Eleven ’80s videos that made me gay


When it comes to videos, I’m old. I remember the premiere of Friday Night Videos, and even before that (and even before MTV), I watched something called FM-TV (later Teletunes) on a local public access channel. It was such a thrill to stay up late and enter that strange new world. My sister even figured out how to hook up our clunky TV to the stereo so we could enjoy bizarre bands like Les Rita Mitsouko in high fidelity.

And just as the age of music video was dawning, so was my baby dykedom. Here are some ’80s videos that helped me explore my newfound appreciation for the fairer sex. (Note to the PMRC types: I’m not really saying these videos made me gay; just that these women are totally worth going gay for, if that were possible.)

1. The Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” (1983)

Oh, Annie Lennox. The hair. The stare. The tie. Sweet doesn’t begin to cover it.

2. The Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979 — yeah, a year early)

I didn’t understand half of what Chrissie Hynde was saying, but her eyeliner did something to me — as did her smooth, sexy voice.

3. Cyndi Lauper, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (1983)

At that point, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted from a slumber party; I just knew I really, really liked them.

4. Tina Turner, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” (1984)

Love has a lot to do with it. Especially if you’re going to strut like that. This video also fed my growing yen for the Big Apple.

5. The Go-Go’s, “Our Lips Are Sealed” (1981)

Not Belinda. The other ones. I’m looking at you, Kathy Valentine.

6. Pat Benatar, “Love Is a Battlefield” (1983)

Let’s take to the streets and have a dance-off! We are strong! No one can tell us we’re wrong!

7. Heart, “What About Love” (1985)

It wasn’t their best or their prettiest. But Ann Wilson‘s voice is pure heat.

8. Katrina and the Waves, “Walking on Sunshine” (1985)

It was all about the shoes. And the awesomeness of the song!

9. Stevie Nicks, “Talk to Me” (1985)

I wanted to talk to her. For a long, long time.

10. The Bangles, “Going Down to Liverpool” (1984)

This is the Bangles before they started to suck (i.e., before they let bimbo Susanna Hoffs sing everything). And yes, that’s Spock behind the wheel — but more important, that’s bassist Michael Steele in the purple jacket and ridiculous tie thingie. Yum. (Bonus: This song was originally recorded by No. 8 on this list!)

11. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, “Crimson and Clover” (1982)

I know it’s obvious, but I’m still powerless when I see it. Thank you, Joan, for not changing the pronoun. What a beautiful feeling.

Finally, here’s a video that just made me weird. This is the aforementioned Les Rita Mitsuoko. The song is “C’est Comme Ça,” from The No Comprendo (1986).

OK, that still makes me feel weird! No comprendo indeed.

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