BMCJMMC: The Outfield

Here’s a fact: my cousin Josh is cooler than your cousins. He’s cooler than you.

OK, although those statements are most likely true, I don’t have evidence to back them up. (For all I know, our audience is really cool.) This one, however, we know is true: my cousin Josh is cooler than me.

josh power, gentlemen rogues drummer

I found this photo of my cousin Josh on Brooklyn Vegan. It was taken by Glen Brown last year at Stubb’s in Austin. His Facebook page is

Let’s compare our current musical careers. This month, I sang karaoke at The Red Lion in Cedar Rapids. I performed Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science.” Two of my friends danced behind me as if they were robots. We were a big hit, I think.

This was around the same time that my cousin Josh and his band, Gentlemen Rogues, were in the midst of their first UK tour. On May 2, they played the Cavern Club in Liverpool. Yes, THAT Cavern Club. My cousin Josh played drums where John & Paul & George & Ringo (& Pete) performed hundreds of times.

My side of the ledger: I sang karaoke in the same space as some guy who played a mean harmonica during his sing-alongs.

(Which, by the way, isn’t that cheating, bringing your own instrument to karaoke? Open Mic Night, sure. Karaoke? GTFO. I wanted to call bullshit, but I also didn’t want a nasty confrontation to prevent me from being allowed to later sing “A Boy Named Sue,” so I held my tongue.)


So yes, my cousin Josh is cool. And there was a time in 1987 when he made me cooler, giving me Memorex tapes full of good music at a time when I was listening to a good deal of not-so-good music. The era preceding this moment is known as BMCJMMC (Before My Cousin Josh Made Me Cooler).

I wrote about this once before. In the days of BMCJMMC, I was into Wham! Nowhere to go but up, I suppose.

Anyway, thinking about my cousin Josh and thinking about the UK…

(Quick sidebar: Queens Park Rangers are 90 minutes away from returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking! Yesterday’s cracker of a match saw Rangers deal with Wigan Athletic, 2-1 in extra time, at Loftus Road in the second leg of their Playoff Semi-Final. A brace from striker Charlie Austin put the Latics to the sword. Now it’s on to Wembley to face Derby County; it always had to be Steve McLaren’s squad standing between the Super Hoops and Premier League promotion ecstasy. NOTE: most of this terminology I’ve lifted straight from UK newspaper articles and my Football Manager computer game.)

So yeah, I was thinking about Josh and the UK, and it made me wonder: what other British artists did I like in the BMCJMMC era that make me cringe now?

I still love Duran Duran. I’ve already made an example of Wham!

Howard Jones? Nah, I never bought any of his stuff…

How about the Outfield?

There was a point in my life when “Your Love” was pretty much the greatest song ever. By the time this song came out, I had my own boom box/ghetto blaster/insert lame name for boxy cassette player, and the Play Deep album found itself in constant play. Of course, seeing as I hardly ever listened to any other song (I honestly don’t know that I ever flipped the cassette to Side Two), I probably should have just bought the 45 RPM of “Your Love” and thrown the song on a blank tape, along with Paul Young and Julian Lennon and Jan Hammer (fuck yeah, Miami Vice) and whatever else I was listening to that year. But whatever. It was worth the full album price to have that song at the ready at all times.

The song actually came in handy when I transferred to Iowa State and needed to make friends all over again. One night, some guy was blaring the song from his dorm room, so I wandered in, as OBVIOUSLY this is where the party is. In a matter of seconds, I took a seat and started air-drumming the shit out of the song. (In particular, the part with a bunch of sweet fills and what not.) By the time I was air-drumming into the chorus, I had new best friends. (Amazingly, I wasn’t able to convert the moment into a girlfriend situation.)

Anyway, that was AMCJMMC. In my days of youth, I taped the video one night, likely during the WTBS show Night Tracks. (Unfortunate kids who didn’t grow up with MTV thought Night Tracks was incredible.) If you are unfamiliar with the cinematic vision for this song, I have embedded the video below.


