Oh, the ecstasy! The tingles going up and down my spine! New Wave dance icon (and former RDR Season 2 judge) Terri Nunn has just been scheduled to appear at Rupaul’s DragCon May 16 & 17 at the Los Angeles Convention Center! COULD IT GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT? Terri and her band Berlin GOT ME THROUGH PUBERTY. Their songs let me know there was a whole wide, decadent world out there just waiting for me. Dancing alone in my room every day after school to songs like “Masquerade” and “Sex (I’m a)” – fantasizing about future boyfriends, future nights clubbing with future friends – got me through some pretty tough times.
Let’s review my top five Berlin songs, shall we?
5. “Take My Breath Away” – Instantly recognizable, of course, as the Top Gun theme. Written by the legendary Giorgio Moroder (and Tom Whitlock), it peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and won the 1986 Academy Award for Best Original Song. The music video, below, features scenes from the film Top Gun intermingled with Terri performing the song in fab blue coveralls walking between pieces of planes in a windy aircraft boneyard (part of the Mojave Air & Space Port) at night.
4. “Metro” – Ultimate ’80s. Seriously, One of the most memorable songs of the decade. Nunn has said the song, which was THE breakthrough hit for Berlin, “defined us and defined that period of music.”
3. “No More Words” –The first single off their album Love Life and also their first Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 23 on May 12, 1984. The classic video – with its fabulous Bonnie & Clyde-themed video and big shoot-’em-up ending – still holds up.
2. “Masquerade” – Mygodmygodmygod. It STILL gives me chills. I feel like weeping for my lost youth whenever I hear this. Dancing at the Copa in Ft Lauderdale every night. Listening to it on my Walkman. Sigh. Perfect song is perfect, as they say.
1. “Sex (I’m A)” – WOW. Still packs a wallop. I remember playing it for my friends, giggling and feeling oh-so dirty.”I’m a man, I’m a boy, I’m your mother, I’m a one-night stand, Am I bi?, I’m your slave, I’m a little girl, when we make love together…” Try getting away with lyrics like THAT today!
Said Terri of the BEYOND ICONIC dance song: “I wrote the song because I was in a relationship where we were at a crossroads, sexually. It wasn’t exciting. It wasn’t bad, but we were kind of bored, just going through the paces. I came in one day and said, “Well, why don’t we try role playing? I could be a damsel in distress, and you could be a pirate.” And he said, “Terri, I don’t want to do that. I’m not a burglar; I’m not a vampire; I’m just a guy.” I was like, “OK.” (laughs) So I wrote this song as a kind of slap in his face: “I’m this, I’m that, I’m a geisha, I’m a little girl, I’m a dream divine – and you’re just a guy.” And that’s what the guy sings through the whole song: “I’m a man.” Because that’s all he wanted to be.”
So come see Terri at Drag Con next month and tell her how much she is appreciated, and how much she has given to the world. Whatta WOMAN.