Michael Bolton – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You

The year was 1990. Before there was Ted and Robin, before Jim and Pam, even before Ross and Rachel, there was Zack and Kelly. The fictional Saved By The Bell couple was one of millennials’ greatest love stories, the stuff of Saturday morning legend. There were soaring highs and devastating lows and like all pop culture phenomena, a suasive soundtrack complimented their narrative.

Michael Bolton, a household name by the dawn of the 90’s, continued his adult contemporary successes with the release of pop standard “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You” [actually a cover of a song he co-wrote in 1983 for singer Laura Branigan]. It would top the Billboard charts and is quite possibly his second finest contribution to pop culture behind “Captain Jack Sparrow,” but I will always remember it as the backdrop to the heart wrenching breakup of my generation’s Romeo and Juliet.

Let me set the scene, Zack and Kelly [dressed up as the aforementioned star crossed lovers] have just been named King and Queen of the costume ball but all is not well in this fairytale. Kelly has just revealed to Zack that she cheated on him with her new boss, that fucking scumbag Jeff. Then those not-quite familiar notes start to softly emerge in the background while on stage Slater and Jesse begin their corny lip-synch version of the off-brand Bolton.

No longer able to keep up the charade of high school sweethearts, the two head outside the gymnasium to their famous picnic table [you remember Zack and Kelly’s Prom] where emotions run high and dreams are crushed. Of course the melancholy melodies and equally melodramatic lyrics ramp up the passion for the overwrought goodbyes. But all was not anguish and despair for these two, as they would finally reunite years later in a very special made for tv movie: Wedding In Las Vegas.

Notwithstanding; let’s never forget Michael Bolton’s bleak but rousing record and its cultural impact on the modern American relationship.

And let’s also never forget; fuck Jeff Hunter.

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