June 23, 2009

Will you recognize me? Call my name or walk on by?

[Late again! I'm losing my touch.]

In the 1980s, John Hughes was The King of teenage comedies. With two successful films under his belt (National Lampoon's Vacation and Sixteen Candles, Hughes went on to release one of the defining "Brat Pack" movies: 1985's The Breakfast Club. In this film, five high-school students from different social strata are thrown together in the library for a Saturday detention session. Inevitable hijinks result, resulting in some close bonding.

But at the end of the story, the question arises: what happens Monday morning? Do the five continue to acknowledge the friendship that's grown between them, or do they play to type and ignore each other's presence again? The Breakfast Club's theme song, performed by the Scottish New Wave group Simple Minds, asks the same question, pleading: "Don't You (Forget About Me)."

This seems to be one of those rare songs that doesn't have an official video posted to YouTube, at least not one that hasn't been mangled in some way. So I settled for Simple Minds' performance at Live Aid, the same summer:

I saw The Breakfast Club for the first time about three years ago, and realized I couldn't have related to it much when I was still in high school. I just never suffered all that teen angst. I was never especially popular or unpopular; I was just middle-of-the-road. And I wasn't a jock, loser, nerd, prince[ss] or head case, either, just a band geek on the honour roll. Similarly, I didn't relate too much to "Don't You (Forget About Me)" until years later when nostalgia kicked in. But in hindsight, I would consider this hit fourth on my list of "Eightiesest Songs of the Eighties."