn’t miss a single opportunity to holler “YOU GOTTA GIVE WHAT YOU TAKE!!!” while doing a fist pumping dance.

(Sidebar: How fucking GREAT is this song?? IT IS FUCKING AMAZING. End of story!)

When I transferred to Smith College and met my friend Heather that’s when all Wham! Hell Broke Loose, so to speak. Heather and I share a lot of pop culture trivia, Fangirl obsessions, Royal Family knowledge, and deep, deep adoration of 80s music. Being faced with her joy in George Michael’s music made me realize what I already knew but had been held back from admitting by my grumpy 13YO self for so long: I loved George Michael and every damn song he did. We applied for a radio show at our college station and were refused because our eclectic proposed playlist included disco, Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam and Wham! (BTW, we are still bitter). We had a pledge that if Wham! ever reunited for a tour or even just one show, we were going to go no matter where it was or how much it cost. To this day, in all honesty only days before his death, we were discussing whether George had reunited with his ex Kenny Goss and I was agreeing to make sure “Wham Rap!” was played at her future funeral, should she pre-decease me.

And that’s the thing that has hit us the hardest: George Michael and Wham! were not just music we liked in our youth and had an appreciative nostalgia for. We talked about, listened to and quoted his music weekly. For us he is an artist who is just as relevant in our current lives and playlists (if not more so, at times) as if it was 1988 right now.We are devastated we will never be able to go see him in concert and clutch each other with joy while singing “I’m Your Man”. For us there was no sadness or bad day that couldn’t be polished up by the appearance of a “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” gif or even a simple text bubble reminding the other “I Love Wham!”

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George Michael was rich with talent, a beautiful voice and a complicated personal life that gave him the fuel to write so many iconic songs that we are lucky to have with us forever. I recently watched a 1990 documentary  about George and this moment was so very poignant:

I don’t believe I’m important as a pop star…I don’t believe that I will leave a great mark as an entity. I think I’m more realistic than that. I do believe now that I’m a lot better singer than I ever thought I would be but at the end of the day I want to leave something as a writer. And I think to have a passion or to have something that drives you on through life in a creative sense, most of us want to leave something, want to have something that will be remembered without having people really having to search in their memory and I want to leave songs, I believe I can leave songs that will mean something to other generations.

Every few months it seems I find myself seeking comfort in his hit “Praying for Time” which is in fact, timeless given the state of the world today.  I post these words after a lot of mass shootings, terrorist attacks and all around awful news because they capture the hopelessness I feel in such a beautifully accurate way:

praying-for-time

You were wrong George. You’ve left us so very much and I hope you knew how grateful we were, THANK YOU. XOXO.


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Tonight we’re gonna party like we’re actually 39

I pride myself on looking younger than my age. I attribute it to two things: not acting my actual age and very good genes. One of my favorite things at nearly 42 is to still get carded. When the Carder asks me as the Cardee, “Really?” I often want to respond, “If I were going to lie about my age why would I pick this one?!”

But despite my youthful appearance and embracing of my Inner 14 YO, I do feel my age in many ways. One of those ways is that while I love to go dancing I kind of hate all the places one goes to dance. I was never really a club person but at least 10 or 20 years ago I felt like it was a place I could tolerate for a few hours of good tunes and overpriced drinks and sometimes – a disco lit dance floor like the one in Saturday Night Fever! (this absolutely existed in Boston in the late-90’s!)

However I am long past the period when going to a bar or club to dance holds any interest for me. So where does one go to dance? Maybe at a wedding? Sure but you can’t always count on a quality playlist. How about a friend’s party? Why not! But sadly the number of friends I know who have fun dance parties is at about one. To that end I find myself having a One Woman Dance Party in my living room far more often than I probably should admit (actually it’s a Two Woman Dance Party because Kelly Clarkson is often there!)

Jen, my one girlfriend who can be depended on to throw a good dance party has a great idea – one that she shares with my friend and fellow blogger Sarah and they’ve both described basically the same place to me in separate conversations: a dance club for people over 35 years old! Here’s the deal:

