Title: Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut
Author: Rob Sheffield
Buy The Book: Amazon
I have always loved Duran Duran, so when I heard the title of Rob Sheffield’s book I nearly wet my tight rolled, acid washed jeans. In Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut, Sheffield writes about coming of age in the eighties and his love for the songs that provided the soundtrack for his teen years. This book is a full-on nostalgia head rush for readers that grew up in the eighties!
Rob Sheffield is a girl’s guy. He is the kind of guy every girl loves to talk to, because he loves to listen. Sheffield credits Duran Duran for giving him a sensei-like knowledge of women. I’m sure having three sisters helped him out some as well, and that is evident throughout the book. In the chapter that highlights the Ray Parker Jr. song “A Woman Needs Love” Sheffield includes gems such as “saving a seat,” “counting the ply,” and “making conversation with their boyfriends” in a list of things women require of men. Spot on observations like these help make this book required reading for men seeking to understand women.
The climax of the book comes when Sheffield writes about cassingles in the chapter highlighting Ton Loc and the year 1988. Sheffield analyzes the cassingle with the precision of a surgeon performing the most complicated operation of his career. His love for the cassingle is epic. He romanticizes the cassingle setting them up as a symbol for the one hit wonders of the decade: A flimsy tape in a cheap cardboard case that is easily forgotten and thrown away.
I was in elementary school for much of the eighties. Sheffield’s writing reminded me of so many things from my youth that I thought were long forgotten. He brings back memories of nights watching Chartbusters and Night Tracks on TBS while impatiently wondering when my town would finally get MTV. He writes of a much simpler time before music lovers could access any song at any time of day on the Internet. He writes of a time when music lovers had to work to get their hands on their favorite tune of the moment. A time when music lovers had to drive to the store to buy a 45 or cassingle. Or, God forbid, you had to sit by the radio and wait until the DJ decided to play your latest favorite and hope you remembered to put in a blank cassette tape and press record on the boom box. He writes of a time forgotten by many that is worth remembering.