The Madonna Timeline: Song #65 – ‘Where’s the Party’ – 1987

{Note: The Madonna Timeline is an ongoing feature, where I put the iPod on shuffle, and write a little anecdote on whatever was going on in my life when that Madonna song was released and/or came to prominence in my mind.}

Working Monday through Friday
Takes up all of my time
If I can get to the weekend
Everything will work out just fine
That’s when I can go crazy
That’s when I can have fun
Time to be with my baby
Time to come on down…

The year was probably 1987. A young boy dances around his bedroom to Madonna’s ‘You Can Dance’ remix album. He doesn’t know exactly what it’s like to work Monday through Friday, but school is a good approximation. When the weekend arrives, he has nowhere to go but his bedroom, and he has nothing to do but dance.

Where’s the party?
I want to free my soul
Where’s the party?
I want to lose control

A complete product of the 80’s, he is superficial, colorful (some might say gaudy), and just a little bit cold. There would always be something coolly clinical about him, something glossy and frigid, like the modern doo-dads being sold at the store that replaced Edna’s Edibles on ‘The Facts of Life’.

Couldn’t wait to get older
Thought I’d have so much fun
Guess I’m one of the grown-ups
Now I have to get the job done
People gave me the business,
I’m not living in fear
I’m just living in chaos
Gotta get away from here.

How he loved that silly show, even if his Mom thought it crass and crude. He just saw a group of girls growing up, and he always wanted to be part of something like that. For the rest of his school years, he saw himself as Blair, searching for the friend she found in Jo, all to no avail. At that age, friendship was all – friendship was everything. He hadn’t quite reached the era of romance.

Where’s the party?
I want to free my soul
Where’s the party?
I want to lose control…

And so he danced – alone in his bedroom, with the door shut and the world blocked out. He roamed the canyons of his mind, while lost in visions of his favorite Swatch, mesmerized by the blinking of a decorative stoplight, lulled by the mechanical movement of a wave machine – surrounded by the bells and whistles of the 80’s. Dub versions, 7 inchers, 12 inchers, and more – he spun wildly round and round over the dirty cream-colored carpet before collapsing in an out-of-breath heap.

Don’t want to go on too fast
Don’t want to let the system get me down
I’ve got to find a way to make the good times last
And if you show me how,
I’m ready now…

The party was there, the party was then, and even if it was a party of one, the party still raged. On a Saturday night (I guess that makes it all right), he played and rewound and played again that gray crystal-like cassette, watching the rolls of glossy brown filament spin in tandem like some simple yet intricate clockwork. Outside, the dark night stood watch, as the dancing shadows of a boy played upon the blinds, and the safety of a well-lit childhood bedroom begged for a few more carefree years.

Song #65 – ‘Where’s the Party’ – 1987
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