The tributes for Leonard Nimoy have poured in over the past few days and while you may have seen it posted on the Stuck in the '80s Facebook page, we'll go ahead and tip our hat to Nimoy on the blog with the video that introduced many of us to The Bangles - Going Down To Liverpool.
Around 1966, Tamar Simon Hoffs, the mother of Bangle Susannah Hoffs, was encouraged by Leonard Nimoy to join the crew of his movie project Deathwatch, which was filming around the debut of Star Trek. Mrs. Hoffs accepted and that decision led her to change her career to film and video and in 1984 when it came time for The Bangles to film one of their first video, momma Hoffs was asked to direct her daughter's band video. For the shoot, Tamar Hoffs called in a favor and recruited Nimoy to play the chauffer in the video for Going Down To Liverpool.
The tune is not an original Bangles song as it was written by Kimberly Rew of Katrina and the Waves and appeared as the B side to Walking On Sunshine when it was a massive hit in 1985. The Bangles version from 1984 was only a minor hit in the UK and did not chart in America. …
If the needs of the many truly outweighed the needs of the few (or the one), as Vulcan logic suggests, then Leonard Nimoy would still be with us. The actor and director died Friday morning in his Los Angeles home at age 83, the New York Times reports.
His wife said the cause of death was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which Mr. Nimoy attributed to years of smoking. On Jan. 15, just weeks before his death, Mr. Nimoy tweeted: "Don't smoke. I did. Wish I never had. LLAP."
Mr. Nimoy rose to fame playing the Vulcan science officer Mr. Spock on TV in 1966. It's a role he would reprise again and again through the decades, including the director J.J. Abrams' most recent reboot of the movie series.
Eighties fans have his experienced his "death" before. In 1982's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Spock dies from radiation poisoning after restoring the Enterprise's damaged warp drive. His death, however, saves the entire crew of the ship. Capt. Kirk's eulogy still brings tears to my eyes. …
Blade Runner, easily one of the best sci-fi movies of the '80s, is getting a sequel three decades after the original film was released. And Deadline.com confirms that Harrison Ford is onboard to reprise his role as Rick Deckard. Filming is expected to begin in summer 2016.
The 198s flick (based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) followed Deckard as a cop in 2019 Los Angeles who is charged with tracking down a group of androids who've gone missing. (Yes, the plot is actually much more complicated than that, but if I tell you more and you haven't seen it…)
Deadline.com says the sequel will pick up several decades later as well, but little else is known about the plot. Ridley Scott, who directed the first flick, will return as executive editor. Denis Villeneuve is in talks to direct.
TOP 5 MEMORABLE LINES FROM BLADE RUNNER:
5. "The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy."
4. "I need ya, Deck. This is a bad one, the worst yet. I need the old blade runner, I need your magic."
3. "Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."
2. "It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does?"
1. "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die."
John Cusack is Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys? Yep. "Lloyd Dobler" is appearing as an older version of the Beach Boys mastermind in the movie Love & Mercy. Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine) co-stars as the younger version of Brian. The movie is set for a June 5 release.
Our latest podcast is online: Best Band Cameos in '80s Movies. Sadly, one of my favorite band cameos didn't make the cut. It was the 1984 Tom Hanks movie Bachelor Party and the band was Angel and the Reruns. The band played the tune "Why Do Good Girls Like Bad Boys?" during the bachelor party, naturally, and I was immediately smitten with the idea of one day attending such a raucous gathering.
Two weddings and two divorces later -- along with a few "raucous gatherings" -- and I can tell you I'm no longer smitten. But I still like Angel and the Reruns. Especially when Adrian Zmed jumps up to the mic to perform "Little Demon." (BTW, did you know Bachelor Party featured THREE songs by Oingo Boingo? That's a band that DID make our podcast this week. Go figure.)
Two weeks ago, Steve reported on the death of Steve Strange, lead singer of the New Romantic band Visage, so today we pay our respects with their biggest hit Fade To Grey.
Fade To Grey had been on the on-deck circle for Lost and Found for a long time as even though the song never charted in the Americas, it was a Top 10 UK hit at the beginning of 1981 and is considered a landmark single of the New Romantic movement. The lyrics to Fade To Grey alternate between English by Strange and French by Brigitte Arens; however the girl in the video is not Arens, but French fashion model Julia Fodor. Combined with the unmistakable synth riff, the Godley and Crème video is also an arty affair with body painting and avant-garde fashions.
