Sunday, January 23, 2011


It is Sunday. You know what that means. Yep. I am one day late, but not TOO late for the Inspirational Music Post for the weekend. I used to call it the Saturday post. I can't remember when it last made it on a Saturday. I am thinking of calling it the Inspirational Music Sunday post. That way it would fall on the correct day.

Normally, I pull out my Inspirational To Me song first and then move on to what was rocking MTV back in the 80s. If you are new to Inspirational Song Day, the MTV portion of this post is decided on several factors. 80s music and 80s video were using one another to rocket songs to success. Some artists were exceptional at this and others not so much. I think that everyone understands that teenagers were riveted to MTV, but they didn't all understand how to go about making a great video. Or they didn't have the skills to really entertain. Some people can sing, but can they perform? Those are two very different skill sets. If not for MTV, Michael Jackson and Madonna might not be the legends in music that they are today. Ponder that for a moment and then we shall move on.

Okay, I am going to bank on the fact that you have pondered. Or as John Cage from Ally McBeal would have said, "You have taken a moment." Let's take a look at WHAM today. That would be the duo that was George Michael and that Other Guy. You don't remember his name? Me either. George Michael was the talent in that duo. He was also the good looks and the performer. In other words, he had it all going on. If your gaydar was installed and working properly, you knew he was gay, straight out of the gate. My friend, Megan, spotted it immediately. Gay. I was like, "Say what? He is yummy."

She says, "If those shorts get any shorter in WAKE ME UP BEFORE YOU GO -GO, he will be without pants." She then went into, "Who wears short shorts, George wears short shorts," in a sing song voice. I was very familiar with the video and the short shorts. She was right. They couldn't get any shorter. Gay. How sad. I got over it and just enjoyed the show. It's still a great song. How does he get his teeth that white? Inquiring minds need to know! And here is the video and George in his very short shorts... I apologize ahead of time because it is a very catchy tune. The 80s are brilliant with their songs.

WHAM! Now wasn't that awesome? That is just like going back in time. Well, as close as I am ever going to get. Here is another best from WHAM! I love this one for two reasons. You get the plus of seeing what the concerts were like, because they have it going on in the background. Man, that was insane. You can also see what the live performances were like... incredible, amazing, mind-blowing, insert your own word here. However, it isn't strictly a lame concert video, which I think is lame when you have this wonderful medium at your disposal. However, George Michael functions best as a performance artist, so you can see why inserting pieces of his concerts into his videos works. It is all part of the art. It showcases how he MOVES. Sort of like Michael Jackson and his dancing. That is a big part of what made him such a huge hit. Singing and dancing and how they went together were a very big deal in the 80s. I will stop talking about it and let you watch it in action...

Eventually, George Michael split from the Other Guy and went solo. Well, that was huge because one of his first big hits as a solo artist was I WANT YOUR SEX. Does anyone else remember this? I was glad I was at college when this happened. I can't imagine playing this at top volume at home. My mom would have blown a freaking gasket. At college, it was a whole different ballgame. I was listening to the Violent Femmes at top volume and they used the "F" word repeatedly, which would have might caused her to disown me. Did I mention there was some rebellion going on in college? No. I suppose that listening to The Violent Femmes and I WANT YOUR SEX are fairly large clues. I suppose that is better than having lots of sex. People who talk about it a lot are usually not doing it. Just sayin'. Mom would be relieved. Just in case she reads this blog. Moving on...

Anyway, one of my favorite songs off of that album was the song called MONKEY. I don't think that I have seen the video until today. However, it illustrates how much George's image changed in a fairly short amount of time. About six years, I think. I don't know if he was out of the closet with everyone, or if I just knew because of my above-mentioned friend, Megan. I know that my college best friend, Jennifer, had a terrible crush on him. I hated to dash her hopes and dreams. She refused to accept the cold, hard truth, so I am thinking that maybe he was still in the closet. I don't know. My memory is lousy. Or she thought it was a waste. Whatever. *sigh* Anyway, at the time, I thought the song was about drugs, because drugs were commonly referred to as being a monkey on someone's back. However, I now think that any addiction can be the monkey. It's a great song. I think I love it more now than I did then. I hope you give it a listen. George still has excellent moves, but the lyrics of the song just might speak to you. A monkey is anything that is holding you back. Keeping you from getting what you want in your life. You need to figure out how to peel that thing off, once and for all, so that you can start living the life that is waiting for you. And when I say you, I mean you... and me.

Technically, I suppose I could stop this post right here because that song was pretty darn inspirational to me. Right now. However, I already had something else picked out for today. Something occurred to me a couple of days ago. As someone who loves 80s music, there are a few things about it that make it appealing. It is lyrical in a way that it is distinctive to the decade. Most songs last about three minutes. Another thing is that the chorus repeats many times. Particularly at the end. If you don't know any part of the song, you know the chorus, because it is repeated often. Not so in current rock music. You get the chorus at most, in many, three times. And the songs can last up to five minutes. Also, the chord structure in current music is limited. The riffs don't linger in your head. You don't find yourself humming them later. The music isn't lyrical. They aren't easy to sing. As someone who likes to karaoke, the current stuff is tough to sing. And a lot of it is actually not that pretty. 80s music is fun to sing. Sounds pretty. As a singer, it is easier to sing. All kinds of pluses. Interesting.

