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Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man's Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut Paperback – Bargain Price, April 26, 2011
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Rob Sheffield's Top '80s Summer Cruising SongsReading Talking to Girls About Duran Duran is a nostalgia trip you'll love taking: add Rob Sheffield's exclusive playlist to the mix--featured below, with liner notes--and you'll be ready for some kind of wonderful summer night. You can also sample and download these songs in our custom MP3 playlist.
"Little Red Corvette" (1982) by Prince
This was my get-in-the-zone song the morning of my driver's test. Prince seemed to be promising me that as soon as I had wheels, all sorts of glamorously messed-up ladies would be trying to hop a ride uptown in my love machine. It didn't exactly work out that way, but at least I passed the test and got my license. Thanks, Prince!
"Missing You" (1984) by John Waite
I spent the summer of '84 rolling around Boston in an ice cream truck, selling Bomb Pops and Fudgsicles and Nutty Buddys. And with all due respect to Scarface, I got high on my own supply, which means I spent the summer with one hand on the wheel and another one stuffing my face. I was also listening to the radio 18 hours a day, so I got obsessed with this song. I still get choked up at the "heartbreak overload" part.
"Never Let Me Down Again" (1987) by Depeche Mode
It's weird how bizarre sexual tension fits so well with operating a motor vehicle--you really shouldn't try to drive and feel tragic at the same time, right? But they go hand in hand. No song captures that feeling like this one: just you and your best friend, riding high, leaving the rest of the world eating your dust.
"Is There Something I Should Know?" (1983) by Duran Duran
One summer I worked on a garbage truck on the southeast expressway into Boston, picking up trash on the side of the road: burger wrappers, soda cups, porn mags, the occasional pair of pants. Duran Duran helped get me through it, although I never did figure out what they meant by "You're about as easy as a nuclear war."
"It Takes Two" (1988) by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock
This brings back fond memories of 1988, when "It Takes Two" was pumping out of every car down my street, with the same "Whoop!" "Yeah!" "Whoop!" "Yeah!" James Brown sample rolling on all summer long. Roxanne Shante's "Go On Girl" had the same sample, so by the end of the summer it was hard-wired into my neurons.
"Our Lips Are Sealed" (1980) by The Go-Go's
This song puts anybody in serious danger of a speeding ticket--Gina Schock had to be one of the greatest punk rock drummers who ever banged a gong. I'm sad the Go-Go's had to cancel their farewell tour--but hopefully that just means they'll stick together a little longer.
"Hysteria" (1987) by Def Leppard
This song always reminds me of a cool girl I hung around with in the summer of 1988. She liked setting things on fire, getting both of us thrown out of bars, and Def Leppard. It's funny because this is a classic hair-metal ballad, but with all these glossy keyboards, it sounds like impeccable '80s synth-pop--it could pass for prime New Order or OMD. (Editor's note: Song is available on album only.)
"Left of the Dial" (1985) by The Replacements
It was the summer of '86 when I road-tripped to my first Replacements show, in Providence. Paul Westerberg was standing at the bar before the show, so I stole the Kool butt out of his ashtray and mailed it to a girl I liked in Nova Scotia. She wrote back, "It stinks to high heaven." But I guess that was the kind of stupid romantic gesture only a Replacements fan would make.
"My Prerogative" (1989) by Bobby Brown
Everybody's talking all this stuff about him! Why don't they just let him live! This is a perfectly badass song for prowling the streets, feeling totally invincible. And if the night ends up in the back of a cop car, it makes an excellent soundtrack to kicking out the windows, because that's what Bobby would do.
"Wild in the Streets" (1986) by Bon Jovi
One of the funny things about Jon Le Bon is that his career album, *Slippery When Wet*, is packed with cruising songs as good as "Livin’ on a Prayer." I always think "Wild in the Streets" could have been Bon Jovi's biggest, bonniest and joviest hit, but for some reason they never played it on the radio; it's the one that got away. I also love how Jon yells that nutty "rock me!" during the guitar solo. Someday I pray that Morrissey will cover this--and change it to "Wilde in the Streets." A guy can dream.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
"Talking to girls..." is Rob Sheffield's second book after Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time. I wasn't sure how this book would hold up after "Mix Tape" because the latter story was so absolutely gut-wrenching and beautiful all at once; it had the feel of a completely singular work of art. But I have to say that Sheffield, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, delivers a second time.
