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Article in the Feb. 18-24 1998 issue of Columbus Alive

Retropolitan: Nostalgia's back and Bow Wow Wow leads the pack / Retro fit


by Kim Leddy

...Also fun, and subject to almost as much derision as disco, was the New Wave flavor of the '80s. And while it seems almost too close in memory to experience a nostalgic boost, the '80s are back. Formed two years ago, the local band Reaganomics is currently riding this crest of '80s reanimation to become one of the most popular gigs in town.

Comprised of former members of a variety of past local bands, guitarist Rob Joseph commented that the group members were all great friends, had all come up together in the '80s, so why not have a go at the music? "Wig, the drummer, is my best friend and we've never been in a band together, so we started this," he said. "Our intention was to have fun and if we played two times a month, we'd be happy, but it didn't take long to explode."

Joseph recalled starting the band and wondering if the concept would work, given the obsession folks in recent memory have had with the '70s. "We didn't know if we were being premature but it has really taken off," he enthused. "One reason we're popular is that the name is instantly identifiable with the '80s and the demographic-I thought our crowd would be the 30s to late 30s-but it has turned out to be from the early 20s up."

The group plays out constantly these days, even to the point of having to turn down gigs. Recently at Victory's, the band had the crowd singing along. Joseph's banter was along the lines of, "I remember in high school...". Singer Keenan Blanke had the '80s moves down, in his black collarless shirt, from the pogo to the old airplane. However, Joseph is quick to add that, according to the band's slogan, they're an '80s band that's very '90s. "It could be sappy but we try to keep an edge to it...our version of Tainted Love for instance has more drive to it," he said. "All the songs could be cliched but we bring some production to it...we are not living in the past, but sort of creating it."

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