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Live Free or Die

Rock on, man – never neglect music of the ’80s

Whenever I turn on the radio, I’m constantly bombarded by station after station of crap.My roommate listens to Groove Radio, which is fine if you like listening to the “Mortal Kombat” soundtrack ripping up the bass of your speakers.

I started listening to music during my junior year in high school. My friend at the time, Lance, had purchased a Night Ranger greatest hits compact disc and had lent it to me, thinking I’d like it. What was a shot in the dark for him would become my obsession with music.

Not just any music, mind you ? ’80s music.

I enjoy four types of music: rock, glam rock, hard rock and metal. That’s a real eclectic selection, huh?

Classical is too slow-paced for me; country sounds too twangy.

I can’t understand opera, and I won’t even get into rap.

What I do like is the smooth, melodic sound of… Def Leppard.

Ah, Def Leppard. Practically everyone who ever wore a T&C shirt or got their hair up past three inches remembers where they were when “Pour Some Sugar on Me” came out. Def Leppard was the sound to be copied in the `80s, and so we owe all that other crap that came out to its influence. Only to rival Bon Jovi in success, Def Leppard’s albums Pyromania and Hysteria were huge hits, only to be helped by the band’s MTV presence. Although drummer Allen lost his arm in 1984 and guitarist Clark died of an overdose in 1991, the band still made some of the least intelligible and best music of the decade.

Whenever I bring up Def Leppard nowadays, I receive nothing short of scorn. This also goes with pretty much all of my music. Tesla, for one, is the band that brought “Signs” to this generation (even though Five Man Jam did the song first, dammit).

People mock me for my musical interests. “Why, oh why,” people ask, “do you like Def Leppard?!”

Perhaps it’s because I like songs that talk about things other than death, have lyrics you can understand through the music, make you happy, and have a replay value.

I got into Def Leppard by accident. I was returning a CD for my brother and my friend recommended Hysteria to me. So I got it. My brother didn’t appreciate that too much, but then I don’t really care too much about my brother.

I listened to the Def Leppard album and I liked it, but not enough to form an obsession. But it grew on me, along with bands like Metallica (prior to Load) and Boston, completely rounding out my musical interests.

Eighties music rules. To say otherwise is to trounce on our adolescence.

So whenever you hear classic songs like “Photograph” or “Love Bites” on the radio, sit back and think about that special day when you gave that special someone a friendship bracelet.