  • Open 4-9PM – perfect for stopping at on your way home from work or take a spin around the floor while your kid is at soccer practice and still be home by a reasonable bed time!
  • Music is not too loud – by this point we’ve all been to a lot of concerts, clubs in our 20’s and various other places where screaming was the only mode of communication. Fuck that noise (literally!) The music is at a pleasing level that allows for gettin’ down AND hearing your friend bitch about their a-hole of a boss, clueless husband or the annoying Overachiever Mom at their kid’s school
  • Music is from the 80’s-’90’s – Sure you may be into the current stuff on the radio (if you enjoy a constant diet of Katy Perry and more Katy Perry) but when you want to dance you want to hear the songs you know, the stuff you partied to in college or with your friends at high school sleepovers. You want the music you love and the warm fuzzy nostalgia they provide
  • There’s a lot of comfy seating – booths, easy chairs, couches – and there’s no shame in taking frequent dance breaks to just sit around on them and enjoy your refreshing beverage from…
  • A decent bar – we’re grown-ups! We like a nice wine and decent beer and we don’t want to binge drink we just want a nice Malbec to smooth out the edges of our day while we dance to Duran Duran! (Or tea – you know whatever floats your boat. There’s no judgement here :-))
  • It’s not a pick-up scene – we’re either married, with a significant other, over with dating altogether or happy on our own. If you’re looking to get lucky go look somewhere else – like the 20-something bars. No one wants to do THAT again
  • The bathrooms are nice and don’t make you want to disinfect every single thing (including yourself) that was inside them
  • Dress code is casual – back in the day going out meant getting dolled up in uncomfortable shoes and sexy dresses to have a good time with your girlfriends and maybe snag looks (or more) from some cute boys. Now? Just be comfortable. Is it cool to dance around in your Lands End Slip-ons? Absolutely not. Does it feel good and much better for your back? ABSOLUTELY

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Look, nothing about this is sexy or cool but WHO CARES??! One of the best things about getting older is that there are so many things you simply stop giving a fuck about. It’s liberating and makes you review allllll the crap you wasted energy worrying about in your youth and think, “I wish I could go back in time and punch younger me in the face.” But you can’t so instead get on your yoga pants, grab your girlfriends, order a glass of wine and get your dance on with Prince!


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Summer Playlist

As soon as summer hits the heat rises, the days lengthen and a regular craving for iced tea becomes a reality – I put on my Summer Playlist. My musical heart belongs to 80’s English Pop Bands but before the Second British Invasion swept me up in it’s moody, synthy, Union Jack notes I was just a young girl in early 80’s America where the radio was ruled by rock n’ roll music by lots of single-word-named-bands and a hot bitch called Pat.

I’m not exactly sure how my connection of summer to these types of arena-rocking-cheesy-but-undeniably catchy tunes were forged – or if any of these songs were even summertime hits in my late single-digit/early double-digit years. But something about them makes me feel like a little kid riding in the car with my mom on the way to the pool, or stopping to get an ice cream after a hot afternoon running errands.

Africa – Toto (1982): Back before pretty boys with eye liner and gelled hair, there were guys in bands who looked like your auto mechanic. Toto is that band.

Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ – Journey (1979?! Let’s call it 1980 🙂 ): Yes we all love Don’t Stop Believin’ but for my money this is the one I fantasize about tearing UP on the karaoke floor.

Too Much Time on My Hands – Styx (1981): Now you see why we needed well-tailored pop stars by the mid-80’s, I give you a guy in an aquamarine jumpsuit and one in a white (leather??) studded jumpsuit WITH shoulder pads.

You Make My Dreams Come True – Hall and Oates (1981): Without Hall and Oates there would be no 80’s. Period.

You Got Lucky – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1982): Why do I feel like the far off futuristic world in this video is probably the year we’re in NOW?

Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top (1983): Yes every girl is crazy ’bout a Sharp Dressed Man!

Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield (1981): We’ve already established that I was a Rick Springfield Fangirl back in the day. What you may not know is that in 1981 federal agents actually came to the homes of girls aged 8-19 to legally confirm that you were in fact a Rick Springfield Fangirl. It was a law. Or something.

Promises in the Dark – Pat Benatar (1981): It was a Man’s World in early 80’s American Rock except for one tough, classically trained, bad ass goddess who you did not want to piss off. And we can all agree she rocked a jumpsuit far better than any of those dudes in Styx.

It’s hot out there so roll down the windows, crank up the tunes and rock it like it’s Morning in America!


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The Boy is Mine

For Christmas my mom got me My Husband John Taylor’s autobiography In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran which of course I read in record time!

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My favorite part of the book may have been the section where John talks about how the fandom started taking off for the band in the early 80’s and how the fangirls operated:

What began to happen was that girls aligned themselves with their favorite Duran star. Some gangs of friends formed subgroups of five, mirroring us where each friend could have a favorite Duran without stepping on the toes or desires of the other four friends, because if you were an Andy fan, clearly you could not be friends with another Andy fan. That would not work. You could be friends with a Nick fan, however, because there was no conflict of interest. Both friends could live together in harmony with Nick and Andy on that designated fantasy desert island for ever and ever, without a hint of envy.

OH MY GOD THIS IS SO TRUE!! (except for the fact that he thought there were “Andy Fans” – as if!) This is a very delicate but important rule in Fangirling: Do Not Pick the Same Crush as Your Friend(s). The first to claim their boy gets dibs on that boy in perpetuity and no – you may not crush on him, plan imaginary weddings with him, or write your name as it would appear if married to him in your notebook.

A true friend will recognize this and honor the code, picking the next available boy (but never Andy 😉 )


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He’s real and he’s spectacular!

