Coming-of-Age Soundtrack

Sometime during the next few weeks, my oldest son will officially become a teenager. A teenager! It kind of boggles the mind. And already the signs of change are apparent – his size-eight-and-still-growing feet, his sweet little boy voice growing deeper, and his face covered in pimples – it is all so adorable! Okay yes, I am weird. But for me, I enjoy every tiny step of my children’s development, even the awkward adolescent stage.

My almost-teenager is beginning to really get into music, just as I did when I was his age. Only he downloads Deadmau and other house music onto his iPod, whereas when I was twelve-going-on-thirteen in 1988, my Walkman was usually filled with rock cassettes, like Poison, Guns n’ Roses, and Metallica. It’s true…I started high school that year, and in an attempt to figure out my own identity, I became a hard-core rocker. For a while, anyway.

Just for fun, tonight I led my kids through a musical tour from the late eighties, when I was their ages. It was especially fun for me, like playing through my coming-of-age life soundtrack. After the first few songs, my own almost-teenager shook his head. “Wow,” he said, “eighties music was kind of boring.” And he popped in his ear buds and walked away, his head bobbing to some 2012 tune that makes up his own personal coming-of-age soundtrack.

My 1988 Soundtrack

Sweet Child o’ Mine – Guns n’ Roses

Welcome to the Jungle – Guns n’ Roses  (Guns n’ Roses was truly one of the best rock groups to emerge during the 80’s, and both of these songs are so good, they may bring you to your sha-na-na-na-na-na-na-na kneeees kneeees)

Angel – Aerosmith (anything by Aerosmith is excellent)

Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard (Most Def Leppard is hard for me to listen to now, but this song brings back a zillion memories of the roller skating rink with friends back in the day)

Hands to Heaven – Breathe (My first slow dance song! I wore makeup and a skirt for the first time at the end of 8th grade and danced with JMF, who later became my crush, then my best friend, and then gay. Hopefully not because of me!)

Out of the Blue – Debbie Gibson (Yes, I wore skeggings and a black hat, just like Debbie. I even went to her concert. And I sang this to my crush, JMF, over the telephone. Oh geez, how embarrassing now!)

Could’ve Been – Tiffany (Because you can’t have Debbie Gibson on your list without adding the other teen pop queen. Why did we find her so cool, again?)

She’s Like the Wind – Patrick Swayze (And every other song from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Because come on…Dirty Dancing! It was THE movie that year).

The Promise – When in Rome (Possibly one of the first songs that turned me on to progressive rock, a.k.a. new wave, a.k.a. modern rock)

Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson (See, I actually listened to a few black musicians, too. Well then again, maybe MJ doesn’t count as a black musician. Does he?)

And now I leave you with the most overplayed song of 1988, but with good reason:


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