Elle Severe Presents

Past Loves of My Life, Part III: The Wonder Years, 1984 – 1987

In Life, Past Loves, TV Addict on September 25, 2012 by Elle Severe

River Phoenix…

August 23, 1970 – October 31, 1993

No Past Loves history would be complete without mentioning this beautiful soul.  Oh River.  What a damn, damn shame.  So talented.  The moment I saw Stand By Me I was never the same.  That movie touched me in a way that few movies did and ever have since.  There is no way for me to describe what that movie did to me, maybe you felt it yourself when you watched it; there was just something about that movie, it gave me a pang.  I knew River was destined for greatness immediately.  He was so good.  I feel like I grew up with him and I hate that he died on a sidewalk in front of a club.  He deserved so much better.   I was mad at him for a long time; I felt like he was a hypocrite.  He expounded the virtues of veganism and clean living and railed against drugs, only to find out in later years that he was a fairly well known drug user.  But of course I forgive him because addiction is the devil and he was just a kid and he was human.

The iconic My Own Private Idaho poster.

Presented without comment.

When I see pictures of him from time to time, my heart does a little jump and sometimes I get a little choked up and get the sads.  Oh well.


George Michael:

Looking deep into my soul…

Listen, don’t judge me, okay? I’m sure you’ve been able to figure out by now that my tastes run the gamut.  I love mustaches and cops and bad boys and good boys and pretty boys and, even the Wham! Boys.  Both of them.  I thought Andrew Ridgeley was adorable.  Really.  I didn’t realize he was the straight one, though, how ironic.

Wham! Bam, thank you Ma’am.

Obviously, George was the one who really did it for me.  I think I was about 14  when this guy started to get me all tingly.  I loved his blonde hair and his pretty smile and I loved when he was all jumpy and happy.

Not a political statement, just an enthusiastic plea for us to enjoy ourselves!

But I must confess that I really loved his super serious, retrospective side.   And no, despite the obvious, I did not realize he was gay, I just thought he was sensitive and super fun and very bouncy, hey, I was only 14!  By the time he came out with the Faith album and tried to butch it up for us with the scruffy beard growth ala Don Johnson and the aviator glasses and jeans, I was on to him; I had developed some serious gay-dar.

“Well I guess it would be nice, if I could touch your body…”, well apparently not my body…

Remember how angsty he was in a Different Corner? No? Two words: You Tube.

Black and white photography always indicates pain, amirite?

So I still love him.  He recently saved my life (see: Unfinished Business), for real.  He’s kind of a complete f*ck up, but he’s very honest about it.  After he got caught rubbing one out in the men’s room at a park in LA, I think he said something along the lines of,  “If I want to have a quick wank, who gives a sh!t”, and if you think about, he’s right, who does give a sh!t? Not me, though I think he should probably not do it in public, in front of a cop, but other than that, so long as he’s not hurting anyone else, he should feel free to do what he needs to do for himself.  He’s also a pot head and I can honestly say I did not see that coming, but I love it.  I have to believe that celebrities must get the nicest bud on Earth.  Good for them. Anyway, in the 80’s we were fed this nonsense that he was straight, happy, fun, drug-free, and innocent.  In fact, my guy was gay, angry, full of dope and far, far from innocent.  He was actually a true bad boy masquerading as a pretty boy, I love it! Good for you George, that’s a fine f*ck you to The Man.  Angry George Michael is infinitely sexier than Wham! George Michael, don’t you think?? And you know what, he was lot smarter than anyone realized.  If you read the lyrics to Freedom 90, you’ll see that he knew he was being used to make money for everyone, but you know, he also made quite a bit, so maybe he shouldn’t be complaining.  And you can say what you want about the guy, but he penned a modern day Christmas classic.  As far I’m concerned, it ain’t Christmas until I hear Last Christmas at least 100 times.   Bottom line,  do yourself favor, go listen to Waiting for that Day and tell me it doesn’t do something to you.  It’s an excellent, highly underrated song.  Do it.  Love you Georgie, always have, always will and thanks again for saving my life.  Much appreciated.


To finish up the first part of Past Loves III, I’d like to bring your attention to Dreamy Jake Ryan and Sixteen Candles.  Sixteen Candles was a fantastic movie.  It was perfect in every way.  I recently coerced a 25 year old co-worker into watching it and she absolutely loved it.  For me it’s difficult to even conceptualize someone not knowing this movie, I forget how old it is, but I really believe it’s a timeless story.  The forgotten birthday, the Geek, Samantha, those grandparents, the sister, the awful bohunk,  the high school dance, the ‘burbs, the crazy house party, the wasted girlfriend, the soulful, deeper-than-we-realized, handsome Jake Ryan…all of it so foreign to a city kid like myself and yet resonating deeply due to the all too familiar ache of first love.  How could we not fall in love with the story? Super hot, sensitive, handsome, popular senior looking for a real relationship falls for quiet,  sweet, sophomore.  Sure, it’s completely unrealistic, but who gives an eff?

Oh God.

Look at this exchange from FB:

 Elle Severe: Sixteen Candles is on HBO right now. Guess what I’ll be watching for the next 90 minutes? Jake Ryan is so dreamy.

Jacey Preston: Jake Ryan is the whole reason typical girls think hot older guys are sensitive and thoughtful and will eventually notice them.

Elle Severe: Agreed. It’s most predominant in our generation. I have dubbed it The Jake Ryan Effect. I feel like I could write a pretty hearty blog post on it.

And it’s true, this movie spawned an entire generation of plain 80’s girls who longed to be loved by the handsome popular senior.  This movie made us believe that was possible…that daydreams like that could come true.  Of course we now know better, but other than the cocaine, Reaganomics and the Cold War, the 80’s were a time of sweet innocence.  I love you Jake Ryan.

I can’t.

I wanted to share cake with him:


I’m not supposed to tell you my wish! But…if your pants are on the floor in the next two seconds, my wish will have come true.

In addition to giving us beautiful Jake Ryan, this movie also gave us one of the best songs ever:


Which in turn gave us this awesome song:

The actor who played Jake Ryan, Michael Schoeffling, ditched Hollywood, moved to Maine and is now a carpenter.   Doesn’t that make you love him more?! Hmmm, methinks we need some custom cabinetry…

So to recap: Don Johnson, River Phoenix, George Michael and Jake Ryan.  I think I’ve covered enough ground for now.  Part 2 of Past Loves III will include all the 80’s actors, i.e.,  Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Charlie Sheen, Iceman and attention span permitting, I’ll tackle the 80’s rockers, Anthony Kiedis, James Hetfield, Axl…lot of ground to cover.  I’m looking forward to it.  Til then…


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