Ringing in 1988

Medusas New Years 1987 NYE Welcome 1988Well, I’ve already blown one resolution, and it’s only Day One. Today, I resolved to working on my Pawtisserie Mystery novel. There would be no distractions – no watching interesting mysteries on tv, no Candy Crush Soda Saga (why is it so satisfying to blow up those darned candies?!), and definitely NO social media. (While I’ve read numerous articles about how you can limit your online interactions to fifteen minutes per day, I am always led through a labyrinth of increasingly more interesting topics that can easily last ten times that long.) So, that was my plan – start the New Year productively, writing pages and pages and pages. Fail, fail, fail.

Classic Pop Magazine is partially to blame here, taunting my reserve with a survey of favorite albums released in 1988. Well, it would have been rude not to participate. My immediate answer was Duran Duran’s Big Thing, but I didn’t stop there. I just couldn’t help myself. I started thinking about the Strange Behaviour concert at Poplar Creek, opened by Erasure. Then, I remembered Erasure released an album around that time (The Innocents), so I added them to the tweet. One musical memory led to another, until I reached the 140 character limit (my list also included: Introspective from the Pet Shop Boys, Viva Hate from Morrissey, Stay on These Roads from A-ha, and Peepshow from Siouxsie and the Banshees). Tweet reply posted, Twitter done, 80s chapter closed. Time to start writing those pages and pages of novel.

Only, it wasn’t. Skinny Puppy also released an album in 1988, which of course made me remember the New Year’s Eve I spent at Medusa’s. It was December 31, 1987, the night I nearly froze to death (or so it felt at the time). I was totally psyched about going downtown to greet the New Year at one of my very fave dance clubs. Sure, it was a bit of a walk from the somewhat illegal parking under the tracks to the legendary building on Sheffield, but I wasn’t going to compromise my look with something as pedestrian as a coat. I wore my ultra-glam black silk skirt, white silk tank and black silk long jacket. Simon Le Bon’s belt, pearl and silver studded boots, and a ruby red pin on my lapel completed the ensem. Others shared my passion (for the event and complete lack of appropriate clothing for the weather), as the queue lasted an hour to get in. Friends or strangers, we huddled together against the biting Chicago winds. A weather history site puts the low temperature that night at 8 degrees, but I know the wind chill dropped it to about -95 degrees.

Once indoors, our summer-weight outfits payed dividends. The rooms were packed, though we still managed to dance like maniacs. Revolting Cocks were billed as the headliners (you can hear the concert’s audio here) but Skinny Puppy somehow figured in the mix. Much of the concert is a blur (I know what you’re thinking, but Medusa’s was a juice bar only), but I do remember one of the band members drenched the audience with a water pistol, later announcing it was filled with toilet water (that’s a New Year’s tradition I have not repeated). There was some speaker diving, of course. The performances were epic, as always. This was the club that featured fresh-faced icons such as Billy Corgan, Front 242, the Violent Femmes, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, after all. Dancing the night away is what I remember most, so much so that my Extra Super Hold Aqua Net lacquer failed, transforming my 1987’s spiked hair into 1988’s limp locks.

SLB-Happy-New-Year-2018

So, that’s how I’ve spent much of New Year’s Day 2018 — remembering New Year’s Day 1988. There’s still plenty of time left tonight to write, so bah humbug to that ridiculous resolution of mine anyway. A trip back to the neon decade is always worth a few minutes (hours) of time.

Happy New Year to all, may it be healthy, happy and totally awesome!

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