Unfortunately, while Fade To Grey was the highlight of Visage's career, it was also representative of downfall of Visage, as songwriting credit for the song has always been a source of contention. Strange claims he was part of the process, specifically the addition of the French female lyrics, while Ultravox's/Band Aid and SIT80's podcast friend Midge Ure claimed sole lyric authorship. Ure only lasted one album with Visage before forming Ultravox. …
Joe Jackson was the angry young man of the ‘80s and while we may never understood his motivations, today you get to witness what made him "Mad At You" in the ‘80s.
Joe Jackson took the music world by storm in the late ‘70s with songs like Is She Really Going Out With Him, however his first album in the ‘80s, Beat Crazy, was a commercial failure as all three singles released from the album failed to chart in the U.S. or the UK. The second single was Mad At You and is a bouncy song with an interesting video in which Jackson sits in the kitchen with not just a bowl of beans - but a table of beans and later threatens violence with a butter knife while having to suffer in indignity of waiting for his "woman" to finish getting ready. …
When the Florida Orchestra does a theme night, it's always a can't-miss affair. (I still remember having a helluva date night when the orchestra did their James Bond night a few years ago. Nothing like a string section and 007 to give me the license to kill.)
So I'm planning to throw all caution aside now that the orchestra announced its "John Williams: Star Wars & More" series for March 6-7. On the program for these performances: the scores from Superman, Harry Potter, Hook, E.T., Schindler’s List and of course the Star Wars flicks, including The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, A New Hope and The Phantom Menace. Bob Bernhardt will be the conductor/Jedi master for the event.
But the real perk for Star Wars nerds (okay, "fans") is that costumed characters from the local chapter of the 501st Legion are expected in the lobby before each concert. For those of you not from a galaxy far far away, the 501st Legion is an international fan group of Star Wars crazies who build and wear super-accurate replicas of characters from the movie (with a heavy emphasis on the baddies from The Empire.) A selfie with Boba Fett? Yes, please!
So maybe it's not the swoony atmosphere of the James Bond night, but you'll finally be at peace with the right side of The Force. (Please, just no weeping during the E.T. fanfare and keep your wands in your pocket during Harry Potter.)
The shows are 8 p.m. Friday, March 6, at the Straz Center in Tampa and then two shows on Saturday March 7 at the Mahaffey Theater (2 p.m. and 8 p.m.) Tickets are $15, $30 and $45. Please leave all light sabers and blasters in your Millennial Falcon before entering the venue.
If this is truly the last summer on earth, then yes, there's nothing I'd rather do than go to an amazing '80s concert. As Zoltar would say: "Your wish is granted." Barenaked Ladies, Colin Hay and Violent Femmes are touring as Last Summer on Earth 2015, a package deal starting June 5 in Columbus, Ohio. The tour includes two Florida stops.
Colin Hay and Violent Femmes together makes sense. Technically the Canadian group formed in 1988, but they wouldn't have an album or single out until 1992's Gordon, which was a chart-topper in their home country but didn't make a ripple in the U.S. or U.K. Meanwhile, the Femmes and Hay need no such introduction to '80s fans.
Tickets went on sale back on Feb. 13, so don't dilly-dally.
LAST SUMMER ON EARTH 2015 TOUR DATES:
June 5 – Columbus, Ohio, The LC Pavilion June 6 – Cleveland, Ohio, Jacobs Pavilion At Nautica June 7 – Toledo, Ohio, Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre June 8 – Cedar Rapids, Iowa, McGrath Amphitheatre June 10 – Morrison, Colo., Red Rocks Amphitheatre June 12 – Welch, Minn., Treasure Island Resort & Casino June 13 – Milwaukee, Wis., BMO Harris Pavilion June 14 – Council Bluffs, Iowa, Harrah’s Council Bluffs - Stir Concert Cove June 16 – Chicago, Ill., FirstMerit Bank Pavilion @ Northerly Island June 17 – Indianapolis, Ind., Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn At White River State Park June 19 – Cincinnati, Ohio, PNC Pavilion At Riverbend June 20 – Clarkston, Mich., DTE Energy Music Theatre June 21 – Salamanca, N.Y., Event Center At Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel June 23 – Pittsburgh, Pa., Stage AE June 26 – Portland, Maine, Maine State Pier June 27 – Uncasville, Conn., Mohegan Sun Arena June 28 – Philadelphia, Pa., Mann Center for Performing Arts June 29 – Boston, Mass., Blue Hills Bank Pavilion July 1 – New York, N.Y., JBL Live at Pier 97 July 2 – West Windsor, N.J., Mercer County Park July 3 – Solomons, Md., PNC Waterside Pavilion July 4 – Raleigh, N.C., Red Hat Amphitheater July 8 – Charlotte, N.C., Uptown Amphitheatre At The NC Music Factory July 10 – Boca Raton, Fla., Sunset Cove Amphitheater July 11 – Saint Augustine, Fla., St. Augustine Amphitheatre July 12 – Alpharetta, Ga., Verizon Wireless Amph. At Encore Park July 13 – Whites Creek, Tenn., The Woods At Fontanel July 15 – Grand Prairie, Texas, Verizon Theatre At Grand Prairie July 17 – Albuquerque, N.M., TBA July 18 – Las Vegas, Nev., Boulevard Pool At The Cosmopolitan July 19 – San Diego, Calif., Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre July 21 – Los Angeles, Calif., Greek Theatre July 22 – Saratoga, Calif., The Mountain Winery July 24 – Boise, Idaho, Idaho Botanical Garden July 25 – Troutdale, Ore., McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater July 26 – Redmond, Wash., King County's Marymoor Park
As we connect the dots this week on Lost and Found, we segue way from Suzanne Vega with Joe Jackson to Suzanne Vega with The Smithereens and the beatnik classic In A Lonely Place.
