electric youth

It’s no secret that, when we were teenagers, I had the biggest crush in the history of big, awkward crushes on Debbie Gibson.

I just came across this 8×10, taken in 1987 or early 1988. It still has little bits of tape on the back, because it hung in my bedroom until I moved out of my parents’ house in 1990.

Wil Wheaton and Debbie Gibson circa 1987

Whenever Debbie came to LA, she would have these parties at a diner in Hollywood. They were really innocent, fun, milkshake and hamburger filled affairs. Pretty much everyone who was part of the Teen Hollywood Scene at the time was there, and a lot of photographers and teen magazine people were there, too. It was good publicity for everyone involved, and even though I wasn’t crazy about having my picture taken then, I always went to her parties, because I hoped that somehow, some way, she’d get lost in my eyes.

28 thoughts on “electric youth”

  1. I hoped when I saw this tagline that it would have something to do with Debbie Gibson. You did not disappoint. This was a nice little story to read on this ‘OMG its taking forever to end’ Friday afternoon. I particularly like the ending about your dream of her getting lost in your eyes. No joke, I still belt that song out in the car when it comes on (yes I have the top 10 Billboard hits of the 80’s, all ten disks) and think about my high school crushes.

  2. Wow, just saw the video of her performing at a basketball game, so this is totally on point. Ahh the 80’s… yeah had a little crush on her too.

    1. Yep. Me too. I was ecstatic to get my own 8×10 from Wilpower. It seemed a little awkward to feel that way when, later, I read that it was your family that probably sent that pic to me. Sweet, but awkward.

  3. i had a locker for 7 years next to a guy who was in love with Debbie Gibson and had photos of her plastered all over his locker. From 1986 until 1992 LOL I’m sure there were lots of girls who had you plastered all over their lockers too 😉

  4. I haden’t thought of Debbie Gibson in forever and your story got me to thinking about how, well, sweet and innocent she was. I stopped reading her bio on Wikpidia at the point where it talks about her Playboy shoot. :(


    “My Angel is a Center Fold”

  5. I too had the crush on her. But was never near cool enough for parties. Very nostalgic pic though. We all grew up together.

  6. I have to agree Will, I indeed do know the sentiments, she was the Olivia newton-john of our generation I think. Great memories.

  7. You and me both, Will 😮 But at least you got to actually meet her; and more than once! So jealous.

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever shared this story with you and I think/hope you are in a place in your life where you can hear it and laugh.

    My freshman year in college, my roommate would routinely come into the room laughing and mocking the groups he found on usenet. The one I most remember was the Debbie Gibson fan group where the members call themselves deb-heads. He mocked this for pretty much the entire year. The second memorable one was the alt die.die.die one.

    So you have that, um, connection to her.

  9. Guess I would be showing my age if I said I had a crush on Kristy McNicol; I wish I had mailed that letter I wrote; TigerBeat (or whatever) probably would have had an address for her–I didn’t think of it.

  10. Debbies music holds a special place in my life. I got married in1990. Our wedding song was Lost in your eyes. This year my husband framed the music and lyrics for a Christmas present to me (totally bragging on hubby). It’s always nice to know some how some way, you Will Wheaton, as our unofficial 80’s guru, are always in tune with us.

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