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Forget 'Rock Me Tonite' ... Our love for Billy Squier goes 'All Night Long'

When I was lucky enough to be a guest on the Stuck in the '80s podcast in 2014, I sang the praises of dissed artists of the '80s like Billy Squier. With a solid catalog of albums, how often can one listen to Billy's '80s songs? The answer is All Night Long.  

In my rant against people who fixate on Billy Squier's video of Rock Me Tonite and define his career by it, I countered with facts like Squier is one of rock's most sampled artists and has plenty of great non-Top 40 songs like The Big Beat. The backlash of Rock Me Tonite didn't start until after the song was a No. 15 hit in 1984. The next video Squier made after Rock Me Tonite was All Night Long. With a great riff, All Night Long was more rock than pop and only made it to No. 75 on the singles chart. It's video was straight performance and although Billy does his fair share of prancing around the stage, judging from the reactions of many of the female fans in the audience at the Philadelphia Forum videotaping, most did not find Squier's stage moves "gay" unlike the unfair judgment passed on Squier in the Kenny Ortega directed Rock Me Tonite.

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'Battlestar Galactica' to return as big-screen movie

Now that the new car smell of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has worn off, Nerd Nation needs a new obsession to keep us warm this winter. How about a big-screen remake of Battlestar Galactica?

The Hollywood Reporter says producer Michael De Luca (Fifty Shades of Grey, Dracula Untold) is focused now on a feature-length production of the TV show, which first popped up on ABC in 1978 and continued as Galactica 1980 before returning again a decade ago reimagined for the SyFy network.

Universal, owned by the same parent company as SyFy, is the studio taking on the pressure of the continuing the story, which followed a rag-tag group of humans who take to the stars in a fleet of ships to escape the cybernetic Cylons, who are trying to destroy their creators. The ultimate destination for these desperate souls: a mythical planet called Earth. (Preferably after the catastrophic "Presidential Election of 2016" era.)

No word yet on whether the movie would be a prequel, sequel or reboot of the series. One thing I’d bet on is that Richard Hatch, who starred in the original series and returned as a minor character in the SyFy version, should get a role somewhere somehow. So say we all!

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Can you spot Weird Science's Chet in this '80s novelty video?

When we covered novelty songs in the '80s last year, how could we not include Fish Heads by Barnes and Barnes. How would you feel about another song by the zany duo? Will you pass or Soak It Up?

While you can't get any sillier than Fish Heads, Barnes and Barnes did record some straight songs and Soak It Up from 1983 is pretty catchy with just a little oddball in it to give it appeal. The sound of Soak it Up sounds a lot like Devo, which is not coincidental as Mark Mothersbaugh helped in the making of the Soak It Up EP. Like the Fish Heads video, Soak It Up also features the then little known actor Bill Paxton, just a few years before getting his break playing a punk rocker on The Terminator and Chet on Weird Science.

Barnes and Barnes is really the duo of Bill Mumy (Will Robinson in Lost in Space) and the bearded Robert Haimer. The duo continued to make music comedy albums off and on again until 2009.

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One Crazy Summer sequel in the works from Savage Steve Holland

Do you remember One Crazy Summer? While we at ‘80s Nation absolutely adore director Savage Steve Holland, one summer was enough. But appears that One Epic Fall is in the works.

(Kudos, at least, for the clever name.)

Holland, who also gave us Better Off Dead and How I Got Into College, told Fast Company that a “semi-sequel” is in the works. John Cusack and Demi Moore starred in the original 1986 movie about an aspiring teenage cartoonist (Cusack) who decides to spend the summer in Nantucket after failing to gain a basketball scholarship to college. There he meets a girl (Moore) trying to save her grandfather’s house from greedy developers. The movie also featured Curtis Armstrong, Bobcat Goldthwait and Joel Murray.

"I'm doodling with Bobcat Goldthwait on a semi-sequel to One Crazy Summer," he told the magazine last week. "Our lives are just really different but I still love him and we say we gotta do this thing. So we are working on One Epic Fall. Of course, Joel [Murray] is gonna be in it. The question is, how do we make it a sequel when Cusack's not gonna be in it? But we have so many bad, dumb, great jokes we're piecing together to see if we can pull it off. I don't think Demi would be on board, but with Joel, Bobcat and Curtis, you've already got a trifecta of genius there."

No surprise that Holland is counting out Cusack’s participation. The actor has a well-known hatred of the two pictures he did with the director. So be it. The best scenes were always Goldthwait’s and Armstrong’s anyway.

No word on a production schedule yet. This could just be “pie in the sky” stuff for now.

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Who'd like a honeymoon with Rick Springfield?

There wasn't a girl who grew up in the '80s who didn't have a mad crush on Rick Springfield. When the hits stopped coming at the end of the decade, would our love continue or would the romance end on the Honeymoon in Beirut?

