Chick Lit author Tracie Banister joins us today on RNRHS, bringing a post rife with 80s music, which you know makes me happy. I, like Tracie, have many happy memories of lighting up the gymnasium dance floor to the Go-Go’s, a band that epitomized the 80s and everything girls wanted at that time–to live a life full of funky clothes, vintage convertibles, sunny skies, and frolicking in public fountains. My sophomore year of high school, a cute boy at a record store told me that I looked just like Belinda Carlisle. I think I rode the high of that compliment for months. It wasn’t until later in life that I wondered if that had been 80s-boy code for, “you’re cute, but a little pudgy”.
El Toro High School, El Toro, CA & West Carteret High School, Morehead City, NC. Class of ’85, Currently: a Chick Lit writer.
Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: Oh, gosh, if I had to pick one song that encapsulates my high school experience, it would probably be “Our Lips are Sealed” by The Go-Go’s. That song played at every slumber party and school dance I can remember. It was such a fun, upbeat, empowering song for girls, and we all loved rocking out to it.
Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: I was totally obsessed with The Police in high school. Their Synchronicity album was released right about the time I got my driver’s license, so my friends and I would cruise around town listening to the Synchronicity cassette tape on a continuous loop. I had every piece of Synchronicity paraphernalia you can imagine – t-shirts, posters, spiral notebooks, magnets, all emblazoned with that iconic artwork that had the paint splashes of red, yellow, and blue. I wore that Synchronicity t-shirt well into my twenties until it was practically threadbare and even then I couldn’t bear to throw it out! So, that tattered tee was kept in the bottom of my dresser drawer for another decade. It made me feel 16 again every time I saw it!
Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Journey . . . SHUDDER I don’t know what it was about Steve Perry’s voice, but it made me want to go postal every time I heard it and there was no getting away from Journey when I was a teenager. That band and their music was everywhere. I want to give a big raspberry to Glee and the musical Rock of Ages for making that annoying song “Don’t Stop Believin’” popular again a few years ago. GROAN
Best show or concert you saw in high school: I was several hours away from the closest arena when I was a teenager, so I didn’t get to attend my first concert (Hall & Oates!) until I reached the ripe old age of 20 (I’d moved to Atlanta at this point.) I made up for lost time in my twenties, going to 10+ concerts a year throughout the decade. I had a friend who worked for a local music producer, so she always got us free tickets, even backstage passes sometimes (I got to meet Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons backstage at a KISS concert!) So, I don’t have a best concert from my high school years, but my best concert of all time was probably INXS (R.I.P. Michael Hutchence)
Best high school make-out song: Well, my classmates would probably say something like “Waiting for a Girl Like You” by Foreigner or “Keep on Loving You” by REO Speedwagon, but I was never really into ballads. My make-out tune of choice would be “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell; I always found that song to be really sexy and hormone-revving (Guess I had a dark side!)
An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her debut novel, the Hollywood-themed Blame It on the Fame, was released in January, 2012, and she followed that up with the Miami-set Romantic Comedy, In Need of Therapy. You can find out more about Tracie at traciebanister.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @traciebanister.