5 More Songs From The ’80’s That You’ve Been Missing Like Crazy. I don’t care if you were an angst-ridden teen during the ’80’s (hey, why are you looking at ME?) or maybe not even yet an embryo, there’s certain ’80’s tunes that make us all rise above our day and take us to a place where we’re hot, amazing and we can dance. This is the wonderful era where I weaseled into radio and it was all for the music–that glorious, blaring, keyboard-heavy era. It may surprise you to know that Salt Lake City was known internationally for breaking New-Wave artists. I was lucky enough to meet most of the bands of the era. It was very different than today–there was lots of talking, laughing, late night visits to IHop and actually getting to pick up their bass guitars and play them. Best. Decade. EVER.
In case you missed our first favorite five from the ’80’s, you can find them here.
So, here’s round two. Are there any important ones we’ve missed?
5 More Songs From The ’80’s That You’ve Been Missing Like Crazy
1. Bronski Beat – “Tell Me Why” 1984
Jimmy Somerville had one of those beautiful, compelling voices that rang with the tart sweetness of sorrow, lost love and longing. The band was openly gay – considered very daring in 1984 – but Jimmy pretended I was his “date” during the band’s time here. For some reason, he thought it was hysterical and kept talking about going “back in the closet” for Salt Lake City. No one had the heart to tell him that Bronski Beat was huge here and everyone already knew about his leanings to the fellas. In fact, backstage a hopeful young gentleman groupie looked at me and asked blankly, “why are you here?” To which I replied honestly, “I really have no idea.” But as Jimmy’s “date”, he and I got our nails done, went clothes shopping and drove around looking for the perfect chocolates. (Cummings was the winner, as I recall.) It was a perfect afternoon.
2. ABC – “Be Near Me” 1985
To this day I harbor a fondness for lead singer Martin Fry-he was very ill when Be Near Me was released, (Hodgkin’s Disease) but he insisted on finishing the meet and greet after the concert and was absolutely the epitome of the British Gentleman. He ended up marrying the nurse who cared for him in the hospital and resurged again at the turn of the century with an excellent 80’s tour. I met him again in 2011, and he greeted me with a hug and remembered my name. Oh, my heart…
3. Icehouse – “Electric Blue” 1987
So, my radio station at the time – 96.1 – hosted a meet and greet with the boys from Icehouse, all unnaturally tall, polite and well-behaved Australians. My sister Jenne and I cut the poor drummer and sax player from the herd and took them on a midnight tour of SLC – Bill & Nada’s Diner, the SLC Cemetery and running around Emo’s grave. Not sure they knew what they were in for, but it was good clean fun, Utah-style. (PS: look at the lead singer’s AWESOME mullet! At the time we all ooohed and aaahed over it’s gigantic-ness.)
4. Go West – “We Close Our Eyes” 1985
Another British band who cheerfully cut down on pesky band expenses by playing most of the instruments themselves. Anything they couldn’t program into their keyboard and computer didn’t end up on tour. But make no mistake – Peter Cox (who now bears a startling resemblance to action star Jason Statham) had THE voice. During warmup at the Salt Palace, everyone – even security and the roadies – EVERYONE stopped what they were doing and stared when he opened up those magical vocal cords and let loose.
5. Nik Kershaw – “Wouldn’t It Be Good” 1984
Nik is a teeny, tiny petite flower from England who was obsessed with hair product and David Bowie – in fact, this video was a tribute to Bowie’s film “The Man Who Fell To Earth.” When the airline lost his luggage, Nik threw a fit and made me drive him to 3 different stores to find the right gels for his spiky mane. But the stories he told me in those 4 hours were never forgotten. Worth every gallon of gas.