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DailyBoom Your Old School Music Authority

Monday, May 16, 2022

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Billy Squier - 'In The Dark'


"Life isn't easy from the singular side
Down in the hole some emotions are hard to hide
It's your decision, it's the chance that you take
It's on your head, it's a habit that's hard to break
Do you need a friend, would you tell no lies
Would you take me in, are you lonely in the dark
In the dark"

Wayyyy back in the very early 80's there was a young rocker named Billy Squier that was kind of like a shooting star. He could sing and play and perform with the best of them. His earliest songs like "The Stroke" and "My Kinda Lover" did great on the charts and they were pop-ish enough to get a whole lot of top 40 airplay as well. 

"In The Dark" was my absolute favorite though. It has such a great edge to it and when I hear it now 37 years later I still really dig it. It was considered a no-brainer that Squier would have a long-standing career in rock, at least until 1984 album Signs of Life was released. The lead single, "Rock Me Tonight" was the biggest hit of his career but the video that accompanied it was so awesomely bad that it is often viewed as the thing that all but killed Squier's career. He is still around and you might catch him playing but his career just never was the same.

I've always kind of wondered if it was the negativity that did him in or if it was his reaction to it. If it somehow ate away at him and made him a little fearful of creating some new stuff. Either way, it's a shame because this dude is pretty great. Check out "In The Dark" below!

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia- Laissez Faire- 'In Paradise'


You are the sun, I am the sky
Together we'll live in paradise
Our hopes and dreams will come alive
In paradise

Do you remember Laissez Faire?  Gina, Marlo and Jennifer first got together in 1989 and eventually put out an album under Metropolitan Records. While Hands Off didn't do as well on the charts as they may have wanted, the ladies did develop a strong fan base within the freestyle community. "In Paradise" the groups' first single did do quite well on the dance charts and brought Laissez Faire enough clout to open for the then-huge Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

This song is Laissez Faire's signature jam and they are still performing it. The ladies recently reunited for the first time in 15 years and pop up occasionally to perform at live events.



Daily Boom Lost Hit: Graffiti Rock Pilot Episode - June 29, 1984 (Watch)

Soundtrack Sunday: Breakin' - 'Ain't Nobody' by Chaka Khan & Rufus

Friday, May 13, 2022

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Kate Bush - 'Running Up That Hill'


You don't want to hurt me,
But see how deep the bullet lies.
Unaware I'm tearing you asunder.
Ooh, there is thunder in our hearts.

Is there so much hate for the ones we love?
Tell me, we both matter, don't we?
You, it's you and me.
It's you and me won't be unhappy.

I've always been a bit of a Kate Bush fan but I think my appreciation for her has definitely as I've gotten older. Back in 1985 her video for "Running Up That Hill" was in pretty heavy rotation on MTV and it featured Bush doing an interpretive dance to the haunting song. It was quirky and kind of unusual which helped to make the song memorable. Supposedly when it was first released record executives worried about how people would react to it. The original title was "Make A Deal With God" and they flipped it to "Running Up That Hill" to be safe.

The lyrics were what were in question and eventually Bush explained the song, proving there really was no reason for concern. The gist of "Running Up That Hill" is that relationships are hard and if men and women could make a deal with God to switch places even for a little while the result would be pretty enlightening. That notion still holds true now, more than thirty years later!

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Sweet Sensation - 'Sincerely Yours'

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"Dear I write you this letter
To show you how much your love means to me
I wish we could be together
I need you in my life oh can't you see
You promised we would be together
But you still haven't answered my letter
Oh, oh, I'm sincerely yours
The one my heart beats for, the one I adore
Oh, oh, I'm sincerely yours
The love that you gave I've never felt before."

Latin freestyle seems to go hand in hand with Friday, at least in my mind. If Friday is really the day to celebrate the weekend ahead then that means club songs, freestyle, and old-school house music are the very best way to kick it all off. Let me take you back to 1988 when Betty Dee and her girls stepped out from the shadow of Expose` and The Cover Girls and made their own mark in the dance world. 

