Although I always say I’m a child of the eighties (I started high school in 1980 and graduated from university in 1989 so my formative years fully encompasses that decade), I think 1979 was the year that I learned to embrace my inner freak.
It would be more correct to say that grade eight signalled my awakening. See I was really into music. I spent all my money on records or rock and roll magazines like Creem.
Certainly there were no radio stations playing the bands I read about (with the exception of the Clash). Sometimes they would play Iggy Pop songs on City Limits, the late night video show on City TV out of Toronto. But I knew by the style and attitude of the bands I saw on album covers and magazine spreads that I would love their tunes too.
These bands weren’t all punk. 1979 was the year that I bought Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Damn the Torpedoes,” The Knack’s “Get the Knack,” XTC’s “Drums and Wires,” Cheap Trick’s “Dream Police,” Wings’ “Back to the Egg,” The Clash’s “London Calling,” and Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.”
Other LPs From 1979 that would later shape my musical youth would be Roxy Music’s “Manifesto,” Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall,” Iggy Pop’s “New Values,” The Cure’s “Three Imaginary Boys,” Joy Division’s “Unknown Pleasures,” The Slits’ “Cut,” Talking Head’s “Fear of Music,” Marianne Faithful’s “Broken English”… and don’t get me started on the singles.
Personally, I dressed more like Tom Petty, wearing boy jeans and untucked shirts, though I also tried to rock ruby red lipstick like Debbie Harry or Souixsie Sue. It was an awkward phase. I trust that any photographic evidence has been destroyed.