Rick Springfield was beloved by all in the '80s as the girls swooned and the guys rocked out to the Australian who after some brief chart success in the '70s before he became a heartthrob on General Hospital. Of Springfield's seventeen Top 40 hits, sixteen were in the '80s with Jesse's Girl hitting number one in 1981 and cementing itself as one of the most iconic songs of the decade. Despite his immense chart success and experience in front of the camera, I must confess that most of Springfield's videos leave much to be desired. In 1988, Springfield hit the Top 40 one last time with Rock of Life. The follow up single was Honeymoon in Beirut and perhaps because of its odd title, it was the first Springfield single to fail to hit the Top 100 breaking a string of 17 consecutive charting appearances. Furthermore, "Dr. Noah Drake" never hit the Top 100 again.

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Twisting by the pool will have to wait ... even for Dire Straits

Cold February days leave many of us who are not going on an '80s Cruise wishing for poolside weather; so for those left behind, let's transport ourselves to warmer days with the help of Dire Straits and go Twisting By The Pool.

From 1978 to 1982, Dire Straits ripped off four albums but only had one Top 40 hits with The Sultans of Swing. In 1983, they opted for an four-song EP called ExtendedancEPlay that produced the non-charting single Twisting By The Pool. One of Dire Straits most exuberant songs, the video for Twisting By The Pool alternates between band performance and some nifty synchronized swimming second only to Martin Short-Harry Shearer's performance (to the tune of Far From Over ) on a 1984 SNL segment as the best synchronized swimming of the '80s.

While a No. 1 song in New Zealand, Twisting By The Pool would only float to No. 105 on the U.S. singles chart, but Dire Straits' 45 slump would end in 1985 when Money For Nothing would hit number one and be one of three songs to hit the Top 40 off the Brothers In Arms album.

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Peter Cetera/Chicago reunion at Rock Hall of Fame isn’t happening

“Everybody needs a little time away,” a wise man once said. Actually, that was Peter Cetera, and he should know. He and the band he once fronted - Chicago - have had plenty of time away. But apparently not enough time, because the planned reunion at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is officially off.

The rock hall is scheduled to induct Chicago on April 8 in New York, and Cetera and his former bandmates had seemingly agreed to reunite and perform during the event. But according to Radio.com, plans have changed. And it appears to be all over song choice.

Cetera wanted to perform “25 or 6 to 4” … in the key of E. Apparently, the band wasn’t cool with that option. (We’ve yet to hear why.)

“I know you’re all waiting to hear what’s happening with the Hall of Fame,” Cetera wrote to fans last week on his official website. “I know how frustrated you all are, but trust me, no one is more tired and frustrated than yours truly. I had a conference call with the musical department today and I’ve presented another song option. Right now it’s about a fiddy fiddy chance that we can hammer something out by the weekend. Frankly folks, I’m done if this doesn’t work out. Here’s hoping this one works…Ill let you know either way ASAP.”

Today, Peter posted an update:

“Personally, I’m frustrated and tired of dealing with this and it’s time to move on,” he wrote in a letter to the rock hall. “I have a life with two beautiful daughters and a solo career and its time to get back and give them all the full attention they deserve. Thanks for all your help and consideration! Have a great show and please send any individual award I receive to the contact you have for me.”

Hold me now, it’s hard for anyone to say they’re sorry.

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Best hockey movie of the ‘80s turns 30 (and nobody noticed)

The Eighties might be known for a lot of great movies in a variety of genres (teen flicks, movies promoting needless frontal nudity, aquatic space aliens, etc), but among those, nobody really thinks any good hockey movies were made in the ‘80s. And they’d be wrong.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Youngblood, which was released on Jan. 31, 1986.

When you think of the classic hockey flicks, 1977’s Slap Shot is almost universally tapped as the king. Others might prefer 1999’s Mystery, Alaska or the Mighty Ducks franchise. (And god knows my all-time favorite is 2011’s Goon.) But Youngblood? When you think about it, it’s a lot better than you think. (If you even saw it at all.)

Youngblood starred Rob Lowe as Dean Youngblood, a promising hockey play who goes to Canada to sharpen his skills and take a shot at getting signed to the NHL. Too bad he’s a little reluctant to drop the gloves whenever the game gets rough. Patrick Swazye is the team captain who mentors Youngblood in the intangibles. And Cynthia Gibb is the coach’s daughter who will forever change the way you think about water bottles.

Not everyone liked the movie. Critic Roger Ebert gave it two stars, writing: "Youngblood is not a bad movie, and indeed has moments of real conviction. But it is doomed by its plot, which is yet another example of what I like to call the Climb from Despair to Victory (CLIDVIC, rhymes with Kid Pic).” …

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Wild and young forever? Not quite, as Quiet Riot learned the hard way

In 1983, Quiet Riot changed the landscape of popular music when its album Metal Health sparked a resurgence of hard rock on the radio and the charts. While three years doesn't sound like a long time, by time 1986 rolled around, radio had unfriended the band despite being The Wild and The Young.

