My Musical History – Part 2 – “The Late 80’s (The Early High School Years)”

Part 1 is here in case you want to know how it started.

So after the deluge of great poppy music that surrounded us all in 1987, I decided that I had to escape my Kylie Minogue past, leave Bros behind and seek new sonic plains and musical landscapes…Well actually, Dad got a job in Canberra and we all packed up our belongings and headed down the Hume.

I started high school in a new Territory and it was time to start from scratch.

A few musical highlights of 1988/Yr. 7 for me:

  • Stutter Rap by Morris Minor and the Majors – One of THE MUSICAL HIGHLIGHTS of the year. I mean, we all remember the classic lyrics don’t we?

“Well interviewers turn away
Who wants to be covered with spray?
Talkin’ to me for more than an hour
Is equivalent to an April shower”

“What time do they stay up ’til in America?
Oh, very late. Sometimes quarter to eleven
Well actually I’ve heard in New York they sometimes even stay up ’til midnight
No! No wonder they do all that shouting
Yes, they must be very snappy and irritable
That’s right”

  • Push It by Salt ‘n’ Pepa – Just classic. I mean, it’s one of the best retro dance songs to get your body groovin’ to. And I remember how I thought it was naughty that they said…

“Yeah, you come here, gimme a kiss
Better make it fast or else Im gonna get pissed”

  • The Only Way is Up by Yazz – She had a whacked out voice and the video clip was tacky as hell, but this song still gets me moving.
  • Fast Car by Tracy Chapman – I was sure this was a boy when I saw the clip the first time. Still not sure…
  • Sign Your Name by Terence Trent D’arby – I was hooked on this song. I loved the laid back vocals…and his dread-locks.

But things started to change in 1988 as far as my taste goes. I remember telling people when I was in primary school that I didn’t like ‘Heavy Music’. But back then, I thought heavy music consisted of skulls (Megadeath/Iron Maiden), Snakes (Alice Cooper/Whitesnake) and makeup (KISS, WASP). I think, more than anything, that shit just scared my wimpy little mind. (I was scared of the Mos Eisley bar scene in Star Wars too).

But the late Eighties was the time of glam rock and by the end of the year I was rocking away with E-Balls in Dougall’s bedroom with a tennis raquet to Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi and Belting out Every Rose Has It’s Thorn by Poison.

1989 kicked in, and while I was still being kicked around in high school, I started to enjoy mostly Top 40 crap. I was an ARIA nerd and would get those Top 50 lists from Brashs/K-Mart/The Music Shop and look through it to see how many of the albums I had on tape.

I was not listening to radio at this stage. I would just listen to tapes of music that I had, or I would watch Rage and Video Hits on the weekend.

I started buying more of my own music as I started earning money (through Austudy! Thank you Australian government for funding my musical tastes).

A few of the albums that I bought (or copied) on cassette in 1989:

  • Look Sharp by Roxette – LaLa has covered off how great these guys were, but seriously I had a weird-arse crush on the lead singer.
  • Open Up and Say… Ahh! by Poison – Nothin’ But a Good time Baby. This album rocks, and I still can’t believe I saw them LIVE last year in Virginia.
  • G’NR Lies by Guns N’ Roses – Patience was a turning point and is still one of my favourite songs EVA. The rest of the 5 songs on this EP/Album don’t even come close to it, but hey, gotta have it to complete the collection!
  • Batman Soundtrack by Prince – I had liked Prince since Sign O’ the Times and I was truly obsessed with the first Batman movie when it came out so I HAD to have this album. It still features in my iTunes!

I also went a bit crazy listening to Weird Al Yankovic’s Fat album that he brought out that year. That video clip is still funny as hell.

Yr 7 and 8 were very much tough times for me. I found it hard fitting in to a new school with new friends, many of whom didn’t really feel like friends at all. I switched between the ‘muso’ crowd, the ‘normal’ crowd, and the ‘geeky’ crowd, always trying to figure out where I belonged. I never really figured it out back then.

I started playing trumpet in 1988, and along with my piano practice I started to appreciate music more for the sounds and the rhythms, rather than the lyrics. This would become a big deal for me in the future as my ear was trained to listen to pitch and tone during my music classes at school. We would have to pick the gap between 2 notes, and between myself and E-Balls we usually got 100% of them right.

Next part will be the 90’s where I went to my first concert, discovered there was more to music than Top 40, and found out about ‘Metal’.


About Mick

I've been around a while. I like to wrap myself around the warm security of the interwebs which have consumed me since 1993. I whinge, I rant, I crap on. Enjoy. View all posts by Mick

One response to “My Musical History – Part 2 – “The Late 80’s (The Early High School Years)”

  • Alyndabear

    Hiding the fact that I was about 6 in the late 80’s, I love MOST of these songs. Roxette are fabulous – and my Contiki tourmates would groan everytime one would come on when they were playing my Ipod at the front of the bus. What? They’re classic!

    Fast Car is fabulous, MJ was amazing then, Bon Jovi (swoon!)

    Good stuff!

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