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Friday, May 25, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Nayobe- 'Please Don't Go'

Please don't go, please don't go
Don't go there tonight
It just isn't right
You may not come back to me
Our future we'll never see
You're throwing our life plans away
Please don't go

While I technically live near the beach now, that feeling of driving "down the shore" as a kid never fades. It was a once a year occasion that amounted to being just about everything to me and my friends. Wildwood, Ocean City, Seaside Heights were all a possibility and I think that memory of hitting the boardwalk at night as a kid is one that I'll never forget.

Spending 4 hours in the car also meant that we were driving to where the coolest music was. In 1985 I alternated between rock and club music and I think the latter just epitomizes boardwalk fun. The songs blaring in all of the t-shirt shops on the boardwalk were ones that I would never hear on the radio at home. In 1985, Nayobe's "Please Don't Go" was hands down THE club hit of the summer and now even 30 years later it is still identified as one of those songs that remind my generation of summer beach fun.

Even if you have no clue who Nayobe is, I'm going to bet that you'll remember this song.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Mötley Crüe - 'Wild Side'

Gang fights
Fatal strikes
We lie on the wild side
No escape
Murder rape
Doing time on the wild side
A baby cries
A cop dies
A day's pay on the wild side
Wild side, wild side
Tragic life on the wild side
Wild side, wild side
Kickin ass on the Wild Side

Motley Crue's "Wild Side" always takes me back to high school- on one day in particular. When I was in 11th grade I'd spend my morning cramming in all of my academic classes so that my afternoon could be spent at a vocational school. Cosmetology seemed like a dream job for a 16-year old girl that spent plenty of time teasing her own hair and being in beauty school meant that I had a little card that gave me access to every professional beauty supply store around. My supply of Apple Pectin shampoo was endless and eventually, I traded in a big can of Aqua Net for an even larger can of Vavoom which cemented your hair in place AND made it smell like coconut.

Anyway, the afternoon bus was filled with headbangers that had zero desire to go to college when they could be learning how to take a car engine apart, cook like a pro or even become a medical assistant, all while in high school. This bus ride was the high point of most days because we truly became a family and had each other's backs, no matter what. Most days the same 3 people sat in the very last row trying to hide the fact that they were smoking a blunt. It was normal. We kept the windows open in the dead of winter and usually had an ancient bus driver that was more concerned with how loud the boom box was than anything else. 

On this particular day, there was a fill-in, much younger bus driver, one who didn't care if the music was blaring. Motley Crue had just released Girls, Girls, Girls and the song "Wild Side" was our new anthem. Since the driver told the guys to play it as loud as they wanted to, our bus was rocking, with that one song playing on repeat. The guys decided to be extra brave and they lit up a bowl in the back seat. We figured that might be pushing it and halfway to the school the driver pulled over and came storming up the aisle. We thought we were dead. Since no one would dime anyone out I was expecting to go down for pot that I hadn't even touched. The guys hit the switch on the radio as the rest of us braced for hell. Instead, the young driver had come to the back of the bus to smoke with the guys!

After a minute or two, he galloped up the aisle, sat back down in the driver's seat and delivered us all to school, with Motley Crue still blaring, of course. Talk about taking a drive on the wild side!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Boom Daily Throwback: Winger- 'Headed for a Heartbreak'

Sassy Magazine- 1990
Ahhh Kip Winger. Just stare at the photo for a minute because doing that will likely drag you back in time. I stumbled onto this interview with the rocker in a (GASP) 25-year-old issue of Sassy magazine and was kind of sucked in. I was 17 when he and his band, Winger, first broke through and even then he struck me as smarter than the average bear. I'm not sure what drives this interview more, his intelligence or the reporter's love for him.  I think you had to be there to be sure.

But he is smart and back then he had a clear direction of what the bands' second album would be. It was pieced together in a pretty painstaking way, which I appreciate. I've loved their catalog of music over the years, but Winger's self-titled debut remains my favorite. It was one of those albums that I played almost all the way through and it followed me everywhere. It was in my Walkman, in my stereo, playing on the bus to school and then one of the things that we listened to at the end of the night at work.

Winger was everywhere. And Kip was hot. He also had the hair that every teen girl was striving for. I worked a few hours a week at a salon and nearly every girl came in carrying a picture of Kip because THAT was the dye job or kind of curl they wanted. He was hot and his hair was legendary.

