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Big Hair Bands

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‘80s metal wasn’t Darcy’s go-to music but Tony had been blasting heavy metal all morning and while she could get down with AC/DC, eventually she needed something lighter. Bon Jovi was a good transition from heavy metal to something more mainstream. She liked their lyrics. They actually had a message. She had to give them a little credit for being coherent. It wasn’t something you could take for granted when it came to any type of metal band.

Humming along she found herself singing, “Whoa, we’re halfway there. Whoa, livin’ on a prayer.”

“Bon Jovi? Seriously?” Tony complained, suddenly appearing next to her desk, jarring Darcy from her thoughts.

Pulling out her earbuds Darcy scowled at him, “What’s wrong with Bon Jovi?”

Tony shrugged dismissively, “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. You’ll listen to anything.”

“Hey,” Darcy protested. “There’s more to music than AC/DC and Black Sabbath.”

“Well, at least it isn’t Justin Bieber.”

“Give me some credit. Although he did have a catchy song. Baby was kinda good in an earworm sorta way.”

“Only a teeny bopper could like that song,” Tony decreed in disdain.

“Like you didn’t listen to the Beatles,” Darcy accused him, taking offense at his insinuation that she only listened to juvenile music.

“The Beatles? How old do you think I am?” Tony demanded, aghast at her implication, “I wasn’t even born when they were teen idols. And, the Beatles were actually good.”

“Ok, fine. The Bay City Rollers?”

“They were still before my time,” Tony complained with an annoyed scowl. “I had babysitters that listened to them. Saturday Night was catchy in a kitschy teenage girl sort of way.”

“Duran Duran then. They were from your generation. The ‘80s right?” Darcy asked only to grin brightly as inspiration struck and she burst out, “Please tell me you listened to Wham. Did you have a George Michael poster?”

“What!? God no,” Tony squawked in horror.

Darcy snickered, enjoying Tony’s indignant response. With a tilt of her head she considered him and offered, “You seem like you would have been a Cure fan.”

“The Cure weren’t bad,” Tony conceded with an indifferent shrug. “They had a hit or two. I was more into the Violent Femmes.”

“Wait. You were goth?! No way,” Darcy exclaimed in disbelief.

“No, I wasn’t goth,” Tony scornfully protested. “They just had a few good songs.”

“Yeah, I get that,” Darcy relented with an understanding nod.

“I’ve always listened to metal. Van Halen, Metallica, Dep Leppard. Ozzy after he went solo.”

“So you were into big hair bands,” Darcy said with a snort.

“No!”

“They were all big hair bands!”

“No, they weren’t!”

“Jarvis pull up some pictures of Dep Leppard and Van Halen!” Darcy called out as she grabbed her tablet.

As Tony sputtered in indignation Darcy cackled as she turned the tablet to show a picture of David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen in all their teased hair glory. “Look! Their hair is bigger than mine has ever been. They must have gone through an entire can of hair spray each for hair like that.”

“They were not big hair bands!”

“Hey Jarvis, can you name some ‘80s bands known for having big hair?” Darcy called out, certain she was about to make her point.

“The internet indicates there were numerous bands during the 1980s that fit that description. Shall I list them for you?”

“Hit us!”

“Bon Jovi-” Jarvis began.

“See! -” Tony interjected triumphantly.

“Van Halen, Cinderella, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison and Quiet Riot are repeatedly mentioned.”

“Told you!” Darcy crowed. “Van Halen! And, Motley Crue! You listen to them all the time. Quiet Riot, too. You listen to big hair bands!”

“It was the ‘80s. It was a look,” Tony grumbled, not willing to gracefully concede Darcy’s point.

“Oh god. Now I’m seeing you with big hair. Did you tease your hair?” Darcy asked eyes wide in expectation.

“Are you kidding? My parents would have killed me if I had long hair. Besides, it was too much upkeep.”

“So you tried?! You did, didn’t you?” Darcy exclaimed in delight.

“So? I was fourteen. I was a senior in high school and trying to look cool. What were you wearing when you were fourteen?”

