Seriously, is this not a hilarious photo of me and my friend The Big A? I’m not just talking about her duck sweatshirt or my dreamy eyes; I’m talking about me posing with my framed Eddie Van Halen photo. Back in 1984, we both proclaimed that we were going to move to California and change our last names to Van Halen. We suffered from the fever that is now known as heavy metal fever. Can you blame us? For the record, we made those big plans when I was in 8th grade.
Being a teenager in the 1980′s was a magical thing. Not only was nearly every song ever played on the radio great, but we witnessed the birth of MTV, and got to see our stars make sweet love to us via rock videos. I actually saw the very first video play on MTV. I watched that channel daily even though I was a poor white girl from the ghetto. Rule number one – if you can’t afford cable, find a friend who can. (I am just kidding. Every poor person still manages to find money to pay for cable. That is rule number one.) I can even semi-proudly say I drank my first California Cooler and coincidently broke my first ever coffee table while dancing along to MTV.
Now, I had been a fan of Van Halen since the summer of 79. I have trouble remembering a lot of things from that time frame, but I’ll never forget my neighbor W. roll up on his bike and blast me Van Halen’s first album from his ghetto blaster. I was blown away and hooked within minutes after hearing them jam. I never forgot them, but, when MTV showed me a fine young man named Eddie Van Halen and I saw him play guitar in that glorious song “Jump” … well, let’s say a school girl crush of epic proportions was born. I covered all of my walls with his picture, bought my own guitar, and I may have even worn his picture in my heart-shaped locket. Oh, I even had a boyfriend that looked just like him, but I ended it after 3 days like any other abnormal 8th grade girl would do.
Here I am in my high school yearbook, hard at work with a fashionable side pony heavily sprayed and clipped with the best invention ever – the banana clip. (Lordy, how I miss them.) It’s really hard to see, but if you glance at my child development book, you can see where I wrote VAN HALEN. Well, actually I can only see HALEN if I squint, because this pic was taken of a picture in my yearbook from my sucky cell phone camera, but you get the idea. I defaced every park bench, textbook, and school locker with my famous VH#1 Forever from 1984 – 1989. If it was the crappier VH around town, then it was one of mine. (My neighbor W. had much more time on his hands and could devote hours to his VH defacing. Am I jealous? Yep, but I had to do my homework and work two jobs, so …)
Between reading my two rock books this weekend and listening to my iTouch that mysteriously played me nine Van Halen songs during my 4 mile walk tonight, I said to myself … this needs to be Rock Girl Weekend. Fate was telling me to write about my rock bands. So there you have it. Did you have a favorite rock star boyfriend or band in the 80s?
I’ll always have EVH and the memories of the three nights we spent together at concerts.