By Allison Martin
Get ready to recapture those preteen days of bubble-gum pop music bliss. Sensational 80s icon Tiffany will be visiting campus next Monday for a special free noon concert.
Just as we have, hopefully, retired our acid washed ankle-zip Lees and neon banana clips, Tiffany has traded her signature cherry red coif and be-bop tunes for a more mature burgundy layered hairdo and music “Billboard” magazine calls “thoughtful, intelligent and full of grace.”
“It is flattering that people remember who I was,” Tiffany said in a phone interview. “But I”ve grown as a person since then. People change. The big shock has been that people have embraced me and allowed me to grow and have made my dreams to come true.”
Tiffany”s visit to campus is one stop in a tour of college campuses nationwide that spans eleven weeks to promote her new album, “The Color of Silence.”
“We thought the college age bracket would be most responsive to the new style of music,” Tiffany said. “So we mapped out colleges that we thought would be responsive. It is different, but we just decided to go for it.”
Tiffany”s “people” contacted our “people,” namely Thom Carter the executive director of Campus Activities for BYUSA, to arrange the concert because Carter says they recognized BYU is the largest campus in the area.
“We all love the 80s. We remember and enjoy them,” Carter said. “This can help students reconnect and have fun.”
“I have ”I Think We”re Alone Now” on CD,” confessed Russ Marsh, 22, a senior from Washington, D.C. majoring in political science. “Anytime I hear her songs it takes me back to elementary school.”
The trial run of her campus tour broke attendance records at California universities last fall with shows bringing in anywhere from 1,200 to 4,000 students.
Carter has been promoting the show since the date was confirmed with posters and flyers depicting middle school memories like the cast of “Saved by the Bell” plastered around campus in hopes that at least 5,000 students will greet the Brittney Spears sensation of nearly two decades ago.
“BYU has a special spirit and we want to show her that we are a special group of people,” Carter said. “If we welcome her wholeheartedly and greet her like a good BYU crowd … it can be like a missionary opportunity.”
Students are aiming for more than a chance at missionary work when the pop princess”s tour bus rolls up to the Wilk.
“I”m skipping gym to go to the concert,” said Marsh. “Maybe I”ll get on stage or something.”
“I”m stoked about Tiffany coming. She”s the heart of our childhood,” said Rebecca Evans, 21, a senior from Auburn, Calif. majoring in information systems. “This is a once in a lifetime chance to see Tiffany perform live for free.”
Do not expect the entire show to be chock full of reminiscent tunes. In fact, the play list indicates six of the nine songs spectators will be graced with are from her new collection and one is a Janis Joplin cover.
Tiffany is not the sugar-sweet teen we once invited into our cassette decks. She is now married and the mother of an eight-year-old son.
You could say her music has grown up too. Spin.com describes “The Color of Silence” as “super sexy.” And Tiffany”s manager, Ron Davis, agreed to nix three of her “edgier” songs from the set she will perform at BYU to comply with Honor Code standards.
Carter said there would not be Tiffany tour merchandise sold at the concert, either, because promotional photos may be suggestive.
“We want to make sure Tiffany understands the university, its mission and values. We have discussed the honor code with her staff,” he said. “If she says anything worse than a ”darn,” we pull the plug.”
That”s quite all right, says Jeff Jones of Rand Management, who has helped plan the campus tour so extensively he has dubbed it his “baby.”
“It is a respect issue,” he said. “We liked your campus base and the people we”ve dealt with there. Everybody at the school has been so good to us. We can bend a little to make it work.”
So thanks to a little bending we will all get that chance to rediscover the Tiffany whose songs provided a soundtrack for our tetherball matches and first crushes from the jungle gym. Maybe next Monday in Brigham”s Square we will unearth a new crop of tunes to wear out on the stereo … digitally, this time.