Howard Jones – No One Is To Blame

I liked this ballad when I heard it in the mid-80s… I could relate to it at the time. The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100 and #16 in the UK Charts in 1985. Howard Jones had 5 top twenty songs and 2 top ten songs in the 1980s. Altogether he had 11 songs in the top 100.

From Songfacts.

This song is about being attracted to people who you can’t be with. In our interview with Howard Jones, it was revealed how the idea for the song came about: “Well, I think we can all relate to the main theme of the song. But I was in San Francisco, and I was doing a promotion with the local record company guy, and we were crossing the street to go to the radio station, and he said to me, ‘Howard, what do you think of all the amazing women here in San Francisco?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, they’re great, they’re fantastic.’ And he said, ‘Well, you can look at the menu, but you don’t have to eat.’ And I’ve never actually heard anybody say that before. And so that was it, a good spark for a huge idea coming for a song.”

No One Is To Blame

You can look at the menu, but you just can’t eat
You can feel the cushion, but you can’t have a seat
You can dip your foot in the pool, but you can’t have a swim
You can feel the punishment, but you can’t commit the sin

And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame
You can build a mansion, but you just can’t live in it
You’re the fastest runner but you’re not allowed to win
Some break the rules, and let you cut the cost
The insecurity is the thing that won’t get lost

And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

You can see the summit but you can’t reach it
It’s the last piece of the puzzle but you just can’t make it fit
Doctor says you’re cured but you still feel the pain
Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain

And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

No one ever is to blame
No one ever is to blame

Pete Townshend – Let My Love Open The Door

Loved this song from the first time I heard it. Let My Love Open the Door peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100 and #46 in the UK Charts in 1980. The song was off of his first solo album Empty Glass. This is Townshend’s only top 10 hit in Billboard.

Simon Phillips drummed on this record and he would tour with the Who in the late 80s.

From Songfacts.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine just after this song became a hit, Townshend referred to it as “Just a ditty.” He went on to say that he preferred another song from Empty Glass, “A Little is Enough,” which only reached #72 on the US charts.

Pete Townshend has been a follower of the Indian spiritual teacher Meher Baba (1894-1969) since 1968 and this appears to be a devotional love song to his religious guru. However in the liner notes of Townshend’s Gold (Remaster)CD, he refers to this song as “Jesus sings.”

Among the films this has been used in are Look Who’s Talking (1989), Mr. Deeds (2002) and Along Came Polly(2004). A different version was recorded for Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), and It was also the end credit song for Jersey Girl (2004). The song played a prominent role in the 2007 movie Dan In Real Life, where Steve Carell and Dane Cook perform the song to Cook’s girlfriend, whom Carell has deep feelings for.

Two of the musicians on this track, the bass player Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki, became part of the Scottish rock quartet Big Country a few years later.

Townshend released a slower version of this song in 1996 that he called the “E. Cola mix,” which he remixed with Jack Hues of Wang Chung along with Chris Hughes and Tim Oliver. This version was used in the 1997 film Grosse Pointe Blank and appeared on the soundtrack. In 2017, this version of the song was used in the “So Swayze It’s Crazy” episode of The Goldbergs, and also in a Walmart commercial titled “Christmas Like a Rock Star,” where families open the door to find items delivered by the store.

The Christian rock-pop band Audio Adrenaline remade this song on their 1999 Underdog album. In their case, the “my love” was referring to God’s love.

Let My Love Open The Door

When people keep repeating
That you’ll never fall in love
When everybody keeps retreating
But you can’t seem to get enough

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart

When everything feels all over
Everybody seems unkind
I’ll give you a four-leaf clover
Take all worry out of your mind

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart, to your heart

I have the only key to your heart
I can stop you falling apart
Try today you’ll find this way
Come on and give me a chance to say

Let my love open the door
It’s all I’m living for
Release yourself from misery
There’s only one thing gonna set you free
That’s my love
That’s my love

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door

When tragedy befalls you
Don’t let it drag you down
Love can cure your problems
You’re so luck I’m around

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart

David and David – Welcome to the Boomtown

I’ve always liked the lyrics to this song and the overall sound of it. I liked all of the singles released off of their one and only album Boomtown. Welcome to the Boomtown, It Aint So Easy, and Swallowed by the Cracks. I was really looking forward to the follow-up album which never came.

Welcome to the Boomtown peaked at #37 in the Billboard 100 in 1986. Per Wikipedia, the two are planning to make a follow-up album. Over 30 years later…but better late than never.

Welcome to The Boomtown

Miss Christina drives a .944
satisfaction oozes from her pores
she keeps rings on her fingers
marble on the floor
cocaine in her dresser
bars on her doors
she keeps her back against the wall
she keeps her back against the wall
so I say
I say welcome
welcome to the boomtown
pick a habit
we got plenty to go around
welcome to the boomtown
and all that money makes such a succulent sound
welcome to the boomtown

Handsome Kevin got a little off track
took a year off of college
and he never went back
now he smokes much too much
he’s got a permanent hack
deals dope out of Denny’s
keeps a table in the back
he always listens to the ground
always listens to the ground
so I say
I say welcome to the boomtown
pick a habit we got plenty to go around
welcome to the boomtown
and all that money makes such a succulent sound
welcome to the boomtown

Well the ambulance arrived too late
I guess she didn’t want to wait….

Welcome to the boomtown

Clackers

Clackers or… death on a string came out in the 1960s. They were also called Ker-Bangers, Klackers, Click-Clacks, Klik Klaks, Klappers, and Zonkers.