Sweet Sensation had the hair, the clothes, and all the moves. But they seemed like the chicks down the street. This was the girl group that you really could have gone to school with or partied with. And their music rivaled other dance floor anthems. Songs like "Take It While It's Hot" and "Hooked On You" was featured on Open House Party and Dance Party USA, making the ladies a pretty hot commodity leading up to their number one single, "If Wishes Came True"

Betty Dee, Jenae Colon, and Belle Ritter reunited a few years ago and on any given weekend you're likely to find Sweet Sensation hitting the stage somewhere on the east coast. "Sincerely Yours" remains one of their most popular hits. Check out the video below.



Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Firehouse- 'All She Wrote'


She took all I had but left a hole in my heart
Should've known it'd go bad right from the start
What did I do wrong?
I can't understand why she would leave me this way
With nothing to say
Then I found the note on the door
It said goodbye and she don't want me no more
Bye-bye baby, bye-bye, she said in the letter
And that was all she wrote


When you first think of FireHouse "All She Wrote" probably isn't the very first song that comes to mind. The band is best known for the power ballad "Love Of A Lifetime" but they really came out of the gate back in 1989 knowing how to rock. "All She Wrote" was FireHouse's fourth single off of their self-titled debut album. It reached only as high as number 58 on Billboard's Hot 100 back in 1991 but the song got a lot of radio play, especially on rock stations across the U.S. 

What sets FireHouse apart from many other bands is the fact that they have seen minimal changes to their lineup. C. J. Snare, guitarist Bill Leverty, drummer Michael Foster, and bassist Allen McKenzie still continue to play gigs all over the world. 


Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Skid Row - '18 And Life'


"Ricky was a young boy, he had a heart of stone
Lived 9 to 5 and he worked his fingers to the bone
Just barely out of school, he
came from the edge of town
Fought like a switchblade so no one could take him down, oh no
He had no money, no, no good at home
He walked the streets a soldier and he fought the world alone
And now it's 18 and life, you got it

18 and life, you know
Your crime is time and it's 18 and life to go"

Sebastian Bach. He was a bit of an obsession of mine back in 1989. I remember the very first time that I heard "Youth Gone Wild" by Skid Row was on Headbanger's Ball after work one night. It was a MOMENT. The song just clicked in my brain and Skid Row was instantly placed in my top three fav hairbands (behind Whitesnake & Ratt). I bought the tape and had a bit of a battle over it with my mom. She was super religious and would toss out any music that looked or sounded questionable, so Skid Row was a goner. I probably bought the cassette four times before the band released their second single, "18 And Life".

That is the song that most people remember and it was THE song that caused them to charge up Billboard's hot 100 charts into the top five. By the time all of my friends caught on to them, I had already invested six months (and probably $50) in them. "18 And Life" is the cautionary tale of a teen named Ricky who is serving life for murder. Thirty years later, it remains a worst-case scenario, cautionary tale. It was also the highest charting song for Skid Row. Check out Sebastian & the rest of the band below!

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Bananarama - 'Do Not Disturb'

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"We took the late flight 
Close to heaven in the cold half light 
All the pleasures of that very first night 
Crystal clear in my mind 
No complications 
Just another reservation 
In a beach hotel 
We found a room with a view 
Lock the door and change the sign 
Do not disturb" 

If you were to ask the ladies which song they least liked, Bananarama would probably tell you "Do Not Disturb". It was released in 1985 ahead of their True Confessions album that came early the following year. They've said in the past that it's a song that has never felt right to them but I have to say, I'm really glad that they recorded it. 

It feels like the standard blueprint for a great mid-80's song. It's super catchy, the synth is on point and the video is really cute. But the remix? That's really what gives this thing legs. I recently ordered the 12" and was thrilled to discover that I love the extended version. I also remember dancing to it back in the day.

The True Confessions era of Bananarama is probably my favorite. They grew up and had traded in some of the boyish clothes for a bit of a sexier vibe. You may not remember "Do Not Disturb" but if you like what you hear then you need to check out the rest of the album. "Venus" was their next single after this. Need I say more?

