For the 30th anniversary of Weird Science on Sunday, how about cooking up a nice greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray? It's only fitting!
Actually, that line from actor Bill Paxton was lifted from something similar that his dad - the late John Paxton - used to say when he found his son hungover.
Weird Science hit theaters on Aug. 2, 1985. It's one of the odder John Hughes-directed teen flicks and nearly disappears between the releases of his signature works: The Breakfast Club (earlier in 1985) and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (in 1986). It took Hughes only two days to write it.
The Breakfast Club, which is considered by many to be the quintessential teen movie of all time, wasn't nominated for a single award. Weird Science, maybe best known for the theme song by Oingo Boingo, actually did score one nomination: Ilan Mitchell-Smith was nominated for best performance by a younger actor by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. (Alas, he lost to Barret Oliver from D.A.R.Y.L.)
The late Roger Ebert gave Weird Science three stars, lavishing praise on both Anthony Michael Hall and co-star Kelly LeBrock.
"Kelly LeBrock is wonderful as the fantasy woman, because she plays the character not for sex, but for warmth and an almost motherly affection for these two boys," Ebert wrote. " 'All you have to do is command me,' she says at one point. 'You created me. You are my master.' It could be soft porn, but the way she says it, her voice has a wink."
TOP 5 MEMORABLE LINES FROM WEIRD SCIENCE:
5. "Can we keep this... between us? I'd hate to lose my teaching job…"
4. "Anything bigger than a handful, you're risking a sprained tongue."
3. "Why are we wearing bras on our heads?"
2. "You told me you were combing your hair!"
1. "So, what would you little maniacs like to do first?"
The idea of owning the official "Purple Rain" house from the Prince movie sounds pretty appealing. Until you remember that movie came out 31 years ago. And it wasn't exactly in mint condition then either.
Nonetheless, you too can purchase the historic home at 3420 Snelling Avenue in Longfellow, Minneapolis. The 3-bedroom, 1.5 bath house was built in 1913 and has 1,348 square feet. I'm sure the crime scene down in the basement has been taken care of since the film came out.
Total cost for a piece of '80s history? The listing price is $110,000.
Something I learned a long time ago after interviewing Peter Frampton: Don't ask legendary rock stars about their signature hair styles in the early days. You're rightfully not going to get the nicest answer. (And I didn't include his original answer in the Q&A.) That's okay. Live and learn. So when you listen to this week's podcast, featuring an interview with A Flock of Seagulls' Mike Score, you won't hear one question about hair. (Though he does bring up that he was a hairdresser back in Liverpool right before he got started in music.)
Mike shares some great stories about performing at the US Festival and answers my nagging question about why the Seagulls don't have a Facebook page or website. It's a fun conversation. And we really went overboard with all our production tricks this week, so enjoy.
Have you seen the movie Pixels yet? Despite lukewarm reviews, since movie theaters are celebrating a movie with '80s video games, it looks like the perfect time to remember one of the biggest stars of the arcade and Do The Donkey Kong.
Co-written by former SIT80's podcast guest, Tim Herlihy, the premise of Pixels is that a mix up has occured in outer space and aliens have misinterpreted video feed of ‘80s video games and have declared war on earth with Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Peter Dinklage all fighting to save the world. In the movie, expect to find a nice cameo by the king of all video games - Donkey Kong.
Do The Donkey Kong was the second single by Buckner & Garcia and released on the heels of the Top 10 smash Pac-Man Fever. Do The Donkey Kong only made it to No. 103 on the charts in 1982. It still has found extra life being included in modern day video games like Rock Band. Today's fan video consists of less than stimulating footage from a Mario Brothers home video game. …
One of the quirkiest artists to grace the ‘80s was little known but revered Daniel Johnston and today you get to see and hear his story.
Daniel Johnson was a little known musician from Austin that released his material on cassettes. His tapes became the source of cult legend as hipsters, musicians and music critics all knew the little secret of Daniel Johnson and his cassettes. His battle with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder made his music unlike any other artist and also kept him from exploring success on a large platform.
