Like The Way I Do

New releases in New Zealand, 12 March 1989

Melissa Etheridge – Like The Way I Do

I had forgotten about Melissa Etheridge.  I am deeply ambivalent about Country or Country adjacent music.  She’s flirting with it.  On the other hand, Like The Way I Do is a very good song and she sings the crap out of it.  I like her voice.  And her intent.  She sounds like she gives a shit.  In fact a lot of the lyrics on that first album reminded me of the kind of jealous bitterness that Alanis Morrisette channeled later on.  Also, she plays guitar and stuff.  I feel like this kind of musician has disappeared from the charts at the moment.  I realise Country-adjacent lesbian guitar-based singer-songwriter is a narrow category but, whatever.

A Melissa / Man of Errors comparison (1988).  I think that she has had quite a lot of professional attention paid to her hair and even though this is my fifteenth birthday I feel confident I have made absolutely no effort with my hair.  Now that I think about it my hairdresser once gave me a special comb for my mop but I never used it.   I may have made the effort to go to an actual hairdresser but I would definitely not have been interested in long term maintenance strategies.  Later in life Melissa has gone for a lot less volume with her hair and mine has fallen out.

I wore this shirt a lot in 1988 and 1989.  It was my go to “I-am-dressing-up-for-a-special-occasion” shirt.  Always untucked.  Alway, it seems, with my white basketball boots and stonewashed black jeans.

The picture on the left was taken after I went to the Nureyev concert with my mother, and the picture on the right is with my Gran at the back of her house in Mosgiel.

I was very fond of those white basketball boots.  They were very white and very padded.  Later I would develop a taste for leather cowboy boots.  I find it hard to write that sentence now because it sounds so ridiculous.  It was ridiculous; let’s be honest.  Also, totally impractical.  Cowboy boots are expensive, hard to get under jeans when the trend is skinny leg, and the soles wear out super fast.  I feel like I had an obsession with wearing things that were originally intended for another purpose.  I coveted and then owned basketball boots.  I have never in my life played basketball.  I feel it goes without saying that I have never been a cowboy but it’s worth saying just to see it on the page: I have never been a cowboy.  Later I would get a pirate shirt (never been a pirate), gypsy waistcoat (never been a gypsy) and a biker jacket (you get the idea).

Mind you, now I look like a National voter in finance.

It’s quite a look overall that basketball boots, jeans, dress shirt, and bushy hair.  I’m not sure why I thought I looked smart in this gear.  I went to see Nureyev dressed like this.  Seeing Nureyev was a big deal.  I suppose I thought I dressed accordingly.  I mean: I was wearing a shirt and my best jeans, what the hell else do you want?  Maybe I even used the stupid comb the hairdresser gave me.  Who knows.  Like my hair the comb is long gone.

Afterword

Into Temptation is one of my favourite Crowded House songs; especially the ending, “the guilty get no sleep…”, “…break this spell….”.  Uneasy and beautiful.

  • New Order – Fine Time (5/10)
  • Melissa Etheridge – Like the Way I Do (9/10)
  • Simply Red – It’s Only Love (6/10)
  • Crowded House – Into Temptation (8/10)
  • Depeche Mode – Everything Counts (4/10)

Published by

John-Paul

I wrote a book called Kaitiaki o te Pō