Tag Archives: pop-culture

Remembering the Fast Times of the Canadian 80’s

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I looked at a newspaper clipping today that featured the 80’s rock band “Platinum Blonde” from Toronto and smiled. I began to have flashbacks of one of my favourite eras- the 80’s. I remembered my “big hair” that contained so much hairspray I must have busted a hole in the ozone layer. I saw Platinum Blonde at least 6 times and thought guys were really pretty in those days. I loved their feminine clothing and the way they looked like a modern day Victorian swashbuckler. Some days when I think of the past I can’t help but head bang and throw devil fingers in the air while I play air guitar in memory of the hair bands that once were.

It was the time of Trivial Pursuit, Boom Boxes and Baby on Board signs. I wore shoulder pads that could also be used as a bullet proof vest, bodysuits and  wore Flashdance bottoms as my regular clothing. My motto was that if I had to pay good money for underwear then I was going to wear it as clothing, which I did. Nothing was sacred and as former customer Lee Aaron sang, “I was the Metal Queen.”

Canadian bands like Darby Mills & The Headpins and Holly Woods from Toronto were competing with the male bands and evening up the score. They did not wear brands like Ocean Pacific, Guess, Jordache, or Esprit. These women could rock with the best of them and the once Phallic guitar solos belonging to the axe wielding male metal heads now also belonged to the ladies.Because no one was using Spandex, my clothing was featured in Flare Magazine and Jo-Anne and Caryl Citron of the cool Cat’s Cradle store in Toronto carried my MC Hammer influenced designs. With my crimped hair and my side ponytail life was good, as I danced to the tunes of Flock of Seagulls while celebrities saved farms and tried to Feed the World.

Movies like Flashdance, Footloose and Desperately Seeking Susan made me want to dance while Ferris Bueller, or anything from John Hughes made me smile. “Heathers” had hope for beating the bullies that were somewhere “Lost in America”. Madonna ruled my world and I loved the teenage Patrick Dempsey movies because “hot girls were just in love” with him and it held hope for the nerds.

I owned 4 Swatch Watches and ripped my pantyhose to wear under Lycra leggings. Leggings had me at the word ‘hello’ and in the late 90’s my oldest son looked at me shook his head and said,

“Mum, the 80’s are over!”

Hanging my head still wearing a big hair bow I shook my rubber bracelets and sighed,

“I just wanted to ‘feel it again’.”

I mixed up my TV viewing with lovable ALF, Kids in the Hall and SCTV. John Candy was my hero and I laughingly told Catherine O’Hara when she visited my store one day that I wanted to bear his children. People suddenly wanted to ‘take off to the great white north’ and Geddy Lee from Rush made it okay for me to say ‘eh’ to my American friends. Beauty eh?

I wore my black Ray Bans even though life was sunny and full of “pretty things.”  It seems now that the 80’s was the last decade where everybody felt totally optimistic about their future. “Isn’t that special?” No Future now! “Like gag me with a spoon” with today’s bleak look on life. We wore sunglasses at night.

“It was better to look good than to feel good.” “Nothing but Champagne wishes and caviar dreams” from Robin Leech and “Totally Tubular” songs from Valley Girls. Nobody “pitied the fool” that asked “where’s the beef” and screamed “You look mahhhvellous!!”

Now I still wear my “Sunglasses at Night”  so I can keep track of the 80’s visions in my eyes and dodge the lighting from those patio lanterns! HAPPY CANADA DAY!!

A few of my designs from the late 80’s in Flare Magazine and Linda in her pink bodysuit and huge padded shoulder in her store Flash Cadilac. Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac and 5 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

It’s Just a Jump to the Left – Time Warping Rocky Horror

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rocky3    On the last Saturday of every month in the late 70’s my store in Ottawa Ontario would be filled to the brim with customers looking for the exotic in wear. Corsets, platform shoes, barely there underwear and French maid costumes. For a month or two I was kind of baffled as to what was going on until one night I drove by the Nelson Theatre on Rideau Street.

There, standing in line were a couple hundred people dressed in things your mother told you not to wear. Of course this was the beginning of the midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and during the decades I had that store I proudly outfitted most of the participants.  Years have passed and in today’s age of the internet I wondered if the film Rocky Horror excited this generation like it did us?

