The 70’s were almost over. There was a certain sense of doom surrounding the 80’s. Would George Orwell’s prophecy of 1984 come true? What about the future of music? That’s all I really cared about.
The punk scene was changing. The Sex Pistols were over. Johnny “no longer” Rotten became Johnny Lydon and Public Image. The Ramones changed drummers. Blondie turned disco. The radio, for the most part, was still ignoring new bands.
The suburban sewer rats still refused to accept any new music. It was all deemed punk, before it was heard. They called Tom Petty punk, Dire Straits punk, and even when The Kinks released their new album “Low Budget”, people thought they were a new punk band and refused to listen.
Then came an album called “The Cars”. The Cars were a band from Boston. They wore jackets, skinny ties and comfortable shoes and were very slick looking. I wanted to hate them. But I didn’t. The album was catchy and fun to listen to.
The radio caught on. They gave it a new name. New Wave was born. New wave killed the punk rock star. Gone was the snotty, vulgar, pissy anthems. They sang like they had stuffy noses with a friendly, poppy, synthesized slick sound. Perfectly produced for radio.
I tried to hate it. I really did. But it was good. I was on board for the new wave ride. What choice did I have? I would have to listen to Journey. yeesh.
New wave hit the airwaves and radio stations were born. WLIR became the alternative station playing this new wave music. The 80’s were hopeful. I thought, there is no chance this music will get self-indulgent, excessive or boring, right?
Boy was I wrong.