As I’m sure you already know John Hughes has passed away at the ridiculously young age of 59 whilst out strolling with his family in Manhattan. As a younger man I unashamedly loved his films, but as I grew older I found certain formulae kick in. The younger you are when you see a John Hughes film the more likely you are to always love it, try watching one for the first time when you’re 21 or over and something doesn’t quite click. The other thing is that the older his protagonists, the better the film. Planes, Trains & Automobiles and National Lampoon’s Vacation stand proud at one end of the spectrum thumbing their noses at the abominations of Curly Sue, Baby’s Day Out and Foetus Bueller’s Day Off (okay I made the last one up). At his peak, he was prolific to Judd Apatow like proportions, writing, directing and producing up to three films a year.
Another one of Hughes’ enduring legacies for me was his love of the second wave of British Invasion bands, which is why I now have a love of New Order I’m proud of and a similar love of Simple Minds I only admit to when I’m drunk. In that spirit, here’s a handful of tracks from Hughes films which I think are right little crackers.
Holiday Road – Lindsey Buckingham from National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
Happy Birthday – Altered Images from Sixteen Candles (1984)
Some Like It Hot (extended mix) – The Power Station from National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)
March Of The Swivelheads – The Beat from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Elegia (extended) – New Order from Pretty in Pink (1986)
Power To Believe – The Dream Academy from Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
Last thought: Mark Hughes aka ‘Sparky’ – John Hughes wrote Vacation where Clark Griswold’s nickname with Sparky. Coincidence? Probably.