Thursday, October 3, 2013

Throwback Thursday - big hair from the 80s

Yesterday's winner: Karen in Ohio! A signed copy of Michael Nethercott's The Seance Society will be on its way. Email Hallie (Hallie "at" hallieephron dot com) to let Michael know where to ship it.

ROSEMARY HARRIS: I've been enjoying everyone else's Throwback Thursday pix on facebook and elsewhere - all the while resisting posting one of my own.

But I finally dug up an old picture. Old is right!

No idea when this was taken - and no explanation for the weird look on my face. Judging by the hair and the deep Hawaiian Tropic tan (and that looks like a Danskin underneath the blouse) I'm guessing early to mid 80s.

Maybe this nostalgia was inspired by the Steely Dan concert I went to this week. Amazing...but more about classic music on Saturday

Can you say leg warmers, Jane Fonda Workout videos? Olivia Newton-John getting physical? Blade Runner..21 Jump Street? Flashdance torn sweatshirts?

I can remember one colleague who went around saying "Where's the Beef?" for a solid week.

Maybe longer.

What do you remember best from the 80s? To jog your memories,  here's a favorite from Tears for Fears....


  1. Hhmm . . . 1980s? Remember shoulder pads? Wasn’t Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album released in the 1980s? . . . I remember science fiction movies were pretty much the staple of our movie-going days: ET was phoning home, the next Star Wars installments were keeping the Force with us . . . Top Gun had Navy F-14s flying high and MacGyver was saving the world with duct tape and his Swiss Army knife . . . the Little Ones in our house were watching Voltron and Masters of the Universe . . . Seems to me the whole “Who shot JR?” thing was in 1980, too . . . Mount Saint Helens erupted and the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded . . . Pac Man was gobbling around and we had a Commodore 64 computer . . . .

  2. It's a neat coincidence - I just finished reading a book that sent me straight back to the early 80's and my favorite pastime back then: spending Friday and Saturday nights at the roller rink. I never was a very good skater, but I had a blast trying. (The book was Joelle Charbonneau's latest, "Skating Under the Wire"). Yep,"Who Shot J.R." was 1980 - I remember because I was a Freshman in Home Ec. and our class had to do the snacks for the teachers "Who Shot J.R." party.

  3. I miss turning on MTV and watching hours of music videos. I was not a great intellect. I was on coast. I don't know how I got anything done. I'm not sure I did. Then I woke up one day and turned on my MTV. Teen talk. Teen drama. No videos. I decided to go back to school. Could be a coincidence.

  4. Steely Dan's big album was Aja. (Hey 19, Peg, and Do it Again) But I remember that from the summer of '79 -- a challenging time for this budding novelist, not to mention the end of a major investment -- Let's Go Disco. NJ wasn't as far away as I thought.

    Ro' -- You look really mad at someone in that old photo. Glad it wasn't me.

  5. I went to a Who Shot JR party too! Who did shoot him?

    Jack, it was probably that someone was taking my picture. I really hate to have my picture taken. Like Barzini in The Godfather...

    Aja is one of my all-time favorite albums. They did the entire album, in order, at the Beacon Theatre on Monday night.

  6. Let's Go Disco was my buddy's idea and business. Party planners rented our giant, four-box, pure-sound speaker system and a DJ for about $100 an hour. We did four after-Grammy parties, including one where our over-excited laser operator nearly blinded Rod Stewart. Doing good -- at least my friend was -- and then disco died. Sniff. I looked so good in blousy shirts...

  7. Whoa baby, did I have big hair in the 80s! Long T-shirts and leggings. Shoulder pads, yup. Not leg warmers made me itch. Wanted to look like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance.

  8. Nice soundtrack for the blog, Ro!

    The late 70's and early 80's were "my" time. I was single, between marriages, with my own insurance business, and having the time of my life disco dancing, jogging, and dating. I met my now-husband in 1978 but we didn't date exclusively until mid-1981. Even after we got married in 1982 we had a solidly booked schedule of community, social and business activities that went on for several years.

    My daughter was in her preteens and teens during the 80's, and my most vivid memories of her were of her bazillion soccer games, and shopping with her for baggy Forenza sweaters, Ocean Pacific board shorts, Jordache jeans, Adidas sandals (all the soccer players wore them because they couldn't wear their cleats to restaurants after the game), and the arguments we had about how her pants were supposed to sit at her waist, not down on her hips. Of course she had at least one Members Only jacket. I wore suits to work, and tried really hard to avoid the silly bow-neck blouses.

    Didn't we all wear jogging suits? I know I had a couple doozies, including some Day-Glo fluorescent ones. Complete with shoulder pads, natch. I bought a whole package of men's undershirts so I could wear them with those big foam shoulder pads; I was wearing one the other day (without the shoulder pads)--it's been my painting shirt for the last 20 years.

