True story: Loverboy was the first band I ever saw perform live. It was Oct. 22, 1981 and they opened for Jouney on the Escape tour at the Lakeland Civic Center. It was a general admission show, so I squeezed as close as I could to the front by the stage. I was maybe 10 rows back when the boys from Canada hit the stage. The sound hit me like a sonic boom. I couldn't make out the song they began with or what singer Mike Reno was saying into the mic. And I believe my hearing fully recovered last week.
Only two shows gave me the sonic boom experience: Loverboy and AC/DC. I mentioned that to Loverboy lead guitarist Paul Dean during our recent half hour chat (conducted shortly after he missed his flight from the Vancouver airport, so excuse him if he sounds a little grumpy at first). Turns out Dean is a huge AC/DC fan. That's just one thing I learned from him during this week's podcast. …
A View To Kill was on cable the other week and while it's debatable about how good of Bond movie it is, you have to give it props for the casting of Grace Jones. She may not have been the perfect villain as May Day, but as she declared in her music she's not perfect; but she's perfect for you.
Born in Jamaica, Grace Jones was first a famous model before having success as a avant-garde singer and actress. After a successful 1985, Jones was tried to build on her mainstream success with the dance-pop single I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect For You). Produced by Nile Rodgers, I'm Not Perfect was Jones' highest charting single in the U.S., though it only reached No. 69.
The video for I'm Not Perfect finds Jones in her element of the fashion world as the climax includes her 60-foot skirt designed by Keith Haring. Other fashions icons that make cameos in the video are Andy Warhol (just months before his death), Tina Chow as well as glimpses of Timothy Leary and producer Rodgers. One person not in the cameos was Dolph Lundgren. …
When was the last time you heard Toto's Stranger in Town? Hand to god, I haven’t heard this song in maybe 30 years until it popped up on SiriusXM’s ‘80s on 8 yesterday morning. Good ol’ Mark Goodman spent some time talking about the video after the song was over.
Stranger In Town is actually the fourth highest charting single for Toto. (Can you name the other three? Hold the Line, Rosanna and Africa, obviously). The tune is off the 1984 album Isolation, and it peaked at No. 30 on the charts.
As for that video, it was directed by Steve Barron (who also helmed Take On Me and Billie Jean). The lyrics, based on the 1961 film Whistle Down the Wind, tell the tale of an escaped con who runs into a bunch of kids who mistake his for Jesus. Pretty deep stuff. The video would later be nominated for an MTV video music award for best direction.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High not only is the perfect time capsule of pop culture in the early ‘80s - all it needed was some tasty waves and cool buds = it’s also high art. How so? Leave it to me. I'm the full hot orator today. Did you know the cast actually featured three future Academy Award winners?
Sean Penn, who starred as surfer/stoner Jeff Spicoli, is the winner everyone remembers. (Mystic River and Milk.) Forest Whitaker, who plays football player Charles Jefferson, would lwin an Oscar for The Last King of Scotland. And only the steely-eyed fans spotted Nicolas Cage, who of course won for Leaving Las Vegas, as a non-speaking, fast-food grill worker at All-American Burger (where your meal is "100 percent guaranteed, you moron!").
Released on Aug. 12, 1982, Fast Times at Ridgemont High is celebrating its 35th anniversary with screenings in select theaters on Sunday and Wednesday. …
While the '70s has classic songs about rock 'n' roll on the road like Jackson Browne's The Load-Out and Bob Seger's Turn The Page, the '80s also lamented about the long tours including songs that might have escaped your attention like the Kinks and their travel song simply titled The Road.
While the Kinks are rock royalty, an odd stat is that they never had a Top 10 album in the U.S. in their career, which spans back to 1964 with the revolutionary power chords of You Really Got Me. In the '80s, they came close several times including 1983's State Of Confusion, which reached No. 12 on the Billboard Album Chart and produced the always enjoyable Come Dancing.