In 2005, the documentary film The Devil and Daniel Johnston was one of the most acclaimed docs of the year and it chronicled the music and mental struggles of Johnston. From that documentary is today's song The Story Of An Artist, a heartbreaking song played on Johnston's simple piano and a cut off his 1982 cassette Don't Be Scared. The video features home movies of Daniel and his predilection with Captain America. It also features a pretty young lady named Laurie Allen who was a stalker fan and later became Johnston's girlfriend/muse/obsession for a short time in his crazy world. …
Journey founder and guitarist Neal Schon has told ABC News Radio that he's open to the idea of Steve Perry returning to sing with the band, according to Blabbermouth.net. Should Journey fans rejoice? Not quite. The devil's in the details.
"The door has always been open, like I've said a zillion times," Schon told ABC News Radio. "People ask me every day, 'Are you reuniting?' Steve says, 'No,' and I say, 'You never know.'"
Last time I saw Journey in concert (March 2015 onboard the Carnival Liberty), Schon took cheap shots at Perry from the stage over songwriting credits (and presumably the royalties), so I consider his latest offer dubious at best. Perry and the band called in quits in 1998 and haven't been on good terms since, though the former lead singer has handled the producing a concert DVD and best-of album.
"[We] are always like, 'You ever want to come on and just sing a portion of one song, sing a part of a song with Arnel or sing the whole set, you're welcome anytime you want to come,'" Schon said in the radio interview. "[Arnel Pineda is] not threatened. Nobody's on any ego trip. We don't have any bad feelings." …
I don't sit around all day playing love songs, but once in awhile one comes along that makes you walk on clouds and if you want that ‘80s love song feeling may I introduce you to David Pack and I Just Can't Let Go.
You remember David Pack? Earlier this month on Lost and Found we featured Pack and his delicious band Ambrosia that won our hearts in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. We know that David Pack on his own is a great singer, but when you combine his talents with the Ya Mo B There twins of James Ingram and Michael McDonald, you create an ‘80s masterpiece with I Just Can't Let Go. Released in 1985, I Just Can't Let Go only charted on the Adult Contemporary Charts and disappeared. …
As our home-made video week continues, let's keep the party going with one of the nuttiest bands of our youth - the J. Geils Band and No Anchovies, Please.
We all grooved in the ‘80s to the dance-happy beat of the J. Geils Band with songs like Centerfold and Freeze Frame, but just because those songs are so accessible doesn't mean that the Boston band didn't have some oddities up their sleeve. No Anchovies,Please was the B side to the Top 40 hit (and Wedding Singer movie-stealing moment) Love Stinks in 1980. This is one of the few Geils songs that you can't dance to, but you can laugh as No Anchovies, Please is a spoken record with more sound effects than music and Peter Wolf spinning a yarn that will keep you in suspense.
Since No Anchovies, Please is a song that had no video and is so visual, it is no surprise that there are numerous home-made videos for the song. Today's interpretation is pretty representative of the lot and captures all the plot twists of No Anchovies, Please including its dramatic surprise ending.
Sweets, we couldn't forget you if we tried! Molly Ringwaldwill be at Clearwater's Capitol Theater on Oct. 3 for a screening of The Breakfast Club on its 30th anniversary. Following the movie, the co-star of the 1985 John Hughes classic will take questions from the audience.
Okay, now that your heart is beating out of your chest, here are some more details. Tickets are $60 and $75 with a handful of "Mingle with Molly" tickets available at $175. (Maybe we can ask Claire's dad to advance us our allowance.) Better hurry though ... tickets are already on sale.
Molly reportedly is doing a handful of these screenings around the country - I'm still looking for a full list of dates. Stay tuned.
We are going to try something new on Lost and Found. Normally I have been a stickler for featuring a song that only has a video made by the artist, but sometimes the artist never made a video or it is locked away awaiting its Youtube freedom. At least for this week, we'll tweek the rules with some great songs with some quality fan-made videos and we'll start the week with the powerful Strange Dreams by Frank Marino.
When you mention the name Marino in the ‘80s, you no doubt think about Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, but there was another Marino in the ‘80s from north of the border in Canada that played a mean guitar and his name was Frank. Marino was the central member of the '70's band Mahogany Rush whose first 10 albums all sold well in the U.S. In 1982, Marino's second solo album contained Strange Dreams that was Top 10 hit on the Mainstream Rock Tracks charts. …
Will Stuck in the '80s ever do a podcast on Saturday Night Live in the ‘80s? It's a big topic to tackle, so maybe we can cover it on the blog in small doses with a few good memories courtesy of Steve Wonder and Overjoyed.
