Fame: It’s Gonna Live Forever

By Carol Anne Szel

1980 offered up one of perhaps the most telling songs and film scores for the decade that would follow.

When Irene Cara first belted out the words “Fame! I’m gonna live forever,”  we were captivated in her impassioned cry.  It became a phenomenon of sorts for the generation coming of age in those years.

The film ushered in the decade of the ’80s, moving from the world of the 70s  generation of peace and love for the world into the generation that would later be known as the generation of self involvement and consumerism to some degree.

And hey, I’m not saying that’s bad.  At all.  It is part of the process.  After we went through the “me” generation,  the “x” generation of the 90s, after all, we have now entered the tech generation that spans all ages.   Ironically, which has led us back to a day when we are post-stock market greed and onto an era of change out of desperation for a new hope.   The circle of life as they say.

“Fame” became a huge success winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song (Michael Gore/Dean Pitchford)in 1980, and a Golden Globe for Irene Cara.


The movie, which took place in the NY High School of Performing Arts, showed Cara’s character, Coco Hernandez,  come from nothing to an audition which left the school’s entrance panel at a loss for words.  Anyone who remembers watching this film the first time in a movie theater (yes, not a multiplex mall debacle) will recall the hair-raising feeling begotten when watching this girl sing one of the most heart wrenching tunes, “Out Here On My Own.”   And along with the title hit “Fame,”  this film presented another almost Sunday church-like tune “I Sing The Body Electric,”  all three of which remain as relevant today as they did 30 years ago.

If you’re young, go out and see it for the first time.   Listen to the words and the music.  If you’re like me, go out and replace your “album” with a cd and by all means run and get the dvd.  My generation can watch it again and remember what it meant to us.  The youth of today should watch it to give them hope of overcoming whatever obstacles they may face in today’s time of the unknown.  “Fame” truly does live forever.


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• Check out a fun book on pop music: “The Everything Pop Culture Crosswords Book, Test your knowledge of trivia and trends with 150 pop culture puzzles!”

• Get a Goldmine collective on The Beatles, “Meet the Fab Four CD”

• And rely on the book on 45 RPM record pricing: “Goldmine® Price Guide to 45 RPM Records, 7th Edition

• Click here to check out other record price guides from Goldmine

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