Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Rickrolling Down Memory Lane

It's a testimony to how much time I've been spending on-line these days that I've been a victim of the Rickroll too many times for me to keep track of.

Not that I've minded it too much.

While many perpetrators of the latest huge internet prank are probably too young to remember Rick Astley's heyday, the sight of the hiralious dance steps, the big hair, and the high-waisted pants evoke in me a feeling of nostalgia. (Admit it, people, you all used to wear your hair and your pants this way, too!)

I was ten years old when Rick Astley's big voice first hit the Manila airwaves. At the time, I was just beginning to discover the joys of having my own set of cassette tapes to play on my own Walkman. Unfortunately, it was the late 80's - hardly a dignified era for the pop music scene.

While I did experience the tail-end of the New Wave music era, 80's pop music got its hooks into me pretty well. My preferences at the time ran to the ever-present Madonna, Debbie Gibson (whose songs I used to sing to with a hairbrush in front of our full-length mirror), Bananarama, Kylie Minogue, the Jets, and New Kids on the Block (I dare my elementary and high school classmates to deny their devotion to these guys!).

And, of course, there was good ol' Rick, whose songs I still - to my shame - know the lyrics to to this day.

Most music junkies have memories associated with the songs they grew up to, and for me Rick Astley's songs are no exception.

Those familiar big band vocals and distinctive Stock, Aitken, and Waterman beat brings to mind my first-ever trip to Baguio (My "Hold Me in Your Arms" cassette was among the few we took on the trip, and we played it whenever our car radio could not pick up broadcasts from any station); the silly dance-aerobics presentation we had for our fifth grade PE class (for which we used one of his songs), and, yes, watching quintessential Rick-Astley-wannabe Roderick Paulate singing and dancing to "Together Forever" on TV with my mom at home.

My musical tastes have broadened, matured, and hopefully improved over the past 20 years. But I confess there's a secret place in my present-day iPod for Rick Astley's greatest hits - as well as many of those old 80's pop ditties I grew up to but should have sent to some forgotten place to die. And, yes, believe it or not, there are days when this playlist still gets exclusive playtime while I am negotiating exasperating Manila traffic. Yes, singing and bopping to kitschy 80's pop music makes me less inclined to shoot the other traffic-causing idiots on the road.

I second this motion: given the influx of 80's acts into the Manila concert scene and the huge exposure he's getting from the Rickrolling phenomenon, it's high time someone brought Rick Astley to Manila. If I'm here, I just might splurge on a ticket and watch him do a live Rickroll - no tricks required. What can I say? I'm a fan, albeit a closet one (but not anymore! *LOL*).

To convince the skeptics and as a treat to the closet fans who are just dying to admit it, I'll leave you with the internet video sensation that has caught the world by storm - Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." That is, if you haven't been a victim and seen it for yourself! Won't this be awesome seen live?

On the other hand, if you're not up for a dose of Rickrolling fun - you should check out this great Muppets video instead.



Manggy said...

Oh gosh, he's English. That would explain the dancing. (Uh... Kidding :P ) I would never have expected such a big voice coming from this dorky-looking chinless dude.

Cry For Help! That's a classic :) The only 80's acts I really got to know were Madonna, the Miami Sound Machine, and Basia :)

Panaderos said...

I remember the first time I heard Rick Astley's voice on the radio in Manila. I thought it was a black guy singing. His voice was awesome and reminded me of Tom Jones from the 60s. Two white guys with powerful voices.

A sentimental favorite Rick Astley song of mine is "It Will Take A Strong, Strong Man". I first heard it in Manila and it also happened to be the the first song I heard playing at O'Hare airport as soon as I landed in Chicago back in the late 80s.

dr_clairebear said...

@manggy: wasn't it hilarious? and note the level of his waist... i think it might set a record.

that being said, the guy has quite a set of pipes. as panaderos said, a lot of people thought for the longest time he was black.

@panaderos: hey, that's my favorite, too! i think it was the catchiest in that album, even if it didn't hit. i also like the track "hold me in your arms." :)

Anonymous said...

reminds me really of roderick paulate's dance steps. whenever my girl friend and myself hear the song, never gonna give you up, we autimatically dance ala-roderick paulate. haha!

i certainly love the music of the 80's.

bambit said...

hello dr. claire, got here from Panaderos' bakery ...

my personal Rick Astley favorite is Cry For Help. Of course I did dance in the 80's (I think left my dancing shoes there because I've never danced since) and Rick Astley's powerful voice was often in the background, but Cry For Help always gets me.

FruityOaty said...

I was too young to be a fan, but I do remember my sister loved him.

dr_clairebear said...

@mari: it's funny because roderick paulate gets the voice down pat. it's spooky. and weird that the same big black voice can come out of dorky-looking white English dude and one really short, funny looking brown guy. :))

@bambit: thank you for the visit! tried to return the visit, but the link didn't work. could you give me your link? :)

the last time i actually went out to dance was in college. these days, i do karaoke instead. think it's a sign of aging.

"cry for help" is awesome. i liked the soul choir background. and rick's voice really blends in.

@fruityoaty: thanks for the visit! :) i love your blog design, btw.

i was ten when i got converted, i think you have to be at least that old to get caught in rick's clutches. *lol*

bambit said...

Hi dr_clairebear, i can still imagine the look my husband gave me a few weeks ago when I played some of my mp3 stuff on the pc and started to sing and swing my shoulders along to It would take a strong strong man ...
parang ... ikaw ba yung babaeng nakilala ko xx years ago? so i shot a look back that said, baket kumokontra ka? hehehe

Hope the link works this time :)

cardiogirl said...

I do LOVE that song. It never gets old. And I experienced the very same phenomenon, all of the lyrics instantly come back to me whenever I hear the song.

I'm never gonna give that song up!

dr_clairebear said...

@bambit: it still doesn't! :( and i loved your comeback. hehehe

@cardiogirl: the song really dates us. :) while young ones now consider it a classic joke, we both consider it a classic. ;P but you're right, despite the humiliation, i am not going to delete my rick astley collection!

ris said...

i am totally clueless about the rick astley era, sorry :) the closest i will probably get to reminiscing the old times is john travolta and grease, and hairspray (i looove james marsden already). hehe.

dr_clairebear said...

@ris: grease is still respectable. :P how much older am i than you anyway? ;)