That part of me that still feels stuck in the 1980s? Yeh, that…
The track is from that great 80s movie, Crocodile Dundee, during a party scene in New York. The song is ‘Live it up’ by Australian band Mental As Anything.
For me this track captures the Zeitgeist of 1980s (and early/mid 90s) New York. I first went to NYC in 1995, for Thanksgiving, staying at distant (but old, close) friends of my relatives in Australia. I was a student in Massachussetts at the time and I arrived in the city by bus for 5-6 days. I remember being very daunted getting on the subway on my own and having to make my way up from Penn Station to Amsterdam Avenue and 104th street (not far from Harlem) where I was staying. Having seen lots of films growing up in the 1980s, I had strong preconceptions of what New York would be like.
By the mid 1990s I guess NYC was being turned around from the super high crime rates it had in the late 1980s, but it was still very ‘gritty’ even at that time from what I recollect. I remember a night club we went to (I’m fairly sure it was the Tunnel) which felt very ‘edgy’ and had a very ‘mixed’ clientèle (the 6-7ft drag queens being what I remember most). I remember walking back in the early hours of the morning with the uni friends I was with who were also visiting the city at that time. We found ourselves in a really seedy district with car alarms going off and what looked to be hookers and drug dealers all over the place; it certainly felt very reckless being out at that time and in those neighbourhoods. This was autumn 1995 but listening to this song instantly transports me back 18 years. Funny how music can do that.