1980’s Music

To be truthful I never was enamored of the 1980s very much. I spent my teenage years stuck in that MTV decade. As far as music…I didn’t give up my loves…Beatles, Who and Stones although that was not the most popular choice then. Personally, I didn’t like the 80’s music much at all…Michael Jackson, Madonna and a long string of synth and big hair bands were terrible to me. I hated the sound of fake drums and the tinny guitars from the so-called heavy bands. Raw was out in the 80’s in popular music and it showed.

The Heavy Metal guitar players would learn classical riffs and then continue to put them in every solo. It was more about technique than feel. Feel and looseness was gone. It was about who could play the fastest and it didn’t matter if it fit the song or not… It seemed no one played for the song anymore.

Not saying I hated everything…I really liked… Bruce, Tom Petty, Prince, John Mellencamp, The Bangles, The Wilburys, U2, REM, Dire Strait and some great one hit wonders. AC/DC I didn’t appreciate as much at the time but they at least had a rawness to them.

I remember the radio stations playing Phil Collins over, over, over and over some more. If they weren’t playing him…they played Genesis. I had my fill of Phil…I believe everyone did then…

It was the era of big-selling albums…. Born In The USA, Purple Rain, Thriller, Pyromania, Back In Black, Brothers In Arms, 1984, Synchronicity and The Joshua Tree.

The performers I held high…The Stones (Dirty Work), The Who (It’s Hard) and Paul McCartney (Pipes of Peace) made the worst albums…in my opinion of their careers…all in the 1980’s. You can hear the 80’s sound infiltrated all of them.

ZZ Top made Eliminator and Aerosmith made Permanent Vacation and then continued to make the same album over and over again…

I am not the biggest fan of Guns and Roses and Nirvana but I do credit them for helping to wipe the 80’s of big hair bands…like squashing an irritating bug.

There are songs that take me back to good times in that decade. Salt In My Tears, Going for a Soda, Come on Eileen, Darlington County, Raspberry Beret, All The Good Ones are Taken, Walking on Sunshine, Starting Over, Old Man Down the Road, Video Killed the Radio Star etc….

It wasn’t enough to listen to the radio but we just had to see the video. Videos took over as the most important thing. Videos had been an important tool since the 60’s but in the 1980’s they were the driving force…. A bad video could kill a career…. ask Billy Squire.

Video killed the radio star… truer words were never spoken.

 

 

The Traveling Wilburys

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For the Love of the Dodgers

What if my dad would have been a Yankees fan like his brothers? I would have grown up rooting for a team that won more than any other. My life could have been different….nah….I’m happy that he passed down his love of the Dodgers. His brothers grew up in the 50’s fans of the Yankees…My dad always went for the underdogs which would have been Brooklyn then….the only championship they won was in 1955 before moving to LA. I remember when I was a small kid, my dad, watching a World Series with the Dodgers against a team in yellow and green uniforms…That would have been the 1974 world series against the Oakland A’s.

I started to watch baseball in 1977 and started to follow the Dodgers. Once in a while I would be lucky and catch them on Saturdays and Monday nights on the 3 channels we had then. I also would be able to listen on the radio when they played the Reds, Cardinals or Braves…. I never lived anywhere near California but that doesn’t matter. Ron Cey, Davey Lopes, Steve Garvey and Bill Russell were in that great infield. My favorite player was Ron Cey….I played 3rd base in little league just because of him. They made it to the World Series that year….I thought that happened every year…. They lost that year to the Yankees and Reggie Jackson hit 3 home runs…I still don’t like that man. I liked the Dodger’s Reggie (Reggie Smith) much better…The next year they made it again….again they were beaten by the Yankees…helped by a terrible call when Reggie Jackson…see a pattern here?…intentionally stepped in front of the ball to deflect it…but it wasn’t called. I knew how my Dad felt in the fifties. They made it to the World Series again in 1981 and finally,…finally they won…not only did they win that year….they beat the Yankees…It was my happiest time being a Dodger fan. It even beat 1988 when Kirk Gibson hit his home run and they won.