    But your photo reminds me of the single most identifying point of the 80's: the hair. The bigger, the better. When my daughter and her girlfriend got ready to go ANYWHERE they spent forever teasing and spraying their hair into what I called "hair fantasies". There is still Aussie hairspray permanently lacquered to the bathroom door. And my daughter will be 43 next month. (And she still has incredible hair. I tell her it needs her own zip code.) In all of her prom pictures she looks taller than her dates because of those gravity-defying hairdos.

    By the way, I just finished Bitches of Brooklyn last night. What a fun book. You did a great job of giving each character her own distinct personality. Well done.

  9. I was in high school and college in the 80s, so I wore the leg warmers, shoulder pads, puffed sleeves, paper bag waisted jeaned, brightly colored plastic jewelry... I remember multicolored groupings of small plastic bead necklaces, twisted together and hooked at the ends with a metal ring. We color coordinated the necklaces to our clothes. Brightly colored scrunchy socks were big, usually worn over stirrup pants. I had fantastic hair in the 80s. No, really, it looked good, but it wasn't all that fashionable. No hairspray, no mall hair - short and sleek. In high school our major entertainment was going to "air guitars" put on by the local radio station. I was all about the John Hughes movies. My favorite was Some Kind of Wonderful (actually, my hair was a lot like Mary Stuart Masterson's, now that I think about it), but Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles were also great. I also loved anything with John Cusack (still do), so there was Better Off Dead ("I want my two dollars!"), The Sure Thing, One Crazy Summer, and at the tail end of the 80s, Say Anything. I watched the first video shown on MTV (Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles), and Video Jukebox on HBO. Many videos were like little movies, with complete stories. Remember Take On Me by aha? They're using it in a commercial now. Prince and Madonna reigned, along with MJ of course. Little sister Janet was also big, as were Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran Culture Club. At the other end of the spectrum we listened to Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Twisted Sister and Van Halen. Out in left field were the Violent Femmes. Anyone remember Falco? Rock Me Amadeus? I remember being horribly jealous because my friends got to go to an Adam Ant concert. Still have the albums. And can't forget Rick Springfield. I was a little obsessed. I wrote my only fan letter to him.

  10. Didn't we all want to look like Jennifer Beals...i still wouldn't mind.
    Paper bag waisted pants - can you think of anything less flattering?? With the nipped in ankles?

    Hallie are you the web mistress next week? maybe we should each have a Throwback Thursday..

  11. Karen...thanks for the kind words..please feel free to share on Amazon or wherever else your internet travels take you! ;-)

  12. The best description of those full waisted pants with the tucked bottoms: Ice cream cone butt.

    Who wants that?

    It did look cute on my middle daughter, though, who would safety pin the legs of her jeans narrower and then cuff them. But she was six at the time.

  13. 80's, 80's...lemme think..I was ..huh A reporter (!) in Atlanta, for a few years, disco was huge and I was working SO hard! Moved to Boston, and then--boom. Big hair. Shoulder pads you would not believe--all about the power suit. I still have some of those jackets, and when I see them, I cannot believe I actually wore them.

    Who did shoot JR? A woman, right..whose name was...Ah.....

    And wasn't there Dynasty, too? Eighties music lost me..I think these were the beginnings of my workaholic years.

  14. And a HUGE shout out to Deb Romano!! WHo drove TWO HOURS in hideous traffic to come tom y signing in Mystic! Hurray!! and it still brings tears to my eyes to think of it! Thank you thank you thank you...

  15. 80s TV - ooooh, I remember being totally addicted to Knot's Landing. I think I would plan my entire week around it. Actually - I loved 80s TV - The Cosby Show, Hart to Hart, Cagney and Lacy, Taxi.

    I was in Atlanta in the 80s. Single and partying hard at some of the disco bars where it was not unusual to run into celebrities on the dance floor, such as Grace Jones at Limelight.

    Atlanta was a great place for concerts (the ONE thing I miss about living there) and I saw some of the greats during the 80s.

    And I admit to loving leg warmers. I had some fuzzy pink ones I wore constantly.

    And isn't it funny how true that saying about everything old is new again - my favorite outfit then was jeans tucked into boots & a tunic. My favorite thing now is jeans/leggings tucked into boots & a tunic.

  16. In April of 1983 my daughters were ten, eight, seven, and newborn -- that's all I remember. I probably wore clothes, but nothing I can recall!!

  17. My daughter was born in 1983. One of my maternity outfits was a hot pink velour jogging suit. I must have looked like a huge human raspberry...

    I seemed to have skipped an entire music and TV decade. My life was all Sesame Street, Montessori school, then t-ball and softball and soccer. I HATED Dallas (I actually live just a few miles from where it was filmed) and couldn't have cared less who shot JR.

