Sunday, June 04, 2006

Back To School

Dearest Friends, though we find ourselves in the year 2006, my mind, spirit, and soul have all spent much of this week back to 1986. You see, my 20th high school reunion is upon me, so this time my nostalgia, I feel, is justified.

I have been finding it most peculiar revisiting those days in my mind. My time at school was largely a happy one; I had good friends and good teachers. But looking back at myself, I wince at at what I now see as my geeky gawkiness. The skinny ties, tweed jackets, and collared shirts that I wore as some sort of mod/new wave statement now just seem dreadful. My unrequited schoolboy crushes embarrass today as much as they did then. Yet what is also awakened as I handle today the artefacts of that era -- my old subway pass, my yearbook, my recently-liberated-from-the-basement vinyl records -- is the memory of a boy suffused with passion and excitement for the possibilities of the future. For him, 1986 was the edge of a new milennium. And how did he respond? He is still trying to figure that out...

I will not actually be able to attend the reunion; time and distance (I am in Vancouver, my high school is in Noo Yawk City) make it unfeasible. So instead I have created a wee playlist that I offer to the DJ who will be playing the imaginary reunion dance that won't be taking place. The songs, one for every year that has elapsed, are redolent of nights spent listening to The World Famous WLIR, the thrills of first concerts (General Public, 1985, Radio City Music Hall), and weekends spent trawling the record stores of Greenwich and East Villages (St Mark's Sounds, Venus Records, Rebel Rebel). So I invite you all in to the darkened cafeteria (there's a dustbin by the entrance labelled "Shame") to enjoy as you see fit. Go on, dance, or hang awkwardly around the edges if you prefer. Just party like you did in 1986.

Heaven 17 - Let Me Go
Blancmange - Living On The Ceiling
ABC - The Look Of Love
The Cure - Love Cats
Haysi Fantaysee - Shiny Shiny
Classix Nouveaux - Guilty
Jo Boxers - Just Got Lucky
Style Council - Shout To The Top
General Public - Tenderness
Madness - Our House
The Jam - Town Called Malice
The Beat - Ranking Full Stop
The Fixx - One Thing Leads To Another
A Flock Of Seagulls - Space Age Love Song
Duran Duran - Hungry Like The Wolf
Ministry - Effigy
Time Zone - World Destruction
Intaferon - Get Out Of London
Wide Boy Awake - Slang Teacher
Yazoo - Only You

Oh my, so much music. But you could start by buying these.


Anonymous said...

Oh my God I love you so much. I never would have thought that anyone would post a Blancmange or Hazy Fantayzee track in their blog. I have the vinyl singles of both as well as The Cure's Lovecats (a big favourite of mine at the time). And I've been hoping someone would post Yazoo's Only You too - another great one.
Sigh. *falls into early 80s flashback sequence*

Anonymous said...

top notch fantastic post Fil!


Anonymous said...

Susan Foster was the hottest girl in school. I was able to attend my 25th high school reunion, and oddly enought she was still the hottest woman in the cafagymatorium. Sorry you'll miss yours. Great music picks by-the-way.

Anonymous said...

C'est un très beau texte sur le temps qui passe ! Merci (même si c'est un peu douloureux).


Anonymous said...

Oh good lord. Did I write that? Apologies for that bit at the end, that was incredibly pompous and cringeworthy. I don't know why I was so obsessed with not being 'normal'. And it was not for me to pass judgement on anyone else. Especially with my mixed-up dress sense! (Couldn't someone have advised me to ditch the parka and jam shoes?)

I hope the reunion soundtrack will be half as good as your playlist, my dear.

FiL said...

Dear hell (what an odd salutation, but I like it!), glad you enjoyed the post and that you now have digital to go with the vinyl! Now, you do know that eventually you'll need to come back to 2006...

Thanks Merz! Your 80s posts were great too.

Daveyboy, I thought the joy of going to these was to find out that who was hot now is not ;-)

Cher Civil Servant, temps douloureux, mais superb quand meme!

And Dearest Bishakh, certainly no need to apologize! I think it still is one of the nicest things anyone ever wrote about or for me. On top of that, it has proven to be very salutory indeed!


QuarBy said...

great stuff. thanks.

Unknown said...

Just love that Jo Boxers song.Still keep that single. Fantastic Fil!

Anonymous said...


i was just starting high school in 1986 and a few of these songs still echo in my head. super swell to hear them!

hard to believe that was twenty years ago.

keep on rockin'...

FiL said...

Thanks Lisa, only just saw your comment. Take heart - you'll always be four years younger than me...