Talking to Girls About Duran Duran

I love the ’80s, and I am not ashamed.

The 1980s, that is. The 1880s were jam-packed with interesting phenomena, to be sure; however, no matter how many serious, “grown-up” books I read, sometimes what I need to make it through the day is a healthy dose of cheese-tastic teenage nostalgia.

It was acceptable in the 80s.

Scoff if you must, but music critic Rob Sheffield understands.  His latest memoir, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, is a heart-felt, hilarious love song to the decade permanently associated with hair metal bands and extreme fashion trauma.  Each chapter bears the name of an ’80s pop hit, and weaves Sheffield’s memories of the music with his poignant, yet snicker-worthy, tales of being young and confused during the Reagan era.  “Purple Rain,” for example, relates the saga of Sheffield’s stint as an ice-cream truck driver during a sweltering Boston summer; I laughed so hard while reading this chapter that everybody else in the coffeeshop went out of their way to give me plenty of personal space.

If you remember the ’80s fondly, or wish to understand the psychology of those who do, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran is an excellent summer read.  Put yourself on the reserve list ASAP, and, while you’re waiting, consider taking Sheffield’s first memoir, Love is a Mix Tape, out for a test drive.

 Leigh Anne
who still passes the dutchie on the left-hand side


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76 responses to “Talking to Girls About Duran Duran

  1. Tulum

    I might give this a try! I live in Mexico but went back to England this summer. Much to my surprise the lads were wearing boting shoes, turn-ups on their jeans and nautical themed t-shirts!

    I thought that fashion had died but it’s back with avengence in London!

  2. Funny how music can strike a chord with the memories of our past…

  3. lunch at 11:30

    i am *so* with you on that one! i, too, am not ashamed. [this from someone who has framed madonna albums on her wall and cried the first time she saw cyndi lauper in concert. (only two years ago and hello, she was singing “true colors.” how was i *not* supposed to cry??)

    i’m def. going to get that book!

  4. LMAO!!

    Oh the ’80’s…

    I Love the fact that so many teens are totally, like into the fashion, but like, OMG, they totally lack the ENTIRE Reason, like, ya’ know ;)

    Will have to check out this book!
    Duran Duran is what did it for me *sigh* John Taylor…Simon LeBon…Nick was okay, and Andy was cute. And for ME, that was all that Duran Duran needed ;)

  5. Ah, a book about my youth. Can’t wait to find it. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

  6. bradenbost

    That photo of Nitro has to be the most epicly awesome 80’s hair metal shot ever.

  7. girlonthecontrary

    Thanks for the recommendation! I definitely want to check this out, as I can’t seem to shake the habit of listening to Journey and saying things like “to the max”.

    • Please, for the sake of the good of the world, never, never, never stop listening to Journey. ;)

      Seriously, if you check out the book, stop back and let us know how you liked it!!

      Leigh Anne

  8. Thanks for sharing — I think I’ll pick this book up for a good weekend read. I wan’t a teen in the 80s, but I think the 80s made it to SD in the 90s (ala tight-rolled jeans) and I was a teen then.


    • Crystal, it’s never too late to participate in the 80s – thanks for stopping by and leaving your blog link! I sincerely hope you like the book – stop back and let us know if you did!

      Leigh Anne

  9. If memory serves me correctly, if you brought Duran Duran into a conversation with a girl, you immediately caused yourself to be regarded with a good deal of suspicion.

  10. Aiden R

    Heard nothing but good things about this and I’ll gladly read anything by the gang at RS. Great post!

  11. Agatha82

    The 80s were awesome. I was a musician back then and I had plenty of embarrassing hair cuts. Congrats for being on Freshly Pressed by the way. The book sounds like fun, I will go look it up.

    • Agatha, thanks!! I bet being a musician in the ’80s was something…perhaps you should write your own book? ;)

      If not, stop back and let us know how this one worked for you!

      Leigh Anne

  12. gothichydran126

    Great post to think about good memories of the past. I also love the 80’s and I’m so glad to have been born exactly at the beginning of it to experiance great music, movies, tv, and the Saturday morning cartoons of the time. I’ll definatly check out the book you mentioned because it really sounds good right now.
    Duran Duran….I was not really into them back then. Now Billy Idol!!! Yes!!

    • Thanks for the comment! And yes, ’80s Saturday morning cartoons were the bomb, possibly worthy of their own post! Hee.

      Hope you enjoy the book – let us know how it works out for you!

      Leigh Anne

  13. jessa

    Dude! You’re on Freshly Pressed! *applauds* You rock, lady.

  14. My hubby maintains that talking about Duran Duran was the best way to get girls. BTW he hates Duran Duran but I love him anyway – he doesn’t cringe if I crank the radio when they come on!

    I love that you link to your iPAC, clearly you are a kindred spirit! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    • Your hubby sounds like both a sage person and a great guy. Being comfortable enough to belt out “Wild Boys” in the presence of one’s beloved is a key factor in couple compatibility, I think. ;)

      Thanks for the good wishes, and for dropping by and leaving a comment!

      Leigh Anne

  15. Esther

    Just the other day I was rocking out to “Hungry Like a Wolf” on Rock Band with my son & two step-daughters (they kinda looked at me funny – I was really into it). Thanks for the heads up on the book!

