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Monday, December 23, 2013

I’m going to be drowning my sorrows in Champagne tonight because it is, indeed, my birthday. As I’ve previously noted, I don’t think birthdays are that much fun anymore, even though they’re better than the alternative.  I was much more thrilled by them when this photo was taken … on Dec. 23, 1984, when I turned 17.

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I dressed in style to celebrate the big day. My hair was teased, my trademark Liza-worthy eyeliner was in place, and a single beaded earring was worn. Under the earring, you can see a rare shot of the blonde, braided “tail” that I sported for a couple of years. It looks like I adorned it with a lavender ribbon to match the earring. Interestingly, for years I assumed that my hair had been inspired by Aimee Mann’s even-more awesome braided tail in ‘Til Tuesday’s “Voices Carry” video, but now that I look it up, it turns out that video wasn’t released until 1985.

Memory is a tricky thing, isn’t it? That’s why I won’t swear that the dress was from Fiorucci, even though I think it might have been.

According to the sometimes reliable Wikipedia and other websites, the song “Voices Carry” was originally addressed to a woman, but studio executives thought it would be more appealing if it was about an abusive boyfriend. Yep, that’s always more palatable. Anyway, I like Aimee Mann. Last year, she did a funny shot-for-shot remake of “Voices Carry” for her song “Labrador.” Check that out here. Guess which wig she puts on instead of the black bob of the original video? I also came across a 2001 interview she did with the Washington Post in which she spoke about her willingness to take on the music industry. She said:

“I think I’m one of the few people fed up enough to start talking about the industry in really honest terms. Which is pretty dangerous. It is really dangerous.

This is how she sees it: If you’re rich and famous, like, say, George Michael, and you complain about the industry, then it’s like, ‘Oh, stop whining, you big rock star.’ As if that’s a really big perk. And if you’re small, independent and you rail against the industry, then you’re labeled a sore loser. Sour grapes. ‘No one liked your record. Get over it.'”

Tell it like it is, Aimee Mann!

Oh, and in case you’re having trouble with the math, I’m 46.

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20 Responses to ““We Gonna Party Like It’s Your Birthday””

  1. Marguerite says:

    Voices Carry was probably the big song for me during college. I remember calling WVBR over and over again requesting it, and they had never heard of it. I think it was nearly 6 months before they finally played it.


  2. déjà pseu says:

    Happy Birthday, Wendy! Hope you’re having a splendid birthday.

    “Voices Carry” was always a favorite of mine. Still big fans of Aimee Mann in our household.

  3. happy birthday, party like the goddess you are! I need a pigtail braid like that.

  4. HBD, WendyB – loving the flashbacks!!

    Cheese and totally awesome hair aside, is it just me or were narratives of resistance to abuse way more mainstream and explicit then vs. now?

  5. Hi my dear!! Wishing you a fabulous birthday and a very happy Christmas too, love to you and Mr B xxx

  6. Kait says:

    Happy Birthday!

  7. Tuesday says:

    I always loved ‘Til Tuesday, but then again…

    Happy Birthday!!!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I hope you had a great birthday. I know it’s Tuesday, and I’m a day late with this comment, but whatareyougonnado?

    I loved that original video for “Voices Carry.” I can’t believe execs thought a video of an abusive boyfriend was a good idea. But it was really popular as I recall. Of course, my recollection might not be entirely accurate, either. I assumed that video came out in 1986. Boy was I wrong.

  9. K-Line says:

    I’m really late to this party, Wendy. Happy belated birthday. Have a great, next year.

  10. Happy belated birthday, Wendy! I remembered, I swear!

    Love Aimee Mann – she’s awesome. And you in that hair, so cool. I did the double-tail in 1984: one on each side of my neck. Oh yeah, we were too cool.

    Wishing you a wonderful year!