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Monday, December 10, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Eddie Money- 'Endless Nights'

Eddie Money~:

"Here I am, just standing in circles
And the logic is turning me round
My mind keeps holding
Only one thought

When you gonna call
I think it's worth the time
How you gonna change
All these endless nights

If you could stop
Leading me around
You're never gonna change
All these endless nights"

My sophomore year of high school was loaded with Eddie Money tunes. His album 'Can't Hold Back' was heralded as a huge comeback for him and that meant a string of hits that flooded my radio. "Endless Nights" was not the biggest single, it cracked Billboard's top 40 but compared to tracks like, "Take Me Home Tonight" it was the hidden gem of the album. I had honestly forgotten about it until a few days ago when it came on my radio at work and rather than think about it, I kind of felt it.


Even though it's a bit of an angst-y tune it still for whatever reason reminded me of car rides through the country with the windows down, sun blaring and the radio cranked. It brings me back to stonewashed jeans, big sweaters and banana clips. Back to a moment in time when every little thing felt like the end of the world, even though those things would eventually amount to nothing compared to real adult life in the years to come. "Endless Nights" feels like four minutes of everything that felt good about 1987. Check it out below.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Starpoint- 'Object Of My Desire'



When I go to sleep at night
Visions of you here by my side
Fireworks explode deep inside of me
I pinch myself as you're lying there
We kiss each other now I'm really scared
Too much to ask, even for a fantasy

Even if the name Starpoint doesn't exactly ring a bell I'm going to bet that if you're an 80's music fan then at least one song by the funk band will be familiar. "Object Of My Desire" first cracked the charts back in 1985 and it enjoyed tons of radio play as well. Starpoint was originally from Maryland and gradually shifted a funk sound in the early 80's to more of an R&B vibe by the time they released their 1985 album Restless.

Starpoint's Renee Diggs might just be one of the most underrated female voices of the decade that focused on the likes of Whitney Houston and Madonna.  Sadly, Diggs died in 2005 at the age of 50 due to a heart problem and complications from her long-running battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Check out the video below to catch Starpoint at their very best!

Daily Boom Lost Hit: Heart - 'There's The Girl'

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Daily Boom Holiday Tunes: Scott Weiland - 'Winter Wonderland' (Official Video)

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Teena Marie- 'Lovergirl'


Coffee, tea on me baby
Touche a la'
My opening line might be a bit passe
But don't think that I don't know I'm feeling for ya

Cause I got a vibe on you the first time that I saw you saw you

Yesterday I spent quite awhile listening to Teena Marie's Starchild from 1984. I have been on a real Tee kick lately, thanks to THIS GUY over here & his radio show, The Power Hour. It all started with my accidentally stumbling onto this clip of Jeanette Jurado's cover of "Portuguese Love" which just blew me away,


Once I realized that it was originally Teena Marie's song made me go back through Lady Tee's catalog of music and I had forgotten just how much of her stuff I actually love. I remember when Starchild first came out because her song "Lovergirl" was a huge hit. Like, it was played every 3.5 hours on the radio like clockwork and the video was constantly popping up on MTV. Not that I was supposed to know that because at that point in time my mom had banned MTV from our house. I remember sneaking it while upstairs and going to my grandmother's to freely watch videos.

The only problem there was that in 1984 my grandmother didn't have MTV so I was at the mercy of America's Top Ten countdown which had video clips and of course, Friday Night Videos. You remember that right? It came on at midnight and everyone tried to stay awake long enough to watch even if they had MTV, just because. 

So anyway, I knew that the video for "Lovergirl" was in heavy MTV rotation but I never caught a glimpse while at home. I had to finally see it late at night while at my grandmother's and I remember it being sandwiched between Madonna and Phil Collins. I was stunned that such a big, soulful voice came out of such a tiny pale chick. I knew Teena was tough though because she ran with Rick James and even though I was only 12-ish I totally understood what being his (sometimes) other half had to entail. 

While Starchild made me happy as a kid, as a grown woman I totally appreciate the unbelievable range of talent that Lady Tee had. It's a damn shame she left us so soon.

Currently Booming: Corey Hart on 'American Bandstand' -1984 (Watch)

Friday, December 7, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Rufus & Chaka Khan - 'Ain't Nobody'



"Captured effortlessly
That's the way it was
Happened so naturally
I did not know it was love
The next thing I felt was
You holding me close
What was I gonna do?
I let myself go
And now we're flyin' through the stars
I hope this night will last forever"


More than forty years ago funk band Rufus started performing with a soul singer by the name of Chaka Khan. They spent about 12 years cranking out hits before Khan decided to embark on a successful solo career. ("I Feel For You") One of their signature songs was "Ain't Nobody" which was featured in the movie Breakin' and on its' soundtrack as well. It's definitely my favorite Chaka song of all time and apparently, it's a lot of other peoples as well, as it has been used as an audition song for reality competitions repeatedly.




