I Love the 80s, Fenway and Ashlee
Any week filled with dressing up like Magnum P.I. and taking a tour of Fenway Park must be a good one, so let’s begin the love train….now!
I was back at it again with two weekend work days – normally known as A Big F**kin’ Drag. But Friday night was 1980s Night for the team and a chance for me to do what I’ve always wanted: to play 80s tunes all night long. What goes into making a successful 80s Night promotion for a hockey team? Well, music and outfits. For nights like this (we did a big 1970s Night last year, complete with post-party with Motor Booty Affair), we require the whole staff to get decked out and we definitely got into it. For us, these nights always seem to fall at the mid-point of the season which is about the same time when we think about pushing each other down elevator shafts. Seriously, working in a small office and seeing each other more than family and friends does that to sane people. So to be told that you need to be decked out in 80s gear for an evening and get bling blinged for it is a good thing.
After downloading, editing and compiling from 6-8 hours this week (all post-work hours, mind you), I was ready to rock. Blondie, Tommy Tutone, The Pretenders, G’n'R, Toni Basil, Bon Jovi, Mr. Mister, you name it: I had it. It’s amazing to search sites and listen to playlists and just fall back in awe of how musically simple, yet amazing, the 80s was. People remember it for different reasons like the one-hit wonders like Mickey and 867-5309 or the hair metal gods that came to fruition or the now-classic rock acts that emerged like U2. If you wanted it, you got it. People talk about the 70s being the best-ever decade to be a music fan. Maybe, but I can come up with arguments that say the 80s might top it. Perhaps it’s because I am a child of the decade but if you’re a follower of pop culture at all, there’s no doubt that 1980-1989 was THE decade. Period.
Back to Friday: I originally was going as Slash from G’n'R but realized that spending some $$$ on a leather jacket to completely finish off the look was not happening. But after some discussions and intense ‘research,’ I landed on one of the biggest stars of the 80s: my fraternity brother and middle-aged god Tom Selleck, aka Magnum P.I. It took about two nights to compile all the goods: curly wig, fake mustache, Hawaiian shirt and the symbolic Detroit Tigers baseball cap, but it fell short of other great outfits like Dee Snider (my friend, the loud and outlandishly-fabulous Greg), Darth Vader, complete with authentic mask (another friend, Ben) and Boy George (my buddy Chris) who all made it up on our videoboard in funny moments.
In discussing outfits, most of us thought about characters first and style of dress second. Think about it. While the 80s were known as me-first and capitalistic, that seemed to transcend into pop culture creating singular-type icons rather than a wide-sweeping trend like the 60s/70s. Think I’m crazy? Here’s a quick 10:Alf, Magnum P.I., Mr. T., Airwolf, Knight Rider, Smurfs, Transformers, GI Joe, Michael Jackson, E.T. That took me about a minute. Now, try thinking of a quick 10 that are similarly recognizable from the 1970s that aren’t named ‘Led’ or ‘Zeppelin.’
Keep going. I’m waiting…
Not many, eh? The 80s were just fun. People wearing outlandish outfits and being widely-accepted for them. I mean, torn sweatshirts showing off one shoulder? Pegged jeans? Shaved lines in your hair? Leg warmers? If there was one decade in American history that screamed party, it is the 1980s. While pundits critizicize our current culture for pushing the envelope in good taste, everything was good to go in the 80s. We watched a show with a small furry alien on a major network…FOR FIVE YEARS. There’s no one that looks back on these years and can’t crack a smile – it’s damn near impossible
But I digress. The party after the game was even better as Boston-based Fast Times (www.fasttimes.biz) took the stage and rocked an after-game party we sponsored. About 500 people attended, most of which were decked out in classic gear. If there was a heaven, Friday night was it.
That feeling extended into Saturday where I headed down to Boston for an impromptu visit to the mecca of all sports: Fenway Park. A few of us had planned a trip to down to the Fens in order to properly honor and enjoy what happened last October. While still winter, one of our group happened to be in the area and the first of what will be many trips is on. After a somewhat-confusing T ride (where I shared an area with former Saturday Night Live alum Kevin Nealon), myself and two other friends went on an almost 90-minute tour of the park, hitting almost every single part except for the field (which is done in the spring/summer trips). After this experience, we finished the experience with some purchases at the Souvenir Store (where I dreamed about living as a young dude) and food/beers at the Boston Beer Works and Cask n’Flagon. It would hard to write a better span of hours than Friday-Saturday, unless a trip to the Bunny Ranch was involved.
Did I mention I was spitting distance from Hilary Duff on Thursday?
-On the way down to Boston, I picked up a girl friend who wasn’t originally supposed to go. She then invited another friend who was staying with her, not a big deal by any means. However, she did say, “You don’t mind us coming along, do you?” Now what am I supposed to say to that? I didn’t mind, but even if I did, would I say, “Yes. I wish you and your friend would have not come along. I expect today to be terrible as a result.” It’s like when people say, “Can I ask you a question?” and just go ahead anyway. There are certain times when people should think about what they’re actually saying. Has anyone ever given honest answers to questions like this? I might start this week.
–I read a chain email (ugh) about Jeff Foxworthy’s jokes about You Know You’re From New England…which I assume is some a**hole typing up some one-liners, saying it’s from Foxworthy and forwarding it so the rest of us can delete it a week after getting it. One of them said something along the lines of, “You know you’re from New England if 20 degrees is ‘chilly.’” Seriously, it felt like a damn heatwave today when it hit 35. Has there been a more miserable stretch of cold weather ever? Can I ask you a question?
–I’m attempting to work my HTML magic and add some new subjects on the blog like what I’m listening to, a few links, etc. If you’re not seeing it while reading this, I probably haven’t figured it out yet.
–With seven days to go, the Super Bowl is looming near. I hate the two week delay as there’s only so many times I can hear about Terrell Owens, the Patriots winning two of the last three titles, Tom Brady, Donovan McNabb, Freddie Mitchell’s comments about Rodney Harrison and blah blah, yadda, yadda and more. Two weeks to talk about a 60-minute game that more times than not disappoints sports fans seems a bit much for a game that will end in a 24-17 Pats win (my official prediction). However, the money generated in ads alone makes this more than a game but rather a pop-culture mega-event. Throw in the fact that mainstream America can’t get into the Patriots and you have a recipe for low ratings outside the New England and Philly regions.
Let’s just hope that Ashlee Simpson doesn’t do the halftime show.
Thanks for reading,