Reasons to Celebrate #4: Musical Nostalgia


When the rain starts here every other song on the radio is about rain.  It’s a rare occurrence you see. It’s Raining Men, Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head and Why Does it Always Rain On Me get a little repetitive so I was excited when I heard an old favourite  by a former heart-throb, Shakin’ Stevens.  Yes you heard right, there was a point when Shakin’ Stevens aka ‘Shaky’ was my schoolgirl crush (for those of you who are not familiar, think not terribly convincing 1980’s British  Elvis – OK that’s impossible; see picture attached.).

Between the ages of 9 and 11 I had a few crushes; Shaky, Limahl from Kajagoogoo, Adam Ant and all of Bucks Fizz. Oh come on, they were a good-looking foursome and Making Your Mind Up is a pop classic, isn’t it? Unluckily my taste in music hasn’t really ever progressed which is why I find myself humming along to One Direction and my favourite all time band is Take That, but that’s for another time.

Shakin’ Stevens singing It’s Raining is one of those songs that immediately whizzed me back on the nostalgia express to a time when I was 9 or 10 and thought I was oh so grown up listening to pop music.  To a time when the weekly church youth club, ‘Wednesday Welcome’, demanded at least two telephone conversations; Fame dress or ra-ra skirt, leg warmers or burgundy ribbed tights, or both…hmmm.  A time when knowing the names of the girls in Bananarama was must know information and little girls wanted to be Lady Diana (and look how that turned out).

When I was about 11 I went to a Bucks Fizz concert with my best friend.  I remember screeching with excitement when my Mum told me I was going. It was our first pop concert and my friend and I spent many hours discussing what outfit was suitable for such an auspicious occasion, I mean, what if they wanted us to go on stage with them?  The fact that we would be alone at the concert (none of the parents could hack listening to 2 hours of screeching 10 year olds and sugary pop music), was just the icing on the cake.  I settled on a maroon velvet pair of pedal pushers (remember them?), cream over the knee socks, a frilly blouse with puff sleeves (wanna be new romantic) and to top it all a fake fur jacket.  My mother had different ideas and sent me in a lemon t-shirt dress and white cardigan.  Thanks Mum, no I haven’t forgotten.  The highlight of the concert was when Bobby Gee sang Do You Think I’m Sexy and ripped his shirt off.  The crowd went wild, as did we, though I’m not sure if we knew why, children were more naive at 11 than they are now.

As I watched the wet motorway pass the other day and listened to It’s Raining I chuckled at my memories, then the needle scratched to an abrupt halt in my reminiscence; where is Shaky now?  Well Shaky is well on his way to being shaky now at 64.  He still performs apparently although I imagine he needs help up when he drops to his knees on stage.  I will stick to the memories rather than the reality and look for You Drive Me Crazy on You Tube.  Getting older does have its advantages; nostalgia is free and the nonsense of the 80’s provides plenty of guaranteed moments for cringing and chuckling in equal measure.


Bucks Fizz


3 responses »

  1. My 80s fashion choices included Tretorn shoes (I wore a hole in them from ollying so much on my skateboard – so much for being a tidy prep), aqua blue Converse hi-tops, and a variety of cut-off jean shorts. And faded jeans – I think they were 501s with the button fly cut off and pinned at the bottom… I think my 80s hair was pretty flock-of-seagulls, but I was certain it was a skate betty look… and I recall some dodgy ear-cuffs and peace sign earrings. Later in the 80s, I think I was trying to go for what I can only describe as a post-punk Belfast alternative look. Big sweaters, weird hair. Eventually I shaved the hair off.
    Musically, in my early days I loved a Canadian singer-piano player named Gowan – he never broke out of the great white north, and for good reason. Corey Hart? Anyone? Sunglasses at Night? I was a member of his fan club and his mum wrote me a letter. The first tape I had in my possession was Air Supply, and I still rock out to several of their jams. Later, I also LOVED Cindy Lauper; I had every single cassette, and still grin when I think about the Pee Wee Herman sample on one of the albums. I also bore an unwavering torch for U2, and it shocks me to this day that The Edge never tracked me down to marry me. As for my crushes, Bono was at the top of my musicians list, although when I look back, i think he has my father’s physique in the Rattle and Hum movie. Short old man? No thanks. I like my old men to be tall. I think the sexiest thing I ever saw as a kid, and interpreted it as such, was Michael Hutchence in the Kick video. “So slide over here, and give me a moment. Your moves are so raw… I’ve got to let you know… you’re one of my kind.” Adolescent-me SWOONED…
    But I wasn’t really into the musican types as a young girl. Because Corey Haim stole me heart. Johnny Depp in the 21 Jump Street years was also a fox, but Corey Haim – the Lucas Corey Haim, not the Learning to Drive Corey Haim – was where it was at.
    These days, my crushes are more along the lines of Robbie Coltraine and Alec Baldwin, but I’ll go for a drink with Tom Waits or Nick Cave any time. Or Cindy Lauper… I’m not fussy.

    • Shivs not only are you way cooler than you also had very grown up music tastes at a very young age!! The 80s was surely a time of kindergarten for you?!! Definitely with you on Michael Hutchence but Bono – please!!! And Corey HaimWTF? When you go for that drink with Tom Waits and Nick Cave can I come too?

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