A few weeks ago it was announced that Rufus and Chaka Khan are among the list of nominees for the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame for 2018. I'm kind of a stickler and think nominees should be rockers. But I'm thrilled to see that make any list that involves public acknowledgment because Rufus with Chaka was fantastic.




Aside from loving this song, it's Monday and I think this is a great way to get you all moving. So here it is:


Daily Boom Holiday Tunes: Twisted Sister - 'Let it Snow'

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Quarterflash - 'Harden My Heart'



"Cryin' on the corner, waitin' in the rain
I swear I'll never, ever wait again
You gave me your word, but words for you are lies

Darlin', in my wildest dreams, I never thought I'd go
But it's time to let you know

I'm gonna harden my heart
I'm gonna swallow my tears
I'm gonna turn and leave you here"


I think one of the very first videos that I can remember watching is Quarterflash's "Harden My Heart". I remember as a kid it not making a whole lot of sense to me and visually it reminded me of an episode of Doctor Who. I was a bit freaked out by that show but I quickly got over it resembling it because I absolutely loved the song.

I think that Quarterflash singlehandedly made me love the saxophone in under four minutes. From that point on, I looked for and usually found a sax solo in every song that I loved in the 80's. Rindy Ross handles vocals and sax like a rock goddess and in my mind, no other woman has ever come close to her playing. She said in an interview years ago that she felt the sax was like an extension of her voice and I actually get that feeling when a Quarterflash song plays.

I don't think I'm alone in loving "Harden My Heart" because it is one of the top songs that old school radio stations across the U.S. favor.  And honestly, how could they not? Whatever happened to sax being a regular part of top 40 music? It added so much to so many songs, why did it disappear and who is going to decide to start bringing it back- one song at a time?

In the meantime, check out this classic below!


Currently Booming: Yacht Rock Playlist


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Pink Floyd - 'Comfortably Numb'

Image result for Pink Floyd 1980

O.K.
Just a little pin prick
There'll be no more aaaaaaaah!
But you may feel a little sick
Can you stand up?
I do believe it's working, good
That'll keep you going through the show
Come on, it's time to go.

Is Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" one of the very best songs in classic rock history?  In my opinion it absolutely is. Aside from the chilling lyrics, those guitar solos are some of the best ever recorded. Roger Waters and David Gilmour really struck gold with this one and the rest of their legendary album, The Wall.

"Comfortably Numb" was first released as a single back in 1980 with a pretty sharp video which ended up being a part of Pink Floyd's film, The Wall. That piece of art is an 80's classic with it likely making much more sense if you're drunk or high while watching it. I remember back in 1987 having a biology teacher that was rumored to be a huge "burn out". The stories of kids going to his house a block from the school and smoking with him while watching The Wall swirled for years. I always figured that there probably some truth to the rumors, in part because he would laugh about them without ever denying anything. He also strongly encouraged us all to watch The Wall because he believed it would become part of pop culture history. Guess what- he was right! Check out "Comfortably Numb" below. To this day it remains one of my favorite 80's songs.

Daily Boom Holiday Tunes: Expose` 'I Believe in Christmas( Like it Used to Be)'

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Daily Boom 70's Throwback: Evelyn Champagne King- 'Shame'



"Shame, ooh
My mother says you're playing a game
And what you do to me is a
Shame
Ooh, gonna love you just the same
Mama just don't understand
Wrapped in your arms
Is where I want to be
I want to be, want to be
Wrapped in your arms
That's my high, my high
I can't get enough, ooh baby
Enough of that magic touch
Love is in my heart
Tearing the rules apart
So, why should I be ashamed"


I make absolutely no apologies for my to-this-day love of disco. The very first 45's that I bought with my own money were Chic's "Le Freak" and Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell"- and I still love them both. I also love how when a classic disco song comes on now and everyone floods the dance floor. The appeal is still there. Evelyn Champagne King's "Shame" is a perfect example of this phenomenon. It's just a great song with a great beat and when you throw in a bit of a cautionary lyrical tale, well you've struck 40 years worth of musical gold. 

Click play below and I dare you to try and stay still. You can't do it either, can you?

