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Worst Decade Ever? The 1980s

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What I remember of the 1980s was the end of the first act of my life and it nearly killed me. The Lebanese civil war had chased me out of  one home and my family had chased me out of my other, so there was in New York City in 1984, with no money, no friends, no family and no hope, writing about the worst music I had ever heard.

So if I look back at the 1980s with a sort of horror, I have my reasons, but trust me, a lot of them were musical.

How bad the the 1980s? Luther Vandross was our biggest soul man, Duran Duran were sex symbols, and Public Enemy were the greatest rap band in the world… and Schooly D was gangsta rap and Costello was considered a great thinker and Madonna a sex symbol. AND THE REPLACEMENTS WERE THE ROLLING STONES.

It was a big, thick mush of dayglo monstrousness. For fuck’s sake we took Ze Records as our next Motown. August Darnell was talented no doubt, but get real here.

It was daytime in America but it felt a lot like late afternoon as AIDS decimated the gay community and Reagan refused to pony up the funding (ACT UP was the single greatest thing about the 1980s)  and meanwhile the music just sucked and sucked and sucked.

I remember the 1980s as one long nightmare, never ending, never pleasant, buying the new Costello album and discovering it was Spike, being so broke I couldn’t afford a gyro before work, contemplating suicide on a daily basis and no fucking music to get excited about.

Finally, in 1987, I gave up on the decade, changed careers, sobered up, and stopped listening to any new music at all. Instead, I filled the gaps in my pop knowledge: starting with everything by Armstrong and Cline and then started searching. And that was it till I heard Nirvana…

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