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Boom Radio: Mojo Rocks with Mojo Moomey (Aired 5-6-22)

Exclusive Interview: 'Zebra's' Randy Jackson Talks Touring, Symphonic Shows & The Depth of Those Treasured Lyrics


I was first introduced to Randy Jackson's work when I was still a little kid. In the 1970s my dad was music-obsessed and used his gigs in local radio to justify his growing vinyl collection. Growing just as quickly was his literal wall of stereo equipment. He would make several trips to a store called Stereo House before finally plunking down a wad of cash and walking out with a big box of something that he would spend the next several hours agonizing over. The sound had to be just right and once he nailed it there were a few albums that were spun religiously. Steely Dan, The Moody Blues, Foreigner, and Genesis gave way to a few up-and-coming, semi-local bands. One of those was Zebra, featuring Randy (Jackson)  lead vocalist, songwriter, and guitar master. Add in Guy Gelso on drums, percussion, and backing vocals, plus Felix Hanemann on keys, bass, and backing vocals as well, and what you get is a rock trio destined for success.

The band first formed in New Orleans in 1975 and to this day Randy, Felix, and Guy consistently tour not just the gulf coast, but all the way up and down the Eastern Seaboard.  True old-school rock fans know exactly who Zebra is and I was lucky enough to steal a bit of Randy Jackson's time ahead of the band's performance at the M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, MD. 
Check it out below!

 Randy Jackson on how Zebra prepares for gigs now after 45 years together:

"I think it's different for each of us, but we really don't get together to rehearse as a band. The only time we've really done that in the last 20 years is when we were doing some shows down in Louisiana where we were going to be playing with the symphony. Then we had to change a lot of the ways that we were playing and we actually did songs we don't normally do, so we got together and we rehearsed for about a week back then. The only big difference with that was that there were a lot of guitar changes. I had like nine guitars on stage and usually, I only have one.  


We were just trying to do as much as we could to make it work with the symphony, but other than that, everybody just practices on their own. I know Felix practices a lot at home and goes over his parts, the keys, and his voice, and then Guy with his drums. The one thing I wish we did do more of is a vocal rehearsal between the three of us. I think that would help us, but we're always running out of time."


Randy on those powerhouse vocals:


"We haven't had to change keys at all on our songs and I've been very, very fortunate to have kept my range. I can do pretty much anything I did years ago.  I think my voice might have been a little stronger when I was younger, but the difference is not too noticeable to me. The range is still there, so we've been lucky as far as that goes, or I've been lucky. I haven't noticed any difference in Guy and Felix’s range either.  I went to a vocal coach in the eighties believe it or not after we did the first three Zebra records because I didn't like my pitch in the studio. It wasn't the way I sounded; it wasn't the tonality; it was just the pitch. He had me doing scales and stuff, and he also showed me techniques to keep me from losing my voice, by singing properly."


Randy on those incredible symphony shows:


"Well, it's always just as awesome as you can imagine. It's the real deal, yeah. When we started off with Zebra, you know, we were playing like Moody Blues or Zeppelin and trying to emulate a symphony with the keyboards, but you know, having the real thing there is just like nothing else. I kind of remember the first time I did “Rain Song” with the Atlanta symphony. It was the first time we performed it on stage and when the strings came in, I felt like I was kind of lifting off the ground, you know? It was unbelievable."


Randy on how Covid-19 affected the band:


"Well, when everything got shut down in March of 2020, I was down in New Orleans and we really didn't know how bad it was and how contagious it was going to be. Nobody really knew, right? Like, we knew things were shutting down, and fortunately, I had a place to stay down there. I decided just to stay in New Orleans and didn’t even try to fly back to New York where I live, for about five months. I set up a little live online show that I did every day, usually in the afternoons. I was on Facebook every afternoon performing, but it certainly wasn't the same as having the live crowd in front of you. But at the same time, I was getting feedback in real-time, you know, with the messages people were sending, asking for songs and stuff.  


I'm still set up to do them. I keep thinking every week I'm going to do one this week and yet all of a sudden it gets late and I'm tired. I certainly learned a lot because I was using a green screen and stuff like that and I had no experience with that when I first started. I'm always learning anyway. I mean, whether it was Covid-related or whatever, I try to learn as much as I can. 