Naturally, talking points come to the forefront after reviewing this video…

I can’t believe the headless bass guitar never really caught on. Must have been ahead of its time. (Nearly 30 years later, it’s still apparently ahead of its time.)

Some of the players are really into looking all ’80s. Which makes sense, since this was released in the mid-’80s. The blond big-hair dudes seem to recognize the look of the era, especially the guitarist who goes for a stroll to get a closer look at the painter girl’s masterpiece. The others just kind of look like normal joes (although the blind keyboard guy, who apparently wasn’t really in the band, is a nice touch). So NOT ’80s, non-blond dudes. Although the singer’s attempt at ’80s hair is very ’80s, just not cool ’80s, which isn’t all that cool, but…well, you get it.

I always liked “The Girl.” (Not sure why I put that in quotes.) She was cute, for sure. Not a knockout, I suppose. Nor was she doing cartwheels on car hoods or whatever it was that Tawny Kitaen used to do in those Whitesnake videos. But she was pretty, and she basically smiled politely at the nerds in the Outfield before leaving the warehouse with her painting, presumably to find cooler dudes to hang with (like, say, Van Halen or Prince or Motley Crue).

She ended up playing one of the girls on Just the Ten of Us. She recently did an interview about the “Your Love” video. I still like “The Girl.”

Perhaps the greatest takeaway after going down Memory Lane is that not everything I listened to in the BMCJMMC era was cringeworthy, even if said band was flirting with one-hit wonder territory. (“Since You’ve Been Gone” was a modest hit, and “Say It Isn’t So” was actually a decent song, too. But that’s about it.) Look past the “One Night in Bangkok” purchase, ignore the Billy Ocean “Loverboy” 45, pretend I didn’t fool myself into thinking that Eddie Murphy “Party All the Time” song was cool. There were moments where good taste entered the equation. After all, I loved the Purple Rain singles, and I thought Van Halen was great. And for one near-chart-topping moment, I was able to see the legitimate pop power of the Outfield.

Only one thing left for me to do: work out my “Your Love” routine for the next karaoke night.

Exploring the ’80s Movie Montage: The “Get Your Learn On” Montage

80s_clicksAhh…the movie montage. It’s the perfect way to show a lot of action in a short period of time. This was a very popular movie making technique in the 80’s.

There were many different versions, but this time around I’m going to focus on “The Get Your Learn On”  Montage.

There are 4 basic parts:

1.         The kick ass 80’s song.

2.         Let’s get serious now, we’re really dumb.

3.         Sexual tension helps the learning process.

4.         After a tough 2-3 minutes we got smarts real good!

Real Genius

Reason for studying – Super smart wiz-kids need to get a top secret laser operational.toxic

1.         Kick ass ’80s song- Comsat Angels, “Falling.”

2.         Distractions from creepy closet guy, Lazlo, and brace face jerk-off, Kent, won’t stop newbie wiz-kid Mitch from reaching his goals.

3.         Mitch’s nerdy hyper-active hottie neighbor comes over with her newest invention, an automatic page turner! Very handy tool for a stressed out dork in study mode. Unfortunately for Mitch, she doesn’t offer him any form of physical release.

4.         After hours of studying and frequent failures, we finally have a breakthrough. The laser burns a hole in his block of wood! I’m guessing that in celebration, Mitch will run to his neighbor girl’s room and try to put his burning wood in her hole. (Wow! That’s pretty graphic. Sorry guys.)

Back to School

Reason for studying – Rodney Dangerfield partied too much and now needs to learn a semesters worth of material or he will flunk out of college.

1.         Kick ass ’80s song- Danny Elfman, the aptly titled, “Study Montage.”back to school

2.         Rodney hasn’t read a book in 40 years so he gets right to work. He’s at the library before the librarian and stays past closing time to read by the light of his zippo. He even multitasks with the help of his personality-less son and goofy roommate Robert Downey Jr.

3.         This type of dedication leads to massive sleep deprivation. With his future at the school in doubt, they try some books on tape so Rodney can sleep and learn. His (probably used to be super hot) Poetry teacher even implements a new sexy subliminal learning technique, whispering poetry into his ear while he rests his head on her formerly delightful bosom. Let’s just hope that he can control any subliminally hidden lustful urges during his exam.

