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The Gnarly 80's

Updated on March 11, 2014
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The Gnarly 80’s

Volume 5, Issue 11, March 5, 2014

As I strolled through the nightclub with my friends, shoulder to shoulder, we would glance around the club to see the faces of the radical and awesomely dressed Madonna’s and the re-incarnated John Travolta’s with their suits and Elvis doo’s. I felt invigorated and thought nothing but having a perfect evening in my lace and flared skirt with ankle boots and the fishnet stockings that looked like I needed a new pair. Absolutely nothing could go wrong with the dancing and gyrating I would do in this outfit. I was dressed to kill in my Madonna outfit.

The incredibly gnarly 80’s with its radical hairdo’s, styles, dances, and fun-tastic one of a kind era. The short ten years in this era was inspirational and unique for every genre that I could think of during this time, as well as, for me. Everything was one of a kind, unique, inspiring, and outrageous that I wish I could turn back the hands of time and relive this era. People engaged with each other on such an incredibly vibrant and loving way that it was the most vivid and colorful part of my memory in thinking about it all.

MC Hammer Pajama pants were all the rage with its MC Hammer kind of groove and they were worn everywhere by both men and women, and as I look at them now; I cannot help but giggle with the way they looked. My perception, “balloon pajama pants!” I recall the guys strutting around in muscle shirts or tees with these kinds of pajama pants. They had a tremendous following with men who engaged in weight lifting on the beaches of Venice Beach and the California Coast.

Then there were the wanna bees of Madonna look-a-likes and I cannot lie, I loved it! All I wanted was nothing more but to emulate my idol of the time, Madonna! Madonna was so in, in music and entertainment at the time, the men would drool over her movies and music. She was a sultry and rough looking femme that captured the hearts of the youth of the time. So you better believe I wanted to imitate and emulate Madonna. The lacy racy blouses were feminine and cute and there was a rowdy roughness with styles that combined blue-jeans and the leather jackets. It was a time that I felt the most free and uninhibited of all the years of my adulthood thus far.

The music of the era was the beating and pounding sounds of a trancelike phenomenon disco sound and the sensual voices with Madonna at the helm and at the top of it all. Disco was striking out with beats, styles, and movies that captivated the imaginations of young adults everywhere in the world. The movies and fashions were fused together creating new and exciting movements and colorful styles and fashions that are iconic and are etched in our memories and re-lived at house parties today.

The 80’s had an enormous impact and influence on style and the climb of women in a man’s world. Mini-skirts, leotards, and lace hit the fashion trends like there was no tomorrow and it left its mark in history forever. The movement was outspoken and sensual for women in the headlines like Lady Diana and the cast of the Bold and Beautiful. Moving it all was the electric music that was belted out by greats like Madonna, Olivia Newton John, Cindy Lauper, Jeff Beck, Joan Jett, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and the Stones.

It was a time of invention with the Rubik’s Cube, the Sony Walkman, and Yoda dolls. The Rubik’s Cube was a one of a kind game, that made its way through this century and is an iconic game piece today with its incredibly clever puzzle like features that engages the sensory, dexterity, and cognitive activity our brains. The Sony Walkman gave us access to music with its ability to be mobile, and the ability to walk, carry, and hear our favorite tunes on a music player that was fully mobile and lightweight.

Individuality was at its peak and flourished during the 1980’s with Ronald Reagan as President, a previous actor gone into politics and the influences of dramatic changes in all industries.

It was a time of unexpected and mysterious revelations with a new and mysterious disease (Aids) coming onto and in the limelight where it had people scrambling in medicine and science to find out how to stop it, cure it, or slow down the pace of Aids. It was when Aids was an unknown killer and unnamed when it killed an enormous amount of people. Before science and medical caught up to slow its pace and medical personnel picked up the pace to find out how and what to treat the mysterious disease with. It was actually a more pronounced time when medicine and science further merged and was more public than ever in finding cures for diseases. This epidemic stopped many of the free-loving hippy crazed who carried over their genre in this 80's era to stop making love with just anyone.

In 1985, it was the first time I had ever felt an earthquake that scared the living daylights out of me. I recall the morning of the earthquake as it rattled and roared with a thundering wave that it shook me across the room and the room rolled for a few minutes. What was extraordinary is that the epic center was miles and miles away in Mexico however, the aftershocks and waves it produced shook it here in California. It actually took me back to the 60’s when the earthquake I felt was so incredible it moved my bed from one side of the room to another. It was the most forceful earthquake I had ever felt.

These events were etched in my mind and will stay in my memories forever.

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