guilty pleasure monday: hero takes a fall (the bangles)

i didn’t want to like the bangles. blame it on my first copy-editing gig.

yes, virginia. once upon a time, i worshipped before the altar of  AP style, thanks to my short but eventful career at the miami hurricane. (i know, i know. you wouldn’t know it reading my blog now.) i’d spend my freshman year sunday nights and wednesday nights crouched before antediluvian computers, trying desperately to make heads or tails out of other people’s words. this, of course, is how i became good friends with my pals fern, gibbons, and my best pal murph. murph and i (and mr. lexicon himself, john barret) would hurriedly try to get things straightened out before they had to be sent downtown to the miami herald.

we were so MOD-ren then: the words would get typeset. then, editors (like me, eventually) would drive downtown, where we would take razors and splice up the copy for layout (or in my case, try not to bleed all over the equipment after i’d accidentally spliced more than the columns.) then, the good employees of el herald would make our papers. finally, i’d awake monday and thursday mornings to papers all over campus, as some sort of magical fairy picked up the finished copy and distributed them everywhere.

anyway, during that freshman year, there was a young woman who would write our music columns. this young woman had ins everywhere, it seemed, and wrote some compelling articles. however, editing her was often the stuff of legend. i think murph and i would secretly avoid editing her because you knew when you got one of her articles, interesting as they often were, they required an inordinate amount of time and patience to complete, something that is in short supply on a sunday night at 10pm when you know you have an 8 am class on monday morning.

yet i will admit now, after 25 years — i think i was the better avoider, as murph got the lion’s share of these articles. poor murph. this was around the time that this young woman seemed infatuated with the bangles. i should point out that, at least in the 1980s, miami was not a bastion of popular music (unless it was club music or, dog help us, local girl gloria estefan and the miami sound machine.  i often thought that a popular song of the day in miami was actually a remedial aid for the UM football team.) a local radio station, SHE 103 (SHE’s only rock and roll) kindly fed us the stuff that would become classic rock, but nothing alternative hit my dorm room unless my BTD shared it with me (the REM Murmur tape he gave me was worn to shreds; poor poor pitiful me never heard of the smiths until i transferred north to Rutgers in 1985.)

and this writer girl, who had cool ideas but definitely required serious editorial backup, went on a bangles binge. at least, it seemed that way to murph and me. (or maybe just me.) i was thinking to myself, who the hell are these girls and why are they treading on hallowed Go-Gos ground? would she please shutthehellup and write about clapton, or van halen, or SOMEBODY else?

it would take me another year or two to remove the stick up my ass listen to the bangles. when i did, it was love at first listen. susannah hoffs has the smoothest rough voice i’ve heard; and their material often took beatlesque turns in a fresh, new wave way that was purely 80’s. sure, the world was introduced to them with the prince-penned manic monday — or maybe walk like an egyptian. but me? hero takes a fall won me over, hook, line, and sinker.

that girl who had the ins and who wrote amazing, albeit editorially-challenging stuff? she’s now works in country music, managing some major acts. she has even co-penned a kenny chesney hit. she doesn’t know me from adam, as i was just a lowly frosh copy editor. but i will give her some serious props anyway, as someone who led me to a band i may not have otherwise discovered back then.

clearly, AP style was no match for that chick. and thank goodness for that!


5 Responses to “guilty pleasure monday: hero takes a fall (the bangles)”

  1. Gibbons Says:

    Oh, you bring back memories! I always think that was one of the most fun “jobs” I ever had.

  2. Hero Takes a Fall hooked me as a Bangles fan when the song first came out. That and the fact that Leonard Nimoy appeared in the video for Going Down to Liverpool.

    My absolute fave Bangles song, though, is their cover of Hazy Shade of Winter. Love it.

  3. it was the best! when i transferred to RU, i didn’t have the courage to work for the daily targum (the university paper), which in retrospect was dumb after all the experience i had from the hurricane. (so i stuck with my college weekly instead.)

  4. mary lynn — that cover is amazing. i actually wrestled with writing about that versus hero. in the end, i flipped a coin 😉

  5. I honestly don’t remember the Bangles obsession. Maybe I was too busy trying to figure out what she was trying to say rather than who/what she was saying it about.

    But yes, fun times were had. Working on deadline has never been quite as enjoyable in my “real” jobs.

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