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.
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.
who still passes the dutchie on the left-hand side
76 responses to “Talking to Girls About Duran Duran”
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!
Nautical-themed shirts? Wow, that’s pretty darned hard-core. ;)
Thanks for the comment, Tulum, and let us know what you think of the book, if you read it!
Funny how music can strike a chord with the memories of our past…
Raul, indeed. I still get a big kick out of accidentally hearing Duran Duran on the radio…or, heaven help us, in the grocery store…
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!
Sounds like it was an awesome concert! True Colors still makes me cry, too – don’t tell anybody. ;)
Let us know how you end up liking the book, if you try it…
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 ;)
Glad you liked the post! I still have a wicked crush on Simon Le Bon, myself…sigh…
Ah, a book about my youth. Can’t wait to find it. Congrats on being freshly pressed.
Thanks kindly! I had to laugh because, I leave the building for an hour, and BOOM! Bloggagedon!
Stop back and let us know how you liked the book, if you do try it!!
That photo of Nitro has to be the most epicly awesome 80’s hair metal shot ever.
bradenbost, I KNOW! We actually used to have that book in our collection, but it wandered off, so I had to go with the Amazon pic grab…sigh…
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!!
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!
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.
Really? That’s a shame. I know I would’ve definitely been interested in any boy who wanted to chat DD with me….hmmm…
Heard nothing but good things about this and I’ll gladly read anything by the gang at RS. Great post!
Aiden, thanks kindly! I hope you do enjoy the book – it’s making me smile just thinking about getting back to it!
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!
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!
Dude! You’re on Freshly Pressed! *applauds* You rock, lady.
Aw, thanks Jessa!! Aieee! Squee!
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!
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!
Esther, you’re so welcome! I hope you like it.
And isn’t Rock Band the Best Thing Ever? Beats the heck out of singing into a hairbrush in front of the bedroom mirror…er, that is, I’ve heard. ;)
YEEEESSSSS Rock Band is the best!
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…
You’re welcome! Thanks for the link to your blog…yeah, life seemed so much simpler then. At least we can still rock out…
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!
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.
giggling like mad
Booooo 80’s! Let’s pretend that decade never happened. Oh, who am I kidding, I love it.
Heh. There were plenty of things not to love, to be sure. Luckily, they are drowned in a haze of Aqua-Net. ;)
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.
Thanks Michael! Glad you got a kick out of it. It really did seem lighter, although perhaps that’s because we weren’t grownups? Hm.
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, LOL. Everything you say should be on a poster, a bumper sticker, or a t-shirt. We’d solve our funding crisis in no time.
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!
Thanks, Natina! I guess we struck a chord! I really hope you enjoy the book – you’ll have to stop back and tell us if you liked it!
Can’t WAIT to read this and travel back to a simpler, yet worse-dressed, time.
Yay! You’ll have to report back and tell us if you like it – thanks for stopping by and commenting, TraciMel!
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.
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
elmer, woohoo! Thanks for stopping by. I hope breakdancing DOES come around again, because it was simply awesome.
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.
Hey! Awesome Post & Thanks for sharing.
your friends, XR VOLUME
Glad you liked it! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your link – intriguing! Will have to read more. :)
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.
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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!
Duran duran. I am hungry like the wolf.
Heh. And who isn’t? Good luck with the internet dating. :)
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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.
If you read the chapter, it’s even funnier – I think it would cross over well to cinema. And I think John Cusack should definitely be in it. ;)
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.
Thanks for profiling this book. I must get a copy! Personally, I’m pretty obsessed with Duran Duran :)
I’m glad we could point you in the right direction, and I hope you enjoy it!
Duran Duran has been the one constant in my entire crazy life thus far. If remaining obsessed with them is wrong, I definitely don’t want to be right!! Hee.
I bought a copy last night. Have just read the intro so far – it’s hilarious. It’s comforting to know there are others out there as passionate about Duran Duran as I am.
YAY! I’m so glad you’re liking it!!
Oh how fabulous! Thanks for posting this! Had never heard of the book before… I’m off to amazon… ,o)
Woohoo! Report back and let us know how you liked it!
One of the old time classics. They were the God’s of their kind of music during their time.
Seriously. My room was plastered, and I do mean plastered, no space to spare, with DD photos and posters…my poor parents. ;)
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.
….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!