4.         A beaten Rodney shows up for his exam. With all that studying he manages to pass his classes with all D’s and one A. I’m sure you can guess which teacher gave him the A. I guess they don’t have any rules against fraternization at that school. Well done Rodney!

Summer School

Reason for studying – Loser kids have to pass summer school or risk flunking out and getting their favorite teacher fired.

1.         Scholarly classical non-’80s song – “Study Buddy Serenade in D Major.”summer school

2.         The band of summer school idiots finally decides to stop screwing around and convince their teacher to come back for one more shot at academic mediocrity. They study at totally distraction free places like at work, the park and the beach. Hey, they’re in summer school for a reason.

3.         One of the kids has a brief “Hot for Teacher” moment with a young and attractive-ish Kirstie Alley. (Her sex symbol status is always up for debate in my book. I was never attracted to her even when she was young and supposedly hot. Like Top Gun leading lady Kelly McGillis, maybe Kirstie was just hot for the ‘80s.)

4.         After days of pseudo-studying, the gang takes their tests. Of course, most don’t actually pass but teachers and parents are wowed by their marked improvement. The kids get to stay in school and their teacher keeps his job! I guess when you set the bar extremely low, anything resembling effort will be rewarded. Yeah school!

Check out some previous ’80s montage exploration:

The “We Can Fix It Up” Montage

The “Dance Training” Montage

Today’s Random Song in My Head, “Wanted Dead or Alive”

We’ve all had the common experience of having a song stuck in our heads. Sometimes this can be a perfectly pleasant song that becomes the soundtrack to a perfectly pleasant day. Other times it can be a repetitive annoyance that comes close to driving you crazy. (There is an episode of Seinfeld where George is screening his phone calls. His answering machine message is him singing along to the theme from The Greatest American Hero. This song delights me for awhile but then slowly drives me insane.)

Today at work, I realized that I had been singing the same lyric over and over again.

I’m a cowboy, I got the night on my side
I’m wanted dead or alive

I had no idea how this song had gotten in my head so I decided to try and retrace my steps. What had I been thinking about lately? I remembered thinking that I needed to call my co-worker John about a project. This is the series of thoughts that ran through my head after that moment.

“Gotta call John and ask him about that project.”…  “Call…John…John…Johnny”… (this leads to quoting The Outsiders) “Let’s do it for Johnny man!  Let’s do it for Johnny!”… Johnny… Johnny… “Who’s Johnny?” (this leads to the internal singing of the song “Who’s Johnny”)

“Who’s Johnny? ” she said
And smiled in her special way
“Johnny” she said
“You know I love you”

“Who sang that? … Oh yeah, El Debarge.”…”Barge, Barge, Barge… It’d be cool to drive a big boat like that”… “Boat, Boat, Boat … “I’m On a Boat” (this leads to the internal singing of Andy Samberg/Lonely Island, “I’m On a Boat”)

I’m on a boat, I’m on a boat
Everybody look at me
‘Cause I’m sailing on a boat
I’m on a boat, I’m on a boat
Take a good hard look
At the motherfucking boat

“That Andy Samberg sure is funny”… “I bet it got confusing on the set of the movie That’s My Boy…Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler are such similar names”…”What happened to Adam Sandler? His movies used to be funny”…”The Wedding Singer was really funny”…”I love the beginning of The Wedding Singer when he sings … (this leads to the internal singing of “You Spin Me Round” )

All I know is that to me
You look like you’re havin’ fun
Open up your lovin’ arms
Watch out, here I come

You spin me right ’round, baby
Right ’round like a record, baby
Right ’round, ’round, ’round,

“Grandma Molly I’m talkin’ to you!”…“Who sang that? … Oh yeah, Dead or Alive”…”Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive… (this leads to the internal singing of Bon Jovi, “Wanted Dead or Alive”)

So I went from “I have to call this co-worker” to having “a loaded 6 string on my back” in a series of roughly 12 random thoughts. Some people come up with world changing ideas at times like these. I get Bon Jovi. Oh well, could be worse.

