Released on March 9, 1984, Splash gave Tom Hanks his first starring role on film (though he'd already found success with TV's Bosom Buddies). Daryl Hannah was the bigger star at the time, having already appeared in Blade Runner and Summer Lovers. The movie follows a mermaid (Hannah) who is reunited with a man (Hanks) whom she had saved from drowning as a young boy. The film is credited with popularizing the girl name "Madison," which is the name Hannah takes as her human name after wandering down Madison Avenue. …
With a techno rock sound and imaginative videos, The Cars are the embodiment of '80s music culture, so this week let's celebrate The Cars and their individual members with some of their lost videos and singles.
1987's Door to Door was the last hurrah in the ‘80s for The Cars before breaking up in 1988. While You Are The Girl was their last Top 40 hit, the album still produced some excellent rockers like Strap Me In.
The song only made it to No. 85 on the singles chart even though the video is the classic visual treat you are use to getting from The Cars with plenty of models and panoramic camera angles.
Before The Cars conked out, the individual band members had already started on their solo projects, so this week we will spotlight their work with the exception of Ric Ocasek and drummer David Robinson. We covered Ocasek in detail last summer and Robinson left music after the breakup of The Cars to run an art gallery. It is Robinson who is credited for coming up with the band name The Cars.
Steve Perry talks! And walks! On a red carpet no less! Check out this amazing video from last night at the premiere of Need For Speed, where the former Journey singer denies there's any truth to a reunion with his bandmates. But on the bright side, he does finally talk about his latest music project.
"Absolutely a false rumor. You heard it from me. That's a rumor," Perry tells the interviewer. "I am working on new music. ... It's beautiful."
As for when it will be released .... "Who knows," Perry said. "Could be soon. Whenver we finish it."
A whole new generation of college kids are about to be blinded by science. Even though they'll fail in geometry. ("Lyrics, dude. Quote them lyrics.") Eighties electronica legend Thomas Dolby has been named a professor at Johns Hopkins University.
"He is an extraordinary musician, composer, and technology guru," said Katherine Newman, dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "His creativity will infuse our Film and Media program as it moves to its new home in Station North, attracting the attention of the electronic music community and the television/film industry. And he will add strength to the Krieger School's faculty as they work with Peabody colleagues to re-create the music major."
Hey everbody, it's Friday and it's Music Time! Music Time was the last single to chart for Styx before their five-year breakup in the late ‘80s. The video is goofy fun for the band although it is obvious that Tommy Shaw was not on board with the song. Granted he was working on his solo album at the time, but all his shots were filmed separately and his appearance is relegated to a few brief scenes including the guitar solo where he face is not even in the frame.
Music Time was the lone studio track on Styx's first live album Caught In The Act and peaked at No. 40 on the charts in the summer of 1984. Many years ago, Music Time was a Name That ‘80s Tune on the SIT80's podcast. While this song never gets played on the radio, many listeners correctly identified the song indicating that Music Time is still is remembered by Styx fans as still part of "the best of times."
Styx still performs, but with Lawrence Gowan on vocals instead of Dennis DeYoung. Styx will bring their "Soundtrack of Summer Tour" to Ruth Eckerd Hall on May 20.
For a band whose legacy is cemented in the ‘60s with Summer of Love classics such as White Rabbit and Somebody to Love it is not a lie to say that Jefferson Airplane/Starship had their greatest success in the ‘80s including the seldom heard Stranger.
The authority of chart success, Billboard, declared Starship was the 27th most successful act of the ‘80s with eleven Top 40 hits and three No. 1's (We Built This City, Nothing's Gonna Stop Us and Sara). If those three songs illicit a collective groan out of you then perhaps you might enjoy a Stranger time when the Starship rocked. Despite its pulsating bass beat, Stranger was not one of those eleven Top 40 hits as it peaked at No. 48 in the summer of 1981. The video captures the Starship before they went pop with Mickey Thomas showing off his fuzzy mustache and Grace Slick sporting a choker collar and looking all crazy-eyed.
Currently there is a division in the fleet as "Starship with Mickey Thomas" plays the pop hits while "Jefferson Starship" with Paul Kantner have started their "40 Years In Space Tour" playing the ‘70s rock catalog. Grace Slick, long retired now, is not with either band.
There's a lotta things about me you don't know anything this Pee-Wee Herman bicycle. Things you wouldn't understand. Things you couldn't understand. Things you shouldn't understand.
But it's probably important to understand you can now own it! For real! Just grab all your spare cash and head over to eBay, where the famous beach cruiser from 1985's Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is now for sale. Right now, the bid is a cool $8,000.
"It's in pieces now, but everything is there," the current owner says in the listing. "Comes with an autographed photo of Paul Ruebens, a photo of him signing the photo, letter/certificate of authenticity, warner bro plans/spec sheet on the red cargo boxes. I am the third owner. I bought it in 2010 for $10,000. Selling because my family is getting larger."
