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Not as funny post-Columbine world, but in the '80s the 'Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun'

Today we are here to talk about MTV and Julie Brown. No, not Downtown Julie Brown, but Rhino artist Julie Brown and her forgotten novelty hit The Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun.

Julie Brown made a splash on the Dr. Demento show when everyone discovered the "B" side to her first single I Like ‘Em Big and Stupid was much funnier that the "A" side. The video, produced by Brown and her husband Terrence McNally, is a fun send up of high school dramas and hit all the right spots in 1984. Today, Brown plays the song less often since 2000 and the Columbine school shootings. However, comedy must go on and if you live in the LA area, you can buy tickets to Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun - The Musical

In 1984, it appeared as if Brown would conquer the world as another song off her debut EP entitled Earth Girls Are Easy was slated to be developed into a motion picture with Brown starring as the lead. Script problems and other difficulties delayed the film five years and by that time Brown was no longer a hot commodity as was regulated to a supporting role in Earth Girls Are Easy. The lead was given to Geena Davis and the movie tanked.   …

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Podcast time: Our tribute to the great Harold Ramis

If Harold Ramis never appeared on screen, he still would have been a comedy god. He wrote Animal House and Stripes. Wrote and directed Caddyshack. He gave us Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters. And in 2007's Knocked Up, he gifted us his lifetime of wisdom in this single, improvised line:

"Life doesn't care about your 'vision,' okay? Stuff happens and you just gotta deal with it. Roll with it. That's the beauty of it all."

Click here to listen to our podcast tribute to the late, great Harold Ramis. And just roll with it.

 

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Kurt Russell: Never call Snake Plissken the d-word

Forget the '80s ... Kurt Russell is a screen hero for any decade. From TV's The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters in the 1960s to Big Trouble in Little China in the '80s and even as "The Commander" in Sky High or Herb Brooks in Miracle a few years ago, he never falls to amaze.

So when Russell was featured in a Aintitcool.com interview recently, I was glued to it. Especially his comments on Escape from New York, when the interview made the "mistake" of calling Snake Plissken a d--k.

"He is not a d--k. Never call Snake a d--k," Russell said. "One thing Snake Plissken isn't is he's not a d--k. As he says about himself 'I'm an a--hole,' but there's a big difference between a d--k and an --hole. He's never a d--k. It's impossible for him to be a d--k! It's just something he doesn't know how to do. That's like saying Snake's not cool."

Read the full interview to see how John Carpenter and Russell hooked up in the movies along with a dozen more great stories about Russell's career including some of the times he chatted in person with Walt Disney. Great stuff!

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Catch the pre-stardom Demi Moore in Nu-Kates 'It's Not a Rumor'

Demi Moore made her mark in the ‘80s with movies like About Last Night and St. Elmos Fire, but it's a fact, not a rumor that her Hollywood roots were in music and a band called the Nu-Kats.

In 1979, Demi Guynes was a 16-year-old high school student when she met and fell in love with 29-year old singer Freddy Moore. By 1980, Demi Guynes married and became Demi Moore and was a defacto member of the Moore's power pop band Nu-Kats that was signed to Rhino Records. It's Not A Rumor was co-written by Demi and the 17-year-old appears throughout the video in a song that I would label as "surprisingly not bad."  The video was also filmed by Jan de Bont who would go on to direct two of the ‘90s biggest blockbusters with Speed and Twister.

By 1981, the Nu-Kats broke up and the marriage between Freddy and Demi did too in 1984 as Demi had already started on General Hospital and was starting to land roles in movies such as Blame It On Rio. In 1987, she married Bruce Willis in 1987 and became one of Hollywood's leading ladies in the ‘90s.

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Don't worry about Billy Vera: 'I Can Take Care of Myself'

With the focus on album reissues, the goal of hit singles was never a priority for Rhino Records. Rhino had only one big single smash in their tenure, which was the re-release of At This Moment by Billy Vera and the Beaters, which with the help of Alex P. Keaton and the Family Ties gang, hit No. 1 in 1987. However, this was not Vera's only trip to the Top 40 in the ‘80s as Billy will tell you, I Can Take Care of Myself.

Billy Vera hit the Top 40 in the ‘60s with a few minor hits and made a living songwriting and performing in clubs the ‘70s. In 1981, Vera released At This Moment but it only made it to No. 79 on the charts. At This Moment was the second single for Vera & the Beaters in 1981 as earlier he hit No. 39 with I Can Take Care of Myself.

