The part of my life that did go well was my social life. I wasn't dating anybody, but I hung out with a couple of my old co-op friends, and a couple of their friends, and as you may have deduced if you've been paying attention, we did a lot of concert-going. We also went to clubs - especially we went to one gay bar on 4th Street. It was sort of fashionable for straight people to go there, at the time, but really the reason we kept going was that one of my friends was in the process of deciding to come out of the closet - which he finally did at the end of the year, to nobody's surprise. I suppose that was also related to why we went to see Frankie Goes to Hollywood (which was an education all by itself. I thought I was all grown-up and sophisticated, but... oh my). But we did plenty of other stuff, too. We went to Esther's Follies - which is apparently still going strong. We went to see small acts - we were very partial to a guy named Dino Lee, and saw him several times at different places. (Oh, look, here he is on MTV in '86, and it looks like he's still around, too.) We went to see Timbuk 3 - that's the "Future's So Bright We Gotta Wear Shades" guys - on campus, I think it was at the Cactus Cafe, which was a really small venue. I think that was just before they had the one big hit song, which is this one:
(We also saw Katrina and the Waves - another one-hit wonder act, at least in the States. I gather they were around for longer in the UK.)
We also went to bigger acts - the big ones and the medium-sized ones, too, like Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Howard Jones. We went to U2, which I found rather a disappointment, because I loved U2 but it was exactly like the Live at Red Rocks concert, I thought, which I had seen on MTV. There wasn't anything wrong with the concert, it just... didn't grab me like I thought it would. My Music Advent choice was U2, probably their most famous live moment, from LiveAid, which was in the summer of '85:
(I watched parts of LiveAid live, when it was originally on, but I don't think I actually saw that bit.)
I've been poking around trying to figure out when these various concerts were, and for U2 I came up with February 85. I mostly remember Bono waving a damn flag around, 30 years later, but I'm pretty sure they did sing "Bad" along with the other stuff that you'd expect. I had the EP - I think it's "Wide Awake in America" - that had the live version of "Bad" on it.
My other favorite band was R.E.M., and we saw them, too - I came up with August for a date on that one. I can't say I remember exactly what they played - I always have trouble with that part - but I remember that I loved it. I mostly have an impression of it in my head - standing on the floor of the Austin Coliseum and bouncing up and down because there wasn't enough room to really dance. (The song my brain wants to set it to didn't come out til the next year. That song will be in the next entry, because I picked it for '86. However, somewhere online I found a reference to "Fall On Me" having been played that night for the first time in public - here - and it's on the same album, so who knows? It's doubtful they played it, but possible.)
I also loved Tom Petty, and yes, we saw him too, with Lone Justice opening - I think that one was probably in July. I mention seeing Katrina and the Waves, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood (my research there says June). I mentioned a few days ago seeing New Order and thinking it was boring, and I think that one was in the fall, although I haven't attempted to check my memory there. My impressions of the time of year things were often seem to have been more accurate than my memories of what year was which, though. (I remembered Fleetwood Mac being at Halloween and Echo and the Bunnymen being around the time school started, for example. But I don't always have anything like that to tie things to.)
If you're wondering how I afforded all of this on a Library Assistant's pay, well, I really couldn't. By the end of the year I was pretty badly in debt, between credit cards and the car payment. I actually sold most of my vinyl albums that fall, among other cost-saving measures. (It wasn't as much of a wrench as you'd think - CDs were starting to come along by then, and I figured vinyl albums were going to go the way of the cassette and the 8-track tape. I sold them at Half-Price books and got quite a bit of money.)