In 1988, the Kinks released their live album simply entitled Live: The Road. The lead track and single however wasn't a part of the other live recordings from events in Columbia, Maryland, and Philadelphia, but a studio track with applause from guests in the studio. While it did not hit the pop charts, it did reach No. 14 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. …
Have you seen the new trailer for the 40th anniversary of Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Chills, I tell you. The movie returns to theaters on Sept. 1. That gives us about a month to remember just how cool it was the first time around. (And how much fun it is to re-imagine a movie trailer when you already know the full story.)
TOP 5 MEMORABLE LINES FROM CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND:
5. "I don't think we could have asked for a more beautiful evening, do you? Okay, watch the skies please... We now show uncorrelated targets approaching from the north-northwest."
4. "He says the sun came out last night. He says it sang to him."
3. "You can't fool us by agreeing with us."
2. "I know this sounds crazy, but ever since yesterday on the road, I've been seeing this shape. Shaving cream, pillows... This means something. This is important."
With the close of summer comes one of America's favorite pastime of the summer fair. As the years have passed, summer fairs have increasingly relied on music acts to get people in the turnstiles. However, even the '80s the summer fair was alive and today you can attend with Eddie Money and hear We Should Be Sleeping.
Eddie Money had hits spanning from the '70s to the '90s but the majority of his Top 40 singles were amassed in the ''80s. His crowning achievement as a singles artist took place with his 1986 release of the Can't Hold Back album. That album produced three Top 40 hits including his biggest - Take Me HomeTonight with Ronnie Spector, which reached No. 4 on the pop charts. The Money Man went for a fourth hit with We Should Be Sleeping but it dried up at No. 90 on the charts. …
Hot enough for ya? From the constant heat of Florida to the Midwest scorchers and finally the triple-digit temperatures in the Southwest, 2017 has been another year of burning up, but it's nothing new as in the '80s we were Burning Up with Madonna.
For the longest time we didn't profile Madonna on Lost and Found until 2016 when we spotlighted Gambler. Today we go back to 1983 for the single Burning Up that gets very little airplay on retro radio stations.
Even though most heard Burning Up first as an album track on Madonna's 1983 self-titled release, her humble beginnings started off a year earlier with two singles. Both Everybody from 1982 and Burning Up from 1983 did not hit the pop charts but were big hits on the NYC clubs with Burning Up hitting No. 3 on Billboard Dance Charts. …
We're still eight months away from the 2018 voyage of The 80s Cruise, but it feels like the last one happened a century ago. (It was only March.) So for this week's Stuck in the '80s podcast, we invited Dane Butcher - cruise director of The 80s Cruise - to join us to spill some beans on what to expect for the upcoming trip.
Dane finally revealed the remaining theme nights and gave us a few hints as to what to expect on "The 80s Cruise Goes Green" Day and the annual "Prom Night" party.
If you're not going on the cruise, there's still plenty in the podcast to enjoy, including Mystery Movie Moment, Name That '80s Tune and a special mini trivia challenge. Enjoy the show.
God bless, Comic-Con. Every year, it gives us some AMAZING previews of upcoming movies and TV shows. This weekend, we got a look at trailers for the Ready Player One movie and the new TV series Star Trek Discovery.
Every website out there has the Ready Player One trailer (here it is if you missed it - and if hearing Rush's Tom Sawyer doesn't do it for you, frankly you have no heart). But I'm almost more dazzled by the sneak preview of Star Trek Discovery.
From what we can tell from the two-minute preview, the Klingon empire has been in disarray for some time, and leave it to the United Federation of Planets to somehow stumble into a Cold War with their former allies. (Sorta reminds you of our current political climate, right?)
John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.
TMZ reports the actor was found dead in Palo Alto, Calif., hotel room just days after going through minor back surgery.
Among his notable '80s work are appearances in Cutter's Way, Cat People, Heaven Help Us, Big and Beaches. His fame continued in the '90s with In the Line of Fire and The Pelican Brief. His TV work included stints on Miami Vice and The Sopranos, for which he was nominated for an Emmy.
