THE GIRLS WHO JUST WANTED TO HAVE FUN: A CHAUVINISTIC ’80s FLASHBACK

Having experienced puberty in the age of teased-up hair and Glomesh tops I often find myself sinking into nostalgia for the 1980s pop sheilas.

Try as I might though, when compiling this list I could not remember a single Aussie star who had the boys drooling over her pin-up in TV Week.

There was bonafide sex bomb Sharon O’Neill, who’d send youthful champagne corks popping as soon as she set foot on the Countdown set, but she was a Kiwi.

I guess they heyday of pop for Aussie birds might have been the 1970s, either that or I was too wrapped up in Midnight Oil, Rose Tattoo and the Angels to notice them.

Anyhow, I do remember this trio of American ladies very well, to make the list they needed to be talented, intelligent and a good sort, as well as gorgeous chicks, so we proceed.

AIMEE MANN

Aimee stole Toya Wilcox’s hairdo

Aimee Mann is best known as the bassist, songwriter and founder of new wave band Til Tuesday, who had a top ten hit with the single Voices Carry.

What I remember most about her was her incredible eyes and that mane of white hair, she just looked so bloody cool all the time, plus a pretty woman with a Fender bass in hand is always irresistible.

Since Til Tuesday folded Aimee has released nine solo albums, performed in comedy troupes, scored films, done voice work for cartoons and has won two Grammy awards, in 2006 she was voted one of the worlds ten most important living songwriters by NPR.

This live video for Voices Carry was cut from a full-length concert filmed at the legendary New York rock club The Ritz, in 1986, the longer video is also available on Youtube and I highly recommend it as it shows the band in their heyday and Mann’s command of the stage.

 TINA WEYMOUTH

At the CBGB punk club, they used to ask, “Who’s the cute chick with the bass?”

Aside from being a dead-set hottie Tina Weymouth is regarded as a bassist’s bassist by her peers, her fusion of art-rock minimalism and funk grooves left a mark on the music of the 1980s through her work with Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club.

If you listen to tracks such as Once In A Lifetime or Genius Of Love you will get my drift, a staccato groove is the only way I could describe it and her performances just ooze cool.

The other outstanding thing about Tina is she is just so bloody cute, like a little pop pixie with her long fringe, cutie-pie voice and crazy dancing.

I greatly regret never seeing Talking Heads live, it would have been something else to witness in person but, freed from the orbit of autistic genius David Byrne, Weymouth and her husband the drummer Chris Frantz have made some equally stunning music, as we can see in this live clip from the early 1980s.

PAT BENATAR

Pat, eh. Well, we guess you had to be there…

Pat Benatar was by no means cool in the ’80s, she has always been a solidly mainstream, conventional star but crikey was she sexy, apart from the aforementioned Sharon O’Neill she is the one woman who I recall blowing my tiny 14-year-old mind.

Apart from being a real looker, Pat is an incredible vocalist, her four-octave soprano voice was a rarity in 80s pop and the raw power coming out of her petite frame was something to behold.

Pat Benatar has too many accolades to her name to list, she has multi-platinum albums, Grammys up the yin-yang and should have been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame years ago.

Another enduring quality is Pat’s forty-plus year relationship with her husband, songwriting partner and lead guitarist Neil “Spyder” Giraldo, the next clip, We Live For Love was recorded live in 1982 and shows why the group was huge in that era.

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