- Posted by Michelle O'Gara
- On June 28, 2016
Chapter One: MTV, Guns N’ Roses, A Girl Named Michelle
In 1987, my Saturday morning cartoon telly trance switched to a new ritual of dancing to MTV’s top ten videos. At 14 years old, I could walk like an Egyptian, ‘Bailar’ La Bamba, and perfected the Dirty Dancing lift in my friend Courtney’s pool.
While my dad mowed the lawn and my mom did housework, I’d turn the living room into my very own stage, and perform for the Star Search talent scouts in my imagination.
During a commercial break, I was using my parent’s coffee table as the hood of David Coverdale’s car, and practicing my Tawney Kitaen split. Suddenly, what sounded like a guitar spitting bullets and a strange, two-tone siren caught my attention. I turned to look at the TV and saw that the siren was coming from some guy’s voice. He welcomed me to the jungle.
I want his hair, and I want his leather pants.
I stood on the coffee table and lifted my arms to copy his snake-like dance.
Did he just say serpentine?
The band played with reckless abandon, aggressively in pursuit of something big. Or perhaps something big was chasing after them. Either way, I had never seen or experienced anything like it – and boy I was hooked.
I got anxious that I’d miss the two-second title at the end of the video, but I caught it.
Welcome to the Jungle, Guns N’ Roses, Appetite for Destruction, score!
When I found the cassette for sale at the local Jamesway later that afternoon, I thought I struck gold. But my aria came when I saw they had a song with my namesake.
Well, well, well you just can’t tell
Well, well, well my Michelle
Okay, so my daddy didn’t work in “porno now that mommy’s not around,” but that was MY song. No longer did I have to have my name associated with a bell. I was now a bonafide rocker gal.
But like Dorothy in Oz, Michelle in the Jungle marked the beginning of one long strange trip into the lower depths of rock n’ roll and back again.
(more to come)