I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride
I’m wanted dead or alive
I’m a cowboy, I got the night on my side
I’m wanted dead or alive

Even More Road Trip Revelations

My job sometimes requires me to spend a lot of my day in the car. I don’t mind too much. It gives me time to think, reflect on my life and most importantly listen to great music. On these trips I sit back, relax and turn up the tunes. After many hours alone in the car though, I tend to have a few random and moronic thoughts. These are just a few of the revelations I came away with on the road.

I Totally Missed the Boat on Beach House

Back in 2010, the dream pop duo Beach House was all over indie radio with their 3rd LP Teen Dream. Several songs from that release were in crazy heavy rotation and “10 Mile Stereo” was picked as “Song of the Year” on my favorite station Sirius XM U. To be honest, I just didn’t get it. Maybe it was the constant air play. Maybe I didn’t really try that hard to like it. Maybe it was just bad timing, but I basically hated Beach House.

That was until I heard the new Beach House song “Lazuli” on the radio. For some reason the music filled me with emotions (other than annoyance) and left me thinking “Has Beach House always been this good?”. When I got home, I logged onto iTunes to get the new Best Coast record that happened to have come out that day (Holy shit is that good. Seriously, check it out) and on a whim I started listening to clips from the new Beach House record, Bloom. I was kind of blown away. By the 3rd song clip I had to download the entire thing and listen to it. Since then, Bloom has skyrocketed to the upper echelon of my uber-prestigious  “Best of 2012” list. I am ready to admit that I was wrong…. Beach House is awesome….I suck. Man, I’m slipping.

Here is my favorite track “New Year”. It’s got a bit of a My Bloody Valentine feel and scratches all my shoegaze itches.


Most Men Would Want to Move Here

Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when they name a road or housing development. I recently ran across this sign in my travels. What’s the story with this road’s name? Is it short for Bluejaysville? Is there a prominent family in the area with the surname B’jay? Do I just have a filthy mind? The world may never know. It does seem like a happy little lane. It’s nestled nicely between Fellatio Road and Cunilingus Court. The guys from the area seem to always be smiling … weird.

It’s a Miracle I Have Avoided Being Arrested in some Homicide Road Rage Related Incident

I must have incredible patience because it seems like I’m constantly being bombarded by jackasses like:

  1. Tailgaters
  2. People driving in my blind-spot
  3. Some asshole driving slow in the fast lane that refuses to get over

Most days, depending on my mood, I can handle this just fine. But other days I feel like strapping a railroad tie to my bumper and crashing my way down the interstate with no repercussions like in some Grand Theft Auto style video game.  So if you see me looking extra agitated on the road some day, clear some space. That might be the day I finally lose it.

Tesla’s “Love Song” Will Find a Way Back to You…Yeah

During most road trips, at some point the radio channel gets switched over to Hair Nation. Well this trip was no different. What bad-ass late 80’s gem was playing this time? Why Tesla’s “Love Song” that’s what. The perfect combination of soft acoustic guitar work and in your face ROCK!  This power ballad takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotion. If I had had a lighter I would have sparked it up as I was singing along with the “doot doot doot n’ doots” at the end of the song. Revisit all the hair bandy goodness below. There are a lot of sweet mullets in this video. Careful ladies, don’t fall in love.

Unfortunately, the official video from back then excluded the killer guitar solo at the beginning. If you want to hear the entire song as God and Tesla intended, check out this link.

All in all it was a pretty good trip.  Plenty of tunes. Plenty of road rage. If you see me cruising down the interstate sometime, go ahead and wave. I might just stop the “doot doot doot n’ doots” and wave back.

Eighties or Todeighties?

Quite a bit of the music I’ve been listening to over the last couple of years has had a very distinct ’80s influence. Is the ’80’s sound the reason that I like these songs? Maybe. At times, I find that I notice a new song because it sounds like an old ’80s gem. So the retro sound is certainly the reason that I kept listening. I thought it would be interesting to put together clips from some current and some ’80s songs and see if you readers can tell the difference. Some of you may find this ridiculously easy. Others may struggle a bit.  Listen to the clip and hit submit after each question to see if you were correct. Good luck!

