Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Times Remembered by J.P. Bowie



Ah, the eighties, the 80’s, that ten year span between the 70’s and the 90’s when I probably did more traveling than at any other time of my life. From the UK to France and Spain, then on an ocean liner to Nassau, to Colombia, Venezuela, Santo Domingo, all around the East Indies, the Bahamas…on and on and on. Boy, was I homesick for California by the time the 80’s drew to a close. But on the plus side I did meet the man who would eventually become my hubby – we just had to get rid of a couple of pesky ex’s along the way.

What I loved about the 80’s were the songs and the movies. Movies that have become classics – Indiana Jones, (where we could all crush on Harrison Ford), The Goonies, Big Trouble in Little China, (where we could all crush on Kurt Russell), Greystoke, the Legend of Tarzan, Highlander (there can be only one), Tootsie, Sixteen Candles, Aliens(!), Scarface, Blade Runner (Harrison again), Flashdance, Footloose, Good Morning Vietnam. Oh boy, they just don’t make movies like those anymore!

And the songs. I who was still singing Porter and Gershwin (still love them) woke up to couple of incredible duets, Aretha Franklin and George Michael – I Knew You were Waiting, Babs (we gay guys can call her that) Streisand and Barry Gibb – Guilty. And there was Billy Joel and Springsteen and Bon Jovi and my cuz (not really) David Bowie. Michael Jackson’s Thriller. So much going on…

The 80’s, like all decades that had come before, had its bad times. Assassination attempts on the President, Thatcher and the Pope, plane highjackings, ‘Black Monday’. The scourge of AIDS that took a lot of my friends. Young, vibrant, talented people I should still be friends with today. Yet despite all that, I look back on those times with nostalgia – when we still wrote each other letters, sent invitations by mail, used ‘land lines’ (phones) to call one another - what else was there? I listened to LP’s on my stereo and rented movies to play on my VCR. I watched Dynasty where the women had too much hair and padded shoulders that Tom Brady would envy today.

Good times, bad times, I’ve seen them all, and my dear, I’m still here.

13 comments:

  1. J.P.:
    You needed your own movie "J.P. Bowie, A Man of International Adventure". You were everywhere.

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  2. One hilarious cruise I worked as casino manager with 500 Germans on board. Not one of them gambled. The concession owners were not happy when we returned with zero profit.

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  3. Good to have exposed yourself (pun intended) while still young. I traveled, but in much less sophisticated style. Once, three of us went from New Jersey to Miami in a TR-4. 1200 miles in a 2-seater.

    Momma and I lived in the Castro, SF between 19th & 20th just before the AIDS crisis. We were the only straight apartment in the building, but we did a lot of partying. Lost a number of friends and former neighbors in the 80's too. What a horrible thing. We were so lucky.

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    1. Writing this blog brought a lot of memories back - some I can still smile about, others bring tears.

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  4. What a globe trotter you were! That cruise with the 500 non-gambling Germans is a great anecdote! Too funny.

    In comparison, my 80s were so much less exciting. I started my work career, fell in love, got married, and had my first of 4 kids in 88. The 10 years after that are mostly a blur of diapers and cuddly babies/toddlers.

    BTW, I don't know if Bowie is your real last name, but it isn't David's. His REAL name was already registered with the recording artists industry...he was born David Jones. Yes, that's right, the guy from the Monkees stole his name. He chose Bowie after the knife guy of legend, since many Brits love stories of the old west in the "colonies".

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    1. Yes, I knew him when he was David Jones he was a mime artist with Lindsay Kemp Mime Company. Probably where he got his passion for flamboyance - among other things. I think he had a small band for a while called the Lockermen.

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    2. Wow! You knew him? We just had a retrospective of him here in Chicago, that was very well-attended. I didn't go, but I hear it was spectacular and varied, just like his many public personas are. I feel so out-classed, when you're a globe-trotter who has met famous people. I agree that any memoir you wrote would be fascinating...and yes, it would probably be similar to the gay novels you write. But it would be one of those things where you'd have people saying, "It can't be true!" And you'd reply, "Yes it is! You can't make this stuff up!" Or publish it as a novel and laugh when reviewers say it's not realistic or believable, while you hug yourself, knowing it's all true.

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    3. That retrospective sounded so awesome! I wish I could have seen it!

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  5. Ah yes! And what aboutt Star Wars? (Since we're on a Harrison Ford kick!)

    But didn't Flashdance come out in the late seventies? I remember dancing to it during my late days in grad school, 1979.

    Like Daddy, I think you could definitely write a best selling memoir.

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    1. If I would just stop writing all these gay novels I might have time - but then it would be a gay novel wouldn't it?

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    2. The sexiest Harrison Ford Movie I can remember is Witness, with Kelly McGillis as the Amish farm mother whose young son (Lucas Haas) witnessed a murder. Sexual tension and repression so thick you couldn't have pierced it with a pitchfork from the barn.

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  6. A gay novel set on a cruise ship would be cool! probably there are some already. A gay murder mystery set on a cruise ship would be even cooler, but someone has probably already done that, too.

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  7. Your movie list just makes my chest hurt. I love those movies so much. And many thanks to Lisabet for giving some love to Star Wars...

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