in third grade i developed an obsession with the psychedelic furs' "heartbreak beat" video. midnight to midnight was the first album i ever bought (with change, as i recall); the disdain i caught at school for carrying around that tape with richard butler's english-white belly on the front was second only to what my best friend and i caught for choreographing a dance routine to "heartbreak beat" for the talent show.* that was right around when pretty in pink** was edited for television (so i could bootleg and sneak downstairs to watch it when my parents were asleep), and when my aunt and uncle brought over a copy of labyrinth (wait, i thought, you mean knife-thin english crooners are, like, a species?). shit was afoot in '86-'87.

that ecstatic saxophone riff came rolling out of the speakers this morning when i played ipod i ching to figure out what to wear, which is why i'm at the office in skinny black jeans, motorcycle boots, and a questionable black lace shirt. heady stuff, that grainy old MTV.

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 have you ever been in a talent show? what was your act?

02 if you were/are a music video watcher, do you have a "heartbreak beat" analog?

03 have you ever let dressing room muzak talk you into or out of a clothing purchase?

*we didn't even make it past tryouts; robin benway shellacked us when she lip synced to the jets' "crush on you." that was fair, as i danced about as well then as i do now.

**which, if this month's vanity fair feature is to be trusted, had something to do with our local radio:

[Molly] Ringwald, for her part, found common ground with [John] Hughes in their shared taste for British-import pop. A California girl, she gushed to Hughes about the postpunk and New Wave music that she heard on KROQ, the Anglophilic L.A. station to which she was devoted. Pretty in Pink, she says, was written for her after she played Hughes the Psychedelic Furs song of that title.
say what you will about simple minds and "don't you (forget about me)," but for my money, pretty in pink and its soundtrack are the best of the brat pack.


LPC said...

I don't know. I just want some motorcycle boots.

kidchamp said...

the key is to trick someone who has bigger feet than you do into purchasing some that are maybe just a bit too small. then when you swoop in with your super-thick ski socks to take 'em off their hands, you're a hero. a hero with motorcycle boots.

east side bride said...

thank you for motivating me to finally take that vanity fair out of the plastic.

i want an ipod custom loaded by john hughes.


east side bride said...

p.s. the header is growing on me.

kidchamp said...

i laughed at the bit in that article about how john hughes thought new york would be “a great city if you cleaned it up and moved everything back 10 feet.”

baby jo said...

i'm afraid, my dear, that the evidence survived. and even if it hadn't, people don't forget. you know what i'm talking about, steve martin.

Milkmaid's dumb friend said...

01: I was in an ad hoc cover band twice assembled to destroy the established titular bands at a couple HS talent shows. In our punk incarnation sophomore year we decimated with Horror Business (Misfits), I Wanna Be Your Dog (Stooges, aping The Crow 2 soundtrack’s version) and Depression (Black Flag). Two years later our heavy metal mutation slashed and burned the remaining ninety-percent with a hot mess of Sepultura and Pantera. We were all born again with snakes’ eyes; their shit sounded like some Vanessa Williams ’88. The year in-between I performed some misguided standup comedy which had me, among other regrettable bits, enumerating a diabolically long list of women’s shoe brands and styles.
02: Lisa Loeb’s Stay jumps to mind as cherished (introduced by Daisy Fuentes on Beach MTV maybe (anachronism?)). But I’d better admit to watching Aerosmith’s Cryin’ video about seventy-thousand times earlier on, so many times in fact that Alicia’s visage still inspires lustful ideation, even during a Skype videoconference on Oprah talking about her amazing vegan BMs.
(01Phantom Question): I wouldn’t kick Rich Butler out of bed… but how he found room to fit amid the colossal assembly of Pound Puppies I maintain for barking the scary dreams away remains a sexy mystery.

kidchamp said...

jo, we don't talk about that.

it was weak of me to chicken out of "is richard butler attractive?" [phantom question 01], MDF. we didn't have talent shows in high school, as i recall, though i do remember a student body presidential candidate whose entire gymnasium speech was an enthusiastic performance of "head like a hole." if i could time travel, i'd go back to 1994 and feed her grapes.