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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Pebbles- 'Girlfriend'

Girl, you must resist
Don't let him squirm his way into your heart
No, girl, I must insist
You've got to stop the fool before he starts
Just remember how he was so untrue
With all the tacky things he did to you
No need to signify 'cause he's not worth your time
You need to find someone that's true to you.

Do you remember Pebbles (AKA Perri Reid, the ex-wife of LA Reid)?  She is currently an Atlanta-based minister, "Sister Perri" and before that she sizzled in the music industry for putting together a little girl-group known as TLC. Yeah, that chick. Before all of those things she had her own recording career back in the late 80's to the early 90's and her work was all over the charts. In the fall of 1987, Pebbles  "Girlfriend" was pretty much my anthem. I was 16, in 11th grade and just about every friend that I had was dealing with a cheating boyfriend. "Girlfriend" was basically early Sister Perri preaching at us all to move on and find a better dude.

Apparently my friends and I weren't the only ones that appreciated Pebbles insight because "Girlfriend" made it to #5 on Billboard's Hot 100 and did really well on the dance charts, as well as in the UK. I actually can remember listening to Open House Party with my tape recorder ready so that I could grab this song, hopefully without too much interruption by John Garabedian. You guys know what I'm talking about, right? How you would wait all day for a song only to have a DJ talk into the beginning & cut off the ending?

Anyway, I watched the "Girlfriend" video again this morning for the first time in forever and it still resonates. I can see Sister Perri in the making here. I also do remember a second video that got a lot of play on MTV. It was the dance remix that featured more of The Deele (LA Reid and Babyface's group from back in the day before they were worth a mint) rapping in the background.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Currently Booming: 'American Bandstand'- Crush On You - The Jets

Currently Booming: 80's Style Costume Ideas: Madonna

Items Needed
Calf-length leggings, tutu, lace gloves, lots of accessories, crimping iron, bold eyeshadow, lipstick
1.  Get dressed. If you’re wearing plain tights, rip a few holes or add some runs.
2. Crimp your hair and apply your makeup.
3. Go back and double the amount of makeup you just put on.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Johnny Kemp - 'Just Got Paid'

Check the mirror, we're lookin' fly
Round up the posse, jump in my ride
Radio rockin', a monster jam
Feel the rhythm, pump up the sound
I'm feelin' so good
Don't you know I'm just groovin' to the beat

Is there a more appropriate TGIF song than Johnny Kemp's "Just Got Paid"?  I remember when this song first came out way back in 1988 I loved the fact that I could relate to it when I cashed my very first pay checks every Friday afternoon. "Just Got Paid" still speaks to a nation of 9-to-5 workers and nothing else feels like having that money in hand after a long week on the job, right?

This was Kemp's biggest hit and in climbed to number ten on Billboard's Hot 100. It sat at number one for a bit on the dance charts though and ultimately became one of the anthems of the decade. Sadly Kemp died in April of 2015 while on a cruise in Jamaica. He was actually scheduled to perform but instead Kemp was found face down in Montego Bay. The assumption has always been that he fell and ultimately drowned after hitting his head. 

Kemp may have passed away but you better believe that a little after 5 p.m. every Friday radio stations across the U.S. crack out "Just Got Paid", for old times sake.

Currently Booming: 80's TGIF Playlist

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Hall & Oates 'Kiss On My List'

Yesterday afternoon we took a ride to do some shopping at a mall about 25 miles away. There are outlets about five minutes away but ironically enough (especially for a house full of book nerds) the nearest big bookstore is at that mall, so off we went. We moved to this area well over a year ago and there are a few constants in "the salt life": there is humidity even during boots weather, deer, raccoon's & ducks do coexist in our backyard and last but certainly not least, Hall & Oates is always on the radio.


We noticed this pattern after a few months. Every time we get in the car there's a Hall & Oates song. Eventually the kids were sold on this duo and when I started to rebuild by record collection we "had to" get Hall & Oates. Not that it took a lot of convincing.

I was raised on Daryl and John. I think my dad had all of their early stuff and by the time they were making slick videos in the 80's I was totally sold. I mean, does any 80's child NOT remember Hall & Oates "Private Eyes" video, complete with trench coats and claps on the beat? I didn't think so. I remember my mom's best friend running a day care out of her home back in the early 80's and I went to help her for a day. I loved Rita and would use any excuse to get to hang with her so sure, I had no problems reading stories and making sandwiches. 

On this particular day though, Rita had the new Hall & Oates album (the one with "Maneater") on, It eventually was my job to keep flipping it over after the final song on each side. Hall & Oates were big back then, way big and not just in music. They also had their names attached to a lot of different products and you can find them in nearly every magazine pitching something.

