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What was your favorite 1980s fad?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on July 3, 2006

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Photo of JoLynne Bartolotta

“Tight-rolled jeans and leg warmers. I found them absolutely hilarious.”

Photo of Bob Tryanski

“The Reagan administration. There are just endless things to laugh and cry about.”

Photo of Chris Handy

“Parachute pants. I liked that they were so baggy.”

Photo of Sue Coyle

“Probably just the music. I really liked the music of the ‘80s. Pat Benatar. I love Blondie and Patty Smyth.”

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justsomewench 11 years, 11 months ago

i try to forget the 80s as much as possible. i also try to stay away from people that enjoyed the 80s. they're typically equally unredeeming.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 11 months ago


Wait, is that a valid answer to this question?

Happy almost-fourth. I am one of those poor slobs who has to work today.

Sigmund 11 years, 11 months ago

Bra burning, or is that the wrong decade?

jonas 11 years, 11 months ago

Man, Bob Tryanski totally wins this thread.

aaaaaccckkk can't stop!!!!

Teenage mutant ninja turtles Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!! Heroes In A Half Shell!! Turtle Power!!

The live action movie kicked A$$. Thanks adavid.

jonas 11 years, 11 months ago

Oh man. . . . .

Spiderman III trailer.

I'm totally geekin' this morning.

I just said totally geekin. . . uh oh.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 11 months ago

Oh, and I wonder whether JoLynne actually found those trends hilarious in the 80s, or whether she finds them hilarious now and simply misspoke.

justsomewench 11 years, 11 months ago

they were funny to her then, but she wears them now.

i will admit i liked mtv, but those were my teen years.

gphawk89 11 years, 11 months ago

80's hair bands! Kiss, AC/DC, Van Halen, Cinderella, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Poison, Anthrax, Great White, Dokken, Judas Priest, Keel, Whitesnake, Metallica, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tesla, White Lion, TNT, Megadeth, Metal Church, Kingdom Come, LA Guns, Kix... OK, maybe music isn't a fad, but it's what I liked most about the 80's.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 11 months ago

Bob, what substance is responsible for those missing chunks of time? Or did it have something to do with aliens?

Ooh, there's a good one: alien abductions. That was big in the 80s, wasn't it?

Kathleen Christian 11 years, 11 months ago

padded shoulder in clothes and leg warmers. Cool!! Those were the days

reginafliangie 11 years, 11 months ago

I loved the 80's, best time of my life. Great music, liked the styles, hair etc. Also miss some of those great beverages, remember Fletch and Oaks? That was an awesome drink!

thunderbuns 11 years, 11 months ago


He who goes forth on the 4th with a fifth may not come forth on the 5th.

The '80s? I'm certainly glad THAT music is gone!

flames_over_the_wasteland 11 years, 11 months ago

Mullets and moustaches. Wait, I still see those in Kansas.

Arminius--so, do you feel better having indirectly stood up for the Hollywood adminstration of the 80s by directly pointing out the guy's job? We all know you're less concerned with where he "really" works than that with the fact that he took a well-deserved stab at your beloved puppet party. And, there seems to be some underlying feeling of superiority in your words . . . well, you seem to know where he works, which means you must eat there. You're no better than the employees working there . . . at least they're paid. What's your excuse for contributing to McDonalds, besides that you're a "Republican"?

PYT1984 11 years, 11 months ago

I'm with you regina! I loved it and those were the best years of my life. I will never forget them. And let's not forget that how we dressed and wore our hair, even though we laugh at it now, was cool then. Those were the styles.

paladin 11 years, 11 months ago

Does anybody know what happened to Ace? Wench, you're a sweetie.

southerngirl 11 years, 11 months ago

Rubber bracelets Nothing coming between me and my Calvins (or Gloria Vanderbuilts) Jim and Tammy Faye Baker Internet for the masses, MTV, Cable TV, the first cell phones, Nike Tennis shoes Cool! I loved the 80's!

beatrice 11 years, 11 months ago

rt, those flipped collars were cheesy then, too. That is why the preppies were always the bad guys in John Hughes films.

