LA, LA, LA,
LA, LA, - just when you thought you’d seen it all… 1981 is back and revving into
high gear. So strap on your jelly shoes and get ready for an absolutely Smurfy
time. Flashback to a time when Journey welcomed you with Open Arms, Kim Carnes
made you question, ‘Who is Bette Davis and what’s the deal with her eyes?,’
Billy Squier had you doing things you should only be doing at home, and Rick
James introduced you to his future alter ego - the Super Freak.
Hip fashion-istas were in their glory with some of the biggest clothing trends of the decade. Iron-on decals showed exactly what you were into and became the sizzling new fad, despite falling apart after 4 washes. Velcro had youngsters breathing a sigh of relief when it replaced shoelaces and was voted the best invention of the century. Young women of all ages were rocking out in their jelly shoes - the cheap plastic footwear that caused a lot of pain, but looked soooo good. And it was the clash of the fashion titans when Benetton and Esprit both released very similar clothing lines for the young preppy crowds.
Speaking of titans, do you remember the Kraken? And Medusa? Or even Boo-bo, the robotic owl? Roman gods were slaying at the box office with the release of the ground-breaking special effects film, Clash of the Titans, starring a Pre-LA Law Harry Hamlin and the elite Laurence Olivier as Zeus.
Kids were introduced to a new and magical world where blue forest creatures could be themselves – literally. With characters like Papa Smurf, Vanity Smurf, Jokey Smurf, and the ever-dazzling Smurfette, the Smurfs had something for everyone. They also raised some of the decades most important questions like, ‘How does an entire village exist with only one girl?,’ and, ‘What is really going in those mushroom huts?,’ and, ‘What is up with the language?’
And remember when you first saw Tom Cruise? No, it wasn’t sliding across the floor in his skivvies. Tom first flaunted his assets in the Brooke Shields flick Endless Love, marking his feature film debut and the first of many crowd-pleasing moments.
’81 had plenty for the older crowd too. The Rolling Stones proved that you’re never too old to rock and roll with their biggest world tour yet. And Simon & Garfunkel swallowed their pride and put aside their petty differences for the sake of reuniting on stage for a free concert in New York’s Central Park. On Golden Pond won Oscar gold and the wild Cannonball Run gang had audiences laughing in the aisles.
Ronald Reagan showed America just how sweet he really was when he made Jelly Bellies a household name. And Mexican pitching sensation, Fernando Valenzuela proved that you don’t have to speak English or be good looking to live out the American dream.
Magnum P.I. made Tom Selleck a star and had men holding tightly to their women. Knowing the Harts’ was bad for your health. Employment offices were filled with people looking for work as a stuntman/bounty hunter. Going from butler to lieutenant Governor was a snap. And all Nell Carter asked was, ‘Gimme a Break!’
Don’t Stop Believin’ Steve Perry…this is I Love the 80’s Strikes Back: I Love 1981