Apparently it's not just our family that still loves Hall & Oates either. There's a reason that they are constantly on the radio here, I found that out last summer when they were scheduled to play a local festival. Tickets sold out in under ten minutes. Who didn't get any? This girl. It was also one of the few times that my media request fell on deaf ears too! Next time around you better believe that I'll be on a mission.

So anyway, back to yesterday. We spent 20 minutes in the car, stopped so that, as usual Starbucks could bungle my name

So incredibly close, but no. I now understand that "Cate with a C" now makes me instantly a Jenner. Finally, the inevitable did happen, "Kiss On My List" started to play about 2 minutes before we hit the mall and the whole family took an audible sigh, in unison. Funny how people you may never meet become such a regular part of daily life, isn't it? "Kiss On My List" has always been my very favorite Hall & Oates song. Why, I'm not exactly sure. I think it's a 4 minute example of how my childhood can collide with my kids.

Currently Booming: Ladies of the 80's Playlist

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Guns N' Roses- 'Sweet Child O' Mine'

She's got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky

Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stared too long
I'd probably break down and cry

Late last year I moved to a new area and it has a bunch of antique shops right on the Main Street smack in the middle of town. I quickly realized that vinyl records were a pretty big deal here and I was thrilled. I've scoured my parents attic for my old record player and records with no luck (even though I'm sure they are there) so I decided to start collecting all over again. My mission has been to replace what I had as a kid and well, along the way I got a little obsessed. That obsession with old vinyl has rubbed off on my kids and they also can be found on the floor flipping through albums hoping to find a treasure. Once in awhile I'll order something online, but nothing beats actually finding what I'm looking for in an old stack of albums.

So Appetite was one of those that I had to order because in the last ten months I have only come across one copy and it was $50 bucks. The nostalgia part said to pull the trigger and buy it while the logical part of my brain reminded me that I could get it for $20 on Ebay, so the internet won. I was in 11th grade when GNR first burst on the scene with "Welcome To the Jungle"  and like everyone else, I bought their album pretty quickly and then carried it everywhere with me in my Walkman.  While  it was obviously the cool thing to be listening to, my reason for carrying it around with me was actually two-fold.

My mother was extremely religious and by the time I was in high school she made a regular habit out of invading my room while I was at school or work and throwing out anything at all that she didn't approve of. Music was a huge bone of contention in our house, with her throwing out albums if she didn't like the looks of a cover. Needless to say, Appetite, with its skulls and cross was never, ever going to make the cut. I would buy it with my own money from working at a fast food restaurant and she would throw it out within hours. If I forgot it, it was gone when I got home. I would have thought it was a game except that mom seriously thought that demons would infiltrate our home via a "debasing" record. I know that I replaced appetite at least five times in about an 18-month period.

I finally learned to get rid of the tape cases and would just carry cassettes with me at the bottom of my bag. During this time I was working open til close at a fast food restaurant just about every night and loved it because of the people that I was working with. My friend Nick was the fry cook that I usually closed with and I loved him. No really, I loved him. We were thick as thieves and had just about everything in common.  He would eventually move on to attend art school in Philly and then head for the west coast where he is very successful to this day.

Anyway, Nick and I had the same sense of humor and I found out the first night closing that once the doors were locked the boom box was cranked all the way up. Nick sang for a local band and did a damn good impersonation of Axl Rose. He would grab the mic that we used to call back orders (no head sets back then) and would sing entire songs into it. Yeah, loved him  probably that very first night.

Way back in 1988 if there was nothing to do then you would spend your Friday and Saturday nights walking in circles at the mall. Well actually we would congregate until the rent-a-cop would come and tell us to "move along" and then this huge group of kids would move in slow motion to the opposite end of the mall. I had friends from several different schools and the mall was where everyone met up. The bathrooms were just a big cloud of hairspray that hung permanently in the air because everyone in front of the mirrors was spraying something to make sure that the wall on top of their head wouldn't budge even an inch.

There was also a club that had shows one night a week for an all ages crowd. If we were really lucky and could find a ride we would leave the mall, go to the club and then be back at the Burger King where parents would pick everyone up at between 11 and 12, without them ever knowing. Nick was singing with a band and he really was pretty great so you better believe I went every time I had a chance. Probably with my cassettes safely at the bottom of my purse. He was also in high school, one across the city from me and spent quite awhile debating whether or not to sign up for his school's talent show. I mean he seemed to flip flop for months to the point that it became annoying.

Finally one night Nick came in to work and told us that he had signed up. His concern was that he had to put together a band of classmates and he had worried about pulling that off. Eventually he and three guys started playing together and realized that they could actually pull it off. The song? Guns N Roses "Sweet Child O' Mine". Well, in my mind that was just a done deal. I knew that he could vocally kill it and I also knew he wouldn't set foot onstage with people that couldn't play so not only would they perform, but winning was a no-brainer.

