As a child in the '70s -- before discovering the true greatness of the '80s, I was probably frightened most by three things: the introduction to Space:1999, the Bigfoot episode of Six Million Dollar Man and any character played by Bruce Dern.
Dern was the abusive Tom Buchanon in 1974's The Great Gatsby, a movie and book that was frequently used as a torture device on school kids back then. The book? Love it. The movie? I can still hear Dern's nasal, pinched rage and it makes me shiver. In 1977's Black Sunday, Dern plays the blimp driver that craves a suicide that will take as many people possible with me. Sundays were never Super again after that flick.
These days, Dern is earning raves for his work in Nebraska, where he plays a frail, older man who is convinced he's won a publisher's sweepstakes and decides to hit the road to claim his money. Tampa Bay Times film critic Steve Persall recently interviewed Dern, and it's an AMAZING look into the 77-year-old actor.
"A lot of people think they could never act?" Dern tells Persall. "Well, g-- d--- yes you can act, if you're willing to be publicly private, to expose what's in your heart."
Click here for the full interview.Full Story
Han Solo's blaster from Star Wars is up for sale? The same one he shot Greedo with?!? O.M.G. Can't breathe. It's as if a million nerds raced toward an online auction site and were suddenly silenced ... by the blaster's estimated value.
Between $200,000 and $300,000, according to BoingBoing. Maybe if we sued on behalf of Greedo's estate. Or if we pulled off a class-action suit from the survivors of Jabba's sailing vessel.
According to the auction house, it's indeed the same blaster from the first three Star Wars flicks. …Full Story
Chewbacca slippers! Why, they're PERFECT for the holidays. And they come in Yoda and Darth Vader models too. And even better, Stuck in the '80s has a special code to get you 15 percent off these slippers and any other product on Bunnyslippers.com.
The code is STARWARS15 and it's good through Dec. 13.
If you're really not into Star Wars (then I pity you), I'd recommend the Star Trek Trouble With Tribbles pair of slippers.
While you're at BunnySlippers, be sure to stop by the Bunny Blog, written by the great Travis Greenwood, who will be serving as a guest-host when we do our Real Genius podcast in 2014.Full Story
Over the years as a Stuck in the '80s fanboy, I've always touted Donald Fagen's 1982 first solo album, The Nightfly, as one of my favorite albums of all time. After a mild hit with I.G.Y, Fagen released the Red Scare video of New Frontier that hit No. 70 on the singles chart in 1983.
New Frontier is a fun video set in the Red Scare era, where a young man entices his date to an underground fallout shelter "in case the Russians try to drop the bomb". In between seducing her with jazz and conversation, the fun video intersperses classic animation that is reminiscent of the cartoons shown at the movies and drive-ins back in the day.
The force behind Steely Dan, Fagen keeps busy recording and performing music. His last album, Sunken Condos, was released in 2012. He has also released his autobiography entitled Eminent Hipsters in 2013.
The song in question is reportedly Modern Talking's You're My Heart, You're My Soul. The dance skills are all the dog's.
Hat tip to Carol Janssen for finding this.Full Story
Soon the Internet buzz will die down from the death of the family dog, Brian Griffin, on the animated hit Family Guy. We honor the animated Brian with a little animated video of our own from the Newcity Rockers Black Dog.
Some might think it sacrilege to remake the classic 1971 Led Zeppelin song, but Boston's Newcity Rockers put a flavored twist on the song that hit No. 80 on the singles chart in 1987. The video features some nice rotoscoping and is interesting eye candy, no matter what your stance is on the remaking of classic rock songs.
While Black Dog contains no lyrics about a dog, legend has it the song was named after a stray black lab that wandered around the Headley Grange studio grounds where Led Zeppelin IV was being recorded. Full Story
If a new Van Halen album sounds like the perfect Christmas present for an '80s fan, then here's some good news ... for next Christmas, or maybe the one after that. Frontman David Lee Roth has gone on the record to say new music is in the works.
"I was up at Edward [Van Halen]‘s house, maybe three days ago – just before I came here to the city – and we’re starting to put music together," he told Jim Florentine Ozzy’s Boneyard on SiriusXM. (See a clip here). "Not to give away exactly what the package will be, it’s gonna be about 18 months, I think."
Eighteen months?? Why so long, Diamong Dave?
"‘Cause we are eminently art-centric, which is a really fancy way of saying we really do generate all the artwork, the graphics, etc. We don't hire out and have somebody design a bunch of album covers for us and then choose…. we start from scratch ourselves. ... On and on… stage design, lighting rig, putting the show together – it takes about a year and a half, 18 months, because any idea that you have is 85 phone calls."
By the way, the new album news put "Van Halen" on the top of the Yahoo trending list yesterday. The old boys still got it.Full Story
In 1983 Lynn Goldsmith came up with the original idea to record a comedy/music album that mocked the Self Help Profession. With incredible musician friends and contacts from her rock photography career, Goldsmith created the alias of Will Powers and released the album Dancing for Mental Health.
