I absolutely adore 80s music. It just makes me so happy. I sing Foreigner and Journey songs at the top of my lungs when I wash dishes. Styx, Boston, and Dr. Hook get me through the torture that is laundry. Knowing the lyrics to “Bohemian Rhapsody” is part of my friendship test. Asia and Toto are among the few things that can convince me to work out. I might not have experienced very much of the 80s, but their musical legacy has helped shape me into who I am.
My parents loved 80s rock, and thus my brother and I were raised with a deep appreciation for it. I learned to harmonize by singing with Collective Soul on trips to town. We had cassette tapes with the best songs from each year of the 80s, and the saddest part of getting a new car with a CD player was that we couldn’t listen to them anymore. I remember dancing in the living room with Justin when we were tiny, screaming the words to “Rock On” and “Bad Company” and seeing our parents just grinning at each other. Because we were incredibly cute, obviously.
One of the first songs I learned to play on guitar was “We Belong” by Pat Benatar. Justin would play the bongos and djembe and we would sing the crap out of that song. It was probably the first song we ever played and sang together that made us really believe that we could really do something with our music. Lynyrd Skynyrd and CCR were what we really got our start playing. And even today when we write our own music, a tiny part of everything we create gives homage to the music that shaped us.
I remember dancing with Chris at my senior prom to “Angel Eyes” and “Purple Rain” and smiling because I knew I was going to marry him. The music for our wedding was a mix of all the 80s rock love ballads we could find that were mostly free of euphemisms. Which means we said yes to Journey and Firehouse and no to REO Speedwagon and Foreigner. “Faithfully” was the last song I heard as a single girl, and “Love of a Lifetime” was the first song I remember hearing as a married woman. Chris and I will both burst randomly into song if someone says anything remotely close to an 80s lyric in conversation. He’s a phenomenal bassist, and will play the bass lines for “Money” or “Billie Jean” when people are walking into church, just to see who catches it. Which just goes to show me that I married the right man; he’s almost as goofy as I am. So, yeah, the music of the 80s is a huge part of my life. It reminds me to never stop believing.