Nick and the guys were so excited because as they saw it, this was their chance, this was their thing. The jocks had football and the diehard academics had a chance every single school day to prove that they were good at something. This one was for the creative kids. The art nerds and musicians in training that really did have something to prove. It was their chance to show up and make sure everyone in attendance knew that they could actually be the best at something. It was huge, really huge.

Every kid that classified themselves as a "headbanger" pretty much citywide was looking forward to this show because once word spread, well Nick was kind of representing us all. The night of the show finally rolled around and I remember having to walk there with my friend. We walked from the other side of the city and got there pretty early. Honestly, I can't tell you any details from the early part of the night or any performance before Nick's. That is all a blur because I was so excited. I remember the feeling in the auditorium was electric. It was that excitement you feel when you know that someone was about to show up and totally kill it. That excitement mixed in with a calm knowledge that they've absolutely got this.

Nick and his friends did indeed kill it. The whole place was on their feet and for about four-and-a-half minutes no one could deny just how talented this crew was. The teachers looked thrilled because I think everyone got what a big victory for the underdog this was. There was one act left, a group of jocks that were going to sing something and no one thought much of it. They played football, basketball, whatever and weren't known for being the least bit musical so it felt like their performance was more obligatory than anything else. They called themselves Mosquito Coast (I probably remember it because it still makes no sense to me) and when they took the stage Nick was already sitting on the floor in front of our row of seats, waiting for them to bomb.

But fail they didn't. Instead these guys pulled out a 6 minute rendition of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" that was absolutely gorgeous. Like, it was so good that I couldn't even try to say that they sucked  to Nick in attempt to make him feel better, because they were amazing and everyone knew it. By the end of the chorus our whole section was crying because we knew that it was all over. The jocks won this round of high school life too and it was fair and square. It came down to a matter of preference and if the harmony didn't do it then the solo guitar riff sure as hell sealed it.

I don't think any of us entertained the idea of Nick losing until he actually did. I think I was actually heartbroken for him for days. He actually skipped a few nights of work and didn't return phone calls at all. I was contemplating going to his house to check on him but being 16 and light years away from being the ballsy chick that eventually grew up to become, I squashed that idea completely. Nick eventually did come back to work and you better believed he grabbed the mic at the register once the doors were locked. This time, instead of singing a popular hairband song he belted out a stunning, sedate verse from "Comfortably Numb". Eventually that song (guitar riff and all) was worked into his bands regular setlist. What felt like defeat ended up motivating Nick toward some ,major musical growth.

Every time I crack out Appetite I think of Nick, without fail. He was my own personal Axl for a few years and I have nothing but great memories connected to him because even the tough moments eventually turned into something positive and precious. As for my new, old album- this might be the 7th or 8th time I have actually bought it, it's likely to be the last. That too seems like a bit of a victory for an underdog.

Currently Booming: 80's Style Costume Ideas: Pac-Man

Items Needed
Black t-shirt and tights/pants, white paint, markers, rope, heavy paper, scissors

1. Paint white circles down your pant or tight legs.
2. Cut out your desired Pac-Man character and decorate if necessary.
3. Attach a rope.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Currently Booming: 80's Style Costume Ideas: Elliott and E.T.

Items Needed
Red hoodie, jeans, basket, bike handle bars, white sheet, rope, E.T. doll or baby doll and paints

Steps1. Attach the bike handle bars to the basket. Alternatively, break off one handle on the basket and turn it into two pieces.
2. Wrap E.T. doll in white sheet. If you’re using a regular doll, paint over its face so it kind of looks like E.T. Then cover the face with the blanket.
3. Attach a rope to the basket, so you don’t have to carry it the entire night.

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: The Bangles- 'Walk Like An Egyptian'

Blond waitresses take their trays

They spin around and they cross the floor

They've got the moves (oh whey oh)

You drop your drink and they give you more

All the school kids so sick of books

They like the punk and the metal band
When the buzzer rings (oh whey oh)
They're walking like an Egyptian

It's funny how such a seemingly simple song can cause so much drama behind the scenes. The Bangles "Walk Like An Egyptian" was first released in late 1986 and went on to become Billboard's top song of 1987. The song was actually inspired by people awkwardly trying to keep their balance on a ferry ride and its fun video shows random NYC people doing their best Egyptian dances. Pretty obvious concept, right? Not so easy was getting The Bangles to get along while recording it.

Producers had each of the girls sing a verse and ultimately they decided to cut Debbi Peterson from the lead and delegated her to just backing vocals. They then also replaced her live drumming with a synthesizer drum machine. The result, a furious band member and lots of discord among the ladies. "Walk Like An Egyptian" may have charted well but The Bangles went their separate ways soon after. The laddies eventually reunited and continue to play shows around the world to this day.

Check out the popular video below and click the link for more music by The Bangles.

Currently Booming: Top 10 Horror Movies of the 1980's