Rock ‘n’ Roll High School 59: Safety Dance, Buried In a Box Somewhere

Fellow contributor to Felt Tips, the world’s first office-supply themed anthology (yes, really!), AmyBeth Inverness is my guest on RNRHS today. She has all sorts of memorable 80s moments to share with us, including the awesomely 80s song “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats. Ah, to have been a fly on the wall during the band meeting when they thought up their band name. I mean, really. If any band name screams, “Being in a band should get us tons of chicks, but there’s no way it’s happening now,” it’s Men Without Hats. I’m sure someone (probably the drummer, but that’s pure conjecture on my part) quickly chimed in with, “We should put a court jester in our video. Just to seal the deal.”

AmyBeth Inverness
Longmont, Colorado, Class of ’89, currently: SciFi and Romance writer

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: The first song that came to mind was Phil Collins’ “You Can’t Hurry Love”. This seemed to be my mantra throughout my teenage years as I never did manage to have a boyfriend. Well, there was one, when I was sixteen… he was a wonderful guy whom I broke up with (WTF was I thinking?) after just a few months. He and his boyfriend are now living happily ever after somewhere on the west coast.

Then another song came up on my 80’s list on the ipod. “Wild Wild West” by Escape Club. It was approaching number one on the charts right around Homecoming my senior year. I remember dancing so hard and for so long that, when this song came on I couldn’t resist dancing even more so I just fell to my knees and danced that way! They played the extended dance mix too, so the song was extra long.

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: I didn’t have memorabilia, but I had albums. My parents had a large record player in the living room, and I could put a whole stack on. Of course, that meant playing side A of all the records, then physically turning the stack over and listening to all the B sides. When I turned 13, my “special” gift was a cassette player of my own. Not a boom box… just the simple tape recorder that’s a little smaller than a shoe box. I started with Men at Work’s “Down Under” and progressed to Hall and Oates, Amy Grant, and Phil Collins.

Of course, although records weren’t considered memorabilia at the time, they are now. I had a copy of “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats on one of those mini vinyl records. I might still find that buried in a box somewhere!

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: I used facebook last night to poll my old classmates. Everybody loved Michael Jackson, and so did I. It’s the harder rock that I didn’t like… I was very much a goody two shoes and I stuck to Fleetwood Mac (I actually named my daughter after one of their songs) and other softer stuff. Everybody else liked Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe. I’ve gained an appreciation for the poetry of Iron Maiden, but I still can’t stand to actually listen to them.

I was more into movie and television stars than music idols. Although every other girl I knew thought Tom Cruise was the hottest man alive, I just didn’t get the appeal. He went to college in Boulder, Colorado, just twenty miles from my High School, which made the adoration even worse since it actually was possible for my friends to get a glimpse of him.

I had two big crushes. Ricky Schroder, who was and is very much the image of the “nice guy.” Then there was Christian Slater… no, I didn’t get into the whole Heathers thing or Pump Up the Volume. I fell in love with him when he was playing the shy and vulnerable guy in Untamed Heart and Bed of Roses. Whoops… it looks like I’m getting my college years confused with my High School years!

Best show or concert you saw in high school: I’m 41 years old and I can still count on one hand the number of professional concerts I’ve been to, and none of those were in High School. I did get to relive a little of my repressed youth after I met my husband and I finally got to go see a real band play at Fiddler’s Green in Denver. It was The Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over tour and it was fantastic. The only strange part was the odd smell coming from the people sitting in front of us, which my more-experienced soon-to-be-hubby quietly explained to me.

Incidentally, one of my High School classmates, Mark Trippensee, is now in an Eagles tribute band called The Long Run… as well as a Rush tribute band called Rush Archives.

If this was Classical High School instead of Rock and Roll High School, I could tell you about getting dressed up for the symphony, either going to see the city’s orchestra, or playing cello in my High School orchestra. Music was a huge part of my life then, but the famous names were Bach, Beethoven and Brahams. I was a huge Ork Dork, and I loved it!

Best high school make-out song: Honest to God, I never made out with anybody in High School. I kinda wish I had, but really never had the opportunity. Other girls remember fending off boys left and right, or saying “not yet” to boyfriends who wanted to go all the way. I didn’t even have a kiss until I was in college. But there were definitely songs that made me wish I had someone to make out with… Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” and Journey’s “Open Arms.”

A writer by birth, a redhead by choice, and an outcast of Colorado by temporary necessity, AmyBeth Inverness is a prolific creator of Science Fiction and Romance. AmyBeth’s short story The Peanut Gallery Rebellion is in the America’s Next Author competition! Read it HERE, and if you like it, click VOTE. It does not require a log in to do so. You can find out more about AmyBeth at

4 Comments on “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School 59: Safety Dance, Buried In a Box Somewhere

  1. This was such a fun interview! I didn’t have anyone to make out with in high school either, but if I had it would have been to ‘Bed of Roses’ by Bon Jovi. That was the (do) IT song back then. 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get a FREE eBook sampler of Karen's bestselling books.