This memoir is about growing up in the `80s, and is told through experiences with many different songs from that time. Sheffield gives us a guided tour (with soundtrack) through the everyday life experiences that we can all relate to--crummy jobs, first loves, first music that got us excited. He does this with as much warmth and humor as he did with "Mix Tape". The only place where this book does not hold up in comparison is obvious, because it couldn't possibly. Whereas Mix Tape was a love letter to his wife who so tragically died young, this book does not pack that kind of emotional punch. It's more of a sweet, breezy walk down memory lane. His love for his family and friends is abundantly clear, and the warmth of this book has made me happy since I picked it up.Read more ›
The pop culture references come pretty rapid fire and I was able to keep up with most of them, but Haysi Fantayzee? Really? That one threw me. Sometimes the author gets pretty out there, so you have to be pretty up on your 80's new wave if your'e going to ride along, but it's all done in a very affable manner that makes for an easy read. This is a fun book that I would recommend to anyone who spent their formative years in this crazy decade. It brought back a lot of fond memories and quite a few cringes as I remembered things that were better off locked in the vault. It also kind of made me feel better for liking some of the music that I'm still pretty fond of. I must admit though, that with about 50 pages to go, I was getting tired of the 80's all over again and was ready to move on... at least until my next turn at the oldies station.
One would think that such a limited time-frame would exclude those of us who experienced adolescence earlier or were born later, but this is not the case.
We are all aware of the major players in this game: The Go-Go's, Culture Club, Hall & Oates, Prince and Madonna and if we find ourselves floundering with L'Trimm or Haysi Fantaysee Sheffield stands by to throw us a lifeline from his vast footlocker of pop music trivia.
His references to early MTV bear surprising parallels for those of us from the birth-of-FM-radio generation. In fact he transcends the whole idea of generations by taking us back to our own eras when the answers to life's most difficult questions could be found on the radio. We all have a store of emotional and biographical touchstones, these are Rob's and he explores them with sensitivity and wit that brings the reader into the picture with him.
And the guy can turn a phrase. His stream-of-consciousness style rapping has a rhythm as infectious as any good dance tune and his wide-ranging references, from Byron to Baba Ram Dass and back, are esoteric enough to make us feel smart while accessible enough to let us all in on the joke.
So, if you can't tell John Taylor from Nick Rhodes don't despair, Rob Sheffield will see you through, and let you in on the secret to proper toilet paper placement when entertaining female guests as well- "They just DO".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I honestly tried to like this book...the title was extremely catchy but I just couldn't get into it. I am an avid reader but could not finish it.Published 2 months ago by N. McKay
I loved Love is a Mixtape so I read this as soon as it came out. While not as emotionally involving as Love, this has a fair amount of amusing essays about relationships. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jim
I've read all of Rob Sheffield's books and this one is pretty solid. I prefer Love is a Mix Tape, but this is a good read as well. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dave Kolb
A nice easy read by Ron Sheffield of SPIN magazine. Broken into short stories, this book is a light, breezy ode to how music infiltrates many different parts of our life.Published 6 months ago by Lauren H.
I love Rob Sheffield. I wish I had grown up with him nearby. He's hilarious. He sent me running for tube to watch Hazy Fantazee. Ugh. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kimberly
I loved this book it showed us a time being a teenager and growing up in the 80's was all about. I loved the music the discussions of the bands. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Chani Duke
While some Sheffield's story rang true for me personally, I found myself struggling to get through the book at times.Published 10 months ago by CoachDaveK
This book seems like the piece of crap writing that someone who listed Anthony Michael Hall above Norm Macdonald would write. Do not buy.Published 11 months ago by Whitney Weltz
Complete rubbish. He should stick to his day job- poorly ranking SNL cast members.Published 11 months ago by Spencer Ai