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sa1569Today’s RNRHS guest is Jamie White, Author, Blogger, and major connoisseur of music and pop culture, which is part of what made us friends on Twitter.  Jamie has some cool music stuff to talk about, but I was most fascinated by her mention of Kids, Inc.. That’s a first for the blog, and after 74 posts, many of which are 80s-centric, I found it hard to believe this was the first time Kids came up. (For those who don’t know, the world might never have known the talents of Jennifer Love Hewitt and Fergie without it.)  The show started when I was a sophomore in high school, so I’d sadly aged out of the target audience, but I have younger siblings and they LOVED it. I looked up the theme song on You Tube this morning (see below, for your amusement) and I’d forgotten just how much that show was quintessential 80s. Sure, it’s the Hollywood version of the 80s since it’s so contrived, but that’s part of the point I’m about to make. A lot of awesome things from the 80s were manufactured (or seemed that way)–Wham! (the Wake Me Up Before You Go Go video being Exhibit A), jelly shoes, Mork and Mindy, Gremlins. Need I go on? I think the important thing to remember, a point that Rob Sheffield brought up in his memoir Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, is that everything that was good in the 80s…music, fashion, film…was made for kids. That’s what made it such a kick-ass time.

Jamie White

Hollywood Hills High School, Currently: Author, Blogger, Proofreader

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: The group I associate with most with high school is Ace of Base. They had some fun songs and my friends and I loved them. All I have to do is here “Don’t Turn Around” or “The Sign” and I am transported back to the school courtyard where we all used to hang out and have lunch.

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: This is going to sound geeky, but I was a huge Kids, Incorporated fan in the 80s, so when Jennifer Love Hewitt made it big with Party of Five and put out an album, I went to see a performance she did at a local mall, where I got the CD autographed.

Kids Incorporated Theme Song: 1984

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Nirvana. I still to this day can’t fathom why “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was so popular. ::ducks to avoid flying objects::

Best show or concert you saw in high school: Bon Jovi, without a doubt. I fell in love with the band as a kid in the ‘80s and never grew out of it. I still rock out to “Keep the Faith” and “Crossroads”. :)

Stains_600Jamie White is a multi-published author of Young and New Adult Paranormal Fiction. Her latest release, Stains on the Soul is out now. You can find out more about Jamie at jamielwhite.com.

Elisa Lorello-0095I’m thrilled to have the awesomesauce Elisa Lorello take the reins of Rock ‘n’ Roll High School today, not only because she’s a friend, but because I relish the chance to host any mega music fan on the blog. Elisa’s life has been filled with music, but like many of us, the high school years were especially rich with music memories. You can read the finest of the details in her memoir Friends of Mine: 30 Years in the Life of a Duran Duran Fan. Elisa and I share a rampant love of said band (duh!) and writing, and saw a timely convergence of the two when we took part in the Author Panel at the Durandemonium Convention last fall. The best part of that weekend in Chicago, hanging out with our fellow Duran fans, was that Elisa and I could pass off the fun as “work”.

Elisa Lorello

Walt Whitman High School, South Huntington, NY (Long Island), Class of ’88

Currently: Author of commercial women’s fiction, and teacher of writing

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: For the band, I’d obviously have to go with Duran Duran, given that I worshipped them throughout high school, but the song would be Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me,” since I equally worshipped The Breakfast Club during high school (who didn’t?).

pins croppedFavorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: So hard to pick one, especially since I have a lot of Duran Duran memorabilia. I’ve always had a fondness for my Duran Duran pin collection. I still have the denim jacket (with the sleeves cut off) that I attached them to. I think I have close to 40 total (not nearly enough!). And I think my Seven & the Ragged Tiger tour jersey is now considered memorabilia.

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: I couldn’t stand Rush.

Best show or concert you saw in high school: Have to go with Duran Duran in 1984, given that it was my first concert ever. I also saw Howard Jones, Hall & Oates, the Power Station, Robert Palmer, and the Alarm, to name a few. Musically speaking, Robert Palmer put on an excellent show. He was a class act.