 

The main thing was that our income was just zero, you know, we weren't making any money. The real source of income for Zebra has been live performances. I mean, we've sold a lot of records, but that income has amounted to not nearly enough to support us, you know? So, everybody adjusted to in a different way. Felix played, he has a Zeppelin tribute band he plays in and they started playing gigs in late 2020, I think. They were kind of out there before other bands were. That was his call. Guy, he has had cancer twice in the past so his immune system isn't the greatest. He chose to just really box himself in and now he's okay. We all got ourselves through it."



Randy on creating lyrics that make people think:


"Who's Behind the Door. When I think about where the inspiration came from for that song I think it’s mainly from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. I was a big science fiction reader when I was a teenager and I was into physics actually, physics was my second major in college. 2001, that movie leaves you with more questions, than answers.  That's what I was trying to do lyrically with it, you know, it's not necessarily about extraterrestrials. It could be if you read into it that way, or it could be religious, you know?  


It could be because there are references to spiritual stuff too. It’s kind of the way I am with everything in my life, I don't like to take the easy way.  Yes or no, or black or white doesn't work for me because there is always a gray area to every question or every situation.  I usually try to take the time to explore the gray area because it makes things more interesting to me.


When I was first writing the songs I made a lot of lyrics asking a lot of questions about subjects just to get people thinking and wondering. I hope that they've helped encourage people to ask questions of their own. I also think the songs hold up lyrically and that's such a good thing."

 

Randy on new music coming:


"We're always threatening to do a new record (laughing). I’ve been saying that for so long now it's ridiculous. But, eventually, I'm sure we'll, at least do a couple songs, you know? It used to be all work and as you get older then there are other things, and so now it's grandkids. When the kids are young, you’ll never get that time with them back so you’ve got to make it a priority". 


Randy on how the Zebra fanbase has grown and changed:


"Grandkids are now the kids in the audience and a lot of them are even in their twenties now- it's pretty amazing. They come out and are Zebra fans, you know, and they all have the same kind of story, either their dad introduced them to the band or their grandfather was into the band. It's cool, I mean, we're fortunate that people are listening to our music at all, let alone for 40 years. That’s a pretty long time!"  



Randy on a few of Zebra's most memorable moments:


"One moment that has always stuck out in my mind was when we were on the road with Sammy Hagar in 1984. as the opening act for his, I Can't Drive 55 tour. We were out on the road and when we started the tour everything ran smooth and we were getting a good soundcheck for the shows. Then as the tour kind of went on his crew was just getting later and later until finally, we were barely getting a line check before we went on. He got wind of it somehow and he showed up unexpectedly when they were starting to load in one night and he chewed the whole crew out right there and said,


you know, what do you think these guys are here for? They're supposed to warm up the crowd. If they sound crappy it reflects on all of us.’  


After that, we got a soundcheck every night and I was impressed by that.


There have been lots of little moments, along the way. One of the biggest crowds we played in front of when we first started was at a place in New Orleans. I don't remember the name of it, but it was a two-story building and they had a wet t-shirt contest going on (laughing). They had like five bands playing, three of them were inside the building and two of them were outside. We were an outside band. Nobody knew who in the world we were, it was maybe in 1975, I think. It was the first time a lot of people had seen us and it was great for us. You know, we got a lot of good exposure. People liked the band and the owner said he really liked us and invited us to come back the next week on the big stage inside. We were all excited about it and so, we came back the next week kind of expecting the same thing that happened the week before. We moved all the equipment upstairs and it's a gloomy day. It's raining and it's definitely not going to be as nice of a day. Then we found out about halfway through setting up that it's not a wet t-shirt contest with women. It's a men's wet t-shirt contest! (Laughing) Not the most brilliant idea but we still get a good laugh out of it."


Randy on what he wants Zebra fans to know:


"I think we're just so fortunate that the music has held up. I mean, we're not 20 years old anymore and I think when people come to see us now, they're certainly coming to see us more for the music than anything else (laughing). That's a big compliment too. I mean, just the fact that we're still doing this and that people are still coming is wonderful. The band has transcended generations and we are so grateful."


Check out Zebra's official site for upcoming gigs and more right HERE.