I liked New Wave music, especially the harder-edged stuff. I also enjoyed dancing like Molly Ringwald, with the knees bent inward and the arms swinging strongly side to side to the rhythm of the music. (... the horror, the horror).

neopolss 11 years, 11 months ago

I would say personal freedoms.

It was great then, without smoking bans, health nuts, car seat regulations, with fireworks, balloons on every street, and pit bulls in every yard. I yearn for those days again.

Ken Miller 11 years, 11 months ago

Bad 80s memories: MASH - how could a show about a war that lasted 2.5 years go on for 10 years? It's kinda like this decade's "That 70s Show" - They started the show timeline in 1977, but the show lasted for more than six years - so did they just hold on to 1979 for a few extra years?

The 80s also brought us "I wear my sunglasses at night." - perhaps the worst song ever recorded. Cory Whatshisname was the culprit.

Good memories: Discovered microbrew beer in Seattle in the late 80s. MMMMMM... microbrew beer. Didn't Free State open in 1989? "There's a show, that's a show!"

Redzilla 11 years, 11 months ago

BIG HAIR!!!! Please, bring back the BIG HAIR!

sgtwolverine 11 years, 11 months ago

Oscar, a 2.5 year war lasted 10 years on tv the same way high school and/or college can last longer than their normal span on tv. The television clock is mysterious and inexplicable.

Of course, "That 80s Show" made up for the lengthening of the late 70s by lasting all of ten minutes.

Honestly, most of the time I have indirect 80s cultural memories; since I was born in the early 80s, I don't have that many strong cultural memories of the decade.

However, I had plenty of time to be completely traumatized by the early 90s.

Aileen Dingus 11 years, 11 months ago

ooo- neon clothes. I was BLINDING on occassion.

And I loved it that MTV actually showed videos...

passionatelibra 11 years, 11 months ago

Best thing I loved about the 80's was playing spades, drinking MD20/20 (what was I thinking?!?!?!?) and listening to Freddie Jackson...

sgtwolverine 11 years, 11 months ago

Oh, thank you, R_I. Technologically, I grew up on a C64. Actually, last week I downloaded a C64 emulator and started downloading all the games I remember playing. I got started doing that because something made me remember International Soccer.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 11 months ago

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack.


You may find yourself in another part of the world


You may ask "How did I get here"


Ken Miller 11 years, 11 months ago

Talking Heads, aside, there was some pretty piss-poor music - Rick Springfield, Thompson Twins, etc. in the 80s. Of course, then there was REM, Joe Jackson, Squeeze, Oingo Boingo, Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, etc. Now THAT was music, youngins.

ms_canada 11 years, 11 months ago

I wasn't much into fashion fads in the '80's but I have always been into music. From those days I still love the music of The Moody Blues, especially Knights in White Satin and also still get all nutty when my MP3 play list lights on Billy Joel singing Piano Man and then The Animals doing The House of the Rising Sun. I will never be too old to get all nutty for those songs. Also Bruce Hornsby, was he from the 80's? Loved him.

justathought 11 years, 11 months ago

LOVED the 80's

Matching EVERYTHING...scrunchie, earrings, shirt, and a couple pairs of scrunched socks with KEDS!

Don't forget the tight roll your jeans! Tight stonewashed ones please. Add a curling iron and a comb to rat your bangs miles high and a can of hairspray and you have yourself an 80's girl.......whoops how could I forget the swatch watch???

You can't touch this!

sunflower_sue 11 years, 11 months ago

Looking back, I guess I loved my "poodle" hair the most. Lots of mouse...and home perms! Banana clips and hair crimpers! (Gag me with a spoon!) Wearing my cheerleader outfit with knee-highs and saddle shoes. (Like, Totally awesome!) Wish I still had that bod!

