It was May 29, 1991, and I was a junior in college. Two of my friends wanted to go out and party in Austin (we lived in Georgetown, about 30 minutes north). I was the one with a car, and I really didn't want to go out. They convinced me, and I told them that if we were going out, we were going to stay out LATE (such is the logic of a 20-year old dude). It was a Wednesday, which meant that there was really only one good choice – The Sanitarium, which played early 80's music every Wednesday night.
Around 11:30 or so, I was on the rather crowded dance floor (well, really it was more like a stage) and my future wife came up to me and said, "You dance really well." The rest is history. Three children and over sixteen years later, we have had a terrific time and life together since that fateful night. I always like to joke that my wife picked me up in a club. My wife is tall (5'11") and she tells the story this way to our friends (and I quote): "I was bored because my friend Amy had gone away somewhere to talk to a musician she met. I saw a tall, cute guy dancing (Editor's note: who would that be?), so I decided to talk to him."
Before you bother to make any humorous comments about the fact that she was bored and had nothing better to do and that's why she approached me, believe me, I have heard them all before.
The points of this tale are:
A. I am a good enough dancer that I managed to score a tall, beautiful woman as my wife by using my mad dancing skills.
B. I will never forget that night as long as I live.
That being said, I wanted to commemorate that night with a selection of tunes that we danced to, and also give some other memories along the way. I hope you enjoy this one.
Come on Eileen – Dexy's Midnight Runners – This was one of the more memorable songs from that night. We even danced like the lead singer does for a few seconds in the last half minute or so of this video (arms behind our backs flapping elbows to the sides like wings).
Yes, I am a shameless fool on the dance floor when there is a song that I like playing. By the way, what was the deal with this band anyway? The video depicts them as some type of roving band of ugly English hillbillies. Some of the choreography honestly reminds me of the Jets vs. the Sharks in "West Side Story". How did this song manage to make it in the era when video was everything? It is just doggone good – I still like hearing it.
Erotic City – Prince – Sorry – I couldn't find a good video for this one. We were standing outside the club trying to cool down (it was a large club with like one window unit for cooling the whole place) when this song came on. This lovely girl I had just met said, "We have to dance to this!" and we went back inside for more.
Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins I don't have any major memories of this one, other than I feel sure we danced to it that evening. This song has become one of my all-time favorites, since it is linked to both my wife and the very first time I spent the night at my best friend's house in junior high. As I recall, that was back when "Friday Night Videos" was on, and he and I watched this video on his living room floor. A song gains a certain hook in your brain if it has multiple good memories attached to it.
99 Red Balloons – Nena I had a similar experience with this song. It reminds me of my wife, and it also reminds me of being 12 years old, and listening to this tune repeatedly on the patio of our house in Dallas on a RECORD PLAYER (how old am I anyway?), trying to learn the lyrics in German and in English.
We also heard Yaz ("Situation"). Whenever I hear the opening lyrics to this particular song, it instantly transports me back to my youth, and I hope it always does. Here is a sampling of additional tunes, so that you can feel like you were there with us:
She Blinded Me With Science – Thomas Dolby I hesitate to admit that this video actually used to scare me a little bit when I was young. Who am I kidding? It still scares me watching it today.
Don't You Want Me Baby – Human League This song actually has the quintessential 80's video – mascara-wearing androgyny on display, techno pop tune, very literal story-telling.
I Ran – Flock of Seagulls Ugliest lead singer ever? Perhaps. However, I still jam (is that still a word used in common parlance?) when this song comes on
Here Comes the Rain Again – Eurythmics My wife and I actually both hate this song, but for different reasons. She hates it with the pure hatred of someone who loves the band, but only dislikes their one huge hit song. Much like Rolling Stones fans not enjoying "Satisfaction" (too commercial) or Deadheads not liking "Touch of Gray" or Doors fans not liking "Love Her Madly". Actually, I got that last one about the Doors from a skit on "Kids in the Hall". If you are not following my logic, don't sweat it – this post is really for my wife anyway.
Thanks for coming along on my journey. This was fun, at least for me.
I decided to write a new post about music, since my others got a good response: