S.G. Browne

Guilty Pleasures – 1980s Rock Bands

So I’m driving down Interstate 5 from Portland to Salem in a rental car, a Hyundai Accent with manual locks and manual windows but with an XM Radio, and I’m listening to Classic Rewind, a station that plays rock and roll from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, when “Rockin’ Into the Night” by 38 Special comes on.

When I first got into music back in high school in the 1980s, my favorite bands were of the pop rock variety. I wasn’t into classic rock. I couldn’t stand the Rolling Stones, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, or The Who. And I couldn’t be bothered with New Wave bands like Oingo Boingo, Depeche Mode, INXS, Modern English, or Squeeze.

(Editor’s Note: I listen to all of these bands now, lest you think I’m totally lacking in my musical tastes.)

No, what I listened to back then, my favorite bands of the 1980s, were bands you don’t hear played on the radio anymore. Bands that didn’t have any staying power. Bands you find playing at dive bars and county fairs and asparagus festivals.

Night Ranger. 38 Special. The Babys. Loverboy.

Yes. These are my guilty pleasures. My forgettable pop rock bands. My county fair circuit rockers.

To be fair, I also listened to a heavy dose of Van Halen, Def Leppard, The Scorpions, and AC/DC, but nothing got my blood pumping more than “You Can Still Rock in America” by Night Ranger or “Head First” by the Babys.

So there I am, driving down the I-5 in Oregon, the radio cranked up and 38 Special pumping from the speakers, belting out the lyrics as if I’d been listening to “Rockin’ Into the Night” every day for the past 25 years, a big grin on my face.

When I get home, I think I’m going to take out my albums and spin some of my classic 80′s vinyl on my turntable and indulge in some more guilty pleasures. Then I’m going to add them to my iTunes library.

Now if only I could remember where I put my Izod shirt, my Sperry Topsiders, and my Vuarnets.

Filed under: Just Blogging — S.G. Browne @ 10:57 pm

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