After 88 they changed owners to Fox….which sucked because they didn’t know how to run a baseball team and was only interested in broadcasting rights. Then a carpet bagger named Frank McCourt bought the team in 2004. That was probably the worst day in Dodger history. The guy was/is a crook and would not spend on the team. He used the team as his personal piggy bank. I wanted to use him as a piñata and beat him until he sold the Dodgers to a real owner. MLB finally took the team away from the jerk…

Now in 2017 they finally made it back to the World Series. My son who really started to watch seriously for the first time this year saw them one game away from winning it all….He was disappointed but I’ve been here before…They will win it with the ownership and the front office they have…..

I love the new team Kershaw, Turner, Jansen, Bellinger, Seager etc… I do believe they will win it all…..

But…you never really forget your childhood heroes…

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The Roster of the 1977 Dodgers

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Great B Movies

The Car (1977) – One of my personal favorites…I actually talked my mom into taking me to this in 1977. I loved every minute of it. My son and I have watched it over and over.

It’s Alive (1974) – The trailer use to scare me to death as a kid. I would hear that scream in my sleep… Someone took me to see it and I loved it but was scared… Pure seventies joy.

 

The Spirit of 76 (1990) – A time machine with David Cassidy at the helm going back mistakenly to 1976 instead of 1776 from a grey future… Who could ask for more? It’s complete with Devo and they got the seventies down well. Fun movie to watch.

Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry (1974) – Another movie that I got to see in the theater that I will never forget. It does have a powerful ending…Peter Fonda was great in this and I loved the car they drove.

Gone In Sixty Seconds (1974) – This one is special to me because parked in the lobby of the Theater was Eleanor the car that was actually in the movie. I got to touch it and it was like touching gold to a 8 year old. I remember watching the trailer and my aunt taking me to see it.

A Boy and His Dog (1975) – I wont even try to explain…look at wiki…

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1958) – So bad that is it good. Watching the cardboard tombstones move as people walk near.

Superfly (1972) – Great movie…. A lot of the cops are real cops, hookers….real hookers…low budget with a great ending. Curtis Mayfield recorded the soundtrack…you can’t get better than that…As with another post…where is that car now?

 

Shallow Wondering and Searching

I often wonder where things end up… When I watch a television show, a historical video, a movie, famous concerts, or whatever… I do the stupidest thing and I admit it. I always wonder…where is that prop today? Where is Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat? Where is the M that is hanging in the Mary Tyler Moore show now (I’ve read where Mary Tyler Moore still had it when she died)? Where is the Car from the B movie “The Car” at now? Where the cars from Death Race 2000….the original ended up? Where is the original Eleanor from the original Gone in 60 seconds? Where a prop is from a long-ago variety show. Very trivial stuff and not worth the effort but I cannot help it.

Then if I have plenty of free time…If I don’t I make it… I google through the night. Trying to find any clue to where they have gone. It is a sickness and a waste of time… I could do much more constructive things but I look at it as a shallow hobby…  Where certain guitars are now…that is the easiest thing to find but some things are impossible but I have a lot fun searching.

Land Of The Lost

I watched this as a kid and loved it…I also learned a new word…Chroma Key…they used that to do the special effects.

The plot was that a family…the Marshalls…Rick, Will, and Holly are out rafting apparently and suddenly they go through an open portal to a different universe. A world with dinosaurs, crystals, pylons and time doors. They find a cave to hide in after waking up in the raft to a very bad looking T-Rex looking down on them.

Yes, the special effects were bad regardless of Chroma Key or whatever…It did have two redeeming qualities… The writing and the introduction to Sleestaks and which were really cool lizard-like things that could not hit a broad side of a barn with their crossbows…and

The stories. This show used a lot of the writers from the original Star Trek… With the pylons, skylons, different crystals that controlled time, the weather and everything else. The acting could be sketchy at times but Spencer Milligan as Rick Marshall was really good.

I always wished they would remake this with modern effects with the same storylines. They actually had some good sci-fi stories in this show. People who criticize the look of the show must remember that this was a Saturday morning show….the budget was low… I still would rather watch this…bad effects and all to the awful 2009 movie of the same name…

This was made by Sid and Marty Krofft. They had some of the strangest shows for kids…they were unique, to say the least.

Wikipedia

A number of well-respected writers in the science fiction field contributed scripts to the series (mostly in the first and second seasons), including Larry Niven,[6] Theodore Sturgeon,[6][7] Ben Bova,[6] and Norman Spinrad, and a number of people involved with Star Trek, such as Dorothy “D.C.” Fontana,[6] Walter Koenig,[6][8][9] and David Gerrold.[6] Gerrold, Niven, and Fontana also contributed commentaries to the DVD of the first season.