That first album though is spawned four singles and spent well over a year on Billboard's Hot 200 album chart. It also recently was named one of Rolling Stone's Top 50 metal albums of all time, kind of proving that this band still stands out from the mountain of hair bands that came and went over the years.

Winger has released several albums over the years and they are still together and touring as I type. I could have chosen several videos to feature but I need to take you guys back to "Headed for a Heartbreak" but done with the Colorado Symphony.   It's still gorgeous, don't you think?

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Bruce Springsteen - 'Dancing In the Dark'

I get up in the evening, and I ain't got nothing to say
I come home in the morning, I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain't nothing but tired, man I'm just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help 
You can't start a fire, you can't start a fire without a spark
This gun's for hire even if we're just dancing in the dark

As I cracked open the creaky screen door of my best friend Carrie's grandma's house and stepped out onto the front porch I was bursting with excitement. It was a Friday night unlike any other. Usually, at this moment I'd be desperately searching for a reason to call my dad to beg for a little more time but tonight, well I couldn't wait to get in the car. I stood on the porch in the summer humidity, watching shadows dance around the streetlights as Carrie and I discussed what was going to happen next because we were thirty days away from the coolest adventure ever. It was one of those night's where absolutely everything went right and instead of hiding it from my parents, I was going to need my dad's help. 

Spending Friday evenings at Carrie's grandma's house had become the highlight of my seventh-grade life. She always slept over on Friday and since her grandmother lived only two blocks from my parents, as soon as I finished helping to clean up after dinner I was out the door. My mom liked Carrie, in spite of her not being a religious kid, so with a little bit of encouragement from dad, she would let me go.  

The house was usually bustling with activity because her two aunts, both in their late twenties, were still living there. I always arrived just as Aunt Debbie and Aunt Sandy were getting ready to go out with their boyfriends. They always had two bags of Middleswarth Barbecue Potato Chips on hand, one for them and then the other for Carrie and I to share later on. She and I settled in at the kitchen table next to the big boom box while her aunts fought over the bathroom mirror and took turns ironing their Friday night outfits. 

The kitchen was tiny, like the rest of this house. To say that Carrie's family had a nightly routine would be an understatement. After dinner, her grandma would settle herself in front of the living room television and drift off to sleep until she decided to go upstairs to bed. Carrie's grandfather owned a luncheonette and every evening he sat at the dining room table counting money and wrapping change to take to the bank the next morning. Once finished he would join his wife in the living room.  

The kitchen, well that was ours. Carrie and I would sit in there for hours listening to our very favorite radio station, Q-102. The evening DJ, a guy who called himself “Mr. T.” was our very favorite and we were pretty positive that he kept those request lines open just for us. We called constantly. We requested Madonna, Prince, Cyndi Lauper- the list is endless. When Mr. T. said “Request lines are open if there's something that you want to hear” it was our cue to blow up Q-102's phone if we could get through that is. It seemed that in 1984 everyone was glued to their radio listening and requesting so the phones were always busy. When it finally rang a guy named Dave would answer and take our requests. He was probably only a little older than Carrie and I but already he was cool enough to work as an intern for a radio station so I kind of worshiped him.  

This house was the scene for a lot of “firsts” for the both of us. We would take the boom box out onto the front porch to hang out with Mike and Dave, the boys that we liked at the time. Sometimes it was a planned meet up but other times it was kind of a no-brainer. On Friday night kids our age generally just walked the neighborhood together. “Going out” meant trolling the streets and pooling money to maybe be able to grab a cheap pizza. If we sat outside long enough then Carrie and I usually ended up seeing all of our friends and even a few of the mean girls that we would rather not talk about. We were also allowed to hang out in Aunt Sandy's room once she left for the night. We both wanted to grow up to be as pretty and cool as Sandy so being allowed to raid her glitter make up while listening to her big stereo was just awesome. I'm not sure if Sandy ever realized that we had also stumbled onto her stack of Playgirl magazines and her collection of X-rated cards from her boyfriend. I mean, she must have figured that we'd look under her bed eventually, right? 

