Rockin’ the 80s

May 10, 2012 § 1 Comment

When I think of the 80’s, I think of the music. Sure, the big hair and fluorescent fashion, but mostly the music. Here’s why.

Picture it. Spring. 1987.

I volunteered to be in charge of music for our 6th grade dance. It was a natural fit since I loved to listen to music while dancing around in front of my mirror. Plus, I had a boom box with two tape decks, so I could make an awesome mix tape. Each day I turned the radio to my favorite channel, popped in a blank cassette tape and caught the bus to school. When I got home I sat with pen and paper and wrote down the songs I wanted to use, approximately where they were on the tape, and if they were on side A or side B. Once I had my list of songs, I had to carefully choose the song order for my mix tape. I spent countless hours going back to the original tapes, finding the songs, and recording them in the proper order for my mix tapes. I am fairly positive that the tapes included songs by Madonna, Janet Jackson, Genesis, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, George Michael and Cyndi Lauper.

When the night of the dance arrived I dressed in a long, jean skirt, a button down blouse with squiggly, multi-colored squares (borrowed from my mom’s closet), and pastel colored sneakers. I topped it off with a turquoise belt that formed a “v” around my waist. After a good amount of Aqua Net hairspray, I was super-stylish and ready to go.

I don’t remember much about the dance other than where the boom-box was located. I mostly remember anxiously awaiting each song and watching my classmates reactions, hoping they liked my mix tape.

To me, Rock of Ages is like an 80’s mix tape. Set in 1987, it has some of the best rock songs of the 80’s – songs by Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Styx and more. When I hear songs like “Anyway You Want It” and ”Sister Christian” I am transported back in time. I remember where I was, what I was doing and how I felt. I have no doubt that I will be smiling the entire time during this show. And just like my 6th grade dance, I will be anxiously awaiting each song.

Mix tapes are just like iPod mixes, but a lot more time consuming to create. If someone made you a mix tape, you knew they had put countless hours of work and thought into it. It meant they really cared about you. For us, Rock of Ages is ACA’s mix tape for you, and we hope you enjoy it.

What songs are on your 80’s mix tape?

– ACA Education & Outreach Director, Erynn Smith

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