Posts Tagged ‘Wrestling’

I was a teenager in the ’80s. I believe a kid is considered a teenager at the age of 13, well I became a teenager on September 13, 1983. So I was a teenager from the early years of the ’80s. As you reach the teenage years, music starts to become very important and I recall I use to listen to the radio all day long back then.

We had portable radios in the ’80s and we also had the Sony Walkman. This was a cassette and radio portable player. It came out in 1979 in Japan, but in 1980 in the rest of the world. You could compare it to the now outdated cd players or the current mp3 players, except they were bigger than your hand and about 3 or 4 inches thick. We use to play the cassettes from end to end and then flip the cassette over to listen to the other side.  If you wanted to listen to a particular song you would have to reverse or forward for a while till you found the song you were searching for. I believe the Walkman became an iconic ’80s device when Marty McFly was using it in the Back to the Future movies.

I don’t recall owning a Walkman in those early years. My dad use to work in the oil fields and he made good money, but eventually he was laid off, as were many people in the oil fields, and we didn’t have as much money as we use to, so my sister and I didn’t always get the nice shiny devices that came out back then like other kids. I’m pretty sure this is around the time my father was laid off because we went to Ohio to work in the strawberry fields, picking strawberries, and I earned enough money to buy my very own boombox, apparently a device that was around in Japan in the ’60s, in the USA in the mid ’70s but became a status symbol in the ’80s. Mine wasn’t as big and powerful as they could be, but it wasn’t tiny either. I use to listen to it in my room with the lights off and I would watch the led lights go up and down with the music, glowing green and then up to red and back down to green as the music rose and fell.

The VCR *video cassette recorders* had come out, I guess since the ’50s, but were not available for the general public till the late ’60s/’70s and then in the ’80s the VCR market boomed because people could rent movies in cassette format or buy the movies and, of course, they could buy blank cassettes to record tv shows. I had never heard of VCRs till a guy told me about them on the bus.  I wanted one right away and I told my parents about it because I wanted to record my favorite cartoon, Dungeons & Dragons, so I could watch it over and over.  Well, I was a bit disappointed to find out you needed good reception to record and our reception was usually not very good.  Over the years Dungeons & Dragons was on the air, I was able to record one full episode and little bits of other episodes, but I watched that episode over and over and learned to draw because of that episode.  I also managed to record an episode of Star Trek *the original series*. If you are young, you have no idea what it felt like to record a show and actually kinda ‘own’ it because I could watch it anytime I wanted to.  These days you want to watch any modern tv show, you just go online and someone has posted it somewhere or you can just buy the DVD or stream it legally.  We didn’t have these options back then.  We watched new episodes of shows like MacGyver *the original series from the ’80s* once a week.

We had great films to watch, pretty much original content, none of this regurgitated stuff that Hollywood puts out now where you get to see remakes or reboots of blockbusters we watched in the ’80s. We had Ghostbusters *the original with male actors*. We had Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi *Star Wars – A New Hope came out in 1977*. We had Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, coming out in action films that are legendary. We had great directors like Spielberg and Lucas and Cameron and Scott and others. You get the used-up versions that now are shadows of what they use to be.

We had the wrestlers that you know as legendary because many have passed away.  They were from the WWF *not WWE* era, the best era for wrestling. We had Macho Man, Jake the Snake, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, George the animal Steele and so many other legendary wrestlers.  I look at pictures of the modern wrestlers and I’m just not impressed by their faces. The movies seem to have the same generic-looking actors/actresses.  Nobody stands out.

I’m not sure when music videos began, but the ’80s became big for music videos and I’m glad to say I never watched MTV.  I watched instead a local show that would air new music videos on the weekend. Michael Jackson’s music was at the very top and his music videos were very popular, especially Billie Jean and Beat it and Thriller.

We had original tv shows, unlike you young people that have to live with remakes and reboots from my era, stuff like a remake of MacGyver, remake of Beauty and the Beast the tv series from the ’80s, remake of Hawaii Five-O *although it came out in 1968, it lasted till 1981 and I use to watch it*. We had Airwolf, Magnum, p.i. The Dukes of Hazzard, The Incredible Hulk, The A-Team and on and on. The sad thing is the remakes suck compared to the originals.  You get updated graphics, but the writing stinks and it’s not original content.

Now, there are some things that we didn’t have that kids have these days, stuff like portable computers, phones that you carry in your pocket.  We had mobile phones back then, it looked like a brick you held in  your hand and not everyone could have one.  The internet existed, but not everyone was on it. The computers you could buy for personal use were very primitive.  The games you could play were so basic that the Nintendo Entertainment System was leaps ahead in the graphics and content department.

Overall, I’d say the ’80s was a decade bursting with talent in music, film, wrestling… everything that was important to teenagers. And we weren’t fed rebooted or remade garbage, we had writers and film makers and musicians that produced original and memorable works that are still better than the generic stuff put out by so called artists these days.

Perhaps I’m looking at this from an ’80s teenager’s point of view, with a bias in favor of the ’80s.  I’ve tried to listen to some of the music out now-a-days.  I knew this girl from the Netherlands who showed me some of the modern music she listened to and although it was alright, it was not memorable or even inspiring.  It was just generically o.k. and that was it.

Anyhow, you young people have to live with remakes and reboots of Star Wars, Star Trek, Total Recall, MacGyver, Beauty and the Beast the tv series and Hawaii Five-O.  I lived during the time when these were original and not regurgitated crap.

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