I confess: I was so immersed in the world of hard rock and heavy metal during the mid to late 1980s that I didn't even notice the mega-success of Rick Astley. "Welcome to the Jungle" and "It's So Easy" were my versions of ear candy; no way was I going to be caught anywhere that might have "Never Gonna Give You Up" blaring through the speakers. So the first time I was Rickroll'd I wasn't even sure what was going on.
I don't remember the tempting blurb that accompanied the link. I just remember clicking and landing on what appeared to be a cheaply-made YouTube video of a guy who looked about 20 (if that), dressed in cheesy '80s garb and singing some equally-cheesy '80s song that sounded vaguely (very vaguely) familiar. Was it a parody? Nobody could possibly have made a video like this seriously! Whatever it was, it wasn't what I had been expecting when I clicked the link, so I went back to the original site to see if there was some way I could have clicked on the wrong thing, or if the link itself was wrong. I had no idea it was me who was wrong. When I am clueless, I'm clueless in the extreme. My first exposure to Rickrolling zoomed right over my head and left me in the dust for months.
Eventually I figured out that yes, this was a real, authentic pop music video circa 1987, and this goofy-looking boy really had been a big celebrity. And I also figured out how really dense I can be. But once I got the joke, I was delighted over it. I'd click on the most brazenly prevaricating links in hope of landing back at "Never Gonna Give You Up." Imagine my bleak disappointment when these links really did lead me to the latest killer app, free download of the latest Metallica album or a 50% Best Buy coupon.
And finally, on Thanksgiving Day, the Rickroll made meme history: at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends float contained a Rickroll in the live: Astley himself interrupted the show to lipsync to his vintage hit.
I thought I'd never say this, but Rick Astley, you rock!