My 80's music: Queen, Pink Floyd, Eagles, Billy Joel. Elton John. Oh, and I loved that MTV actually played music videos!!! "Video Killed the Radio Star." The 80's were a fun time to grow up.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 11 months ago

Ms_C, I also loved The Moody Blues and Bruce Hornsby. And, yes, both bands were playing in the 80's. Don't know what albums but they were there.

beatrice 11 years, 11 months ago

I'm with you sun-sue, not all of the music sucked, though it looks like my tastes were a bit edgier than yours. I thought there was some great stuff being made, it just took a little searching. Already people have mentioned REM, the Dead Milkmen (way to go RI!), and Oingo Boingo, plus there was Public Enemy, The Smiths, the Meat Puppets, The Police, Phranc, 10,000 Maniacs, XTC, Stan Ridgeway, Husker Du, Klaus Nomi, Eurythmics, The Replacements. Also, earlier bands and musicians kept putting out good stuff -- as already mentioned, the Talking Heads and Pink Floyd, plus there was Kate Bush, The Clash, Roxy Music, Paul Simon, Frank Zappa (was just listening to "Shut Up N Play Yer Guitar" this morning).... I could go on, but you get the point. It wasn't all just Wham! and Madonna.

By the way, the new Superman movie is awful! Don't waste your time and money. You have been warned.

jonas 11 years, 11 months ago

I don't know Bea, I really liked the new superman movie.

80's music. . .

master of puppets master of puppets master of puppets master of puppets master of puppets

beatrice 11 years, 11 months ago

omb and jonas: really?!? Without giving anything away about the plot for those who haven't seen it, I wasn't convinced by or interested in any of the characters. It was too clean and way over the top, and not in a good way -- I felt it would have been better if they had put it to music and called it "Jesus Christ, Superman." Margot Kidder as Lois had grit, this new Lois just has full lips.

For a comic book movie, "Batman Begins" was much, much better. Heck, I think I would have even prefered "Aquaman," if only it were a real movie.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 11 months ago

RI, I had to look that movie up and now I'm just embarrased to know that you actually saw it! Was it better than Superman?

sgtwolverine 11 years, 11 months ago

If big lips worked for Angelina Jolie, then they must be good, right?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 11 months ago

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YourItalianPrincess 11 years, 11 months ago

I LOVE the 80's because I had just started high school then. I have every brat pack movie made ( you know the ones I'm talking about ) and still enjoy watching them to this day. I so enjoy watching VH1's 80's shows. I just crack up laughing at all the stuff we had back then.

As my daycare nappers have their nap, I'm listening to Star on the radio. They are having a retro 80s day and playing songs I haven't heard in years.

" Who said this line and from what movie? "

" I don't want you to know where I live "

Can you guess who said it ?

reginafliangie 11 years, 11 months ago

ohhhh my mad dog 20/20!! That stuff kicked your a$$ but it was a cheap drunk!

PYT1984 11 years, 11 months ago

It was Molly Ringwald, in Pretty in Pink. She said it to Andrew Mcarthy.

ms_canada 11 years, 11 months ago

pywacket - well that did give me a laugh, really '64 and '67. At least I got Billy Joel in the right era, did I? Some songs are timeless.

beatrice 11 years, 11 months ago

omb: I agree that clean-cut is okay for a Superman flick, but that isn't really what I mean by clean. I was thinking more of plot lines. I also laughed at the dropping of "the American way," which was replaced with "truth, justice ... and all that stuff." They are trying to make sure not to upset the international audience by associating Superman with the growingly unpopular America. I won't go into it any further because I truly don't like giving away stuff about movies that others haven't seen yet. I'm glad it worked for you, though.

Remember when they were first talking about Nicolas Cage playing Superman? Having caught a little of Leaving Las Vegas on cable the other night, I'm thinking a Superman on a drinking binge might have been fun, -- off flying in circles and showing up late at a crime scene, with Lois Lane as the hooker with a heart of gold and Lex Luther as her pimp. Call it Stuperman.

