Axel F. — Harold Faltermeyer
The year was 1985, I was 10 years old. My family had decided that California was just never going to be home so we packed up and headed back to the Midwest. Specifically the small town of Burlington, Wisconsin, home to much of my mother’s side of the family. As I tried to get over the fact that the kids I now went to school with had never seen a city bus or experienced the culture that my former neighborhood in Daly City afforded me, I engrossed myself in a recent gift from my father. A cassette boom box. My Boom box looked like it came right out of the movie “Breakin”, which was something I was yet to see. Every night I would fall asleep listening to new sounds from this amazing thing. I say amazing because it also had two shortwave bands. And before you think it, I was not indie enough to even care to try and find something listenable through all the static, so I stuck to the big pop station in the area– 94.5 WKTI. I didn’t have any cassettes so the radio was the best I got.
I eventually managed to scrounge up a cassette tape from somewhere. Now that I think of it, it may have been a tape that I took from my younger brother’s Teddy Ruxpin doll and taped over it. Anyway, one night while falling asleep I heard this song that truly sounded like nothing I had heard before, the beginning had no drums just a keyboard line that stuck out in the same way I imaginethe guitar in “Daytripper” did for another generation. This riff was followed up by a lower bass riff and the introduction of drums. The two riffs meet and the song takes off. Now, mind you I had never seen the movie for which this was written. Up to this point I had seen 3 movies, The Saga of Lone Ranger, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Space Camp.
But for some reason this song grabbed me. I planned to make it mine. My recently acquired cassette tape was loaded and the next day after school I ran home to wait for the song to be played again. I did this for a couple days before it happened. I guess they didn’t spend the payola in the midwest for this song. Not knowing the title or anything else about it I accidentally missed the first keyboard riff, but once I heard it I slammed the play and record buttons down and grinned a mighty grin.
After that, I walked home from school. I had my song, I could play it anytime. Anytime usually came when I got home from school for the next 3 weeks. I would blast the song 2-3 times down in my basement bedroom before I realized that I was missing GI Joe or Transformers. Incidentally, I didn’t see Beverly Hills Cop until well into high school and when I did, would you believe I was still pumped to hear the song.