Anyway, this particular night began as every other Friday night had all summer long. Radio- check. Chips- check. Pepsi- check. Carrie and I were positioned in the kitchen, ready to make our requests when Mr. T. announced that Q-102 would be giving away albums all weekend long. You had to be the tenth caller to score one and we decided to try and win. It wasn't the first time. There had been a few instances in the past when the phone rang and Dave answered to tell me that I was caller number three or six or anything but the winner. Steve Perry's Street Talk was up for grabs and we realized that Carrie's grandfather had the telephone in the dining room. Carrie jumped up in an excited panic, grabbed the phone and walked back into the kitchen dialing frantically. Just like that, she got through on the very first try, and won! 
Dave told her that she was caller ten and then passed the phone to Mr. T. so that he could declare her the winner on-air. “Q-102, hey Carrie guess what? You're caller number ten! You've just won a brand new copy of Steve Perry's Street Talk!” Oh, the joy, we were both screaming and we loved the song “Oh Sherrie” that Q-102 played constantly by Perry so, in a nutshell, my best friend was really lucky. After she hung up the phone we both knew that there was only one option for me, I had to win an album too.  

I wasn't even going to be picky, I just had to win something. I mean, I was raised on radio, Billboard magazines were on our coffee table at home and I still remembered going to the studio of our local rock station with my dad. If Carrie could win then so could I. Plus I already kind of understood how radio worked. I knew that there was a schedule and at the same point in time every hour they were giving albums away. I was ready. I didn't win the next hour but I was determined to make it happen. 

Two hours after Carrie won her beloved Steve Perry album I called in to try and snag a brand new copy of Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA. It had just come out but the video for “Dancing In the Dark” with Courtney Cox dancing on stage with the Boss seemed to be on MTV every hour, making it one of the biggest songs of the summer. I dialed. “Q-102 you're caller four-try again.” I dialed again. “Q-102 you're caller seven-try again.” My fingers slammed the buttons on the phone, I had to win even if I wasn't a huge Springsteen fan. “Hi Q-102 who's this?” 

Oh my god, I was caller ten. Dave put me on hold and then I heard Mr. T in my ear, “Q-102, Hi Catie guess what- you're caller ten! Yay Catie you've just scored yourself a brand new copy of Bruce Springsteen's new album! What do you think of that?” What did I think? Oh, so many things. I actually was the tenth caller! I won an album to add to my growing collection. Most importantly, this was now one more way that Carrie and I were alike. Another thing in common. Winning something off of the radio was the most normal thing in the world so maybe it made me normal too? In truth, my scramble to win was probably more about proving that I could fit in and be like everyone else more than it was about wanting my own personal copy of Born In the USA.  

I could always pick out the headlights of dad's Buick Skylark from halfway down the block and once he pulled up I jumped into the front seat of the car screeching, “Guess what?!” As I told him the details about Carrie winning and then how I was on a personal mission to do the same dad started to chuckle. He knew all about giveaways, phone lines, and crazy callers. He was a few years removed from radio, leaving in favor of a better paying job, but the music was still his life. He had a room upstairs in our house devoted to stereo components, huge speakers, albums, and tapes. His vast music collection was completely in order and cross-referenced so that he could find absolutely any song in under thirty seconds. He would test it saying, “Give me an artist or a song to look up.” and I would watch him flip through index cards and find exactly what I suggested in a matter of seconds. Dad was proud of the fact that his music room resembled a radio station and honestly it was probably better organized than most stations of the eighties were.  

As I sat in the front seat filling him in I realized we weren't driving right home. Instead, dad had just continued driving because my excitement had hit a nerve with him, a good one and so we kept talking. I probably gave him the same details several times over but he seemed to be just as excited as I was. The albums weren't actually available yet, it would be few days. But, and this was the great part,  we had to drive to Q-102's station to pick them up! Carrie and I had already decided that we needed to do it together. We started this radio journey together and now we were going to meet Dave and Mr. T if we're really lucky anyway. Dad taking us was only natural. Of course, he would because it was a new station for him to check out. The minute I told him that we had to pick up our records he happily blurted out, “I'll drive you guys.” 
Of course, he would. That was my dad. When not derailed by mom he was the guy that everyone loved. Always helpful and kind. Nothing excited him like the music though and so this moment in the car felt special. It was just the two of us and the music. As dad turned onto our street “Dancing In The Dark” started to play on Q-102 and instead of pulling into the driveway he kept going. “I guess this is your song now so let's listen to it,”. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Don Henley- 'The Boys Of Summer'

