This is part of a series of blog posts written to share songs, bands and musical experiences that have shaped me as a musician and artist.
My brothers and I had a stash of legos that had accumulated into such a pile that we kept in a sheet in a box. All the instructions lost. We’d pull it out and spread it on the bedroom floor, calling out which piece we were looking for in case the other found it (“I need a red, flat, 8 long”). We’d tune the radio to Z-93, the local hits radio station. Then we’d play until we were called for dinner. All we had was the radio. Well, and Dad’s record collection. But that was risky and there wasn’t much selection we were interested in. I believe the radio had a major influence on me during that time. Now, this was the radio, not MTV. So the influence was purely sonic. No hair. No spandex. No bright color. Only little plastic bricks and electronic drums. Little did I know how much my pre-teen ears were soaking up all those synths, harmonies, guitar solos, and reverb that typified 80s pop.
Here are a few of my favorite radio hits.
Other favorite 80s memories include:
- Taping movies off the TV with the bad words re-dubbed (don’t forget to pause during the commercials!)
- Riding bikes and making ramps with scrap wood (mastering a bunny hop)
- Saturday morning cartoons that were actually good
- Jams, high tops (and my brother had a cool spike)