Today’s post is an author interview with Bobbi Ruggiero. Bobbi took her passion for music and turned it into an adorable debut novella (YOUNG TEACHER) loosely based on the 1980s Police song Don’t Stand So Close To Me.
1. What was the most influential concert you attended in the 1980s? Tell us about it!
It would have to be The Police’s Ghost In the Machine Tour. I was in 7th grade and it was my first concert. To see Sting walk on stage, after only seeing him in magazines and on my walls, felt like a dream. My knees went weak, literally. I’m pretty sure I lost my voice for a few days after that show. And I wore my concert t-shirt to bed AND to school the next day. I went to every Police show in my area after that, and got to sit in the front row for Sting concerts many times. I was pretty good at sleeping in a lawn chair outside of the Boston Garden so I could be the first in line for tickets. Oh, those were the days!!! My second concert was during the U2 War tour. Another dazzler. I was a pretty lucky girl to experience these monumental shows at such a young age.
2. What posters did you have up on the walls in the 1980s?
I have a confession to make – I kissed EVERY ONE OF MY POSTERS before bed. Ritualistic, much? I think it took me 15 minutes to get through all of them. Sting and Bono took up most of my walls, and then Duran Duran moved in, especially pics of John Taylor. My walls were works of art. Fun Tak was my best friend. Remember Fun Tak? If not, I’ll help you remember…
3. What did YOU look like in the 1980s…hair, make-up, clothes? PICS?
I started to grow my mullet in 7th grade. I wanted to look like Bono or John Taylor. I also used creme bleach on my bangs so I could get some blonde, like John Taylor. It turned red. My parents were pissed. Then I cut the mullet senior year and dyed it black. Hell, I’ve been dyeing my hair black ever since! This was my senior picture taken by my high school boyfriend. The amount of Dippity-Doo and Aqua Net in that hair is stupefying.
4. Favorite songs/bands from the 1980s. Give us a playlist!
Rather than a list of faves, I’ll throw out a three songs that stood out above all the others the first time I ever heard them. I’ve had the chance to meet these bands, too, but that is a story for another time. Obviously, every Police album is tattooed on my heart. No need to even mention them here.
William, It Was Really Nothing – The Smiths: The first time I heard Morrissey, he was crooning this song out of the speakers of my grandfather’s old console record player. My grandfather had taken me into Boston to go record and clothes shopping and I picked up Hatful of Hollow. I’d only read about The Smiths in NME and Melody Maker. Finally, I was getting to actually hear them. Morrissey’s voice. Johnny Marr’s guitar. I’d never heard anything like it. It marked a whole new stage in music appreciation for me. It was so different. And I loved different.
Gloria by U2 – Such strained emotion coming out of Bono’s mouth. With the underlying sense of the sexual and religious rolled into one. Yup, I was all over that. I loved everything about this band. Still do.
Planet Earth – Duran Duran – Moody. Electronic. Who was this band named after a character is Barbarella? ( A move my parents wouldn’t let me watch so you know it peaked my interest!) This was the New Romantic wave – a wave I’m still surfing! The fashion. The brooding. And John Taylor’s pout. Recipe for maniacal groupie behavior. Still.
5. Talk about the song Don’t Stand So Close To Me…why did you choose that for your inspiration?
This song defined my teens, and in some ways, all of my writing to date. I was 13 and dreaming of Sting being my teacher and falling in love with me. The song lyrics introduced me to adult literature (Lolita by Nabokov). I wrote my first book in 8th grade based solely on this song. I still have it somewhere in my files. Oh, and the the ominous beginning of the song still gives me goosebumps. DSSCTM has got taboo written all over it. And I’ve always been attracted to the things I’m not “supposed” to be attracted to. I think that’s why I relate to this song so deeply.
Bobbi, thanks for the fun interview!
I attended quite a few awesome Police concerts back in the day, also.
Thanks to Sting!
Thanks to Bobbi!
Thanks to the 1980s for inspiration!
For more information about Bobbi and her debut novella, stop by her website.
I’ll be giving away a copy of YOUNG TEACHER today.
Leave a comment and let me know your favorite 1980s band/concert/song!