I was 11, and she was my first love. Her silken soprano bewitched me and dragged my naïve, young heart to the brink of oblivion. Her thousand-megawatt smile left me gasping for air. Her piercing blue eyes filled my nights with carnal dreams that were much too raw for one so young and stupid.
I still remember the first time I laid my eyes on her. She was gallivanting around Venice Beach in a little black dress, her fiery locks cut short into a bob and dyed dirty brown. She wore large round silver earrings, lightly shaded pink lipstick, and four-inch heels. She seemed to radiate with almost supernatural grandeur, and diminish everything and everyone around her into objects of inconsequence.
She was Belinda Carlisle, the undisputed pop princess of the 80s.
My love affair with her continued over the next couple of decades, despite her marriage to Morgan Mason, the son of the legendary actor, James Mason. Her splendor grew as she slowly shed the rebellious anti-establishment image of her Go-Go’s days and morphed into a woman of exquisite sophistication – and in the process, turned herself into an icon of the 80s.
She dominated the airwaves with melodious, romantic, and oh-so-catchy ballads, but her crowning moment came in 1991 with the release of the worldwide hit “Leave a Light On” from her third studio album, Runaway Horses.
With the desert and night lights of Las Vegas serving as backdrops for the music video, Carlisle sizzled in the first half of the video in her flowing red hair, a white dress and knee-length boots; she was breathtaking. But believe it or not, the Grace Kelly-Esque look she sported in the second half of the video was even better. With a shawl, sunglass and sequined pencil dress to complete the look, she surely must have caused half of the watching male population to fall head over heels with her.
I’ve long since moved on, but you never really get over your first crush, do you?
Song of the day: Belinda Carlisle – Half The World (this track was extremely popular with American troops stationed in the Middle East during the Gulf War)