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Is French Kissin' 80s style still allowed under the new regime?

So if it's time to make America great again, I see no better way to do it than resurrect '80s music videos. Although this may not do much to help the economy, the SIT80's plan involves getting help from our democracy-loving friends across the ocean and lots of kissing. Following the lead of Deborah Harry, I think French Kissin' (In The USA) is the perfect start plan for SIT80's Nation.

There is no female artist that defined sexy more than Deborah Harry in the early '80s. As lead singer of Blondie, Harry entranced us with seductive vocals on No. 1 songs like Heart of Glass and Call Me. After Harry released a solo album in 1981, Blondie officially split up in 1982 and Harry started landing roles in movies like Videodrome. In 1986, she finally released her follow-up effort with the lead single French Kissin' (In The USA). …

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Iron Maiden announces 2017 North America tour dates

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No metal band from the ’80s is more under-appreciated critically or over-loved by fans more than Iron Maiden. So imagine all the fans yelling “Up the Irons!” this week around North America as Iron Maiden announced its 2017 tour dates.

Among them is a June 11 date at Tampa’s Amalie Arena, the band’s only Florida stop. 

It’s kind of fun to look through the list of arenas Iron Maiden will stop at - it’s an A-to-Z (well, maybe to X) list of sponsored venues from Tampa’s Amelie and American Airlines Arena in Dallas to Xfinity Center (Mansfield, MA) and Xcel Energy Center (Minneapolis). 

BTW, these 25 new dates are part of the never-ending Book of Souls World Tour, which began last February in Florida. 

“We are really looking forward to returning to North America for a full tour,” said Steve Harris, the band’s lead songwriter and bassist. “We will, of course, be bringing the full production with us including all the Eddies and the Maya-themed stage sets. There’s been a great reaction from everyone to this tour’s theme, people really seem to love it. We’re still deciding on the final set-list and we’ll work that out once we get into rehearsals.” …

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Top 5 songs from the '80s for those with Inauguration Day jitters

Ghostbusters 2

What's that line from Vigo in Ghostbusters 2? "What was will be! What is will be no more! Now is the season of evil!" For this infamous day, we've asked our resident doomsayer Dr. Dim to write a guest blog item. Take it away, Dim.

It's Inauguration Day and the world will witness the crowning... er... swearing in of the 45th President of the United States of America. With half of the American electorate feeling rather apprehensive about what the next four years will bring, I'm reminded of an Inauguration Day from 36 years ago. It was then that Ronald Reagan became America's 40th President and, although it was far less than half, a sizable number of the electorate in those days was just as apprehensive.

Many "Never Found" artists of the 80s worried about nuclear war, the economy, and how Reagan was going to destroy everything. And the Russians! What about the Russians?!

Sound familiar?

Today I will list five songs by some very anxious Never Found artists in hopes of demonstrating that we survived Reagan (economists and historians might quibble with me), we'll survive this other "leader with the famous face." …

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Rick Springfield headlines 2018 voyage of The ‘80s Cruise

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Rick Springfield will headline and host The ‘80s Cruise in 2018, organizers announced today on their official website. The 7-day cruise on the Celebrity Summit leaves Fort Lauderdale on March 24, 2018 for an Eastern Caribbean trip.

Other performers include Mike + The Mechanics, Loverboy, The Tubes, Lou Gramm (the former lead singer of Foreigner), Katrina from Katrina & The Waves, Thomas Dolby, Tommy Tutone and other acts yet to be announced. 

Ports of call include Nassau, St. Thomas, Tortola and Coco Cay. 

The 2018 voyage will be the third trip for The ‘80s Cruise. The 2017 cruise, which leaves Feb. 11, features Cheap Trick, Howard Jones, Morris Day & The Time, Belinda Carlisle, Thomas Bailey, Colin Hay, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and more. (A few cabins are still available.)

On top of the performances, The ‘80s Cruise features theme nights, ‘80s trivia contests, pool parties, artist Q&As and more. 

Stuck in the ‘80s podcast hosts Steve Spears and Brad Williams have hosted the trivia challenges on the first two trips of The ‘80s Cruise. Stay tuned for a special Stuck in the '80s booking code that will save you money off the advertised rates.

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There’s only one classic presidential movie from the ‘80s

Escape from New York

Remember this beginning? “In 1988, the crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline, across the Harlem River, and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison, only prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: once you go in, you don't come out.”

Oh yeah, 1981’s Escape from New York. Donald Pleasence played the unnamed president in the flick, which starred Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, a decorated soldier-turned-criminal who is recruited to save the president from the prison on Manhattan. 

As far as I can tell, it’s the one true “presidential movie” from the ‘80s. (For whatever reason, every other decade has several classics to choose from.) …

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Listen to first single from Night Ranger’s new album

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What cliche should I use? “Night Ranger can still rock in America?” “The secret of Night Ranger’s success is a new album?” “When you close your eyes, you can listen to this new single by Night Ranger?”

