Today we feature the red rockers - no, not Sammy Hagar, but the New Wave band Red Rockers and their classic China.
Though they sound like they would be a part of the English New Romantic invasion of the early '80s, the Red Rocker's home is actually the heart of Cajun country in Algiers, Louisiana. Another misdirection of China is that the title and chorus of the song have nothing to do with the country of China as its lyrics are best described as ambiguous. Still the song is fondly remembered by New Wave fanatics and it reached No. 53 on the pop charts in 1983.
The Red Rockers would only hang around to record one more album before different musical directions split the band apart in the mid-'80s.
The yearly disappointment known as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations is happening again this morning. Let's get the bad news out of the way first: No Duran Duran. No Journey. No Styx. So obviously no smarts again on the part of the buffoons in Cleveland (and their deranged puppetmasters at Rolling Stone).
Still, '80s fans aren't without some names to celebrate. These '80s acts are among the nominees: Chicago, Cheap Trick, The Cars, Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson, Los Lobos, Steve Miller, N.W.A., The Smiths and Yes.
Hard to believe Yes hasn't been inducted yet. Then again, we know what music critics think of prog-rock. Los Lobos is an interesting pick. If I'm deciding, I put Yes, The Cars and Cheap Trick in the "sure thing" category.
Other nominees include Deep Purple, Chic, The J.B.'s, Nine Inch Nails and The Spinners.
The public can vote for their 5 favorite artists at rockhall.com until Dec. 9. The inductees will be announced later that month. I have cast my ballot for: The Cars, Cheap Trick, Chicago, Chic and Yes.
Of course a time-traveling doctor would make TV commercials for computers in the '80s. But for most of us, we'd have to actually travel back to the '80s ourselves to remember the client: Prime Computers.
When most of us geeks think of computers in the '80s, we think Radio Shack's TRS-80, or the Texas Instrument TI-99/4A or even the Apple II and Mac. But Prime Computers?
Prime Computer Inc. was a Massachusetts-based computer manufacturer that was in the bus from 1972 to 1992. The computer, which made a lot of its money providing technology to the banking industry, was unable to survive the race to lower-priced IBM clones in the late '80s.
But at least in the glorious year of 1980, Prime Computer was best known for its TV commercials starring Tom Baker and Lalla Ward, reprising their Doctor Who characters to sell a stack of microchips. Enjoy the nostalgia.
I am canvassing today to preach about Church today. Okay, before you slam your door on me in an unguarded moment, let me clarify that today it's just the band The Church. Now, will you let me inside?
Australia's The Church is best remembered for their 1988 Top 40 hit Under The Milky Way and gold album Starfish, but they started hitting the charts in their home country as early as 1981 with their first hit The Unguarded Moment.
Written by Church leader Steve Kilbey and his then wife, Michelle, The Unguarded Moment was a modest hit Down Under but went unnoticed in America. The video for The Unguarded Moment is a no frills performance for The Church. The band is still plucking away (although without mainstay guitarist Marty Piper-Willson) and has released over 20 albums including their latest effort Further/Deeper from 2014. http://thechurchband.net/
I do not believe, for one second, that Ghostbusters 3 will be a movie worth watching. And apparently Rick Moranis doesn't believe it's a movie worth acting in: The Hollywood Reporter says Moranis turned down the chance to reprise his role as the nerdy accountant Louis Tully in the 2016 remake.
"I wish them well. I hope it's terrific," Moranis, 62, told the newspaper in a long, in-depth interview that's worth your time to read. "But it just makes no sense to me. Why would I do just one day of shooting on something I did 30 years ago?"
The new Ghostbusters film (which is actually just called Ghostbusters and not Ghostbusters 3) will feature an all-female team of supernatural crime fighters, including Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. Original cast members Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver and Dan Aykroyd (who is co-writing the reboot) are also scheduled to appear, but it's not clear how much they'll appear in the film.
"It's hard to come up with original material," Moranis said of Hollywood's attempt to remake its past. "Occasionally, they get it right or else they wouldn't attempt to do these things. I'm surprised that Disney hasn't done Honey, I Shrunk the Grandkids. But I'm happy with the things I said yes to, and I'm very happy with the many things I've said no to. Yes, I am picky, and I'll continue to be picky. Picky has worked for me." …
The '80s was filled with peculiarities. We might be able to explain mullets, Walkmans and Garbage Pail Kids, but will we every explain why Squeeze didn't have more Top 40 success in the U.S. pop charts with winners like Another Nail In My Heart?
During the '80s, Squeeze only hit the U.S. Top 40 twice in the last part of the decade with Hourglass and 853-5937, so the assumption is they didn't sell well in America. However, the greatest hits album Singles - '45 and Under that was released in 1982 and covered their singles from 1978 to 1982 has gone on to platinum status with sales over a million in the U.S.
While it's better to be appreciated later than never, singles like Another Nail In My Heart are a good example of what Americans were missing. Another Nail In My Heart is off the 1980 album Argy Bargy (British slang for a heated discussion) that also includes classic Squeeze songs like Pulling Mussels FromA Shell. Another Nail In My Heart was a Top 20 hit in the U.K. and video highlights including the cheeky fun of pianist Jools Holland pushing his piano to the gig.
A few weeks ago, our fearless leader Steve Spears, ventured to the Hard Rock Cafe to view Billy Idol in concert during Idol's week long trek through Florida. Was Steve in the front or off to the side like a wallflower? For a Billy Idol concert, our advice is Do Not Stand In The Shadows.