Stevie Wonder was a great commodity on SNL during the ‘80s whether it was Eddie Murphy playing Wonder along side Joe Piscopo's Frank Sinatra or his participation in the Kannon Camera commercial parody (so easy, anyone can use it!) that aired on May 7, 1983. On that May episode that Wonder hosted, he performed two songs, including one he had never released before entitled Overjoyed. Nearly three years after the broadcast debut of Overjoyed, Wonder released the ballad as a single and the song reached No. 24 on the charts the first part of 1986.
Wonder will perform at the opening of the Special Olympics at the end of the month in Los Angeles after recently joining Prince on stage at a private party at the White House where they performed Signed, Sealed Delivered I'm Yours for President Obama.
Because today is National Hot Dog Day, it's only fitting we honor the ultimate movie for this occasion: 1984's Hot Dog … The Movie. (As opposed to the TV series? Not sure why the need to explain that, but whatever.)
Patrick Houser starred in the flick as an ambitious teen skier from Idaho determined to make a name for himself on the slops of Squaw Valley. The biggest name in the cast was probably Shannon Tweed, making only her second film appearance. The big scene? The finale involving the "Chinese Downhill" race. (Be careful: It's an R-rated movie.)
It was the typical teen sex/drugs/party flick of the early '80s and yet critics weren't completely turned off by it. The New York Times would say Hot Dog was "less moronic than it might have been."
"It's a beach party movie, marginally better than the average, with snow taking the place of surf," the reviewer wrote. …
As of today, Stuck in the '80s is officially one day older than the decade it honors. That just blows my mind. When we released Episode #1 back on July 22, 2005, I would have been shocked if we lasted six months. I remember telling a colleague after a year that if survived for THREE years, that he should just come by my desk and kill me. And yet, here we are. Ten years and one day later.
To mark the occasion we've put together a 10th anniversary episode, which honors our very first show. Basically, it re-does the first show, which lasted only 14 minutes. The topic is The Breakfast Club, and now I feel like we've finally given that topic it's due.
I want to thank everyone who has helped Stuck in the '80s along the way, starting with Gina Vivinetto, my partner on the show when it began. We had an amazing chemistry and the show wouldn't have lasted two weeks without her.
Our first producer, who taught us what podcasting really was, was Brendan Watson. He was an intern at the Times back in 2005. Today he's a journalism professor. Amazing. Our second producer, Dave Morrison, taught me everything I know about audio editing. And the show was its best when he was handling the control board. …
I know its summertime, so the last thing you want to do is work over. But don't worry, because here at Stuck in the ‘80s Gladys Knight & the Pips are here and will stay late since they said to Save TheOvertime (For Me).
Gladys Knight & the Pips have been around since the early ‘60s and scored 24 Top 40 hits over their career. Keeping all in the family, the Pips were comprised of Gladys's brother Bubba and their cousins Edward and William and in 1974 they were named Billboard's top act of 1974 with hit songs like Midnight Train To Georgia. The group had a nine-year dry spell between number one hits on the R&B charts before hitting the top spot with Save The Overtime (For Me) in 1983.
Save The Overtime (For Me) also made it to No. 66 on the pop charts and video highlights include Knight looking good in her late 30's and was one of the earliest mainstream music videos to feature break dancing. …
The Stuck in the '80s podcast has covered Rock Dinos extensively, but what about R&B Dinos? Well if you are going to start, why not start with one of the biggest and best R&B groups of all time, The Four Tops, with their last Top 40 hit Indestructible.
The Four Tops are Motown legends with 24 Top 40 hits, including some of the greatest soul songs of the ‘60s like I Can't Help Myself and Reach Out I'll Be There. The ‘80s was The Four Tops still in action as in 1981 that almost hit the Top 10 with When SheWas My Girl and Indestructible that peaked at No. 35 in 1988.
Indestructible was one of the theme songs NBC used for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea. The video for Indestructible captures The Four Tops with a touch of gray when they were all in their early '50s. Lead singer Levi Stubbs powerhouse voice was also used as the voice of that carnivorous plant Audrey II in the movie version of 1986's Little Shop of Horrors with the fun song of Feed Me Seymore with Rick Moranis.
Unfortunately, the only remaining Four Top member alive today is Duke Fakir, the tallest Four Top who is wearing glasses and a brown shirt in the video for Indestructible.
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.