Are you a Duran Duran fan? Rob Sheffield sure is!
This memoir by Rob Sheffield is a funny and enjoyable romp through the pop music of the 80s, which coincided with his teenage years. He uses some of his favourite songs from that period to tell the story of his family, his teenage angst and his attempts to form relationships with girls.
Sheffield is a music journalist, who has contributed to Rolling Stone, Spin, Blender, and Details, so he definitely knows what he’s writing about. (He is, incidentally, a huge Taylor Swift fan).
This book begins with Our Lips Are Sealed by The Go-Go’s, and ends with Duran Duran’s All She Wants Is.
As a guy who also experienced the 80s as a teenager, there’s lots to relate to here (I turned thirteen in 1987). Teenage obsessions with pop music, pop stars and pop culture, sit alongside family frictions, first jobs and forming friendships.
Each chapter is framed around a pop song, ranging from Bowie, the Human League, Madonna, Prince, Roxy Music, and, of course, Duran Duran. Sheffield’s witty writing delves deeper than just commenting on pop songs, however; he reveals his teenage self completely, with insights into his personal experiences of growing up in 80s America.
This is one of those books that you can dip in and out of, enjoying a chapter at a time with breaks in between, rather than bingeing on it in one, bloated sitting. Highly recommended!
Mike Canoe made this playlist, from all the songs used as chapter names in the book… stream it below via Spotify.