The 80’s :: Make ’em scream and shout

Stray Cats

Video Killed the Radio Star :: Rock This Town :: Stray Cats

Junior High school years, or what they now are terming “middle school“, are not the easiest of times for anyone. I have yet to meet a single person who looks back with a smile on their face when talking about their Junior High school memories, there was always something they grimace at recalling, and they all swear they would never, ever want to go back. With that in mind, coming up with things to remember hating from that time in my life is actually quite easy, as I am sure it is for most people, where the challenge lies is remembering something good.

Well, Stray Cats helps a lot with this, as there is no way to hear this song, or this album, and not have a big smile on my face. Rock This Town reminds me of my Junior High crush, the “preacher’s son” at the church school we both went to (yes, how very Dusty Springfield, right?) who was a “rockabilly” and played guitar and sang in a Stray Cats cover band (they were terrible, but at the time I thought they were amazing). He was new to the school and had this rebel thing about him (preacher’s son, of course) that was completely irresistible.

Of course, he was completely enamored with the most popular girl in our class, and only ever saw me as a friend who loved music like he did, but at least we had that, which for a painfully shy 13 year old was a really big deal. For most of our 8th grade year together he did not know I was silently and secretly “in love” with him until he and his best friend got a hold of a notebook for of notes between my school best friend and I where we wrote ad-nauseum about our crushes on him and his best friend. I was humiliated, to say the least, to the point of begging my Mother repeatedly to let me change schools mid-year. She did not allow it, of course, and I spent the remainder of the year doing everything in my power to avoid him, which was near impossible as there were only twelve of us in the small, parochial school 8th grade class.

Years later I would see him when I was working at Tower Records. I knew him immediately as he walked up to the counter with a stack of punk rock CD’s to purchase, but I assumed he would not know me (or maybe I just hoped he would not). He smiled at me slyly, giving me a wink as he handed me his money and said “hey aren’t you that girl who was sooooooooooooo in love with me?” The adolescent memory of a girl in me wanted to run and hide, though the grown-up girl of 26 just wanted to smack him. I did neither, instead I laughed and said “Sure am, though with that hair I am not sure what I ever saw in you.” (he was sporting a bad mullet!) He laughed back and said “touche!” and then said “well, with that whole everything you got going on I was a fool to not return the feelings.” and walked away.

Yes, that adolescent memory of a girl was left smiling, and rocking her own town a little after. I mean, after all, he was her first real and in-person boy in a band crush.

Rock This Town :: Stray Cats


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