In A Lonely Place was the second single off the glorious Smithereens' album Especially For You, but it did not chart. The song's title is taken from the 1950 Humphrey Bogart movie In A Lonely Place and even quotes movie dialogue in the song with the great line "I was born the day I met you, lived awhile when you loved me, died a little when we broke apart".
The video is also a great noir piece, shot in black and white in the lonely big city with late night coffee and the presence of lead singer Pat DiNizio, his soul patch and Vega. The Smithereens will be touring all year long, including the "Rock of the '80s Tour" which we also feature The Romantics and Berlin. http://officialsmithereens.com
Yesterday we caught up with the talented pianist Joe Jackson and today we get to hear his gentle touch on the ivories when he teamed up with Suzanne Vega for Left Of Center.
The Pretty In Pink soundtrack is considered by most music aficionados as not only one of the best soundtracks of the ‘80s, but of the rock era. Among the many choice selections on the soundtrack is Suzanne Vega's Left of Center (or "Left of Centre" if you are in the UK). While the song did not chart in U.S., I am sure John Hughes would be proud it was a Top 40 hit in the UK and Australia.
In many markets, Joe Jackson's named was listed along with Suzanne Vega as Vega was a year away from becoming a headliner name with the release her biggest hit Luka. Last year, Vega released her latest album Tales From the Realm and the Queen of Pentacles and continues to play all over the globe. http://www.suzannevega.com/
Did you miss the Pixies as they criss-crossed the U.S. these last two years? The band is ready to make good on all the spots they missed, so they've announced a new North America tour for 2015, which includes a previously announced May 9 stop at Tampa's Big Guava Festival.
The Pixies will continue to tour with founding member Kim Deal. The current lineup is Black Francis, Joey Santiago, David Lovering and touring bassist Paz Lenchantin. The band also plans to debut some new Pixies songs for this time from material written in the last few months.
A fan-only pre-sale starts at 9 a.m. EST on Feb. 25 at www.pixiesmusic.com. (use the pre-sale ticket password "snakes.") General on-sale tickets for this run go on sale to the public Feb. 27. More dates are expected later, but here's the lineup so far.
May 5: Civic Theatre, New Orleans, LA May 6: Iron City, Birmingham, AL May 8: Shaky Knees Festival, Atlanta, GA May 9: Big Guava Festival, Tampa, FL May 11: PAC, North Charleston, SC May 12: Ovens Auditorium, Charlotte, NC May 13: The Norva, Norfolk, VA May 15: Louisville Palace, Louisville, KY May 17: Masonic Auditorium, Cleveland, OH May 19: Rapids Theatre, Niagara Falls, NY May 21: Flynn P.A. Center, Burlington, VT May 22: Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY May 24: Boston Calling, Boston, MA May 27: Beacon Theatre, New York, NY May 28: Kings Theatre, Brooklyn, NY June 18-21: Amnesia Festival, Montebello, QC
Back in college I had a professor who looked upon his glazed-eye class and made a startling declaration, "I know we are here to learn about economics, but I read a study that says that at this exact moment, most of you are thinking about sex rather than what I am lecturing you about." And he was correct. So this Monday, we could be coy, but we all know that instead of working, all you really want is some Boom Boom.
Last year we featured those crazy Germans, Trio, with their best known song Da Da Da and today they strike again with another repetitious title song called Boom Boom (or "Bum Bum" as it was written in German). In 1983, Boom Boom made it big in their native country, but didn't chart much outside Germany.
The video is another bizarre affair with highlights including log cutting, giant bananas, a burlesque show and balloon-wielding elementary school children bum rushing Trio with no regard for the safety of the man with the axe!
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.