Happy 31st Birthday Planet Earth!!

Thirty one years.  Honestly.  How does that kind of time pass by?!?  I must admit, I’m amused by our uncanny timing with our review this week.  I certainly didn’t plan to review Planet Earth for the week of its 31st birthday. (but I’ll bet Amanda knew…she’s good that way!)  For me, this was the song that started it all.  Thirty one years ago today, I was ten years old.  I remember that I’d just discovered KROQ here in Los Angeles, and I remember that I first heard Planet Earth on that station.  I am almost sure it was Rodney on the Roq that played them when I heard the song – I seem to recall his droll voice saying that they were brand new but that he was sure we’d be hearing a lot of them soon.  I seem to think he even said something about how we couldn’t even get the single here yet; but wait, it was coming soon.  I was completely hooked by the end of the first verse.  I absolutely adored that bass line, and the synthesizer?  I don’t even know if I really understood what that was back then – I mean, I was only ten years old – but I knew I liked it!   It wasn’t until many months later that I finally saw the video, embedded above for your viewing pleasure.  Roger Taylor’s bare neck and upper chest?  Yes and thank you!!!   He became the “end all” for me as far as men go, thanks to this video.  My husband thanks you too, Roger.

This video is a good example of how simple things really work.  Nothing super flashy, although I think it was probably one of the first videos to include some of the special effects it had – the print running across the bottom of the video, Simon pretending to jump off the “platform” they were playing.  The point is that at the time, all we really needed was to see the band playing and we were hooked.  Sure, the fancy exotic videos had their place, and don’t get me wrong, we loved them and still do; but I was just as happy to sit and watch Planet Earth over and over as I was to watch Hungry Like the Wolf or Rio.  It was about watching the band.  Somehow though, I think that message got lost in the shuffle back to the bands somehow.  Videos became more about how to out do the last one than about showcasing the bands effort.  I suppose that’s the nature of the beast, but eventually it kills off everything in it’s path, which is sad.

Planet Earth was a studio video with some fabulous costuming – however “not cool” my oldest thinks it is today – I LOVED it back then.  I remember rushing out to buy my very own ruffled white shirt, sashes…and while I was never allowed to dye my hair burgundy, I’d dream about the day when I could!  At ten, my world was very small, very sheltered, and the idea of being in love with a band from another country seemed very unusual and new to me.  I remember being shocked to hear them speak because they sounded so different from me.  (Like I said, very sheltered life.  I don’t think I’d ever met anyone that wasn’t from the US at that point!)  I know the makeup shocked everyone, including my dad.  My dad was your typical American male.  He grew up in the 50’s and played football in high school.  My dad wouldn’t even wear lip balm out of the house, much less make up, so seeing his teenage daughter plastering her walls with posters of guys in full make up, blush and all – was probably pretty frightening.  While the boys at school would make fun of their clothes and eyeliner – I secretly felt that the boys were just jealous they couldn’t look as good in makeup. (and they could not! Who pulls off makeup better than Nick Rhodes?!  No one!)  I loved it all, the clothes, the makeup, their accents…

I remember reading about the Rum Runner when I was younger.  I really couldn’t ever get a good picture of it in my head, primarily because at that age (I was probably still in my teens when I’d first heard of the club), I had no frame of reference for such a thing.  We didn’t have “all age” clubs when I was young, – at least none that *I* knew of, and again, my parents would have NEVER allowed such a thing anyway, so I couldn’t imagine such a place.  It wasn’t until I was in college and went to Fashions on the Redondo Beach pier that I had any kind of an idea of what the Rum Runner might have been like.  So, when I happened upon this version of Planet Earth, I got a much better idea of what their world was like before they ever hit the US.  I don’t think I saw this video until I was in my 30’s, and I have to say – I would have LOVED growing up in the UK.  I don’t know that I would have fit into this club scene with my feathered hair and Vans tennis shoes, but I sure would have tried, and my dad would have wanted to throttle me.

Never did I think I would ever go to the UK and actually see them play in their homeland, not at 35, definitely not at 25, and absolutely not when I was 10.  I don’t think the thought ever really crossed my mind…but that’s another thought for another blog.

Happy Birthday Planet Earth, and congratulations to all of us for a wonderful 31 years!!

-R

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