However, Heard might be best remembered for his two appearances as Peter McCallister (Kevin's dad) in two Home Alone movies.
"It was REALLY fun. I took my son to the set a few times, and he would play with the kids on set," Heard once told the Baltimore Media Blog. "At the time, we didn’t know the movie was funny. We were playing the parents who lost their kid, so we didn’t how funny-stupid we could be."
Listening to yesterday's Keats song made me pine for more Alan Parsons Project music and today we dig deeper into their catalogue with Standing On Higher Ground.
Though no one has ever made the statement that the Alan Parsons Project were one of the best music video groups of the '80s, this is their fourth appearance on Lost and Found and they were always game for trying something new like their fabulous animated video for Don't Answer Me from 1984.
In 1987, the Parsons Project had their last hurrah of the '80s with the Gaudi album. Even though it sold okay, it was the first Parsons Project release not to have a single break into the Top 100. The only single released was Standing On Higher Ground and while it didn't make the pop charts, it was a Top 3 song on the Mainstream Rock Charts.
The video for Standing On Higher Ground finds a video monitor trying to decipher what is real and what is not when he starts experiencing the sensations of the videos he is viewing. Taking lead vocals on Standing On Higher Ground is Geoff Barradale, lead singer of the band Vitamin Z and better known these days as the manager for the very popular band The Arctic Monkeys.
The media is going nuts over Dunkirk these days, and rightfully so if the reviews are on target. In my family, going to a war movie was a rite of passage passed on from father to son. The only movies my dad and went to see together were war flicks. I can't remember who I saw Star Wars or any of the Benji movies with. But I know Dad was next to me for Midway and A Bridge Too Far.
In later years, he and I would escape to the living room to wach Patton, The Longest Day and even Saving Private Ryan together on cable.
I won't pretend that the '80s gave us the best war movies - no decade could own such a vast genre - but here are five flicks from my favorite decade I wish I could watch again with Dad.
TOP 5 WAR FILMS OF THE 1980s:
5. DAS BOOT (1981): "Not bad in here, is it? No mail, no telephone. Solid wood paneling. Well-ventilated boat. Free food, too. 'Rolling in clover' we are."
4. HEARTBREAK RIDGE (1986): "The United States' Marines is lookin' for a few good men - you ain't it." …
We love '80s supergroups that flew under the radar on Lost and Found and today we have one that was so far under the radar its almost embarrassing for music lovers. So today let's show some love for Keats and their video for Turn Your Heart Around.
If you love Alan Parsons Project songs, you will love Keats. Keats was an offshoot of the Alan Parsons Project with most of the members having served as a part of Parson's band of the bulk of his albums in the '70s and '80s. The lineup may not have a household name in the bunch, but perhaps a mini-resume of its members might persuade you give some love for Keats.
On lead vocals for Keats is Colin Blunstone - the voice of The Zombies who in the '60s produced some of the finest singles of the day with songs like She's Not There, Tell Her No and Time Of The Season. Blunstone's connection to the Alan Parsons Project was as singer on several APP songs including one of my favorites - Old and Wise from the 1982 album Eye In The Sky. …
It’s a shame that Nancy and Ann Wilson are struggling with family issues and have put Heart on the sideline for now. Thirty years ago, they were atop the charts with the hit Alone.
If you’ve never seen Heart play live, say a prayer that they’ll eventually work things out and head out on the road together because they’re truly not to missed - especially their performance of Alone.
By the way, Alone isn't a Heart original. It was composed by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly and first appeared on their 1983 pet project, I-Ten, on Taking a Cold Look. Later, Valerie Stevenson and John Stamos recorded a version for the soundtrack of the 1984 CBS sitcom Dreams. Twenty years after Heart topped the charts with their version, Celine Dion recorded her take on it.
Relive the '80s music, movies and culture with Tampa Bay Times correspondent Steve Spears. A teen during the greatest decade ever, Steve is obsessed with everything from Duran Duran to Journey, John Hughes to John Cusack, and parachute pants to big hair.