Hold on to that Feeling (Inspired not by Journey but by Bartles and Jaymes)

Emilia and I went and saw a little of this on Saturday night.

Falling in love 80s style

After standing and sweating in a TKTS line in Times Square (the people who work for TKTS were wonderful, by the way, handing out water and answering questions while we waited), we scored 30% off tickets to “Rock of Ages” at the Helen Hayes Theater.

In case you didn’t know about this musical, which is currently being made into a film starring Tom Cruise (WTF? I don’t see it), here’s a description:

“Rock of Ages is a rock/jukebox musical, with a book by Chris D’Arienzo, built around classic rock hits from the 1980s, especially from the famous glam metal bands of the decade. The musical features songs from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Steve Perry, Poison and Asia, among other well-known rock bands.”


Now I am, of course, a child of the 80s. I graduated from high school in 1990 and the late 80s were definitely my formative musical years.

But unlike the characters in “Rock of Ages,” I was not really into Journey or Night Ranger, although, don’t get me wrong, I can sing along with just about any hit from the 80s, including “Sister Christian” and “Don’t Stop Believing,” both of which were featured in Rock of Ages.

No, I carry a slightly darker 80s music secret – I was what folks these days would probably call “goth.” But back then, we called it “New Romantics.”

I was known to wear a puffy shirt or two in my time. I had a penchant for velvety vests. I was obsessed with anything Victorian. I never met a beaded appliqué I didn’t like.

I was a really big fan of Book of Love, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Echo and the Bunnymen, and of course, the Cure and Depeche Mode. Again, all classics to the movement.

While “Rock of Ages” didn’t cover the New Romantics, it did hit all the right nostalgic notes and it was an awesomely fun time. I especially liked the fact that they encouraged you to take your drinks back to your seat, something that most theaters forbid.

We got in a lot of trouble for taking this photo, so enjoy!

And, at the theater bar, they had Bartles and Jaymes wine coolers, which hold a very special place in my heart. The story of my first kiss is forever entwined with those wine coolers. I was 16 years old, and I was on a date with my best friend’s brother (BRB). He was a couple of years older than me—I think he had just started college—and he was definitely pretty dreamy.

We were at a drive-in out in West El Paso watching “Die Hard.” Oh, funny side note, I’ve been told that that particular drive-in now specializes in, ahem, adult movies. Ick. Because you really want to watch porn at an outdoor theater?? There are homes nearby!

Anyway, BRB and I were sitting in the back seat, and he had his arm around my shoulders, which is probably why I don’t remember what the movie was. My stomach was flip-flopping all over the place. We were drinking Fuzzy Navel wine coolers when BRB pulled what I consider pretty much the smoothest line I have ever heard, even to this day. He went to hand me a wine cooler and said, “Wet your whistle? Here, let me.” And he swooped in for the kiss. Heavy making out ensued to the ever-so-romantic soundtrack of gunshots and Bruce Willis.

It must not have been very good because he never asked me out again. And that’s ok, because it was a bitchin’ first kiss, to use some 80s vernacular.

Were you a child of the 80s? Rocker, nerd, New Romantic? Do you remember your first kiss? Was Bruce Willis and his pretty pursed lips involved? (seriously, look at that poster. He’s begging for a smooch)