But I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin' in the sun
You got your hair combed back and your sunglasses on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

I remember back in 1984 when Don Henley's "The Boys Of Summer" was first released I was kind of mesmerized by the video. It might have been the first time in my life that I realized that I loved black and white videos and let's face it, when you fast forward 3+ decades the footage still holds up. It's timeless. When I was 13 I couldn't imagine the concept of being middle age and reflecting back on my younger years as this video depicts. Thirty sounded old and forty was as good as dead because it seemed so far off. Ironically, reflecting back is exactly what Daily Boom now does seven days a week so I guess there really was something to that notion when this video was first made.

"The Boys Of Summer" seems like an important part of just about everyone's summer musical diet so here ya go, enjoy it!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Tevin Campbell - 'Can We Talk'

"Last night I,
I saw you standing,
And I started,
Started pretending,
I knew you and you knew me too,
And just like a roni,
You were too shy,
But you weren't the only,
Cause so was I,
And I've dreamed of you ever since,
Now I've built up my confidence,
Girl next,
Next time you come my way,
I'll know just what to say

Can we talk for a minute
Girl I want to know your name"

I'll never forget getting in a cab a few years ago. The driver was in his 40's and had big curly headbanger hair, still frosted as if it was 1988. He was wearing an old RATT concert tee that blended in with his sleeves of tattoos. He was on the phone at first trying to figure out who was going to get the Motley Crue tickets for him and his friends once they went on sale the next day and I instantly liked him. He was like a fossil left over from the 80's but the thing was, he was the real deal. He stayed true to the music that he was raised on and had no desire to change any of that. Or it least that was my first impression. I've since learned never to think for certain that I have someone all figured out in a quick glance or three.

As the cab finally started to move he asked if I minded the radio and of course I didn't. Then he told me he didn't like what was on so he was switching over to a CD. The CD was Tevin Campbell and my jaw hit the floor. As "Can We Talk" started to play I told him I never expected to hear that in any cab, because years later most people don't seem to remember him let alone play his stuff. The driver loved him as much as I always have and we totally bonded over 3.5 songs before I got out of the cab.

Tevin first broke through in 1991 with his album T.E.V.I.N. but I wasn't hooked until he dropped I'm Ready in 1993. I think he was the artist that really convinced me to pay more attention to some of the slow jams peppering the charts, in between my Hole and Nirvana listening parties. The video for "Can We Talk" was shot in NYC's Central Park and I love it to this day. Check it out below.

Daily Boom 90's Slow Jams Playlist

Related image

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Daily Boom 70's Throwback: Blondie- 'Heart of Glass'

"Once I had a love and it was a gas 
Soon turned out, had a heart of glass." 

A few lines in and I'm standing in my parents' very first apartment where my love of music all began. It's a few days before Halloween and my parents were throwing a party for all of their friends. The night before was my kiddie party in our basement. I wore a Wonder Woman costume that was so NOT a Wonder Woman costume because it had a skirt and no lasso. I remember a punch bowl and bobbing for apples and little else. But my parent's party, well that was the real deal. There was neat lighting, a table full of sweets that I was never allowed to have and all of our doorways had beads hanging from them that you were supposed to walk through. 

I was 7 years old and beginning to develop my own taste and thanks to my dad's music obsession disco was a big part of it. When I was about five dad started to train as a DJ at a local radio station and his little record collection on a tiny cart with wheels suddenly took over a whole wall of our living room. Even in that small apartment dad's stereo was front and center. His love of music turned into an educated love of stereo equipment. He spent two hours without fail every night cranking out tunes, everything from Pink Floyd to Blue Oyster Cult to ABBA and all the while he was fiddling with levers on all sorts of boxes that were supposed to somehow enhance the sound. I didn't know if the “woofers and tweeters” did any good but the day that he played Chic's “Le Freak” my life immediately changed.  

The last song of every evening was picked out by me and by the time 1978 rolled around I was choosing things like “Ring My Bell”, “The Hustle” and “Disco Inferno”. I also waited anxiously for Saturday afternoons to roll around because, thanks to cable television and WPIX in NYC I had discovered The Soap Factory, a weekly dance show.  A few weeks before my parent's party we were all watching as Blondie performed a song called “Heart of Glass”. I was mesmerized by the lead singer's blonde hair, bright lipstick and her turquoise pants suit. My dad always watched The Soap Factory with me, but this time even my mom stopped to check out Debbie Harry. I mean, how could you not? 