I remember a kid giving me his Clackers. The object I guess was swinging them up and down until they hit each other and made a “clack” sound. The sound I got the most was a thud sound with plastic hitting my skin. They were also known to shatter and the pieces fly in all different directions.

They were similar to Bolas…a weapon used by cowboys to throw at cattle or game to wrap around their legs…sometimes breaking them. Yep…lets redesign this and give it to kids.

I never minded somewhat dangerous toys but I didn’t get too much pleasure out of these.

The toy was recalled in 1985

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/1985/dangerous-toys-seized-by-us-marshal-in-phoenix

 

When Waterbeds were cool

I had a waterbed in the early 80s as a young teen. I always liked it and thought it was comfortable. Two things I didn’t like about it was… if there was a leak you would not know until 2:30 am and on a school night…always. If the heater was either turned down or went out…you would wake up as a human popsicle at…you guessed it… 2:30 am. Nothing ever happened to it at noon on a Saturday.

in the early 1800s. Scottish physician Dr. Neil Arnott devised a water-filled bed to prevent bedsores in invalids.

In 1873, Sir James Paget, of St. Bartholomew Hospital in London, presented the waterbed designed by Dr. Arnott as a treatment and prevention of ulcers, a common condition at this time. Paget found that waterbeds allowed for even pressure distribution over the entire body. The only problem was that you could not regulate the water temperature.

In 1968 Charles Hall presented the waterbed as his Master’s Thesis project to his San Francisco State University design class. While showcasing their work, students rotated through workshops to see each other’s inventions. Once they reached Hall’s project – a vinyl mattress filled with heated water – the class never left. “Everybody just ended up frolicking on the waterbed,” Hall recalls.

Hall’s first waterbed mattress was called ‘the Pleasure Pit’ and it quickly gained popularity with the hippie culture of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Time Magazine in 1971 about waterbeds. “Playboy Tycoon Hugh Hefner has one–king-size, of course, and covered with Tasmanian opossum. The growing number of manufacturers and distributors, with such appropriate names as Aquarius Products, the Water Works, Innerspace Environments, Joyapeutic Aqua Beds and the Wet Dream, can hardly meet the demand. They have sold more than 15,000 since August.”

Sex always sells… one ad stated. “Two things are better on a waterbed. One of them is sleep.” and “She’ll admire you for your car, she’ll respect you for your position, but she’ll love you for your waterbed.”

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By the 80s waterbeds were in the suburbs and gaining in popularity. In 1987, waterbeds had achieved their peak, representing 22 percent of all U.S. mattress sales.

At the end of the 1980s waterbed sales fell off. Some say it was because they were too connected to the 70s that had fallen out of favor (the horror!)… but most think it was because of the maintenance and pain in setting them up and moving them. Also, you had to make sure your floor was braced enough to have one depending on the size and weight of it.

Today you can still buy them but most are designed thinner to hold less water in rolls instead of sleeping on a lake beneath you.

I had mine until I was 20 with plenty of patches but it still held water and me… but I left it behind when I moved.

This egg-shaped one below I would gladly take home now

waterbedegg.jpg

COME NOW! TO THE WATERBED WAREHOUSE!

Keith Moon talks about a waterbed

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterbed

The Walkman

In July of 1979, the Sony Walkman was released to the public. You had portable music anywhere you went. It cost $150 ($546.21 in today’s money).

The 1980s was the Walkman’s decade. Cassettes started to outsell albums and this device was one of the reasons. By 1986 the word “Walkman” had entered the Oxford English Dictionary. Its launch coincided with the birth of the aerobics craze, and millions used the Walkman to make their workouts more entertaining.

Between 1987 and 1997 — the height of the Walkman’s popularity — the number of people who said they walked for exercise increased by 30 percent.

Sony continued to roll out variations on its theme, adding such features as AM/FM receivers, bass boost, and auto-reverse. Sony even made a solar-powered Walkman, water-resistant Sport Walkmans and even devices with two cassette drives. With the introduction of compact discs in 1982, the cassette format began to go the way of the dinosaur.

Sony was fairly quick to jump to new formats: it introduced the D-50 portable CD player a year after the first compact discs were sold, and later rolled out MiniDisc and MP3 players under the Walkman brand.

It caught on with the public in a big way. Today with iPods, iPhones and other devices we take it for granted are descendants from the 1979 Walkman.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2014/7/1/5861062/sony-walkman-at-35

 

A Quick visit to Captain Kangaroo

Bob Keeshan played Clarabell on the Howdy Doody Show. In 1955 CBS offered Keeshan his own children’s show, which became Captain Kangaroo. Captain Kangaroo ran from 1955 to 1984. The show spanned many generations of kids during that time.

Keeshan was Captain Kangaroo and every morning I would look forward to seeing The Captain, Mr. Green Jeans, Bunny Rabbit, Dancing Bear, and Mr. Moose. I knew that Mr. Moose was setting the Captain up for the ritual ping-pong drop on the Captain’s head that never got old.

Mr. Green Jeans (Hugh Brannum) would have different animals at times to show. He also portrayed the Professor, Greeno the Clown, the New Old Folk Singer, and Mr. Bainter on the show.

The Painter was played by Gus “Cosmo” Allegretti who also handled the puppets and Dancing Bear.

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One one of my favorite sections was the cartoon “Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings” that would appear on some shows. Simon had a magic blackboard and anything he drew became real.

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Mr. Moose could be a slight smart aleck so I did like him. He also hung out with Bunny Rabbit and the Dancing Bear.

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Captain Kangaroo’s place with his cast of characters was a nice place to visit as a kid.