Marshall, Will, and Holly
On a routine expedition
Met the greatest earthquake ever known.
High on the rapids
It struck their tiny raft.
And plunged them down a thousand feet below.
To the Land of the Lost.
To the Land of the Lost.
To the Land of the Lost.
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Life On Mars…

2006 Life on Mars is simply great. Now I’m talking about the BBC original version… NOT the American version. Sometimes I wonder why instead of remaking a series as great as this… why not just show the superior British version in America in prime time? Do they think that it would be impossible for people to understand British accents? Why remake something that is inferior to the original?

The plot is a cop (Sam Tyler) in 2006 gets hit by a car and wakes up in 1973…he doesn’t know if he has traveled through time, going mad or in a coma. When he wakes he is a cop in 1973 and has to deal with a non PC world that is vastly different from where he just came from… People do things with feel more than data gathering etc.

Great characters and stories make this the best show of the 2000’s to me. It only lasts 16 episodes and all of them are top notch. This show did have a spinoff… Ashes to Ashes…basically the same story above but with a female detective going back in the 1980s but she does meet most of the same characters except Sam. Ashes to Ashes does have its moments and it does wrap up all the reasons for  Life On Mars….but it doesn’t top it.

Almost better than the series is the soundtrack…. Performers from Atomic Rooster to David Bowie. A few songs that caught me by surprise that I thought how have I missed these all of my life?

Frankie Miller – I Can’t Change It

Atomic Rooster – Devil’s Answer

To see the others check it out here.

 

 

 

Green Acres

One of the most surreal shows to ever be on television.

I was too young to catch this show when it was on originally. I never thought too much of it but I started to watch it later on in life. At first look, it looked like a rural show with country humor….wrong wrong wrong. Yes, it was wacky but it broke through the 4th wall… You can see it’s influenced in the Simpsons and more shows. Poor Oliver was surrounded by crazy people and the craziness infected him at times. The show takes place in the fictional town of Hooterville…they never reveal the state but it doesn’t matter. The characters of this show were classic.

It’s really hard to describe this show. It was intertwined with 2 other shows…The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction…BUT it’s nothing like those other two. Not in the same zip code or planet. Basically…a New York Lawyer with his rather ditsy socialite wife moves to the country. He bought…or got conned into buying a broken down farmhouse (The Haney Place?) with his dreams of being a farmer. I will say the first few episodes kinda follows a normal sitcom template but then it gets really surreal. This is one show that would work today with no problem.

This website is a great acres resource.

The characters

Mr. Haney – Probably the biggest con-man in television history. He will stop at nothing to make a buck and he finds a sucker in Oliver many times.

Eb – The somewhat slow farmhand that calls Oliver and Lisa mom and dad much to Oliver’s annoyance. He asks for everything but gets out of work as much as he can…plus he tells Oliver what a bad farmer he is….

Mr. Drucker – out of all the residents of Hooterville  he is at times the most normal of the crazy lot…but that is not saying much. He operates the general store, post office, the newspaper and is the the notary public. I’m sure I’m missing something else.

Fred and Doris Ziffel – Fred and his long suffering wife Doris. They have no children so they raise a pig named Arnold as a child. He goes to school and does every kids do.

Arnold – The pig which is probably the character best remembered to the public.

Hank Kimball – My favorite character hands down…you talk about short term memory…this guy has it. He is the county agent and helps…or something like that Oliver with his farm.

Ralph and Alf Monroe – Two inept carpenters that are brother and sister and the sister’s name is Ralph. They work on Lisa’s and Oliver’s bedroom the entire show’s run and never gets it done.

Oliver and Lisa Douglas – It’s a wonder that the show didn’t end up with Oliver in an insane asylum after dealing with everyone in Hooterville. Lisa, as the show goes along starts think and act like the Hooterville residents. Lisa is a terrible cook to say the least that specializes in hot cakes…that are used to seal cracks and as a head gasket and she cooks a great hot water soup.

Eleanor – Oliver’s and Lisa’s cow. About the only good deal they ever got from Mr. Haney.

Some more info on Green acres.