Rob Sheffield

What Did We Learn: Talking to Girls About Duran Duran

In his latest book, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, a coming-of-age teen memoir set to the music of Duran Duran, Human League, A Flock of Seagulls, Madonna, Lita Ford, other 80s staples, Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield takes readers through his formative years as a loyal devotee to all things New Wave.

In his acknowledgments, Sheffield mentions in passing, “Cheers to those who who remember it differently – as Paul Westerberg would say, your guess is more or less as bad as mine.” Well, herein lies the reason I had so much fun reading this book – which took all of about three days on vacation last week – I remember these things entirely differently. This is not to say I disagree with the viewpoints, but rather I was too young in the 1980s to really debate the merits or cool or lame, punk or new wave, poseur or not.

In fact, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever even talked in any depth with someone who was really into ’80s music, seeing shows, and actually thinking critically about the genres. It’s relatively simple to stumble upon barstool conversations with hardcore fans of ’70s classic rock with epic sagas of seeing Zeppelin at the Garden, Genesis with Peter Gabriel, the original Wall tour, or infinity Dead shows, but what happened to all the die-hard ’80s music fans? I guess they probably all deny it. Well, Rob Sheffield is one of the few, the proud, the remaining and Talking to Girls about Duran Duran provides an often hilarious look at the ’80s from the perspective of a serious, active fan’s perspective with no shortage of self-deprecating humor.

READ ON for more on Rob Sheffield’s book…

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