MoSS? Mixtape Flashback: March 1987

The MoSS? mixtape vault has finally been opened. Our dedicated staff put in hundreds of man hours cataloging overwhelming amounts of cassette tapes, compact discs and vinyl records. This month we asked our interns to dig even deeper and scavenge the darkest recesses of our music library for any references from the year 1987. What they came back with was eye-opening. I was still listening to music with a pop sensibility. Chris was just testing the waters of heavy metal and rap while still listening to Duran Duran. So check out what your favorite pubescent pair of music loving lads was listening to clear back in March 1987.

Side A : Todd’s Picks

[audio,,,, |titles=Starfish and Coffee,Big Time,To Be A Lover,Open Your Heart,Yankee Rose|artists=Prince,Peter Gabriel,Billy Idol,Madonna,David Lee Roth||width=500]

1. Prince, “Starfish and Coffee”

2. Peter Gabriel, “Big Time”

3. Billy Idol, “To Be A Lover”

4. Madonna, “Open Your Heart”

5. David Lee Roth,Yankee Rose”

Side B : Chris’ Picks

[audio,,,,|titles=Angel of Death,To Hell With the Devil,Posse in Effect,Notorious,Walk Like an Egyptian|artists=Slayer,Stryper,Beastie Boys,Duran Duran,The Bangles||width=500]

1. Slayer, “Angel of Death”

2. Stryper, “To Hell With the Devil”

3. Beastie Boys, “Posse in Effect”

4. Duran Duran, “Notorious”

5. The Bangles, “Walk Like an Egyptian”

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Exploring the ’80s Movie Montage: The “We Can Fix It Up” Montage

We all love the movie montage. It’s the perfect way to show a lot of action in a short period of time. This was a very popular movie making technique in the ’80s. There were many different versions, but this time around I’m going to focus on the “We Can Fix It Up” montage.


There are 4 basic parts

  1. The kick ass ’80s song.
  2. Let’s assess the damage or What did we get ourselves into?
  3. We gotta get to work. This house/mill/boat ain’t gonna fix itself and we need a place to live/dance/win a regatta.
  4. Bask in our own awesomeness. After a tough 2-3 minutes we have ourselves a brand new house/mill/boat!

Revenge of the Nerds

Those lovable nerds need a place to live after those asshole jocks boot them out of the dorms. Of course, all they can find is this former crack den of a fixer upper.

1. Kick Ass ’80s Song: Bone Symphony, “One Foot in Front of the Other”

2. The group gathers in front of their future home and and try to choose between getting to work or murdering their super nerd leader Lewis.

3. The nerd gang hitch up their slacks even further and get to work. Things get fixed despite the use of child labor, blind painters, and Booger getting everyone high.

4. Check it out. Meth Lab to Nerd Lair in less that 5 minutes! If only those dickhead jocks would leave them alone.

[After a long legal battle with FOX Entertainment, they pulled the clip. Jerks. – Todd]


Footloose is chock full of montage goodness (See previous post on the Dance Training Montage). This time Kevin Bacon and his crew of backup dancers need to get the old mill ready for the big dance.

1. Kick Ass ’80s Song:  Kenny Loggins, “I’m Free (Heaven Helps The Man)”

2. Sensing that they can conquer any obstacle put in front of them, the kids skip the assessment phase and practice some synchronized dirt biking.

3. The gang ditches the bikes and gets to work. Chris Penn huffs helium while everyone else sweep-dances the place clean.

4. Finally, Lori Singer finds the light switch. When she flips it on everyone erupts with glee as they realize the movie set crew already spent 2 weeks decorating for them.

One Crazy Summer / Summer Rental

Two very similar themed movies. In both movies, the lead character visits an east coast summer vacation town and quickly has a run in with the local rich dude asshole. Also in both movies, they decide to resolve their differences by facing off in a sailing regatta. Of course, the rich dude asshole has the best boat in town and has dominated the regatta for the last 200 years or so. And of course, the new guy in town has to scrape up a boat that was either once a floating restaurant or had been lying sideways on a beach.

