Popfession

If you haven't been following Popfessions, the Tumblr that collects tales of unfortunate musical crushes, then you should immediately go and read them. I wrote one I couple of weeks ago, which I'll preserve here in full:

I fell in with a bad crowd at school. It was a way to survive the new and scary reality of secondary school, where the teachers were constantly telling us how grown up we were. I didn’t feel grown up at all.

My new friends got me into all kinds of trouble by sharing their taste in music. One of them played me Phil Collins albums. He was a dumpy, bald man who said hilarious things like “Hello, I must be going”. Phil Collins, that is, not my friend.

Another one introduced me to The Christians and The Pasadenas. Even so, we are still friends.

Then there was Debbie Gibson. My friends told me about the songs but the infatuation began when I saw her on a magazine cover. I was 13 and at an all-boys school. Teenage girls were mysterious and intimidating but Debbie didn’t seem so threatening.

She looked cool, stylish and pretty but normal too. I wanted to know more about her but the magazine was called Just Seventeen and I really had no idea whether I would have to prove my age if I wanted to buy a copy.

I got her debut album, Out Of The Blue, on vinyl and listened to it over and over. Debbie brought despatches from the front line. Girls wanted to fall in love. They got heartbroken. They liked hats. This stuff was gold.

And she was talented. She wrote her own songs and she could sing and play piano at the same time. Not like Debbie’s big rival, Tiffany. Bloody Tiffany, prancing around shopping centres with her cover of ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’.

Like the teenage affairs that Debbie chronicled so faithfully, my crush was brief. The second album came out when I was 14. It was called Electric Youth, which sounded like a try-hard social club for young Christians.

The songs didn’t speak to me anymore. There was ‘Lost In Your Eyes’, in which Debbie channelled Yoda, asking: “Is this love that I am in?” And there was ‘We Could Be Together’, which saw Debbie trashing decades of feminism to declare: “If you said jump I’d say how high/ If you said run, I’d run and fly.”

Forget female empowerment – I wasn’t sure I was ready for that kind of responsibility.