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What the Flock?

The ’80s were a dangerous time of synth pop, teased hair and the beginnings of Nintendo.

Now, in the 21st century, synth-pop has become industrial, teased hair has become punked-out Mohawks and Nintendo is left wandering in the dusty trails of the PlayStation.

For all true lovers of this decade, the game of the century should be Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, featuring pink suits, car chases and an amazing ’80s soundtrack. The theme song of the game, “I Ran (So Far Away)”, the one hit of A Flock of Seagulls is an amazing homage to all that is 80s.

There is only one thing better than soundtracking A Flock of Seagulls to a Miami Vice storyline: seeing A Flock of Seagulls live this Saturday at the Masquerade.

A Flock of Seagulls isn’t only known for “I Ran.” Its major contribution to pop culture is the invention of the teased haircut. Well, maybe.

It’s not surprising that such a statement should come from this band. After all, A Flock of Seagulls was started by two hairdressers.

The band formed in Liverpool, England, in 1980, but didn’t release its first big hit until spring of 1982. “I Ran (So Far Away)” was its only hit that ever made it to the top ten on the billboard charts.

The song’s eccentric video, which actually showed the camera in the mirrored reflection, was a trendsetter not only for the way videos have been made since then but also for the hair styles of the early 80s.

After releasing four LPs, the band broke up in 1986. Now, the only original remaining member of A Flock of Seagulls is front man Mike Score. He assembled the new lineup in 1989 but the band has never again seen the kind of success generated by its early ’80s hit.

The band continues to tour and actually released a new album in 1996, which failed to chart.

The band’s synth-pop sound was a precursor to the New Wave sounds later in that decade. Although the group came onto the scene slightly too late to be considered the new romantics of music, its sound was distinctive, as was its look and approach. A Flock of Seagulls’s music was better than can be expected from other musicians in that time.

The one-hit-wonder phenomenon continues to claim victims, but the ’80s were a good example of what can happen to good bands without enough power to push through the tough, critical crowds.

While others such as Toni Basil (famous for “Mickey”) had no reason to have another hit, bands such as A Flock of Seagulls were at a disadvantage due to lack of marketing and promotion.

Tonight, the band will play at the Masquerade in Ybor City. For less than $15, the show is a steal and something that a true ’80s fan, and any Castle-goer, should definitely not miss.

A Flock of Seagulls plays at the Masquerade on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. General admission price: $12