I also have to give a special mention to my older brothers, who played at my Sweet Sixteen birthday party. No DJ for me! I’ve been around live music all my life so it was a given that they’d perform. They were fabulous, as always.

Best high school make-out song: No clue. (I think I may have blocked that one out of my memory, hahaha). “Careless Whisper,” maybe?

FOMcover1aElisa Lorello is a multi-published author of commercial women’s fiction, including the bestselling Faking It, and her memoir, Friends of Mine: 30 Years in the Life of a Duran Duran Fan. Her latest women’s fiction release is She Has Your Eyes. You can learn more about Elisa at elisalorello.com.


Andrew Golub, aka Durandy, joins us today for a re-launch of sorts for Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. I suppose you could say that school is back in session or at least I’m getting back to class after spending a little too much time hanging around in the parking lot talking to my friends (and writing! I’m always writing!). Andrew is THE Duran Duran fan-archivist, a devoted follower of the band for over three decades. He curates an assortment of rare artifacts and paper ephemera that numbers in the thousands, including carefully restored posters and prints from every chapter of Duran Duran’s history. Selections from Andrew’s archive have been showcased in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, on A&E’s Biography, in two film documentaries, and in two public exhibitions. Andrew released a gorgeous hardcover book last month titled Beautiful Colors, examining Duran Duran’s career as it has never been seen before — through the posters. From 1978 up to the present day, the band’s evolution is chronicled with rare and vintage promotional posters from the largest Duran Duran archive in the world; tours, tribulations, and triumphs are charted as each album is released, viewed through an array of stunning art and photography. There’s even a forward by Nick Rhodes. How amazing is that? So get to it, peeps, and order Andy’s book before they are gone and you’re left feeling foolish. After that, you can get to this…

Andrew Golub, Duran Duran archivist extraordinaire, Franklin High, Seattle, WA, Class of ’90

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: Ahhhh…. I realize I’m not the most objective opinion on song choices, but Duran Duran’s “The Reflex” has to be on the top of my list. That hit represents a time when the band was taking girls’ hearts by storm and the music charts were full of colorful acts setting out to make a splash with videos and catchy songs. “Freeze Frame” by J. Geils Band and Van Halen’s “Jump” also quickly transport me back to high school hallways, toting my Trapper Keeper with Nick Rhodes peering out from the front cover’s plastic sleeve.

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: By high school, I was firmly set on using newspaper route income to purchase foldout Duran Duran posters from my classmates, so any day that saw me come home with an armload of pin-ups or magazine clippings was memorable. I recall walking into drugstores or supermarkets after school and never quite making it past the magazine racks; a glazed look would come over my face and I’d drop to my knees, methodically perusing every new issue of Tiger Beat, SuperTeen, and BOP. The hard part was figuring out which mag to buy with my limited money, since each publication had mercilessly limited their Duran coverage to just a couple pages. The perils of youth in the ‘80s!

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Probably Culture Club. I have always been a visual person, and to me, Boy George and Nick Rhodes represented the two extremes of makeup application: wasteful and tasteful. Granted, Duran Duran embraced decadence in other ways, but with their visual presentation, the band deftly illustrated how sometimes less can be more. Except when it comes to collecting posters.

Best show or concert you saw in high school: Seeing Duran Duran for the first time in Vancouver BC, when they joined David Bowie on his 1987 Glass Spider tour. The show was sheer brilliance. I stayed after Duran left the stage, just long enough to see Bowie make his grand entrance, but then I retreated to the transport bus so my memorabilia could be better protected. The archival tendencies were already taking over.

Best high school make-out song: Mmmmm… probably “Save A Prayer.” Or Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is”. Neither ever really worked for me, but I recommend both.

Andrew Golub is author of the book Beautiful Colors, telling the history of Duran Duran through his meticulously curated collection of posters. You can learn more about Andrew’s collection and his book at durandy.com.