IP: I'm thinking Molly R. in Pretty in Pink too.

beatrice 11 years, 11 months ago

omb: great story, thanks! I missed this one and must laugh at finding myself on the side of the conservative right with my observation! Very funny, indeed.

I'm just glad to learn that the caped "crusader" (for obvious political reasons I don't believe this line was used in the current movie either) once had the good sense to take on the KKK. The things we learn about the past.

reginafliangie 11 years, 11 months ago

The Pladium was great! 10 Cent draws! Those were the days....

reginafliangie 11 years, 11 months ago

OH yeah, I thought you looked familar! Studly even!

Calliope877 11 years, 11 months ago

I miss nothing about the 80s. Although my older sister probably misses her big poofie bangs.

justsomewench 11 years, 11 months ago

little harsh of me, paladin? it's easy to stave off the 80s fans. at the onset of their nostaglia, i warn them i'll have flashbacks. if they continue, i curl into the fetal position, rock and hum. that usually kills the mood in 2.2.

jayhawkalum 11 years, 11 months ago

Big shirts with prepped collars and leggings, boyfriend jackets, mall bangs with banana clips to hold back the poodle perm, jellie shoes (in the warmer months) or Keds with multiple layers of scrunched socks (for the rest of the year), miniature silverware as earrings, and a nylon duffle bag purse could get you a date with any one of the rolled-cuff jean and blazer-wearing, boombox the size of a briefcase toting, dad's fedora topped, black plastic sunglass covered boy hunks in town! As long as both of you were chomping on wads of Hubba Bubba the size of a walnut.

Sadly, the girls wearing most of these items now look just as silly as we did back then . . .why didn't I listen to my mother?

sunflower_sue 11 years, 11 months ago

RI, It's on! See you in your "Members Only" jacket!
Fer sure! Like, this is gonna be, like, totally awesome! giggle

sunflower_sue 11 years, 11 months ago

jayhawkalum, don't you find those "poof" skirts that are all the rage now (as they were in the 80's) quite funny? They look like someone made a skirt out of their window valance.

How about all those 2 tone jeans? I had a pair. :P Someone get a barf bag! (I also had harem pants but I'll never admit to that in public!) Stop! Break it down! Ohhhhhh......

H_Lecter 11 years, 11 months ago

10 cent draws at the Sanctuary on Tuesday night

Movies: Fast Times at Ridgemont Blues Brothers On Golden Pond Hollywood Knights American Werewolf in London Used Cars (Low budget, but funny) Raiders Ferris Bueller 48 hrs Trading Places

TV St. Elsewhere Hill St. Blues

YourItalianPrincess 11 years, 11 months ago

Very very good to the ones who guessed the right actress and movie. I love watching the movies from the 80s. One of my favs is " Less Then Zero " with Andrew, Robert, James, and Jamie.

I'm glad that Robert finally got it together and I hope and pray he keeps it clean. Andrew was always my fav cutie and James being the bully in those movies.

Since I don't have to work tomorrow, I think I will pick out a few of the 80s movies and have an 80s movie night.

beatrice 11 years, 11 months ago

h-l: Used Cars is a little gem of a movie -- very funny.

Some of my faves of the '80s, in no particular order: The Big Chill Hannah and Her Sisters Back to the Future Risky Business Broadcast News Gandhi Terms of Endearment Pee Wee's Big Adventure The Accidental Tourist Romancing the Stone Body Heat (Kathleen Turner was big in the '80s) Amadeus Tootsie After Hours Beverly Hills Cop The World According to Garp Brazil Cocoon Three Men and a Baby Diner (Steve Guttenberg was also big in the '80s, for some reason) The Terminator and after Fast Times, perhaps the funniest '80s movie --- Sixteen Candles

TV lagged far behind, but there was Cheers and Max Headroom.

reginafliangie 11 years, 11 months ago

Holy: that was the Culture Club! Boy George looked better than alot of girls I

reginafliangie 11 years, 11 months ago

Really? Wow, I am out of it! Oh well, its all good.

Gotta go fire up the rubiks cube!

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