Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man's Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut
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From the bestselling author of Love Is a Mix Tape and Turn Around Bright Eyes, "a funny, insightful look at the sublime torture of adolescence".—Entertainment Weekly
The 1980s meant MTV and John Hughes movies, big dreams and bigger shoulder pads, and millions of teen girls who nursed crushes on the members of Duran Duran. As a solitary teenager stranded in the suburbs, Rob Sheffield had a lot to learn about women, love, music, and himself. And he was sure his radio had all the answers.
As evidenced by the bestselling sales of Sheffield's first book, Love Is a Mix Tape, the connection between music and memory strikes a chord with readers. Talking to Girls About Duran Duran strikes that chord all over again, and is a pitch-perfect trip through '80s music-from Bowie to Bobby Brown, from hair metal to hip-hop. But this book is not just about music. It's about growing up and how every song is a snapshot of a moment that you'll remember the rest of your life.
out of it.” A week later, Ian Curtis killed himself, and Green began playing disco. Ian Curtis’s old bandmates went disco too, renaming themselves New Order. Green never looked back. As he proclaimed, “Fear of pop is an infantile disorder—you should face up to it like a man.” ROXY MUSIC “More Than This” 1982 One thing we all learned from our radios in the ’80s: Taking Kenny Rogers’s advice? Always a good idea. Walk away from trouble when you can. Don’t fall in love with a dreamer.
Oh Raaahhhb. Whatever she laughed at, you’d say again. She had a way of making you feel like an adult, as if you might slip up and she’d find out you were really just a sixteen-year-old boy reading The Great Gatsby for the first time. She would ask us questions like, “Have you ever argued about the death of God with someone you were sexually or romantically involved with?” Not even Kenny Rogers could advise me how to handle this one. I could neither hold nor fold her. Ms. Calasta laughed warmly
girl is he’s singing to or what she’s like. I guess this is a song about desire so complete, it doesn’t even need an actual girl in it. He is beyond such details. If she won’t accept his love, he’ll have to adore it himself. The end of the song is just Bryan Ferry murmuring the words “more than this” and “nothing,” so that every time, they describe a new shade of blue. Gatsby would have understood. Thrillingly, Ms. Calasta answered the letters I wrote her from college, always beginning with
a decade, but you will probably hear it at some point in the next week, especially if you attend a wedding, a baseball game, or a mud-wrestling match. Whereas the biggest one-hit job of the 1970s, and in fact the decade’s biggest hit, was Debbie Boone’s “You Light Up My Life,” which I haven’t heard since it came out. How come “Y.M.C.A.” lives forever, while “Undercover Angel” and “Heaven on the 7th Floor” disappear completely from our collective memory? Some songs get pimped on soundtracks,
Lips Together.” Every time they tried teaching me to clap along, my hands would trip over each other. I watched the girls at recess clap their hands and wondered when I would crack the code, maybe with some help from the mythical Lady with the Alligator Purse. Rhythm was girl code, which is why I was obsessed with the claps, but I never got it right. Handclaps were the difference between boy music and girl music. Boys noticed the vocals, the guitars, while the real action was going on down