  16. Thanks for the recommendations. Sometimes on my own blog, it becomes fairly obvious that I’m a child of the 80s. If only everyday could be as carefree as the days when neon hair accessories, Ghostbusters and a good Depeche Mode album ruled…

  17. Kirby

    Hey, I ran a trace on our copy of “American Hair Metal” and it was ordered (and received) back in ’06, but has since gone MIA.

    I’m buying another copy for Main!

    Music Dept.

  18. Kirby, you are the BEST! Thanks so much! Now all the good people of Allegheny County can once again savor the poofy delights of American Hair Metal. And that is what makes democracy – – and libraries — so great.

    Leigh Anne
    giggling like mad

  19. Booooo 80’s! Let’s pretend that decade never happened. Oh, who am I kidding, I love it.

  20. Michael Mjollnir

    Yep, I just had to click on that pic of Nitro :).. Michaelangelo could play the heck out of that 4 necked guitar.. I miss those times, they somehow had a lighter or more airy feeling, everyone didnt seem to take themselves as seriously. Or maybe I was just young and didnt take the world as seriously. Great post.

  21. i miss the cold war. it made james bond movies so much better.

    this comment is appropriate because duran duran wrote the theme to “a view to a kill.” also, christopher walken!

    – amy

  22. Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    Sounds like a good read. I’ll have to check that out! I’m a baby of the 80s myself so bring on the Duran Duran!


  23. Can’t WAIT to read this and travel back to a simpler, yet worse-dressed, time.

  24. B

    Killer post! I love people who understand the 80’s, I’m sadly still somewhat living in them today. And not ashamed to say I’ll snort a line after reading your post and listen to “Send Me An Angel”, “Take On Me”, or of course Duran Duran, “Save A Prayer” Great post, and as in the eighties look the other way at my “snorting”. ; )

    • B., LOL – thanks for putting it out there. ;) Will you also, perhaps, listen to “White Lines”? When Duran Duran covered that in the 90s, I nearly fell out of my chair: it shouldn’t exist, and yet it does.

      Leigh Anne

  25. elmer

    im glad and proud to be a part of that generation. the new wave era. im pretty sure it’ll be back. when you feel that breakdancing is coming around again, you know the ’80s is not far behind

  26. I would say that I loved the 80’s but I don’t remember much from them. My main era was around in the 90’s, though it seems like the 80’s were definitely a lot of fun with the music and everything!

    • sarahnsh, they were a lot of fun, and pretty diverse, too, musically – on top of the new wave stuff, there was so much goth, and post-punk, and metal, and…it was just crazy-mad fun.

      The 90s have their moments, too, of course. Nirvana changed everything.

      Leigh Anne

  27. Hey! Awesome Post & Thanks for sharing.
    You Rock!

    your friends, XR VOLUME

  28. Unfortunately for me, “Rush” by Paula Abdul is forever intertwined with the summer of 1991. MTV played it once every 27 minutes and I made out with a girl named Jennifer. I mean, with Keanu Reeves and Paula chasing each other around, who isn’t going to get some teenage lip-locking going on.

  29. Pingback: Talking to Girls About Duran Duran (via Eleventh Stack) « Mediocrity Mockery

  30. FYI – Jim Gillette (the blonde guy from the band Nitro in your image) looks absolutely nothing like that nowadays. He is married to Lita Ford and has really bulked up….Not quite sure of your link between Duran Duran and Hair Metal bands but it was an interesting post nonetheless….

    • Wow, thanks rockbrat – it’s nice to hear what happened to people, and I’m glad Lita Ford found some happiness, apparently! Nothing but win, there…

      We try to use pics either from Amazon, or our library catalog, or something open source, when we post. The Nitro pic just grabbed me, out of all my options. I guess it worked!

      Leigh Anne

  31. Pingback: Talking to Girls About Duran Duran (via Eleventh Stack) « DelightfulEccentric

  32. I love the ref to the ice cream truck and think it would make for a great movie. Jerry Lewis did something alone those lines….but still with the right cast I’d go to see the movie. Thanks.

  33. Whoops – comment fail: I clicked where I should’ve clacked, and accidentally deleted the comment about Paula Abdul’s “Rush” song/video. As pennance, I will probably have it in my head all day.

    I loved the video for that song, too – very James Dean vibe.

    Leigh Anne

  34. Thanks for profiling this book. I must get a copy! Personally, I’m pretty obsessed with Duran Duran :)

  35. sayitinasong

    Oh how fabulous! Thanks for posting this! Had never heard of the book before… I’m off to amazon… ,o)

  36. cheneetot08

    One of the old time classics. They were the God’s of their kind of music during their time.

  37. Wow, my husband guiltily confided in me maybe 6 months after we got together, that he was and has always been a hardcore Duran Duran fan, LOL!

    Thanks for this post, I’m off to Amazon on his behalf now as well!

    • Wow, Michelle, you’re a lucky woman! It takes a big man to admit Duran love. ;)

      I hope you enjoy the book!! You’ll have to stop back and let us know how it worked for you.

      Leigh Anne

  38. Phillip

    The Boss
    Duran Duran
    ….peaking in alwithin the same era??? How can the 80s NOT be the best decade in music? Great post! (I’m only 22 btw but my Dad started me out early on =D)

    • Phillip, kudos to your dad! The 80s certainly were something. It will be interesting to see how many people your age find them as much fun as those of us who lived through them did…

      Thanks for commenting!

      Leigh Anne

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