It was a year of Hysteria . . . and so much more

I’m a fan of early morning radio shows. I’ve been known to sit in my car, in the parking lot, a little too long if I’m intrigued by a topic being discussed by the DJs at hand.

That was the case, as I found myself wasting about 15 minutes of Aug. 3, 2017, to marvel at the year of Hysteria.

What is Hysteria, some of you may ask.

Well, it is one of the most iconic record albums of all time, which was released on Aug. 3, 1987.

And it made 1987 the year of Hysteria, according to the DJs.

Hysteria was the name of the album released by Def Leppard on that date. They sold over 25 million copies worldwide . . . and gained legions of fans that include me.

I say include and not included because the fan status remains current.

They remain on tour. It was just a few months ago that thousands of us Nebraskans descended upon the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln to dance and sing along with the band as they performed our beloved tunes of “Animal,” “Women,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Hysteria,” “Armaggedon It,” “Love Bites,” and “Rocket.”

I danced until I had shin splints, sang until I lost my voice and suddenly felt young all over again.

While I technically knew it, I didn’t need to hear the DJs proclaim that this day in history marked the 30th anniversary of that legendary time.

Really? Thirty years?

I can do the math. I know it is correct. But my soul can’t bear the realization that such a special time was so long ago already.

Yes, 1987 was the year of Hysteria and so much more.

Also that year, disposable contact lenses became available for commercial distribution.

And Compaq Computer Corporation introduced the new Compaq Portable III, which miraculously started with a weight of 18 pounds, and promised to “provide the power and function of a high performance desktop computer in a small, self-contained unit that is easy to carry.”

Bangle Watches were must have accessories and the beautiful fringed mid-calf boots were extremely important.

The most popular toys included the “Talking Alf” (modeled after the popular television show) and the drug, Prozac, made its debut in the United States.

Jim Bakker, televangelist, got himself into some trouble and this innovative “adult cartoon” called “The Simpsons” was watched for the first time.

We went to the movie theater and saw films with titles we still recognize. Ever heard of “Dirty Dancing,” “Three Men and a Baby,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Good Morning Vietnam,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Wall Street,” or “Moonstruck?”

And Def Leppard wasn’t the only one hitting us with incredible, iconic music. It was a historical year in the musical world as Michael Jackson released the “Bad” album, U2 gave us “The Joshua Tree,” and Bon Jovi brought us “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

I think 1987 was really the beginning of us following sagas on the news over long periods of time . . . hours, even days. Remember watching the constant coverage of getting Baby Jessica McClure out of the well?

Oh, and the Fox Broadcasting Company started.

That year, people mourned the passings of Liberace, Andy Warhol, Danny Kaye, Rita Hayworth, Fred Astaire and Lorne Greene.

The average cost of a new house in the United States was $92,000 and a gallon of gas was 89 cents.

A postage stamp was 24 cents – and email didn’t exist yet.

A Ford Mustang typically cost $9,200 and a Honda Accord brought $10,925.

Ronald Reagan was president and acid-washed denim was delightfully the greatest textile known to man.

Bill Clinton was the governor of Arkansas and the Minnesota Twins won the World Series.

Nancy Pelosi headed to Washington for the first time and Howard Stern was not allowed on the radio.

People still liked Pee Wee Herman and Princess Diana wore the historically beautiful black off-the-shoulder dress that’s now in a museum.

Thirty years.

That used to sound like a long time.

I guess it really isn’t, because it seems like all of that just happened.

It certainly was the year of Hysteria . . . and so much more.


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