Steve Peake is a writer, amateur singer-songwriter, and music fanatic living in Raleigh, North Carolina. Music has always been foremost among his passions, but over the last few years he has deepened and focused that passion as both a listener and a dabbling musician.
Over the years, Steve has often complained that his vast knowledge reservoir of all things musical often goes to waste in typical societal endeavors. However, all that time spent listening to cassettes and commercial radio during the '80s has armed him not only with encyclopedic knowledge about the era's music, but also an unwavering passion to learn more every day. Having witnessed the transition from '70s disco to '80s new wave and arena rock as a pre-teen at the turn of the decade, Steve gained much of his early musical knowledge from Top 40 radio whenever he could convince his oldies- and country music-listening parents to change the station in the car. By the mid-'80s, Casey Kasem had become less of an influence on Steve's listening habits, as classic rock and hard rock began to divert his '80s music attention a bit in deference to the '60s and '70s. However, a combination of MTV, pop metal and early alternative rock helped keep his ears to the ground of '80s music happenings.
Born in 1972 as I was, I had the pleasure (and occasional pain) of doing most of my growing up smack dab in the middle of the glorious 1980s. As such, my earliest musical experiences tended to revolve around '80s icons like Hall & Oates, Prince and the Police. In fact, I remember boasting quite loudly that Men at Work was my favorite band, and I was even deluded enough to think that might impress a cute blonde Australian pen pal I had at the time. This devotion to '80s music pressed on into my teens, as I still have photos and video of my acne-ridden, mullet-headed days in the late '80s, wearing usually my black Tesla t-shirt. So, I'm proud to say that my '80s music education has been perpetual, owed as much to MTV's Headbangers Ball and afternoon showings of the video for Skid Row's "18 & Life" as any formal classroom. Some might call these admissions embarrassing, but in the context of being About.com's '80s music guide, I see them as significant evidence of time well spent.