For me, the '80s were a wonderful, formative time. A time of New Coke, Alex P. Keaton, Bernhard Goetz, and a special form of over-produced, over-synthed, over-horned, over-earnest pop music that I grew to love then and still enjoy today. And not in an ironic, kitschy, let's-get-baked and order-the-Ultimate-'80s!-collection-off-the-late-night-infomercial sort of way. But in a genuine, my-iPod-will-probably-melt-your-ears sort of way.
One of the quintessential bands of the time was Go West, whose biggest hit in the U.S. was "King of Wishful Thinking," off the "Pretty Woman" soundtrack. (You can see the original video here, and isn't it a comfort knowing that lead singer Peter Cox kept right on dancing like he's trying to put your eye out with his collarbone?)
The year was 1990, and that song carved its way into my psyche as I pined away for one of my co-workers. I was still gunshy after my college girlfriend dumped me, so I spent my days in the shadows, longing for the courage to tell her how I felt. We were friends, and we went out in groups a lot, but before I could tell her anything about the crush that left me breathless, she moved to Texas and out of my life.
With these painful confessions as a backdrop, I want to tell you that I'm a very big fan of The Office, and not just because Greg Daniels, et al found a way to take Ricky Gervais's amazing original and give the American version its own identity. I've also let myself get caught up in the whole Jim and Pam thing. The two actors perform around each other with such organic grace that I've totally bought into their plight, to the point that seeing them suffer week after week makes me think of me back in 1990, when my hair was intact and my heart was in pieces.
So I was goofing around this morning, writing up my Disney recap, when I stumbled on this video:
I've watched it a few times, with mixed emotions. It's cute and cheesy, but painful. Like Rudy Huxtable just punched me in the nads.
EDITED TO ADD: A helpful reader from the U.K. had advised me that Go West and several other icons of '80s Britpop will perform together, at a Scottish castle, in September! Is it worth the airfare, the right-side-steering rent-a-car, the lodging, and the ticket price? Well, no. Not at all, actually, especially with the exchange rate where it is. But still ... Wow!