If you are going to see Billy Idol in concert, you will get to hear plenty of hits like Cradle Of Love, EyesWithout A Face and (eyes rolling) Mony, Mony. Unless it is an album anniversary concert, you probably won't hear (Do Not) Stand In The Shadows. While Shadows was never released as a single or made the mainstream rock charts, I do remember hearing it on the radio like 3/4 of the songs off the Rebel Yell album that was released late in 1983.
The video for (Do Not) Stand In The Shadows is taken from a MTV concert with all the Billy Idol sneers and the mayhem sound of Steve Steven's guitar. Billy has stuck to mainly his hits in concert rather than focusing on his new material from last year's Kings and Queens Of The Underground album and will be turning 60 in two months. http://billyidol.net/
Are you ready to go back to the future ... umm, again? You won't have to wait long. If my calculations are correct, Oct. 21, 2015, was the infamous date that Marty McFly travels to in 1989's Back to the Future II. Hardcore fans will recall that the beverage of choice then was Pepsi Perfect.
Before you get your hopes up, here's the bad news: Only 6,500 bottles will be created. Each come in a special collectible case and will sell for $20.15. Visit Pepsi's official website for more clues on how to score a bottle of Pepsi Perfect.
There's even a "new" commercial for Pepsi Perfect. If only the real world today was like this commercial, that'd be heavy.
TOP 5 MEMORABLE LINES FROM BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II:
5. "Welcome to the Cafe '80s, where it's always morning in America, even in the afternoo-noo-noon."
4. "Hey kid, say hello to your grandma for me."
3. "Shark still looks fake."
2. "The time-traveling is just too dangerous. Better that I devote myself to study the other great mystery of the universe: women!"
I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of once-prepubescent voices cried out with excitement and were suddenly silenced. It can only mean one thing: Someone has purchased Princess Leia's "slave bikini" at a Hollywood auction.
Reuters reports that the costume, worn by actress Carrie Fisher in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, sold for a cool $96,000. According to Boingboing.net, the bikini came complete with the collar and several links of the chain that Leia used to strangle Jabba the Hutt. Seriously, I'd have paid double.
Among the other '80s-era artifacts sold Friday: the 16-inch model of the rebel starship ($450,000) from the original Star Wars movie; Indiana Jones' bullwhip ($204,000) and his jacket and fedora ($72,000).
A TV network is pulling a classic "MacGyver" by rebooting … well, MacGyver. Entertainment Weeklyreports that CBS is "re-imagining" the Richard Dean Anderson series that ran on TV from 1985 to 1992.
The official take on the new series from CBS Studios: "A reimagining of the television series of the same name, following a 20-something MacGyver as he gets recruited into a clandestine organization where he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help prevent disasters from happening."
James Wan (Insidious, Furious 7) is set to direct the MacGyver pilot. There's no word yet on casting or a start date.
Reboots of TV series from the late '70s and '80s have been a mixed bag at best. Knight Rider's 2008 reboot lasted only 17 episodes. The Love Boat: The Next Wave survived two whole seasons on UPN from 1998 to 1999. Battlestar Galactica probably had the most successful reboot to date; it lasted four seasons and had two, short-lived spinoff series. And it's yet to be seen how The Muppets remake - launched this season - will do. …
A made-for-TV reboot of 1987's Lethal Weapon has the green light thanks to Fox, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Well, like Riggs used to say: "I don't make things complicated. That's the way they get, all by themselves." So here's the deal:
The TV version will mirror the movie's plot, featuring a cop/former Navy SEAL named Martin Briggs (originally played by Mel Gibson) who moves to L.A. to start life over again after his wife and child die. There he's partnered with the weak-hearted detective Roger Murtaugh (played by the great Danny Glover), who just wants to relax and stay alive until retirement.
No casting announcements have been made yet; the Reporter says Matt Miller (Chuck) will write the series. No word either on when it will reach TV screens.
What's six feet tall, 10 feet long and has a college degree in carbonite freezing? Why, this new Jabba the Hutt lawn inflatable from ThinkGeek.com, of course.
Jabba has a built-in blowing fan for easy inflation and even includes stakes so that you can bolt him to the lawn - thus preventing any weak-minded creatures from making off with him. Or, channel your inner Star Wars geekness and use an old Jedi trick to find room for him inside your own Tatooine desert palace.
The price? A mere $169.99. Republic credits are not accepted.
"Christmas … out of danger, Captain?" "Yes, Spock. You saved the holiday. You saved us all."
Why have a silent night when you can actually have a Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan ornament WITH SOUND!?!? Replay Spock's death scene as many times as it takes until Christmas morning becomes "Christmas Mourning." Oh, I don't feel good about that last line, but I did it anyway.
Yes, the needs of the Trek nerds outweigh the needs of the one. Only $29.95 at Hallmark.com. Order now. Unless you are out of your Vulcan mind.
"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that."
The bad news: This Vinyl Idolz Say Anything figurine is clearly processed and is being sold for those who want to buy it. If it breaks, it would have to be either repaired or re-processed.
But I got a question. If you guys know so much about collectible figurines, how come you're here at like the Stuck in the '80s blog on a Tuesday afternoon completely alone drinking beers with no women anywhere?
By choice! And because you will need $21.95 to take Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything home with you. The eyes are a little creepy though, aren't they?
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.