Come on, part of the appeal of Night Ranger is the iconic on-stage song intros. I think Jack Blades is one of the all-time nicest guys in rock n’ roll - not one bad thing I’d ever say about it. I’ve vote for him in any election. And I’d also say he’s second only to Paul Stanley of KISS when it comes to whipping up a crowd with song intros. (Here's my all-time favorite - his intro to Secret of my Success.)

And so it seems Night Ranger has a new intro - the announcement of the release of a new, self-produced album titled Don’t Let Up, set for a March 24 release. The news slipped out before the quiet holiday weekend. The first sing - Somehow Someway - is available for free here.

Somehow Someway is all Night Ranger,” Blades said in the official announcement. “It not only captures the spirit of our live shows but also is the essence of who we are and who we have been for the last 35 years … a kick-a— American rock and roll band … case closed.”

Ah, Blades, we’ve MISSED you! …

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Will the 'Beaches' remake be your hero? Watch the trailer and see

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Did you forget there’s a remake of Beaches coming this Saturday on Lifetime? It stars Idina Menzel and Nia Long in the roles made famous by Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey - best friends for life with intertwining but different destinies.

The whole remake had totally slipped by mind until this morning when I was watching the 1988 original on TV - probably Lifetime now that I think of it. And before you make any judgements, you try finding good ‘80s programming at 6 a.m. on a Tuesday morning.

So yeah, having rewatched the ‘80s Beaches, I have this unfortunate song bouncing around in my head. (No, not THAT one.)

Reports have it the remake largely follows the original, which is one reason Menzel was reluctant to do it.

"Well, I saw the movie back in high school with two of my best friends. We cried our eyes out in the movie theater, so it's quite a nostalgic memory for me," Menzel told E! Online. "But if I'm being completely honest, I was terrified to do it at first because I love the movie, it's a beautiful, beautiful movie and both of those women — especially Bette Midler, for me — were idol my whole life." …

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How a misunderstood 'villain' from WWII inspired a hit song for Idle Eyes

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We've all heard the name Tokyo Rose, but do we know the whole story behind the name? One of America's darkest secrets is the treatment of Asian-Americans during the 1940s. In the '80s, movies like The Karate Kid touched on the subject while the name Tokyo Rose became the inspiration for a hit by Canadian band Idle Eyes. While listening to a lost hit of the '80s, take a moment and read about the rest of the story concerning Tokyo Rose.

Idle Eyes is the band led by Tad Campbell and 1985 was their breakout year in Canada as Tokyo Rose was a Top 20 hit and they won the Juno Award for Most Promising Band. Just like the Grammy for Best New Artist was sometimes the kiss of death in the U.S., Idle Eyes suffered the same fate with their award.

The video for the grooving Tokyo Rose is studio performance combined with footage of classic cinema femme fatales. Tokyo Rose was the generic name given by Allied soldiers in WWII for the female DJs who tried to shake the morale of soldiers on Japanese radio stations in the Pacific.

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Def Leppard’s 2017 tour includes Poison, Tesla

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Def Leppard has announced a huge 2017 tour that starts in New Hampshire in early April and winds its way across North America before wrapping up in Indianapolis in late June. 

Now that we’re through the holidays, the tour announcements are coming like crazy, aren’t they? Foreigner, Billy Joel, U2. You name it.

Joining Def Leppard on select dates are Poison and Tesla. That’s a lot of hair product. 

The 2017 dates include stops in cities that the band wasn’t able to hit during their massive 2016 tour. Only two Florida stops are included this time around: Jacksonville and Fort Myers.

Tickets go on sale Jan. 20-21. 

DEF LEPPARD 2017 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:

April 8 - Manchester, NH - SNHU Arena

April 10 - Montreal, QC - Bell Centre 

April 12 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena

April 14 - Baltimore, MD - Royal Farms Arena

April 15 - Uniondale, NY - Nassau Coliseum

April 17 - Grand Rapids, MI - Van Andel Arena

April 19 - Green Bay, WI - Resch Center

April 21 - St Paul, MN - Xcel Energy Center

April 22 - Sioux Falls, SD - Sanford Premier Center

April 24 - Des Moines, IA - Wells Fargo Arena

April 26 - Louisville, KY - KFC Yum! Cneter 

April 27 - Nashville, TN - Bridgestone Arena …

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John Wetton to miss part of Asia's tour, Cruise to the Edge

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Asia lead singer and bassist John Wetton has announced he’ll have to skip a slate of 2017 tour dates due to medical issues.

He had announced back in 2015 that he had begun undergoing treatment for cancer. Wetton was scheduled to perform on the “Cruise to the Edge” trip - leaving out of Tampa on Feb. 7 - and with Asia alongside Journey on its 2017 tour.

In a statement on Facebook, John wrote: 

"I am disappointed to announce that, on the advice of my medical team, I have to withdraw from Cruise to the Edge, and from the first leg of the Journey tour, March 15 – April 4.