My mom spent the next week or so in party planning mode. She would fill the bathroom sink with water and bubbles and I'd spend an hour in there playing with all of my Fisher Price Little People. I loved having them swim and ride in their boats every night after dinner and I can remember my mom on the phone in the next room on the phone night-after-night making plans for this bash. My dad was always the laid back one and seemed to have little involvement. She hung sparkly decorations, made food and spiked the punch all while dad was engrossed in his albums. Neither of us realized what he was actually up to and as it turned out, dad's involvement was actually monumental because he was preparing to put all of those newfound DJ skills to good use. 

My mom had a surprise or two up her sleeve as well. The creativity was always flowing in that little apartment and so for the week leading up to the party when dad and his music was taking over the living room, mom was in her studio. It was a small room with her easel and mountain of art supplies on one side and her Singer sewing machine on the other. Beneath a window was a big cushion with built-in pillows to nap on. That was my spot to read or draw when mom was busy drawing advertisements for our local newspaper. Dad had thought that mom was working on extra assignments for art school when in fact she had been busy at her sewing machine making a turquoise satin pants suit, just like Debbie Harry's. She had decided to put her blonde wavy hair and 100-pound frame to good use and transform into his new favorite singer, gold cuff bracelet and all, for their Halloween party. 

 This one night, in particular, reminds me that at one point in time my parents really, truly were on the same page. They really did “get” each other.  As mom shocked dad with her costume he was just getting the party started. Dad was the man, but his music collection was the true star of the evening. His friends were all on the floor in front of his racks of records, flipping through everything in amazement and helping him to decide what to play next. Dad's dedications were also a hit because the songs that he played weren't just for particular people but he also had hilarious reasons for his selections.  

An hour or so into the party dad pulled out a surprise record that he was really excited about. It was Blondie's “Heart of Glass”, an extended dance mix that wasn't available in the states yet. When he ordered music for the station he would also add a few import records from the UK for his own collection and Blondie had just become available. It was a song that no one else knew until he played it that night but everyone loved it. Even the guys that had been downing their Michelob beer on the floor in front of the stereo all night were finally dancing. One spin of that record led to about 20 more before the night was over. 

At first, I might have been the only one not in costume and that was because there was no way that I was going to put that fake Wonder Woman thing on again. My aunt (mom's younger sister) decided in the middle of what looked like a Soul Train line dance that I needed some makeup at least. She grabbed me and her purse and hauled us both into the bathroom. There Aunt Elaine pulled out her black eyeliner and within a few minutes had transformed me into “Cleopatra”. I wasn't sure exactly who that was but my eyes looked like I belonged on The Soap Factory so that kinda sorta made me Debbie Harry for the night too, right? 

Everyone left after midnight. I remember my dad explaining the concept of time to me and how the digital clock turning to 2:01 am meant that it was Sunday morning even though it still felt like Saturday night. Truth be told it was far later than that and somehow I was still awake. My mom tried to make me go to bed but when I begged for one more spin of “Heart of Glass” my dad put the record on before she could even bother to protest. My room needed to be cleaned up anyway because my bed was where everyone left their belongings upon arrival. They and their coats might have been gone but my toys were all over the place and my precious Little People were scattered all over the room.  

 I swore that I would help clean up if they let me stay up but instead I climbed into the green recliner that had been temporarily moved into my room during the party. The French doors to my room were open and I curled up there, watching as my parents dragged garbage bags around to clean up the wreckage. My mom told me that I had 5 minutes until she was putting me to bed and so I closed my eyes as Debbie Harry sang.  

Who knew that nights like this one actually existed? If beaded doorways, little packs of M&M's and unexpected dance battles were what it meant to be an adult then I really couldn't wait to grow up. I closed my eyes tighter as I heard mom approaching and when she whispered to dad that I was asleep I stayed extra still until she went back to cleaning up. Eventually, I really did drift off to sleep in that chair and woke as dad was carrying me across the room to my bed. As mom tucked me in and kissed me goodnight she did the only thing that could have made this night any better, she took off her shiny cuff bracelet and put it on my arm.