While we await 38 Special’s epic debut on our party boat next year, founding vocalist and guitarist Don Barnes is here to let you know why he’s stoked to be joining forces with a mega-awesome 80s lineup on The 80s Cruise ’22. Push play on the video and check out the exclusive interview!
THE 80s CRUISE: A lot of our guests are very excited about finally having the Wild Eyed Southern Boys on The 80s Cruise. What are you looking forward to in terms of being part of such an eclectic lineup, and which bands that you will be joining on The 80s Cruise are you excited about seeing yourselves?
38 SPECIAL: We’ve done quite a few cruises but most were in the same vein of music as ours. This time, we’re happy to be among more diverse styles and are looking forward to the iconic bands of that era — Human League, Modern English, Dire Straits Legacy, Morris Day and the Time, ABC, John Parr, along with my buddy, John Cafferty. I’d also like to reconnect with those great MTV VJs that interviewed us back then. They were a perfect match for the new medium!
THE 80s CRUISE: Why do you think your music has always connected so strongly with fans and has stayed so wildly popular over the years?
38 SPECIAL: I’d like to think that there was an element of truth in our songs, something from a real-life situation that most people experience themselves. It was always a goal of ours to bring passion and truth to our music. Aside from that, there was a feeling of power that we kept bringing across that was undeniable. We’re proud to still have our music alive and well on radio.
THE 80s CRUISE: What would you like to bring back from the 80s?
38 SPECIAL: The 80s in general were fondly recalled as a time of new discovery with the advent of music videos and MTV. Suddenly, the freedom to explore every niche of music from around the globe was available to everyone. Many diverse styles were exploding onto the scene. I think most people would agree that this was a decade of fun and I’d love to see it return.
Musically, I miss the great melodies, the powerful guitars and huge choruses in songs of the 80s. We could use more of that these days. Hearing the songs of that era tend to take you back to a special time.
It was also an era before the internet and social media, so the interaction on a more personal basis was more positive and prevalent. The music, the parties, the clothes, the hairstyles all contributed to a time of pure fun.
THE 80s CRUISE: What is your favorite 80s band, 80s fashion statement and 80s TV show and movie?
38 SPECIAL: There were many, mostly big guitar-oriented groups like ZZ Top, Def Leppard and Foreigner. But I did enjoy other eclectic sounds from Talking Heads, Dire Straits, Power Station and Duran Duran. There were so many more that I’m excited seeing on this 80s Cruise!
As far as fashion statements, it was a toss-up between the Miami Vice suits and mullets!
Movies, it was Terminator, Back To the Future, Top Gun, The Lost Boys and Raiders of The Lost Ark.