Okay, the countdown to the musical mayhem has begun! 1987 is not the year things hit the fan, but here at the ripe “old” age of ten is where the seeds are sown. Don’t worry, I will warn you when it’s time to buckle yourselves in.
Picture this: a boy rises from poverty to fame and fortune, flies high for a little while, and then is killed in a plane crash. No it isn’t a verse from that Alanis Morrisette song. It’s the life of Ricardo Valenzuela, better known in the music industry as Ritchie Valens. Shout out to my dad: Esai Morales is riding an Indian motorcycle in the beginning of the movie. (My dad and my grandfather before him are known for being Indian fanatics. My grandfather had a side business on his farm doing sales and repair work on them. Even Grandma T got down to ride!)
The Great Dane handling his business!
Definitely no school marm here! Hey, Grandma T! (You show those kids how to handle that bike!)
Welcome to When the Beats Strike: My Life in Music 1987, the year of the triple threat. Acting? Did that. Chorus and the additional ensemble Mr. G made me join? Did that. Flute and piano and marching bad? Yeah, I did that. I also started doing this silly little thing called writing, and it was then I realized I didn’t need to act out someone else’s words, because I had the ability to assemble my own in a quite satisfying manner. All I needed were the power of words colliding with music, stirred by the love and kindness of my four grandparents who all simultaneously became the center of my little world and remained there until they had all passed away. This is the year I began to get curious (snoopy) and began demanding hours of their attention sifting and poring through mountains and books of old (from across the pond!) family photos.
#15 Mandolin Rain — Bruce Hornsby and the Range
#14 I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For — U2
#13 La Bamba — Los Lobos
#12 I think We’re Alone Now — Tiffany
#11 Luka — Suzanne Vega
#10 (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life — Bill Medley / Jennifer Warnes
#9 Walk Like an Egyptian — Bangles
#8 Livin’ on a Prayer — Bon Jovi
#7 Rhythm is Gonna Get You — Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
#6 Control — Janet Jackson (Yes, it’s live… She’s a Jackson, can ya blame me?!)
#5 Bad — Michael Jackson
#4 Shake Down — Bob Seger
#3 I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) — Whitney Houston
#2 I Heard a Rumor — Bananarama
#1 Looking for a New Love — Jody Watley
BONUS!! This actually was released when I was too young, but this is the year it made its way in. The Sugar Hill Gang — Rapper’s Delight (Full Version)