    I did have the worst hair-do of my life for a couple of years in the late 80s--a short perm. Whatever possessed me... And jumpsuits with shoulder pads. Does anyone remember how hard it was to go to the bathroom in those things???

    My 80s TV fave? Miami Vice!!! The women looked ridiculous, the guys gorgeous. And I still love that whole Michael Mann cinematic look.

  18. I remember those John Hughes movies with Molly Ringwald: Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and Breakfast Club. They scream 80s. I so wanted to be Molly Ringwald!

  19. My days were mostly consumed with babies then, children born in 1983 and 1987. I do recall that it was the decade of the big glasses for me. Pictures taken during this time reveal me in enormously sized eyeglasses, which take up most of my face. Also, that was the decade when I was getting my hair permed, so it was rather large, too. Maybe I should dub it the decade of large for me--large belly, large glasses and large hair. LOL!

  20. Kathy Reel--Oh, yes, how could I have forgotten the big glasses!!! Mine covered at least half my face. Between the glasses and perm... yuck. No nostalgia for that...

  21. Ah, the 80s: I had an afro for much of that time. Since my hair is naturally straight, it really did NOT look good on me, but everyone was doing it! And the shoulder pads that made me look like a turtle? I finally started ripping them out of blouses and jackets, and tossing them in the garbage.

    Denise Ann:

    I burst out laughing when I read your "memories" of the 80s!

    It was such a pleasure to meet you yesterday! It was worth enduring the bumper-to-bumper traffic.

    Every fifteen minutes I would make the decision as to whether or not to continue. I was in the left lane and realized it would probably take forever to get to an exit, so I stayed on I-95. When the traffic DID clear up - after the exit for the route to the casinos, incidentally - it took just ten minutes to get to the bookstore. My trip home was a breeze: only an hour and ten minutes. (And I had a massage last night, which eased the sore muscles from tensing up behind the wheel!) Anyone who has the opportunity to meet Hank at a signing should take advantage: she is gracious to all, and has some mighty interesting stories to tell! I learned things about Hank that I did know!

  22. huge glasses - looking back at pictures, I looked like an OWL

    PERMs OMG - can't believe how many perms I had

    shoulder pads - hated them with a passion, what woman would want to look like a football player - I cut them out of anything I bought that had them

    Golden Girls - their wardrobe screams 1980's

  23. Someone mentioned Falco. I really like the song Vienna Calling. I took German in high school so I also liked Nena's 99 Luftballons (the German version is better). Cyndi Lauper and Madonna were my favorites. I love 80's music and they have it on the radio on Friday and Saturday nights. I graduated from high school in 1990. I think I cut the shoulder pads out of my sweaters. I never had big hair (but it was bigger with a perm) because it's thin. I'm waiting for perms to come back so I can have volumized hair. I still want big hair. I love Hart to Hart, too. Alf and Unsolved Mysteries are other favorite TV shows. Anyone remember Crazy Like a Fox with Jack Warden? Me and my mother loved it. Simon and Simon and Remington Steele. Young Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones are my favorite movies from the 80's. I never wore leg warmers.

  24. Here's another 80's memory: we didn't yet have a cassette player yet, so my Jane Fonda workout was courtesy of an LP record! Of course I wore the leotard, it was de rigeur, you know!

    Santa Barbara was my favorite soap when I was pregnant with my middle daughter. I was housebound and it was a brutally hot summer, so I spent two months in our air-conditioned family room, bored out of my mind, and discovered SB.

  25. My memory of the eighties was wearing a rust colored body suit with tights and looking like one of the Fruit of the loom characters.i dutifully did Jane Fonda's exercise tape. One day DH came for lunch and found me on the floor in my leotard, I scared him so much he forbade me not to exercise alone again. A relief, because I had trouble pretzeling myself, anyway!

  26. 99 Luftballoons...loved it! I've been listening to and singing 80s songs all day...
    The Go-Gos, Bananarama. My neighbors must think I've gone off my rocker...

  27. LOL and the question still has not been answered, "Who Shot J.R." ?? It was Kristen.

  28. Danskin for the win! If you were at the Saturday Steely Dan show in CT, so was I! *hops in time machine to wave*

  29. Posting a day late with what is probably a very "different" comment-- there were NO Eighties for me. I was practicing law full time, switched specialties from family law to copyright and publishing law and had to build up my practice all over again, wrote three novels, got involved in Science Fiction Writers of America and lots of science fiction conventions, had some 300+ articles published (freelance), chaired a section of the State Bar, gave copyright speeches at writers' conferences all over the country-- and was mostly so exhausted that I was a zombie when I wasn't working.

    Whenever there is a quiz that involves a song I've never heard, I always guess it is from the 80's and I am always right. My Lost Decade. (I think I watched a lot of unmemorable prime-time soaps, and changed the color of my nail polish a lot.)

    I remember the Seventies, and then it was the Nineties. I don't remember anything in between.