“Whatever happened to Saturday night?”

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I emailed Nate who runs the Bay area’s Rocky Horror troupe  and he agreed to let me take pictures of the ‘participants’ of Friday night’s event.  Nate also playsRiff Raff and that night he was extremely busy bringing in props from the last show in San Francisco and trying to get ready in 45 minutes.

“It’s astounding you know; Time is fleeting!”

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I got there early anticipating a line of people and sad to say today’s generation gets there when they get there. A few people complained that it was chilly  and all I could think of was standing in line during  a snow storm 20 years ago while my black ankle socks and tap shoes filled up with snow.

“I remember doing the time-warp. Drinking those moments when  ‘The Blackness’ would hit me.”

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The first people in line were Kayla and Miguel from Fairfax and they were definite Rocky Horror virgins. But I had to give them kudos as they were willing to sit there in the ‘cold California air’ for 90 minutes. I told them about my past experiences and warned them about the rice and toilet paper. For anyone that doesn’t understand; you should duck during those sequences and if you don’t – well don’t say I didn’t warn you.

“With a bit of a mind flip
You’re into the time slip.”

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Brittany and Kassie had seen Rocky Horror before but Faryn had not. She was kind of worried that someone might come up to her and draw a large “V” on her face establishing her as a  ‘Rocky Horror Virgin’. I assured her no one would do it but if I had a marker in my purse Faryn would have been initiated by me personally.

“And nothing can ever be the same.”
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Maykayla and Emma had the right idea. That Mata Hari hat would protect you from all the Rocky Horror elements including the spray from water pistols used to simulate the rainstorm Brad and Janet had experienced. Lots of theatres don’t allow this anymore and as my grandmother once said,

“Well secluded,  you will  see all.”

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By this time the pain killers had kicked in for a kidney infection I have, and names and time are now fleeting.

” Madness is  taking its toll.”

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Cat ears? I don’t remember cat ears but those bras are “spaced out in sensation!”

“What interesting underclothes you have!” said Frank

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I don’t remember a Mexican wrestler in the film but “When a snake of a guy gives you an evil wink” you have someone to protect you!

“MERCYYYYYYY!”

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“He shook-a me up, he took me by surprise” to see Geek Chic next to ladies that are ” just a jump to the left.”

“Say, do any of you guys know how to Madison?”

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Now we are talking!

“She stared at me and I felt a change.
Time meant nothing, never would again.”

“Hi. My name’s Brad Majors and this is my fiance Janet Weiss.”

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“It’s just a jump to the left.

And then a step to the right.

Put your hands on your hips.

This duo is rated off the charts for originality!

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“How do you do?  I see you’ve met my faithful handy man!”

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“I’ve been makin’ a man, with blond hair, and a tan and he’s good for relieving my tension.”

I give you Ms. Tasha Fierce. You go girl!

“Although psychiatrists and sociologists are still putting their heads together to explain the cult phenomenon, Richard O’Brien thought the answer was quite simple.  They’ve asked a lot of people to interpret the show’s success and they all seem to miss the very obvious answer. It allows the kids to dress up. I see guys on the street in fishnet stockings and corsets and I think it’s terrific. It’s a major breakthrough. Women have been cross-dressing for years. Now they can wear almost anything, but a man can’t.

Thanks to Rocky Horror a guy can put on fishnets and strutt his stuff and feel okay. I see no harm in that at all. I think the kids are also responding to Rocky because there’s an element of naivete about it which is very endearing and not threatening. Its innocence is its strength All the characters appear to be sophisticated, knowledgeable people but they’re really not. That allows people of a similar adolescent nature to feel they could be part of the whole thing. “

Rocky Horror will live on forever- Happy Halloween!

                                     “Let’s do the time-warp again!

Thanks to the kind staff at the Albany Twin Theatres and Nate from Barely Legal.

Photos and text by Linda Seccaspina 2011

1970’s  photo of my friend and  old staff Jackie Kouprie

Quotes from Rocky Horror

Nothing is Scheduled For Today! Media – Zoomer

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Nothing is Scheduled For Today! Media – Zoomer.

 

“Today my friend Christine Preece simply said:

“Nothing is scheduled for today,” and I hoped her statement was true.

Can this stop being one of the worst 24 hours for news ever?”