Corey Hart and “Growing Up”: Being Un-Cool in the Late 80’s

As many junior  high  transplant  non-sports-playing introverts, I was un-cool. Music listening became an obsession  of mine; a way to create my own fantasy  world with my fantasy  boyfriend, Corey Hart. Perhaps it’s  a good thing that the Internet  had not been  invented because  I  probably  would have been  up late at night watching  the videos for “Sunglasses at Night” and “Never Surrender” non-stop  .  Luckily  it was a time when MTV only played music videos and Corey Hart was in heavy  rotation . Also a time of magazines  such as a Teen Beat, Tiger Beat and BOP , which during Hart’s brief popularity  provided fantasy – crush hope as well as poster pull-outs that I plastered  to my wall. Even though the teenage popularity tides changed quickly, and Hart was replaced by the more popular  Coreys – Feldman and Haim – I stayed  true to MY Corey.

First Offense, Boy in a Box, and Fields of Fire were on  constant  cassette  tape rotation, I proudly wore my Corey Hart badge buttons on my bleached jean jacket, and I made a Corey  Hart scrapbook. I had an intense feeling that if Corey Hart and I  did not marry, we would at least become good friends.

However this obsession  was turned into a “secret” upon moving to Minnesota. My first boyfriend  introduced  me to the Replacements, Suburbs  and Husker-Du, and I became a Midwest punk with a secret pop-rock love raised on Rock-n-Roll. The first boyfriend and I broke up after a few months, not because  of  Corey but I think partly  to due with the boss;my most treasured Xmas gift that year was the cassette  box set of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street  Band/1975-85. “Growing  Up” was my secret  anthem  while I  publicly wore all black, had a punk haircut  of many colors, and slam-danced to the Violent Femmes.

But I  really  never gave up on Corey. When I  was 21 and working in New Mexico  for the summer one of my best college  friends won tickets from  a local radio station in Minnesota  for a private party with Corey
Hart; I  am  still jealous  to this day. And if you are ever out in public with me and “Sunglasses  at Night” is played on the radio, expect an excited spaz dance reaction combined with the “shush” signal of my pointer finger to my lips.