"I will soon be starting a new medical chemotherapy procedure, under which I will not be able to fly.

"I am grateful to the promoters of the cruise. I wish them pleasant sailing and I know my friends on the cruise, both artists and fans, will have a ball on the ocean wave, I will be with you all in spirit. …

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Lou Gramm confirms he’ll perform on Foreigner’s ’40’ tour date

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Former lead singer Lou Gramm is telling Twitter followers that he will join Foreigner for a date on the band’s upcoming 40th anniversary tour “for a song or two.”

“As stated original members will only be there 1 or 2 dates only,” Gramm tweeted today. “@TheMickJones will be doing the entire tour with current lineup of Foreigner.”

“The one date has not been determined as yet,” Gramm continued in a series of tweets. “I am hoping it will be on the East Coast maybe in July.”

“I chose 2 leave @ForeignerMusic Myself in 2003 & @TheMickJones are mended our friendship back in 2013. So need 4 bad mouthing either of us,” he tweeted at some haters

Other original Foreigner members expected to appear for a date or two include drummer Dennis Elliot, bassist Rick Wills, instrumentalist Ian McDonald and keyboardist Al Greenwood. Guitarist Mick Jones is the lone remaining original member still appearing with the group. 

Also appearing on the tour are Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham. Two Florida dates are among the dates: West Palm Beach on Aug. 1 and Tampa on Aug. 2.

FOREIGNER 40th ANNIVERSARY TOUR DATES 2017

7/11/17 Syracuse, NY, Lakeview Amphitheater

7/13/17 Camden, NJ, BB&T Pavilion …

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'CHiPs' trailer makes debut on 'Jimmy Kimmel'

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Did you know there was a big-screen remake of CHiPs coming this year? Apparently, Dax Shepard and Michael Pena have decided to take on the roles made famous by Larry Wilcox ("Officer Jon Baker") and Erik Estrada ("Officer Frank “Ponch” Poncherello) in the movie and debuted the first trailer Wednesday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

I'm not going to lie to you: There is an usually large and concentrated amount of male genitalia jokes in the trailer. But I have faith that Dax has made a movie worth watching. We'll find out for sure when it hits theaters on March 24.

If nothing else, this YouTube clip is worth watching for the opening stunts alone.

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If it doesn't really matter, then why Platinum Blonde?

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Do blondes really have more fun? Well at least in the '80s, they had more hits in Canada as today we show our roots with Platinum Blonde and proclaim it Doesn't Really Matter.

Platinum Blonde had success in the '80s in their Canadian home country scoring five Top 40 hits but they never cracked through in the states despite songs like Doesn't Really Matter. Named after the 1931 Jean Harlow film, Platinum Blonde looked the part with lead singer Mark Holmes and his teased dyed hair and in 1983, Doesn't Really Matter was their first Top 40 hit in Canada.

The video for Doesn't Really Matter was nominated for a Juno in the Best Video category and the video does have its great moments like the projected slide show mages on Holmes' shirts that blends in well with Platinum Blonde's new wave sound.

As the '80s drew to a close, Platinum Blonde got dropped from their label and tried one album under the revised band name The Blondes before eventually breaking up. Like many '80s bands, they have reunited in recent years and continue to perform. Here's a recent concert review of Platinum Blonde by Peter Ryan, our Montreal correspondent.

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Woody Harrelson in a Star Wars movie? It’s happening

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Lucasfilm has confirmed that Woody Harrelson is joining the cast of the Han Solo prequel movie that’s due in theaters next year. Entertainment Weekly confirmed the news Wednesday.

Rumor has it Harrelson will play a mentor to Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) as he begins his smuggling career. 

Other cast members include Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) in an unspecified role and Donald Glover (Altanta) as Lando Calrissian. (Wow!)

Harrelson is keeping himself very busy these days after the critical success he had in The Hunger Games movies. He has six big-screen appearances planned for 2017 releases, including a role in War for the Planet of the Apes

He got his first movie credit back in 1986’s Wildcats while co-starring on TV’s Cheers.

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This Canadian band loved slugging it out for laughs

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The secrets of love remains eternal but the secret of the identify one of the more humorous bands of Canada is out as Doug and the Slugs lampoon classic American television with their fun video for Who Knows How To Make Love Stay.

Think of Doug and the Slugs and their humorous videos as the Canadian equivalent of Huey Lewis & the News. Last year we introduced the Slugs and their video for Making It Work. From the same 1982 album (Music For The Hard Of Thinking) as Making It Work is the parody video for Who Knows How To Make Love Stay.

In the video for Who Knows How To Make Love Stay, the Slugs pay homage to great American TV shows starting off with The Beverly Hillbillies when lead singer Doug Bennett hits the mother lode as an errant gunshot doesn't produce Texas Tea (oil) but instead the Ninth Wonder Of The World (according to Canadians) - beer. The videos progresses on to tweaking shows like Gilligan's Island, Fantasy Island, The Lone Ranger and You Bet Your Life before a triumphant conclusion with Star Trek.

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