Friday, August 07, 2009

John Hughes RIP, Bimble RIP

With the last two days, plus Michael Jackson's death last month, the 80's as a whole are all but dead as well.

John Hughes was the Tycoon of Teen for the 80's, his movies defined the decade for anyone who lived through the time and was born after 1968. He made Molly Ringwald. John Candy was at his best when working with Hughes. "Planes Trains and Automobiles" is one of the funniest movies ever made, and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" might be the most rewatchable movie of all time. He even made the careers of musicians -- the biggest hits in the careers of OMD and Simple Minds were songs recorded for Hughes' movies ("If You Leave" and "Don't You Forget About Me", respectively). His film soundtracks were practically period pieces, hell, throw those things in a time capsule and let Hughes guide future generations through the 80's if they dare. Where else, other than a John Hughes film, could you have heard the Star Wars Theme, "Oh Yeah" (a starmaking turn for the otherwise esoteric Yello), and the Dream Academy covering the Smiths (that's the "Ferris Bueller" soundtrack, which was never even officially released! Can you believe that??) One might argue that Cameron Crowe's soundtracks defined the 90's better than Hughes did for the 80's, although I wouldn't be the one to argue that.

I don't spend much time on ILM anymore, and rarely interact with people off the board these days, but I was shocked and horribly saddened by the sudden death of longtime poster Bimble (I won't print his real name here). He was a connaisseur of all things 80's, and was arguably the most excitable and enthusiastic poster ever to have graced the boards. His style could be overbearing sometimes, and I know that got on a lot of people's nerves. I never minded any of that though, I just laughed when I'd check ILM and discover that a drunken Bimble had revived seven different Chameleons threads at 3 AM. Even though I only knew him from the boards, but this is hitting me hard for some reason, probably because he was a guy straight out of my generation -- he was about the same age as me, he grew up listening to Joy Division, Cocteaus, etc. (and never grew out of those listening habits), and never got tired of posting about how his favourite music was SO BEAUTIFUL. He was the kind of guy with whom I would have been swapping cassette tapes in high school. I'll miss him very much, and send my condolences to his close friends and family.


Lesley G said...

Cheers to you, B! John Hughes helped to define so much of my life, my taste in music, my taste in men (I met and married my very own Duckie Dale). I am so sad at his passing. In a small period of time, I feel like I have lost a huge chunk of what defined my childhood and adolescence.

Barry said...

It's strange -- I remember how huge Molly Ringwald was in the 80's, but at the time, her movies didn't mean a thing to me (heck, I saw "Sixteen Candles" for the first time JUST THIS YEAR!). Hughes is usually associated with the 80's teen romance, but I was just a shade too young to appreciate that era at the time (possible exception = "The Breakfast Club", but that's not exactly a romance and I didn't fully appreciate it until years later). For me, Hughes was about "Ferris Bueller", "PT & A", and "Uncle Buck".

I'm still a bit baffled that some people hate on Hughes these days because his movies are full of so many negative associations with the 80's. If you can't laugh at "Ferris Bueller" because every character is a spoiled suburban rich kid whose parents likely voted for Reagan, then you have a big problem.