Posted on February 8, 2011 by Karen Booth
Hey y’all! Just had to say that since today’s installment of RNRHS (we’re calling it that now, btw) is from my amazing friend, Amy Barefoot, who can say things like y’all and make it sound perfectly natural. It sounds terrible when I say it (see sidebar). In fact, I apologized profusely the few times I tried to use it. Amy and I used to work at Mammoth Records together and although we were separated by two floors, that didn’t stop us from spending lots of time together. Now whether a whole lot of work was getting done during that time, well, our old boss reads this blog so yes, we were being very productive. We weren’t talking about rock boys or cats or drinking or our co-workers at all.
Rock on y’all.
Smithfield, NC, Smithfield Selma Senior High (also known simply as Triple S), Class of 1988, Currently: The boss of me at Barefoot Public, Inc.
Band and/or song that reminds you the most of high school: First of all, I should probably explain that I grew up in Johnston County which means that what you are about to read is further evidence that I defied the odds as I should probably be living in a trailer in the field behind my parents house. Luckily, planets aligned, I crossed county lines and grew out the spiral perm.
The hair metal bands of the 80’s were really unavoidable for me. For some reason I morphed from worshiping the British pop darlings of Duran Duran to discovering the beauty of the Psychedelic Furs and Echo & The Bunnymen on the Pretty in Pink soundtrack to landing straight in the middle of a big heap of neon spandex, eyeliner and lots of hair.
I once made a banner for Bon Jovi from a queen-sized sheet that I then strategically placed up my acid washed jean miniskirt along with a roll of duct tape to enter Greensboro Coliseum. I had been told security would confiscate all banners and they would be checking purses. I’m pretty sure I looked like I was seven months pregnant but the crowd cheered as me and my friends unfurled our homemade love letter on a sheet. It was worth the trouble in the end because Jon Bon Jovi mentioned how much he liked it three times during the show. The crowd ripped it to shreds and I actually saw someone walking out with the part of the sheet that had my name on it.
At home, I couldn’t escape the metal bands either as some of my really good friends were in a band called SCAVENGER’s DAUGHTER. Whenever I say the name of this band, I always have to pronounce it like a monster truck race announcer. FYI, a scavenger’s daughter was a type of torture device not unlike an iron maiden, which they covered extensively along with Judas Priest. I would go to the local Battle of the Bands and then change into respectable clothes to go to my church’s youth group meeting (yeah, my dad was a preacher). Occasionally Scavenger’s Daughter would play the Brewery opening up for such gems as Confessor. I’m really glad my planets aligned and I crossed county lines.
Favorite piece of music memorabilia (poster, t-shirt, etc.) in high school: I have two. There is the totally classy “Slippery When Wet” t-shirt from the aforementioned Bon Jovi tour. Occasionally I’ll tease my hair, break out the white leather fringed boots and wear it as a Halloween costume.
The other prized piece of memorabilia is a few plies of yellowing toilet paper that I’ve kept sealed in a small plastic box since 1985. I went to see Duran Duran and while John Taylor (this is for you Karen) (ed’s note: thank you, I happily accept all mentions of JT) was playing, some nut threw a roll of toilet paper at him. He saw it coming, caught it and wiped his beautiful, sweaty brow with it and tossed it into the crowd. I was fortunate enough to catch some of it, which I generously split with my friends. That was my first concert. I walked out of there like. . .”screw your little tour t-shirts. . . I’ve got sweaty John Taylor toilet paper.” That sounds kind of gross now but at the time, I was cooler than Anthony Michael Hall holding up Molly Ringwald’s underwear in the bathroom in Sixteen Candles.
Band that you hated that everyone else at school seemed to love: Effing Genesis. I was a member of a dance academy from the age of 6 to 18 and each year we had a big dance recital production thing.. One year, I was recruited/forced to do a ballet routine on roller skates. . .that’s right. . .roller skates to “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight”. To this day, I can hear that song or any song from that album and simultaneously get ghost bruises. I sucked at skating. My costume should have been made out of bubble wrap I fell so much. I don’t know whose brilliant idea it was for me to do a skating arabesque across a bumpy stage but I’d like to think they still feel bad about picking me to do it.
Best high school make-out song: “Glory of Love” or some Peter Cetera bulljive from a Karate Kid movie. I think I made out with a guy to that. It’s funny, I don’t remember his name but I remember that his eyebrows were a lot darker than his hair because he frosted his tips but he was no John Taylor. He wasn’t even a Nick Rhodes. Oh, and he had a dog named “Sparkplug”. My friends met him at the state fair. . .I think that says it all right there.
Maybe something from Journey’s Raised on Radio.
Best show or concert you saw in high school: It’s a toss up between the Bon Jovi/Cinderella/Skid Row spectacle and The Bongos/Power Station line-up. I did go to a Bruce Springsteen show with my dad, who in addition to being a preacher was also a teacher at my high school. It was a fun yet awkward show. It was at the newly built Dean E. Smith Center at UNC. My dad went to the bathroom at one point. . . came running back to our seats, grabbed my arm and made me stand outside the men’s bathroom so he could introduce me to some UNC men’s basketball players as they left. I was mortified. It was a defining moment for both of us. For him, he was the coolest teacher at school because the next day he just talked about the show instead of teaching and for me, I’ve never been to see any live, musical performances with him since then.
Category: News, Rock 'n' Roll High School Tags: 80s music, amy barefoot, author, banks forest, bon jovi, Bring Me Back, Chick Lit, duran duran, high school, john taylor, karen balcom, mammoth records, music, novel, women's fiction
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Karen: I think you pulled off that “rock on y’all” with grace and dignity. Well, as much grace and dignity as one can apply to the term “rock on”….
Amy: Though I can’t say I was Bon Jovi fan myself I absolutely love the sheet story. Nicely done!
Thanks–I dug deep for that “rock on y’all”.
Great post, still lmao…
She’s a funny girl, for sure. You know, Bob–you would be good at answering these questions too. Hint, hint.
Amy! Those memories are awesome, thanks for sharing!
I also had the ‘pleasure’ of seeing Bon Jovi play on that tour. Though when I saw them they were touring (opening for) 38 Special!
Love the “roller skate ballet” imagery. 😉
This is so awesome! I loved every bit of it—sweaty tp from JT??? I love this woman!!
This is epic! Totally jealous of the sweaty JT toilet paper. Totally. Also, completely pleased that it’s archival value has been recognized and it is worthy of preservation. 😀
I’m STILL laughing at the JT toilet paper. That is one of the better stories of something I’ve heard about being thrown up on that stage…and yes, I’ve heard more than my fair share. 😀
I really feel though that at this point, I need to do something crazy, just so that I have a great “I’m completely insane” story to tell when and if the time ever arrives that I’m asked.
Oh wait. I run a fan-blog. That’s probably enough right there.