Quiet Riot was formed in the early '70s in L.A., but when guitar legend Randy Rhoads and bassist Rudy Sarzo left to join Ozzy Osbourne's band in 1979, Quiet Riot disbanded. When Rhoads died in an airplane accident in 1982, Sarzo and Quiet Riot lead singer Kevin DuBrow got back to together to record a tribute song to Rhoads and recording lead to the reformation of Quiet Riot with guitarist Carlos Cavazo and drummer Frankie Banali. Their 1983 album Metal Health became the first metal album to hit No. 1 on the album charts and the single Cum On Feel The Noize became the first metal song to hit the Top 5 on the singles chart as well. …

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Hard to believe this classic Cure tune didn't chart in '85

The Cure will be heading for the U.S. in 2016 for a summer tour and questions abound. Will Robert Smith's makeup hold up in the heat? Will they come close to a city near you? Even if you are some distance away, never fear, as The Cure are always close - well, Close To Me.

The Cure's 1985 album Head On The Door was a breakthough of sorts in America for the English band, becoming their first album to go gold in the U.S. Off that album was the single Close To Me and its claustrophobic video. There are multiple videos of Close To Me that were edited and today's version is the one where all five members of The Cure are locked in a wardrobe and try to play Close To Me all piled on top of each other. Things go horribly wrong at the end for the band in the wardrobe as they go crashing down a cliff into the sea. Alternative video versions begin at the crash landing and have The Cure still trying to play their instruments underwater while fighting an octopus.

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Who’s ready for Ferris Fest? Here are more details

The 30th anniversary of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is nearly upon up, and so it’s only right that we all plan to attend the definitive event marking the NINE TIMES our favorite Shermer High student skipped school: Ferris Fest!

The event takes play May 20-22 in and around Lake Forest, Illinois. A screening of the movie is set for May 21 at the John and Nancy Hughes Theater. Film critic Richard Roeper will host the screening, which will also appearances by Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward (Ferris’ parents) and other stars from the movie (talks are still hush-hush).

Tickets for the event officially went on sale last night. Because of limited seating, package ticket sales are limited to just 300 attendees. Larger numbers of tickets are available for other events.

The full 3-day package is $300 and includes:

Individual event tickets start at $10.

A complete list of hotels convenient to Ferris Fest is available on the official website.

 

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Why did Def Leppard and Styx cancel their tour? Now we know

Def Leppard, Styx and Tesla fans were bummed out when the trio of legacy acts canceled the remaining dates of their joint tour last week, including a Jan. 30 date in Orlando. The given reason at the time? The dreaded “due to illness” dagger.

Now, however, we know the rest of the details. Turns out that Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott was suffering from “vocal issues,” according to Blabbermouth.net.

Guitarist Vivian Campbell gave an Italian media outlet this report: "Joe has been having some problems with his voice, and he saw two different doctors. The first one told him that he could continue to tour. The second doctor he saw just this past Saturday afternoon, the afternoon of a show we were supposed to play in Orlando, Florida. And he went to see a specialist. And they put a camera in his throat to see what was going on. And of the two vocal cords, one wasn't moving at all.”

The doc says Joe will be fine, so long as he rests his voice for a couple months, otherwise the damage could be permanent. Word is the tour could continue as early as May.

Click here to listen to our 2009 interview with Joe Elliott.

[AP photo]

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Can't Turn Back to the '80s but we can still listen to this Red Rider tune

How many more Tom Cochrane and Red Rider videos will be highlight on Lost and Found? As many as it takes to show some love for the Canadian rockers as we Can't Turn Back now.

If you are keeping score, this is the fourth appearance by Tom Cochrane and Red Rider on the blog as there is a plethora of songs and videos to choose from their seven albums they released in the '80s - and that doesn't even count Lunatic Fringe, their most popular song of the '80s to us south of the Canadian border. Can't Turn Back is a track off their 1983 album Neruda and the video is a plain performance and allows plenty of time for Cochrane's band mates to get equal time including diminutive bassist Jeff Jones and Ken Greer shredding it on guitar.

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The ABCs of '80s hitmakers should have included phd

Each August 1st, we remember the launch of MTV and over the years more information and stories emerge about the videos that appeared that historical day in 1981. With the help of the internet, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what songs were played on Aug. 1st, 1981, but you do have to have a phd.

Because of oral history books that have told the story of MTV and the vee-jays, we know that in the early days of MTV, because of the scarcity of videos, the station played a ton of videos by bands the America public never heard about. One band that made several appearances on MTV that first day was the Scottish band phd. phd is an acronym for the last names of three members of phd (Simon Phillips, Tony Hymas and Jim Diamond) and in 1981 they had a No. 3 hit in the U.K. with I Won't Let You Down.

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Ready for the shortest New Order tour ever? (At least there's a Florida stop)

New Order has sprung a short spring tour on fans in the U.S. How short? Six shows. Hey, but at least Florida scored a stop. How rare is that?

The band is supporting their album Music Complete, which was released back in September.

NEW ORDER 2016 TOUR DATES:

10 March – New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
12 March – Philadelphia, PA – Tower Theater
16 March – Chicago IL – Chicago Theater
19 March – Los Angeles CA – Shrine Auditorium
21 March – Las Vegas NV – The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan
23 March – Miami Beach FL – Fillmore Miami Beach

Publicity photo: Nick Wilson

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