I’m Karen, a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on 80s music, Judy Blume, and the films of John Hughes. An early preoccupation with Rock ‘n’ Roll led me to spend my twenties working my way from intern to executive in the music industry. Many of my books revolve around the world of backstage passes and band dynamics.
If I told you one of my favorite images of the 80s came from the Police, conventional wisdom might suggest it’s Sting taking off his shirt in the video for “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”. But, that would be wrong. Sorry. No, to me, one of the best (ahem, sexiest) bits of imagery from 80s music is beanpole Stuart Copeland in bright-white tennis shorts, magnificent floppy mop of hair, lanky legs, making an ass of himself in the “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” video. Love it. It was geek rock before we had any idea what that was. Le sigh. While I take a moment to fan myself, fellow Ellora’s Cave author Brenna Zinn is here, talking 80s, naiveté and The Police, which makes me just as happy as Stuart Copeland’s knobby knees.
Class of ’85, Currently: I’m a full-time author and babysitter of three huge English Mastiffs
Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: The Police – “Every Breath You Take” was the song known as OUR song between me and then boyfriend. But I was such a radio/music hound, almost any song from the early 80s reminds me of high school. Men At Work, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Men Without Hats… good times, good times.
I also worked at the local university’s arena selling popcorn and drinks at concerts. REO Speedwagon and John Cougar were two concerts I remember working at. I remember several people asking that I not fill their sodas completely to the top and not knowing why they would want that. Now that I’m over 21, I finally understand. I was SOOO naive.
Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: Mainly the album covers from the multitude of records I bought. They still look great. My husband and I framed several album covers and hang them on the wall in our place in Austin. It’s our rock-n-roll condo. Everything in the place is either associated with music or cycling.
Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Every hair band ever known to man. I didn’t see what the big attraction was. Still don’t. I didn’t even like AC/DC until I married my husband. He wanted to make sure our unborn baby had good music taste, so he’d put on AC/DC, plug in these huge earphones, then put the earphones on my belly. My daughter, who is now 22, knows every AC/DC song ever recorded. She and my husband go to AC/DC concerts together. I elect to stay home, eat chocolate ice cream, and watch Ghost Hunters on television. It works out best that way.
Best show or concert you saw in high school: I mentioned above that I used to work concerts at the local arena. I didn’t actually attend a concert until I was 18. I saw Prince during his Purple Rain tour. That was a total eye-opener. I felt as though I had just passed some rite of passage after attending that show. Suddenly I was mature and worldly. (Did I mention how naïve I was?)
Best high school make-out song: “Every Breath You Take” by the Police and “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister. Oh the memories I have making out in the back of a 1964 Mustang.