1. Kick Ass ’80s Songs: “Unknown Instrumental Boat Building Boogie” / Jimmy Buffet, “Turning Around”

2. Both boats are either full of holes or covered in barnacles but we can’t stop now. There’s a guy I barely know mad at me. I’ll be leaving in a day and I will never see him again, but I have to prove to him and the town that I’m the better man.

3. Both crews get to work. Once again, things get fixed despite the use of child labor, inept workers, and another Booger sighting.

4. After a little scraping, a coat of paint, and some chewing gum, the boats are ready to go up against the rich dude asshole. Oh hey, don’t worry about the other 50 boats entered in the race. Just focus on the rich dude asshole. Now, let’s win that regatta!

If Michael Hutchence Could Autoerotic Asphyxiate Himself Again, He Would…

While surfing the internet today I came across this strange clip featuring Liv Tyler.  She remade INXS’ song “Need You Tonight” as part of some perfume ad campaign. It’s not just the standard 30 commercial. She covers the whole song in a 3 minute music video. I know she’s Steven Tyler’s daughter and all but come on. She’s not a great singer. Maybe not even good. The only saving grace for her is that she is still getting it done as far a being a hot chick goes. Now I’m not some INXS purist that can’t handle anyone remaking their songs, but this is just garbage. I don’t see the purpose here. Does watching this video make you have to run out and buy the fragrance? OMG, I have to know what Liv Tyler smells like! Save yourself the trip to the store. From the looks of the video she would smell like a combination of latex, dude dancer, and crotch. See for yourself below.

Now check out the original. Man I used to think this video was super f’ing cool back in junior high. It appears a touch dated. Still cool though.

Desert Island Music Poll: Van Halen Vs. Van Hagar

Here at Music or Space Shuttle? we feel like we should be asking the tough, hard-hitting questions. This week we continue our series of polls where we force you, the thoughtful reader, to choose between two random artists. You may not always like either selection but you have to pick one.

Van Halen recently released their 12th studio record A Different Kind of Truth. Feel free to reread Chris’ post from a few weeks ago regarding the new album.  Or just check out the video for their new song Tattoo below.

A Different Kind of Truth is their first album with David Lee Roth as lead singer since 1984 which was released, oddly enough, in 1984. I have always been amazed me that a band could have such great success with so many changes over the years. Sammy Hagar fronted the band through most of the 80’s and 90’s and to and to tell you the truth I am a lot more familiar with the Van Hagar version of Van Halen than the Roth version of the 70’s and early 80’s.

I am interested to know which version the masses would choose to listen to if forced to pick one. Will you live the rest of your life being “Hot for Teacher”(FYI, The woman who played the teacher in the video turned up in a few articles lately. She just turned 60 and still looks crazy hot)  or will you spend eternity loving your baby’s “Poundcake”? Please feel free to justify your choice in the comments section.

I have pretend girlfriends, and they are hot

sleigh bellsI’d like to apologize for omitting “Comeback Kid” by Sleigh Bells from the February 2012 Music or Space Shuttle? mix tape (which is still fucking awesome; listen to the whole 10-song extravaganza at

Here’s the thing: it was a calculated move. I didn’t want the song to dwarf the other nine inclusions on the mix tape; I wanted to devote an entire post to singing its praises…or more specifically, praising the video.

Alexis Krauss staring at me with her big-saucer eyes! Those shorts! Those jeans! (Even if they were stolen from Joe Elliott’s 1988 wardrobe!) The right amount of leg visible under that bathrobe! Those cheerleading moves! That spiky jacket! Alternating between her cool sunglasses and those sexy eyes! That longing look as the song reaches its conclusion! Did I mention those shorts?! That lucky deck chair!

Madeline Follin[Madeline Follin of Cults enters the room]

Madeline: What the heck is going on here?

Chris: Oh, hi, Madeline Follin, my rock ‘n’ roll girlfriend.

Madeline: Why is Alexis Krauss on your computer screen?

