I Can Dream About You: Childhood Cable Nostalgia, the Fallibility of Memory, and an Apology to Dan Hartman 30 Years Later
Someone I follow on Twitter mentioned an old song this morning:
OH MY GOD I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU IS PLAYING IN THIS MALL.
I LVE THIS SONG
— bunny knuckles (@bibliogrrl) July 1, 2016
I found myself thinking: Hey, I haven’t heard that song in a really long time. I should look it up on YouTube.” And then I found this:
After a few seconds, I recognized the intro… but who was this random dude singing? He’s a… bartender? But he’s singing about someone he’s serving, and what in the hell is this?
I remember the song very clearly from my childhood. But the music video I remember was nothing like what I was seeing.
Reaching back, I remember seeing a blue-lit stage, with singers wearing blue suits. There was a lead singer with dark sunglasses on, cradling an old school microphone.
I remember a music video with these guys singing, and it was part of some movie called Streets of Fire. I don’t recall much of the movie, and only remember seeing snippets of it as a kid on HBO. But for some reason, the music video was very clear in my memory. And it had nothing to do with a bartender.
A little more searching later, I found the video from my childhood:
So here is the revelation that I had this morning: up until just a few moments ago, I was totally under the impression that the song was written (and performed) by this fictitious group. I had no idea who Dan Hartman was, and in all the years since I saw the video on MTV… I had no idea this song was his.
The song is incredibly catchy, and lodged itself into my brain many decades ago. If I had to, I’m pretty certain I could quote the song fully – or at the very least hum/sing the whole thing through with little difficulty.
Another search online revealed why I was so mixed-up regarding this song: there were multiple videos created, and others seemed to have the same confusion as to the original performer.
This morning, I found myself… amazed. Stunned, really. To have something that was so engrained in my memory, something so specific from my childhood… to find this memory to be completely and utterly incorrect? It’s a weird, weird feeling.
Ah, memory – you horrible, unreliable thing.
I know it’s 30 years after the fact, but here goes. Sorry, Dan. Better late than never?
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