Rock ‘n’ Roll High School 76 : Why Yes, JT IS Still Hot as Hell

johntaylor_0921Today’s RNRHS comes from Jennifer Gracen, romance author and all-around wonderful person. I first met Jen at the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York a few years ago, waiting in line with my critique partner, Karen Stivali, for the scariest thing an author can face–Pitch Slam. For those of you who don’t know about Pitch Slam, it’s a literary cattle drive involving long lines and a din of voices so loud you can’t remember the title of your own book, ending with you blurting out the fine details of the manuscript you’ve spent years perfecting for a leery and slightly bored literary agent. My fondest memories of that day involve a cowbell and copious sweating. Hanging out with Jen was an awesome distraction, as she’s friendly and easy to talk to. If only I hadn’t been so damned vague when I told her about the book I was pitching, which was Bring Me Back. I told her it was about a woman falling in love with the rock star she was obsessed with in high school. All true, but not particularly illuminating. I really should’ve specified that it was about an 80s, BRITISH rock star, and then gone on to explain that it was inspired by my own 80s teenage rock star crush, John Taylor. Then we would have discovered, in person, that we share one of the most powerful bonds two women can share–a mutual love of Duran Duran and of course, eternally hot JT. I’m sure there would have been much squealing.

Jennifer Gracen

Valley Stream South High School; Valley Stream, NY; Class of 1988, Currently: Mother, Writer, Copy Editor/Proofreader, & Social Media addict

Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: Duran Duran. I could say “Nuff said” after that, but there are so many. I was OBSESSED with music in my teens (still am, really) but 80s New Wave/Pop music and culture was my life. So… anyone who played at Live Aid? I loved them. Especially if they were British.

Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: My Duran Duran posters/records/pictures. I was a hardcore Duranie. John Taylor was my first consumingly huge crush. I’ve had a soft spot for bass players ever since. And JT is still hot as hell.

Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: The hair metal bands. Sooo not my thing. There were a few songs that I liked, but I could count them on one hand. I was a New Wave/Pop princess.

Confession: I was a full-fledged Madonna wannabe for 2 months in 1984. Went to school dressed like her, the full nine. Ah, memories… *shudders and laughs*

Best show or concert you saw in high school: U2 at Madison Square Garden, 1987, Joshua Tree tour. Need I say anymore? It was close to a religious experience. Closely followed by Sting at Radio City Music Hall, 1985, the Blue Turtles tour. Power Station at Jones Beach, summer of ’85, was memorable too, for the teen girl screaming factor.

Optional bonus question: Best high school make-out song: Spandau Ballet, “True” OR Depeche Mode, “Stripped”. (I plead the 5th on both selections.)

WH CoverJennifer Gracen writes contemporary romance and romantic women’s fiction. Her latest release is Winter Hopes, Book 2 in the Seasons of Love series. It’s available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and everywhere eBooks are sold. You can find out more about Jennifer and her books at


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