The video is a true gem as the California native enlists many beautiful females to appear such as Angie Dickinson (Dressed To Kill); red-dressed Emma Samms (Dynasty) and buxom billboard queen Angelyne.

Vera still performs, has a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 2013 won a Grammy for Best Album Notes liner notes. http://billyverabigband.com/

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Five great Harold Ramis scenes from the '80s

Still aching from the loss of Harold Ramis? Us too. Though he left us way too soon and with too many laughs we still needed, try to find a little peace with these five great Harold Ramis scenes from the '80s.

"Da Do Run Run" from STRIPES:


"We're not homosexual, but we're willing to learn" from STRIPES:

"Print is dead" from GHOSTBUSTERS:

"Eeeegon!" from GHOSTBUSTERS 2:

"You wanna make love?" from BABY BOOM:

"Poison Ivy" From STEALING HOME:

"Black guys help the white guys!" from STRIPES:

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If you take a fishhead out to see a movie, how much do you have to pay to get it in?

For those of us he listened to the Dr. Demento Show, no song was requested more than Barnes & Barnes Fishheads. Recorded in 1978, the song was finally available in album when Barnes & Barnes released their debut album Voohaha in 1980 on Rhino Records.

Barnes & Barnes is Robert Haimer and Bill Mumy, who was a child actor best known for playing Will Robinson in the revered TV series Lost in Space. The video is a classic as the odd song gets even weirder with the visuals. Before his movie star days, Bill Paxton was hanging around with Barnes & Barnes directing this video and stars the fish purchaser in the first two minutes of the video before the music begins.  

Barnes & Barnes did go on to make more records but they never fared well due to being too weird and Haimer's fear of performing live.

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Harold Ramis from Stripes, Ghostbusters dies at age 69

Harold Ramis, one of the most beloved actors from the '80s who found success beyond the decade as a director, died early this morning at age 69. The cause of death was complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Egon Spengler. Russell Zinsky. Chances are you might not recognize his characters' name as much as you do the movies he starred in. (Ghostbusters and Stripes, respectively.) For all his understated talent in front of the camera, it's behind the camera where Mr. Ramis really made his mark. Beginning in the late '60s, he wrote for Second City Television, Animal House and Meatballs and directed such comedy classics as Caddyshack and National Lampoon's Vacation. He both wrote and directed Groundhog Day, the 1993 comedy that followed fellow Ghostbuster Bill Murray as he relived the same day over and over again. Groundhog Day would earn Mr. Ramis a BAFTA award for best screenplay.

Mr. Ramis died shortly after midnight Monday in Chicago, where he had lived since 1996. He was surrounded by his family, the Tribune confirms. …

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Who won the Daytona 500 ... in the '80s

Did you miss last night's Daytona 500? Well, it was a little chaotic here in Central Florida weather-wise, causing that long delay. Tornado warnings. Hair. Lightning storms. I'm pretty sure it wasn't Brewster Baker and his Six Pack crew that ended up on Victory Lane. (It was Dale Jr.)

But in case you're wondering who won the Daytona 500 during the grandest of decades, look no further.

DAYTONA 500 WINNERS IN THE '80s:

1980: Buddy Baker (not Brewster?)

1981: Richard Petty

1982: Bobby Allison

1983: Cale Yarborough

1984: Cale Yarborough

1985: Bill Elliott

1986: Geoffrey Bodine

1987: Bill Elliott

1988: Bobby Allison

1989: Darrell Waltrip

 

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I'd bet my Heart and Soul you've forgotten this whacky Monkees video

I just finished reading the new book The Rhino Records Story, which chronicles co-founder Harold Bronson's story of the birth and growth of one of the most successful independent record companies in the last 35 years. Rhino specialized in reissuing catalogs by forgotten artists while breaking a few untraditional new artists. The book is very detailed and easily provides a full week of forgotten Rhino videos for Lost and Found.

Perhaps Rhino's greatest success was none other than The Monkees and their ‘80s revival. For a short period in the ‘60s, The Monkees were just as popular as The Beatles as four talented musicians were brought together to star in a ground-breaking TV show. When Rhino Records released their back catalog, a revival began that climaxed when MTV jumped on board and started replaying the episodes of the old show. With Arista Records, The Monkees reformed and hit No. 20 in 1986 with That Was Then, This Is Now. …

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Video: Watch Old Spice hairpiece perform your favorite Huey Lewis song

Old Spice loves hair and Huey Lewis. So why not combine them? Check out this latest commercial, where a man's hairpiece will play your choice of any Huey Lewis song.