Now, where was I going? The thing that is closest to 80s music in today's music: Country music. You heard me. It is the reason that people who like OLD country don't like today's country. It is too pop. If you listen to Tim McGraw's song BACK WHEN (which I love, by the way) there is a line in there about him missing back when because they have put pop in his country. It's true. All of the people who grew up on 80s music rebelled when the 90s rolled around, started throwing up in their mouths every time the radio came on, and finally switched to country. Country figured out they were gaining a younger audience (people who grew up on 80s) and started putting pop in their country to keep them, and it worked. People of the 80s: that is where your 80s music went, just in case you were wondering. Everyone who loved John Mellencamp, Bryan Adams, Journey, etc. switch your dial to country. They now go by Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, etc. You can pay me later. I will give you my PayPal information, just send me an email.

Last week I played a Miranda Lambert song called The House That Built Me. That one makes me cry. It's a song about wanting to go home again. I have been feeling that myself. That "if I can just go back for a few minutes, I will find the missing piece and put myself back together again." In fact, I was thinking about roller skating around my neighbor's garage to Rod Stewart's DO YOU THINK I'M SEXY this morning. We would strap on our skates. Yeah, I am that old. And skate around the garage with the record blaring, singing at the top of our voices. At the time, I was certain NO ONE thought I was sexy. I was twelve. Maybe thirteen. However, I was looking forward to a day in the future when someone I had yet to meet would definitely think I was sexy. Back then, all I wanted to be was older and sexy. Now, I would love to be back in that garage, strapping on those skates, and not have a real care in the world. Funny how that works. And that is why I like this song. And so I present Lady Antebellum. The 80s gone country.

I think I used to have the dress she is wearing while she is under the clothesline. Bless her heart. Rock on people.

And in the immortal words of our Atlanta newscaster on youtube, "I love you long. I love you strong. And for God's sake, don't do anything stupid. Don't do anything stupid, people."

images found at


  1. I love the white twirly dress at the beginning. I have a black one like it crying in the closet.... never worn because I stopped social dancing a couple years ago.

    If I had legs and a tush like that, I'd wear short shorts too. Gay men aren't afraid to move their hips. Straight men get such a dorky look on their face when you ask them to move their hips. (I'm a dance teacher.... ha)

    I had forgotten what 80's music is like. Great post.
    Love and peace.

  2. I didn't have a gaydar growing up...I loved george and had a pic of him above my bed...of his rear...lmao.
    yeah,little did I know that I wasn't the only one lovin his rear end. lololol.
    oy. innocence.
    And the house that built me makes me cry too.
    If i could just come in I swear I'll leave, won't take nothing but a memory..from the house that built me.

  3. "I want your sex" is one of my favorites!

  4. As far as I am concern you can never have enough WHAM and George Michael. My favorite is Careless Whispers.

    Now, putting on my roller skates and skate to Rod that is something I would love to do AGAIN, yes again.

  5. Hey.. your comment on my blog was assume. Long, sure - but I was following right along with ya as I have thought some of the same things. Thanks for stopping by, hope you make it back over there again!


  6. Love, love, love Lady Antebellum's American Honey and the video that goes with it too. Reminds me of what I wish my childhood and the world were like. In my household, we have always played some of all different kinds of music. As I result I was always a 'closet' country music listener. (Barbara Mandrell and all that...) I distinctly remember always turning down my radio and switching the station back to top 40 upon entering the high school parking lot. Then one day I saw someone's notebook, one of the popular kids, who had written 'Friends In Low Places' on it. I knew right then that we were in for a real music revolution...

  7. Robin: I think I might be in trouble here. I wouldn't wear any of those clothes. I never listened to George Michael or his Monkey. I like Rod Stewart. I love Lady Antebellum. And I'm not so old that I can't remember I WANT YOUR SEX, except I didn't know it was a song.

  8. I always thought George Michael and Boy George should have moved past their sleazy sagas and become old-time crooners; they both have the voices for it. They could've done it before Michael Buble and Tony Bennett and that crowd made it all popular again ....

  9. Robin: Yenta Mary is quite right!

  10. Okay, Robin. I saw the video. Before I comment, just tell me one thing. George Michael was the one singing, right?

  11. Very funny, JJ. If that teaching thing doesn't work out, your next career can be in stand up comedy:-)

  12. I was never a huge WHAM fan but I gotta say...George Michael certainly rings my bell, yes he does. I think I've sang "Freedom 90" about 8,000 times in my car. Love it - love the videos! (and yes, Lady Antebellum kicks some major ass too!)

    Hope all is well!

  13. I love George! Always have, always will. And now I have "Monkey" in my head! :)

    I'm so glad you found me (via Tracy - she is awesome!). Thank you for your comment. I truly appreciated what you wrote.

    You've got a great blog here! I'll be back for more!


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