Several of those songs have become cult classics including Kissing With Confidence. The spoken voice of Will Powers is actually Goldsmith's voice shifted downwards in pitch to sound male. Some of the contributors to Kissing With Confidence are Steve Winwood, Nile Rodgers and Todd Rundgren. And yes, that is Carly Simon on vocals.
In between the animated sections of the video, it is Goldsmith/Will Powers that you see speaking the words of how to be a good kisser. While it didn't chart in the U.S., Kissing With Confidence made it to No. 17 on the UK charts. Goldsmith, who graduated from Michigan with a Magna Cum Laude double degree in English and Psychology, also received help from Sting on the equally clever Adventures in Success off the same album. …Full Story
Remember the speculation that Billy Joel might be announcing his retirement today in New York City? Turns out I was half right. Joel isn't quitting music, but seemingly is tired of all the touring, so instead he'll do one concert per month at Madison Square Garden until people are tired of his playing.
Calling this MSG's "first-ever music franchise," Joel's first four shows (Jan. 27, Feb. 3, March 21, April 18) are already sold out. A May 9 show (also Joel's birthday) will go on sale soon.
There's no "official" proclamation that this will mark the end of his large, national tours. But it sure feels that way.Full Story
After the breakout success of The Lexicon of Love, ABC stalled with their next release Beauty Stab. However, they returned strong in 1985 with the hit Be Near Me and (How To Be A) Millionaire that reached No. 20 on the singles chart in 1986.
Millionaire is an eye-catching cartoon that captures the band shrinking in size in pursuit of possessions and the almighty dollar. According to past government stats, there were 574,000 U.S. millionaires and 10 U.S. billionaires in 1980 when the Ronald Reagan Era began along with new tax cuts and other economic policies labeled "Trickle Down Economics." When Reagan left office in 1989, there were 1.3 million millionaires and 52 billionaires in the United States.
ABC is still around, although it’s down to just lead singer Martin Fry performing as ABC now.Full Story
The 1983 US Festival is finally coming to iTunes and DVD. The three-day festival of music and culture, financed by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, was a follow-up to the '82 festival and was broken into three theme days: new wave, heavy metal and rock.
US Festival 1983 is directed by music biographer Glenn Aveni and includes insight from original MTV veejay Mark Goodman, who covered the festival for the music network back in '83.
Among the artists captured on video: U2, the Clash, Judas Priest, Stevie Nicks, Scorpions, INXS, Men at Work, Stray Cats, Triumph, Missing Persons and more.
US Festival 1983 Days 1 - 3 are available on iTunes for $9.99 each or on DVD.Full Story
It's been awhile since we've done a theme week, so let's stop fooling around and begin Animation Week at Lost and Found. We'll pick five videos and have our own little Animation Domination without killing the family dog (RIP, Brian Griffin, RIP).
We would be remiss if we didn't start out the week without one of the classic of ‘80s animation videos: Alan Parsons Projects' Don't Answer Me. The song tells the noir tale of love lost Nick and Sugar. In pulp comic style, fists fly and there is only one man standing in the fight between Nick and Lughead for the heart of Sugar. The band even shows up in the end with Parsons and lead vocalist Eric Woolfson playing the keyboards.
Don't Answer Me clocked in at No. 15 on the charts in 1984 and is the second video to be featured off the Ammonia Avenue album on Lost and Found.
Use our handy new MP3 player to listen to our newest podcast, Episode 298: Fan Picks for Songs that Ended the '80s. Plus, Steve finds he can do a new accent. (Apologies to be issued during future show.) Full Story
Ah, Black Friday. The bargain hunters are out in full force fighting for that special deal or gift. But not me, I'll be away from the mess and limit my purchasing activity to Toni Basil's Shoppin' A to Z.
After the monster success of Mickey, Basil released a few more singles, but none of them hit the Top 40, thus earning her the title of an one-hit wonder. Shoppin' A to Z is on the same album as Mickey and made it to No. 77 on the singles charts in 1983.
The song is a fun sing-a-long that could have been as catchy as Mickey as Basil goes shopping in the grocery store, picking up one item from each letter of the alphabet. My favorite part of the song comes when she gets to the letter X and declares "nothing" as her X purchase. The video may also bring back memories as one of Basil's sidekick shoppers is none other than the late Fred Berry, who played Rerun in the late ‘70s TV show What's Happening.
Though many people think Basil's claim to fame is only Mickey, her career has been legendary in the field of movies and choreography. It's hard to believe Basil was almost 40 when she made the video for Shoppin' A to Z and is currently 70.Full Story
Stay safe during your travels this Thanksgiving holiday. And if you find yourself stranded at an airport, bus terminal or Braidwood Inn, then pass the time by listening to our Planes, Trains and Automobiles podcast from years ago.Full Story