One day, about 15 years ago, my Dad and I sat down in front of the TV and began to watch Batman (Micheal Keaton version) and in my opinion, still the best Bat. My Dad looked at me and said, “I remember this when it was released in the cinema, you begged me to take you”. In the end he didn’t take me, because I was two young apparently. The year of this bat movie was 1989 and I was between six and seven. Upon hearing this story I was disappointed my Dad hadn’t taken me to this cultural milestone (as movies often were back then) but two years later it was recorded from the TV and placed in the VHS video cabinet in the lounge. The words “BATMAN MOVIE !!!” scrawled in “Dad Caps” along with what seemed like hundreds of others. I can still vividly remember ‘Jagged Edge’, ‘HEAT’ and ‘Digby The Biggest Dog In The World’, chunky VHS black bricks laid atop one another, masterpiece and mediocre end to end.
The 1980s still remains the wonder years for me; not because I was involved in stock market booms, celebrity cocaine use explosion or big hair and shoulder pads. But because faint memories haunt my brain every time I hear a song or watch a movie from that period. The artist that fills me with the most wonder is Cyndi Lauper. A symbol of the Eighties Americana along with pre-surgery Micheal Jackson *and Prince*. Her American/New York speaking voice furnished with an almost cartoon–like tone is unmistakable even now, and when she sings you would be a fool not to instantly peg whose lungs the breath is gushing from
For me, Lauper was part of the ‘80s that I definitely recognise but the origin of that recognition is a mystery to me. ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ is the most famous Cindy Lauper song and I must admit; I love it. I have always loved it. It brings a smile to my face on the darkest of days. But I can’t remember where I heard it first. I just know it was always there. I was born on the 27th June 1982, ‘GJWHF’ came out in ‘83 and no doubt was a radio station favourite for some time, as it is today. I like to imagine my Mum in the house, the radio playing the Lauper classic and me happily sitting quietly without a care in the world. I must have been happy and I’m sure psychologists would scream “Association Memory” or something similar. Thirty years on the song still more than holds its own; the spirit of this track lives in the minds of each new generation seeking adventure, parties, drinking and drugs. Hoards of youths experiencing new things in their respective social groups, away from prying eyes of parents, a momentary lapse in the symbiotic relationship with authority. That same authority effortlessly swept away with the opening unforgettable disco guitar chord pattern responsible for throwing a thousand arms in the air on a thousand Saturday nights. I think it’s safe to say, we will all always want to have fun.
Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Michael Jackson – Beat It (Digitally Restored Version)
Prince & The Revolution – Purple rain (1984)