book review: Talking to Girls About Duran Duran

Title: Talking to Girls About Duran Duran
Author: Rob Sheffield
ISBN: 978-0525951568
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Dutton Adult (July 15, 2010)
Category: memoir
Review source: publisher
Rating: 4/5

Attention Gen-Xers who fondly or not-so-fondly remember the 80s [hello to ABRHS Class of 1987!] and youngsters fascinated by the Members-Only jackets, bright pink ruffly clothes, bad haircuts, boys in make-up, girls with big hair and MTV: this is absolutely THE book for you.

If you love music, have a strong connection to music and cannot imagine a world without it, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran will be completely relatable and entertaining. Rob Sheffield explores his experience growing up with music. The author of the bestseller Love is a Mix Tape, Sheffield is also contributing editor at Rolling Stone.

Duran Duran:

Duran Duran symbolize eternal teenage yearnings. Girls still grow up memorizing Pretty in Pink and Dirty Dancing during those constant weekend TV marathons.

If you were famous in the Eighties, you will never not be famous. (In theoretical physics, this principle is formally known as the Justine Bateman Constant.) Any group that was popular in the Eighties can still pack a room.

The Go-Gos:

And praise the Go-Gos. Man, we listened to that tape over and over again. Every song sounded like it was the chronicle of a world that was much cooler than the 70s burnout rock we heard all around us, a report from California, where sassy girls got dressed up and messed up and went out to cool places to do evil. “This town is our town,” they sang. “This town is so glamourous! Bet you’d live here if you could and be one of us!”

On one-hit wonders:

One-hit wonders are a noble breed. It’s a fantasy that any artists should have long, productive careers. It’s hard to guess in advance which one-hit wonders are gong to go on to be famous for their hit, and which are going to be obscure.


On MTV, with the world watching, rock stars invented whole new ways to blow fortunes they didn’t have on fire-hazard hair, spandex pants, octagonal synth-drums, keytars, super-models humping the hoods of foreign cars, and other garishly bad ideas. It was a nighttown world of bossy girls and swirly boys, animated by computer disco bleeps and the whiff of hair dye and each other’s pheromones.


He has devoted his life and mine to making me a lamer, dumber, more miserable person. I can’t leave him behind, because I’ve tried, and yet he follows me everywhere I go.

watch for my interview with Rob Sheffield to be posted on July 15, 2010 at The L Magazine web site.

Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut

Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time


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