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You must THINK in Russian: Top 5 '80s movies set in the Soviet Union

Winter Olympics in Sochi? Over it! I can't stand to watch another bobsledding run or evening of ice dancing. I like my Russia like I like my vodka: ice cold, on the big screen and … well, preferably served with vodka. Here are the top 5 '80s movie set in the Soviet Union.

TOP 5 '80s MOVIES SET IN THE SOVIET UNION:

5. THE EXPERTS (1989): John Travolta and Arye Gross are a couple loser club promoters who believe they're being hired to open a nightclub in Nebraska. Turns out they're actually being kidnapped to the USSR, where their decadent American ways will be used to test KGB spy students. The Experts, which also co-starred Kelly Preston and Deborah Foreman, was actually filmed in Canada, not Russia. Hell, not even Nebraska. (Watch trailer)

4. MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON (1984): Robin Williams actually spent a year learning to speak Russian fluently for this movie about a circus musician from Moscow who defects while on tour in New York City. (He also actually learned to play the sax for real.) Again, Russia wasn't used for filming; Moscow scenes were shot primarily in Helsinki, Finland. (Watch trailer)

3. FIREFOX (1982): Decades before it was a web browser, Firefox was a movie starring Clint Eastwood as a retired military pilot who is recruited to go into Russia to steal a top secret plane, The MiG-31 (aka Firefox). In reality, there is a MiG-31 plane, but its nickname is "Foxhound." The movie was filmed in Vienna, Austria, and spawned a book sequel called Firefox Down. (Watch trailer)

2. ROCKY IV (1985): You know this storyline. Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) is killed while fighting the evil Soviet boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), leaving Rocky (Sly Stallone) with no choice but to come out of retirement to avenge his fallen friend. Hey, and if he breaks down the Iron Curtain in the process, so much the better. The wintery training scenes were shot in Wyoming with the fight being shot in Vancouver, British Colombia. (Watch trailer)

1. WHITE NIGHTS (1985): An expatriate Russian dancer (Mikhail Baryshnikov) finds himself back in the USSR after the plane he's own is forced to make an emergency landing. There he meets a black American (Gregory Hines) who actually defected to Russia from America. This is the one movie on the list that actually was filmed partly in Russia, with certain scenes being filmed in St. Petersburg and other footage from Leningrad being supplied by a Finnish travel company. Other scenes were shot in Finland and Scotland. Baryshnikov reportedly insisted that grammatically correct Russian be spoken by actors. (Watch trailer)

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Friday lost and found: The Beat's 'Mirror in the Bathroom'

"Revolution begins at home; preferably in the bathroom mirror." - Bob Mould, Husker Du.

Each day, 80's Nation wakes up, stumbles to the bathroom and starts the day with a stare in the bathroom mirror. The everyday routine of self-examination provides the inspiration for The Beat's Mirror in the Bathroom.

The Beat (known in America as The English Beat) reached No. 4 in 1980 on the UK charts with their ska-flavored Mirror in the Bathroom. While it never charted in the U.S., the song has reached cult status and was resurrected back to life in 1997 when it was featured in John Cusack's Grosse Pointe Blank

The Beat still marches on and their current tour has them visiting the western part of the U.S. before heading home to England. http://englishbeat.net/

 

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Fashion Week Rewind: Parachute pants are back!

Oh, holy ghosts. Parachute pants are back. Not just back. There's a Parachute Pants Store on the Internet. And yes, it's the same nylon pants with the long zippers and tight ankles. All of it. Back. Of course, they didn't cost $72.50 back in the day. But that's the price for greatness.

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Take them to the Iron Maiden: 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure' turns 25

Quick! What year was it in the far-away future when Utopia is achieved on our planet thanks to the music of Bill S. Preston, Esq., and Ted "Theodore" Logan? The answer: 2688! Stump your friends with that this week because Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure officially is 25 years old.

At a lean 90 minutes, Biil & Ted was released on Feb. 17, 1989. and starred Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as a couple California teen slackers who must ace their history final exam or be forced to break up their band, Wyld Stallyns. Enter Rufus (George Carlin), a guide from the future, who provides the desperate pair with a time-traveling phone booth so that they can go back into history and bring back significant figures, including Socrates ("So-Crates"), Billy the Kid and Beethoven ("Beeth-Oven").

Though set in San Dimas, Calif., the film was actually shot around Phoenix, Arizona, and Coronado High School in Scottsdale. On a budget of $10 million, the movie pulled in about $40 mil, making it a moderate success. It would later achieve cult status a rental and still holds an 81 percent fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. …

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