We Were The 80's

We Were The 80's

A Story by JC
"

Reflections on the death of John Hughes

"

 

I graduated in 1985, in the epitome of the eighties. Before grunge and coffee houses took over the world. Before we were worried about a drug called cheese and Aids. We weren't worried about too much back then. We were too busy counting bases, and usually with a bottle Boones or on a special night, Cold Duck.  It was a special time, it was a unique time. It was my time. It was the 80's.
There couldn't have been a more diverse decade than the 80's, putting it's footprint in all the culture markers. From cutting edge music, couture, or movies, there will never be another decade like it.
 Disco was out and the emergence of New Wave, Hair Bands and Punk, were in. There was MTV and the debut of "Video Killed The Radio Star". The original boy bands came out in the 80's.  Warrant, Motley Crue, Poison, Def Leppard just to name a few. There were bands like Flock of Seagulls, Men at Work, The Go Go's and punk's The Misfits, Circle Jerks and Dead Kennedys.
Madonna, spawned a fashion phenomenon with her garb in '"Like A Virgin" and Don Johnson's Miami Vice look, had guys sans socks for years. Flipped collars, parachute pants, leg warmers, pegged jeans, neon, and just about anything that looked like it came from the drama department, was in. The 80's has its claim on the original "business in the front, party in the back" mullet. No other hair style enjoyed such a long run.
Then there was the Southern Cal surf culture giving us, Awesome, Rad, Totally Gnarly, and Tubular, while the Valley Girls had us saying Fursure, Totally and Gag me with a Spoon.
We hung out at the malls, skate parks and video arcades. We were playing Pac Man, Centipede and Mario Brothers. We watched, Who's the Boss, Family Ties and 21 Jump Street. We didn't have cell phones, but we had Walkman's and Boom boxes.
You could be a prep, skater, punk, jock, it didn't matter, you were a part of the 80's and the 80's had a place for you.
Movies were a big part of the 80's. Fast times At Ridgemont High, Porkies, Some Kind of Wonderful, Dirty Dancing, Footloose and Karate Kid were all big hits, but nothing compared to the genius of John Hughes.
 The news of director John Hughes death, hit many of us particularly hard. It hit me hard.
 I don't cry very often, it takes a lot to get me worked up, but my heart broke for Hughes, who's cinematography is forever ingrained in my teen years.
 The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink and Ferris Buellers Day Off, encompassed everything about the times.
 His movies were iconic, and special to those of us who were developing into young adults at the time of their releases. He made characters relateable, and brought the intricate relationships of high school, teenagers and their parents, to life. He understood the diversity and made it his own unique style.
 He had lines like "His name is Blane? Oh! That's a major appliance, that's not a name!" or "If I go for ten, I'm probably going to have to barf up a lung, so I better make this one count."
Ironically, his films became more popular in the last twenty years, then when they were released.
 For many of us, the 80's wouldn't have been the same without Hughes and on August 6th, a little bit of us died with him.
 

© 2009 JC


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Uhmmmm ... did we neglect to mention the '86 Mets? ... "Let's Go Mets!!" You have scraped up a lot of memory here. Although a lot of the characters, bands and movies were foreign to me. There was indeed something for everyone. I enjoyed those movies by John Hughes too. A smidge ironic that someone who brought us movies about youth has run out of minutes. Perhaps we are all mourning our own lost youth.

Posted 10 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Even though I more or less grew up in the 90's John Hughes movies still had a huge impact on me. When I felt lonely and out of place I would watch the Breakfast Club and realize that I'm probably not alone. Or when I liked a guy and thought there was no hope I would pop in Sixteen Candles and when Jake Ryan would go to her in the end my hope would be revived. They just don't make movies like they use to and John Hughes will forever be a legend. He made movies that are timeless and will forever be relatable from a teenagers point of view. Thank you for sharing this and remembering John Hughes he went too soon.

Posted 10 Years Ago


Your tale is very much nostalgic: of days gone and never to be cherished unless via memory, music and movies. Such a fascinating read, you ought to think more of expanding it.

Posted 10 Years Ago


This was a great read! I totally became swept up in the wave of this era when I read your piece.. what a wonderful tribute! John Hughes would be proud. :)

Posted 10 Years Ago


What a cool write, but what a terrible way to find out that John Hughes is dead. I don't follow media much, so this is news to me. I'm quite saddened to find that out. Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller are two of my all time favourite films. The 80's in general seems to be very much in vogue of late and though I was only just 8 in december 79, many of my most cherished memories are from that difficult time, (I was raised in a northern mining community).
This gave me some beauty flashbacks- the punk scene and associated protest movements, (anti-fascism, animal lib, anti-war, etc), was my personal calling during my teens and I feel that the 'spirit of the 80's' was marginally protracted up here in the north east, (my mates and I were still living in squats til the mid 90's), due to the fallout from having to adapt to new industries, extended poverty, et al, but the times of camraderie and social conscience remain unparraleled since.
I was quite one sided in my opinions of youth culture, back in the day, but I often reminisce nowadays, (it's true that people don't appreciate what they have til it's gone)- and this essay (?) was right up my street- very much written in the spirit of the departed Mr Hughes.
I suppose it's almost fitting that as I read this I'm listening to 80's punk tunes and that I still dress like I've just walked out of the era, but you are correct in saying that a part of who we all were at that time died on august 6th, cheers for writing this Julian, made my day in many ways, spence

Posted 10 Years Ago


This brought back some memories for me, JC! Some of which, I would rather forget! I despised the whole "grunge" scene, for example. I remember being quite a fan of "Duran Duran", "Arcadia" and "The Eurythmics". Also, I will never forget the sight, of so many young people wandering around with brightly-coloured hair (both male and female), so-called mohican haircuts, punks and other features of fashion. Even so, I was only aged seven in 1980!

Other significant memories of the 80's to me, include the overthrow of the Shah in Iran, the brutality of that war between Iran and Iraq and much more. These were turbulent times, I remember. Almost every day (it seemed), the PLO was murdering innocent civilians and taking hostages, as were "Islamic Jihad" and other terrorist groups. Today, civilised societies are still threatened by militant Islam!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Another great blog journal. Do you post these elsewhere?



Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was so totally awesome it took me back. I loved Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles. John Hughes really did know how to create genius by tapping into the teenage market of our time. I still watch all my 80's movies from time to time and I still am such argue with E! Documentaries who try to put people who were not brat packers into the club. Excellent piece.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

well its nicely written. I am also a child from the 80's so I relate to much of it. However, I am not sure where you are taking the reader. Are you just trying to explain the 80's, as in a history lesson.
What are you trying to impart to the reader? I guess that is what I am missing in this piece.

Posted 10 Years Ago


Beautifully written, JC. I graduated in '81, and well remember all these things. I loved then and still enjoy 'The Breakfast Club'. I guess I never realized everything that John Hughes did. Another well written piece. Thanks for the memories.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Uhmmmm ... did we neglect to mention the '86 Mets? ... "Let's Go Mets!!" You have scraped up a lot of memory here. Although a lot of the characters, bands and movies were foreign to me. There was indeed something for everyone. I enjoyed those movies by John Hughes too. A smidge ironic that someone who brought us movies about youth has run out of minutes. Perhaps we are all mourning our own lost youth.

Posted 10 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.


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JC
JC

Fort Worth, TX



About
I am 40+ year old native of Fargo, North Dakota, (yes I said Fargo.). I've journaled, blogged and written poetry my entire adult life, and now I am starting to write a novel, which if published, will .. more..

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