Go bid away. And be sure and tell 'em Large Marge sent ya! Heh heh heh heh heh.
When I first saw the videos for Don't Change and The One Thing by INXS in 1983, I was sure I was one of the first teens in my area to latch on and predict great success for the Australian band. While my premonitions were correct and INXS went on to become one of the biggest bands of the late ‘80s, I really wasn't that early on the bandwagon as I was oblivious to early lost ‘80s songs like Just Keep Walking.
Formed in 1977, INXS released their debut album in 1980 and filmed their first video for Just Keep Walking. The song snuck into the Australian Top 40, peaking at No. 38, and the low budget video with its duct tape set design is a charming reminder of the early days of the band and a glimpse of the appeal of lead singer Michael Hutchence. In fairness, the debut album that featured Just Keep Walking was not released in the U.S. until 1984, a year after their third album Shabooh, Shoobah established INXS in America.
All too often, the news scroll brings up the deaths of some of our favorite actors and musicians that entertained us in the ‘80s. Sometimes there are artists that slip under the radar and their memoriams don't make the links. In August of 2013, George Duke died of leukemia so today we remember the smooth jazz sounds of Sweet Baby.
In 1981 bass player Stanley Clarke and keyboardist/vocalist George Duke teamed up to hit No. 19 on the charts with Sweet Baby. Duke's first fame was playing with The Frank Zappa Experiment and his ‘80s works included music by The California Raisins. His works are constantly sampled by rap's leading performers. Clarke is considered one of jazz's revolutionary bass players and still performs. http://stanleyclarke.com/
"There are, naturally, exceptions to what I’m about to assert: But the ’80s were a total mess, movie-wise. And Oscars-wise," Buzzfeed says. Well, of the 85 movies to win an Oscar for Best Picture, none from the '80s rank in the Top 10. None. Here's where they did land:
72. Out of Africa (1985) 67. Driving Miss Daisy (1989) 66. Gandhi (1982) 65. Amadeus (1984) 64. The Last Emperor (1987) 41. Ordinary People (1980) 39. Platoon (1986) 37. Rain Man (1988) 35. Chariots of Fire (1981) 18. Terms of Endearment (1983)
Of Terms of Endearment, Buzzfeed said: "This old-fashioned weepy, one of the few 'women’s films' that’s ever won Best Picture, has turned out to be timeless — because the screenplay, which James L. Brooks adapted from Larry McMurtry’s novel, is sharp as hell."
Some movies that barely missed the '80s did land in the top 10, including:
10. Unforgiven (1992) 9. The Deer Hunter (1978) 5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
If you're wondering which movie landed at No. 1, it's 1950's All About Eve. What?
There is only one movie on the Internet Movie Database that gets the honor of being rated out of 11 stars: 1984's This is Spinal Tap. The movie that "goes to 11" was released 30 years ago this week, on March 3, 1984. But how much do you really know about the movie? I imean, BESIDES being able to quote every single line.
When it was released in the mid-'80s, not every got that iwas a "mock-umentary." U2's The Edge got it, saying, "I didn't laugh, I wept. It was so close to the truth." Ozzy Osbourne didn't get, saying the first thing he watched it, he thought it was a real documentary. Early home video versions of the movie even had a disclaimer at the start and finish of the movie, stating the band doesn't really exist.
I remember seeing it for the first time at the Midnight Movies Express at AMC Theaters in Countryside, the Caddyshack-like suburb in Tampa Bay where I grew up. In fact, the first three times I saw Spinal Tap, it was at midnight showings. Hence, it would take me a decade before I was actually awake enough to see the ending of the movie.
Here are five things you probably didn't know about This Is Spinal Tap. …
When you saw Bill Murray on the red carpet at the 2014 Oscars, were you thinking the same thing I was? "HAROLD RAMIS TRIBUTE!" Well, while presenting the award for best cinematographer, Murray did just that.
I enjoyed Rhino Week so much that I have one bonus Rhino story to share. The appeal of The Knack's My Sharona can't be overstated and most by now know the song was inspired by a very real girl named Sharona; but did you know that My Sharona was not the only Top 40 hit inspired by Sharona? Let me reintroduce you to The Knack and Baby Talks Dirty.
In 1978, 25-year old Knack lead singer Doug Fieger was introduced to a savvy high school sales clerk by his longtime girlfriend Judy Halpert. From the minute Fieger laid eyes on 16-year old Sharona Alperin, he became obsessed with her and many of The Knack's songs on their first album Get the Knack, including My Sharona, were about his agonizing over how to win over the teenager.
Eventually in 1979, Sharona couldn't resist Fieger's persistence and the incredible success that The Knack were about to achieve and they became a couple. While Capitol Records wanted to milk the success of Get the Knack, Fieger was insistent the band go back to the studio to deliver another album to kick off the ‘80s. The second album was completed and in February of 1980, The Knack released their new single Baby Talks Dirty, inspired by Sharona. …
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.