“Eh. Nothing I want to brag about. But what was your look? It was the ‘80s. Did you have a mullet?”

“Nah. David Bowie was the mullet guy. You were either into glam or you were a hick if you wore a mullet. Which is an interesting cross-section of the population that I’ve never considered before,” Tony said with a thoughtful frown.

“Hick!? As in country? I thought they were all clean-cut?”

“It was the ‘80s. We were all clean cut. Preppy was a thing. I just remember a bunch of townies wearing mullets back in my prep school days. They might not have been country but they were hicks.”

“So you were clean-cut?”

“Eh. Sometimes. Depended on whether Jarvis could get me to a barber. I didn’t worry about it all that much.”

“I have pictures of sir from his time in college if you would care to see them Miss Lewis?” Jarvis offered.

“Yes! Hit me!” Darcy exclaimed, quickly retrieving her tablet.

“Jarvis! You’re not part of this conversation!”

“Oh man. You were so cute. And, you were such a prep,” Darcy gushed in surprise. “Oh my god! Is that neon?!” she snickered as she continued to swipe through pictures.

Leaning over her shoulder to look Tony complained, “Yeah, neon was a thing for about 10 minutes. At least I never wore parachute pants.”

“I totally forgot about parachute pants. You weren’t a Hammer fan?”

“Eh. It wasn’t my scene. Like I said, I listened to rock so I mostly just wore concert t-shirts or polos when I had to.”

“So you still dress the same way you did as a teenager,” Darcy pointed out with a smirk.

“You make it sound like that’s a bad thing. And, I wear suits. Sometimes,” Tony groused.

“Yeah, that’s only if Pepper dresses you. Otherwise, you live in jeans and t-shirts,” Darcy argued.

“There’s nothing wrong with how I dress,” Tony whined.

“Hey, I never said there was. I was just pointing out that your personal style hasn’t changed since you were a teenager. Which is fine. You found yourself early. Most of us have to go through a few different iterations before we find our niche.”

“And what’s yours?”

“Mine? Right now it’s broke college student,” Darcy quickly replied. With an indifferent shrug she clarified, “Which means I’m a big fan of secondhand stores.”

“Yeah, but if you could dress any way you wanted – what would you wear?” Tony asked, looking at her expectantly.

Darcy paused to consider his question. With a thoughtful frown, she said, “I’d probably still wear jeans and sweaters. Maybe sundresses in the summer. The only real difference is I’d buy new instead of used.”

“Now that you two have dissected the ‘80s can we get back to work?” Jane interrupted, exasperated by the pair.

Darcy smirked at the scientist and jumping to her feet she said, “Come on you lived through the ‘80s. You have to have an opinion on its Bon Jovi. Jarvis, can you play Livin’ On a Prayer? Pick it up at the chorus?”

As the music kicked in Darcy grabbed Jane’s hand and swung her around singing, “Whoa, we're half-way there. Whoa, livin' on a prayer. Take my hand and we'll make it. I swear. Whoa, livin' on a prayer.”

Jane laughed and good-naturedly swung back into Darcy as she said, “You know I saw them in concert back in ‘85. They were my first big show. Virginia State Fair. It was right before they made it big. My aunt took me.”

Darcy swung Jane free and said, “You must have been just a kid.”

“I was 8. Way too young for a concert. But my aunt wanted to go and she was babysitting me. So she took me,” Jane replied with a wistful smile and distant look in her eye.

“I wish I could have seen them. I’ve heard they were pretty good live.”

“They were great. And, Jon Bon Jovi’s hair was huge,” Jane said with a laugh, holding her hand above her head to indicate the rocker’s hair height.

“So they really wore their hair that big?”

“At first. By the end of the night, it was flat. They were all sweaty and gross,” Jane replied, wrinkling her nose at the memory. She added, “There’s a reason I wear my hair up most of the time.”

“Or, wear it back at least,” Darcy replied as she tossed her hair over her shoulder.

“Exactly. Now can we get back to work?”