Chris: Um, I was just mentioning to the adoring Music or Space Shuttle? readership that I think this video is kinda sorta cool. I mean, it’s no “Abducted,” but it’s not bad—

Madeline: What’s so great about this video?

Chris: Derek Miller’s In Utero shirt is pretty cool. That mustard toss was pretty epic. His John Bender-esque fist pump at the end is pretty awesome.

Madeline (frowning): You’re dumping me, aren’t you?

Chris: Um, well, yes.

Madeline: Go outside.

Chris: [sigh] Great tune.

Madeline: No, get the fuck out of here.

Chris: Oh.

And so another rock ‘n’ roll relationship ends. Madeline Follin, who last summer stood just a couple feet away from me as she performed before a rapturous crowd in St. Louis, finds herself kicked to the curb in favor of another raven-haired vixen. Madeline’s got company; I’ve loved me some rock women over the years. Some have been mega-popular; some are girl-next-door types. For example…

Donna A (Brett Anderson)Donna A of the Donnas

When was this?: early 2000s

Initial appeal?: liked the Ramones-style songs in the beginning; liked her look around Get Skintight

Real encounters?: Well, sorta. When they played Gabe’s in Iowa City in 2002 or something like that, my buddy Sam and I were hanging out in back during the opener, having a brew, when Donna R (Sam’s obsession) and Donna F came by and started playing Trivia Whiz. Sam kept yelling out the answers, which may or may not have annoyed the two Donnas. So Sam did the chivalrous thing and gave them $2 worth of quarters; that way he could keep yelling out answers/flirting with Donna R with a clean conscience. At some point in this display of cerebral excellence, Donna A and Donna C came by. I went to say “hi” to Donna A and managed to get out “Durrr-ahhhh-hey!” It was magical.

How did it end?: Once the Donnas became less like the Ramones and more like butt-rock, I was done with Donna.

Janet WeissJanet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney/Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

When was this?: mid- to late 1990s

Initial appeal?: She reminded me of Maura Tierney (what? I liked NewsRadio…)

Real encounters?: None…I never saw Sleater-Kinney live, nor did I see Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks during her tenure as timekeeper. I did have some college classes with a girl who looked a lot like Janet Weiss and played the drums. She was kinda cool. (And of course I was petrified to have anything to do with her other than bum smokes from her after class now and again.)

How did it end?: That girl from Portlandia seemed jealous.

D'Arcy WretzkyD’Arcy Wretzky of the Smashing Pumpkins

When was this?: early- to mid-1990s

Initial appeal?: A blonde, too-cool-for-school girl who was a member of one of my greatest musical obsessions…yeah, this was a no-brainer.

Real encounters?: Not really. Saw them twice in 1994; got close to the stage the first time. I remember one of my friends throwing a hotel-sized bar of soap at D’Arcy. His intent was that she would catch it/pick it up and use it as a pick, but realized the millisecond after it left his hand that she might take it as a statement of insult regarding her body odor. (No, I haven’t had a real encounter, but wanted to share the soap story.)

How did it end?: The Pumpkins started to suck after (during?) Mellon Collie, and perhaps I foresaw this image.

Gloria EstefanGloria Estefan

When was this?: mid- to late 1980s

Initial appeal?: What, you haven’t seen the video for “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You”?

Real encounters?: I was, like, 12—that would have been awkward. And I didn’t really want to have to meet the Miami Sound Machine.

How did it end?: As it turned out, the rhythm did not get me. (And I started listening to heavy metal, and, aside from an obligatory liking for Lita Ford and the ladies of Vixen, became asexual for a while.)

Madonna in the early daysMadonna

When was this?: mid 1980s

Initial appeal?: the song “Burning Up”; the videos for “Borderline” and “Lucky Star”

Real encounters?: Back then I think I saw many a teenage girl trying to look like her (and failing miserably). I also lived vicariously through that boy in the “Open Your Heart” video—does that count?

How did it end?: Who says it did? She still looks great.

If you have any quirky rock ‘n’ roll loves, tell me all about them in the comments. (Ladies, feel free to chime in, too. Perhaps you can ask my better half about her Jimi Westbrook thing.)