One thing I miss about the 80’s: the innocence. What else can you say about a decade during which “romance” was clearly understood to mean “freaky stripper sex?” Vince Neil could sing that the “Tropicana’s where I lost my heart” without irony or crippling self-awareness. In those halcyon days, it was utterly plausible for a bespandexed rock star to fall in love with a woman simply by virtue of her ability to execute a vertical split on the pole.
Credit Reagan. Or the as-yet-unleashed full fury of the AIDS crisis. Or a desperate release of tension in the shadow of potential nuclear annihilation. For whatever reason, it was undoubtedly a purer time.
. . . Granted, my take on the 80’s might also have something to do with my having been ten when Mötley Crüe released Girls, Girls, Girls. So sure, this innocence might have been inherent not to the decade itself, but to my developing mind. But I think not. There’s a reason kids these days gravitate towards hip-hop, not rock. You won’t hear Coldplay singing: “Friday night and I need a fight/My motorcycle and a switchblade knife.” But you might hear Fiddy say just that.
While we’re on the topic of the Crüe, here’s one more thing you’re unlikely to find in the modern era: a rotating drumkit. What modern rock band has the stones or wherewithal to ensconce its drummer in a giant, Powerball-lotto-tumbler and spin him through “Wildside?” U2, possibly, though the power to drive such a contraption would surely have to come from some ecofriendly source . . . say, Bono’s sense of self worth?
Sadly, Tommy Lee’s spinning drumkit is probably lost to us, much like my ten-year-old dreams of taking a walk on a wild side that no longer exists.