So the last few years I’ve had all this trouble with Stupid Real Life Boys. And of course I have a lot of Imaginary Boyfriends. But something funny happened recently – I got myself a Real Live Not At All Douchey and in Fact Totally Amazing Real Life Boyfriend!! I KNOW!! RIGHT?!??

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Just how amazing is he? Well he walked into my 16 Year Old Girl Bedroom home office which contains (among other things): an enormous Brandon Flowers poster, Backstreet Boys nesting dolls, Vampire Diaries paraphenalia, and a Wall of Men 3.0 – and instead of turning on his heels and running he exclaimed with utter enthusiasm:

This is awesome!

Did you hear that? It was my heart having joyful palpitations 😉

And he doesn’t bat an eye at my crazy shenanigans of chasing bands and obsessing on TV shows! He even offered to see Magic Mike with me! AND he said with absolutely no prompting whatsoever – that if a Backstreet Boys museum existed “I would go with you.” Did you get that part? How I didn’t even ask that?!? (and for the record – why doesn’t that exist goddamnit?!? I already have a date for it!)

I feel like anytime I talk about him I turn into a total gushing girlie. He’s a bit of a fanboy himself about movies and directors – breathlessly calling the night he got to meet one of his directing idols, “the best night of my life” which I took as one of the signs we were on the same wavelength about the stuff we love. He’s so great and he’s CUTE! Let me just say that his celebrity doppelganger is someone we like to call Jake Gyllenhaal:

Laugh it up Jake – you’ve been replaced!

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A friend of mine said, “you’ve obsessed so much on imaginary men that it’s almost like you dreamed him up!” And if it weren’t for the fact that she and other people have also seen/heard/observed that he is indeed a real guy and not one in my head – it makes this exchange from last week all the sweeter:

Setting: Save a Prayer by Duran Duran is on TV

Me: That’s my husband John Taylor

Him: Hi John Taylor!

Me: I mean, you don’t have to worry because I’ve been waiting for him to marry me since I was 13 – but if he WERE to show up – I would have to leave you

Him: OK. You should tweet him and tell him he’s your husband

Me: DON’T THINK I HAVEN’T TRIED!!!!

Even better – one found me that thinks I’m perfect the way I am – in all my Crazy Fangirl Glory and really, what more can one ask for?


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Candy Apple Red Dresses and Cherry Ice Cream Smiles

So you know I love Duran Duran, and I obviously love The Killers so of course I lost my shit when I first saw every time I watch this video:

Which is how how this absolutely priceless (to me) picture comes from, courtesy of the lovely Felicity (thanks Foxy!):

I mean, seriously – my Inner 14 Year Old John Taylor Obsessive and my Current “Grown-up” Brandon Flowers Obsessive is having a total Fangirlie meltdown over this picture!! (OMG look!! It’s John!! And Brandon!! And they’re standing next to each other like BFFs and OHMYGOD SQUEEEEE!!!!!)

To top it off, today Duran drummer Roger Taylor (who is aging SO WELL!):

Right??!!!

Gave this interview to the Dallas Observer in which he said:

We’re all big fans of The Killers

Who are the ONLY contemporary band mentioned as a “current influence”! Fuck Yeah Roger Taylor!!!

Now if The Killers would continue to Make My Life in Covers complete, and do Hungry Like the Wolf, I could die a happy woman 😉


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A Stalkers Playlist

I’ve been called a Stalker and I have no shame about it. I mean, obviously! If I did would I have this blog where I detail all the crazy ass things I do in the name of fandom??

If you’re Proud to be an Obsessive, then may I suggest my Top 5 Stalker Tunes to load into the portable music player of your choice. It will make those hours waiting outside tour buses and in ticket lines pass a little faster!

5. Sarah McLachlan: Possession

Restraining Order Lyric: Oh into the sea of waking dreams / I follow without pride / nothing stands between us here / and I won’t be denied

Even sweet romantic Sarah gets a little hot and bothered by the object of her affection obsession!

4. Duran Duran: Hungry Like the Wolf

Restraining Order Lyric: Woman you want me / give me a sign / and catch my breathing even closer behind

Always groundbreakers, Duran Duran representing the Male Faction of Stalkerdom!

3. Madonna: Burning Up

Restraining Order Lyric: You don’t even know I’m alive / and this pounding in my heart just won’t die / I’m burning up

Play this one while you’re writhing in the middle of the road trying to get your Stalking Target’s attention!

2. Lady GaGa: Paparazzi

Restraining Order Lyric: -Tie – I’m your biggest fan / I’ll follow you until you love me  -And- Promise I’ll be kind / but I won’t stop until that boy is mine / baby you’ll be famous / chase you down until you love me 

I admire GaGa’s sheer determination of will to break this boy’s defenses down under her freaky high heels

1. Animotion: Obsession

Restraining Order Lyric: You are an obsession / you’re my obsession / who do you want me to be / to make you sleep with me

This song is The Stalker’s Anthem. No contest.

Happy Listening and Restraining Order Avoiding!