Daily Boom Holiday Throwback: Billy Idol - 'Jingle Bell Rock'

Monday, December 3, 2018

Foreigner- Double Vision: Then & Now Reunion Show Review (11-30-18 Atlantic City)


Double Vision Then & Now- Foreigner Reunion

When Mick Jones, Ian McDonald, and Lou Gramm first teamed up in New York City back in 1976 to form Foreigner, I'm pretty sure that they never would have imagined still sharing a stage some 40+ years later. Serious health issues, growing pains, lineup changes, and internal strife have all played a part in the bands' evolution and temporary disintegration, but the music has always been much more powerful than all of those things combined. Foreigner's catalog is an overabundance of riches for any musician fortunate enough to be able to do it any sort of justice and no one understands this better than the band's original lineup. Seeing Mick Jones (lead guitar), Lou Gramm (vocals), Ian McDonald (guitar/sax), Dennis Elliott (drums), Rick Wills (bass) and Al Greenwood (keyboard) reunite for a select few shows this year has been a rare gift for classic rock fans young and old alike.

The Hard Rock in Atlantic City was one of only four shows slated for this year's Double Vision: Then & Now reunion and it really was a perfect balance of the original Foreigner members, with the current lineup. The first part of the show featured the latter with Kelly Hansen absolutely showing off his vocal range on hits like "Cold As Ice" and "Head Games" before pulling the sold-out crowd in with his intensity on "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and "That Was Yesterday". 

Kelly Hansen

Kelly Hansen

While Hansen is more than holding his own on vocals, the rest of the current lineup is an incredibly skilled group of musicians, all with decades of success before even venturing to set foot on a Foreigner stage. Bruce Watson was tapped to step in for Mick Jones during a medical emergency years ago and never left. He has earned his spot by being versatile enough to either play lead guitar his way or to accentuate the magic that Jones weaves as his right-hand man. 







Bruce Watson & Tom Gimbel

Bruce Watson & Jeff Pilson

Jeff Pilson (interview herespent years 'breaking the chains' with Dokken before joining Foreigner and he is an animal onstage. One minute he is literally headbanging right in front of you and the next he is already at the opposite end of the stage rocking out. His bass playing is a standout, even on the ballads and he often can be found working as the band's music director to make sure that their shows are seamless. 


Jeff Pilson

Jeff Pilson

Tom Gimbel (interview here or here)  is one of, if not the most versatile musician currently touring. In any given song he might be playing rhythm guitar ("Head Games", "Juke Box Hero"), keyboard ("Cold As Ice", "Waiting For A Girl Like You"), or flute ("Starrider"). But his biggest moment is when he cracks out his saxophone to make "Urgent" the memorable piece that it is. 

Tom Gimbel

Tom Gimbel

Speaking of keyboards, Michael Bluestein is quite an entertainer. He plays great and even from the back of the stage he always catches my eye with the way he pumps up and toys with the audience. It's so often mentioned that the drums are the foundation of any band and that certainly holds true for Foreigner. Chris Frazier has been the man behind the kit for the last seven years and he is the driving force that pushes this great band through songs like "Juke Box Hero". 

Mick Jones

Once the current lineup finished their set in Atlantic City, Mick took to the stage to introduce the rest of the original members and you could tell that this was an audience raised on Foreigner. I was one of those kids back in the 70's spinning my dad's vinyl, so to see and hear the guys who actually played on those original recordings was pretty amazing. Less than a minute into "Feels Like the First Time" and it was obvious that this stage full of 70ish-year-old men could still rock. 

Mick Jones

As long as Mick is breathing he will play like a guitar god and seeing him interact with Lou onstage felt like rare stolen moments that only a select few concert goers in this day and age will get to experience. Lou's vocals seem to be about the best that they've been in years and the Hard Rock audience's energy soared. 

Lou Gramm & Rick Wills

I got the feeling while watching Rick Wills on bass and Dennis Elliott on drums that they both could still be playing regularly with Foreigner if they chose to. They both helped the band barrel through "Blue Morning Blue Day" and "Long Long Way From Home" with such conviction that I really wanted to see what else they can still do. 

Rick Wills

Rick Wills & Ian McDonald

Multi-instrumentalists always intrigue me because they just have so much going on.  Ian McDonald is meticulous in getting himself together before playing and it made me so happy to see him have a bit of a sax solo complete with a bit of his own theatrical flair. 

Ian McDonald

The split setlist for the Double Vision: Then & Now shows is actually pretty perfect because it allows each generation to play to their strongest abilities. There was no better way to wrap up such a rare evening than by bringing all twelve musicians back onstage to perform "I Want To Know What Love Is" and "Hot Blooded". 

Foreigner already has a pile of dates booked for 2019 and rumor has it that some of those may turn into reunion shows as well. This fan can only hope that it's a rumor that turns into confirmed fact!

Double Vision: Then & Now Setlist

Current Lineup:
Cold As Ice
Head Games
Waiting For A Girl Like You
That Was Yesterday
Headknocker
Urgent
Juke Box Hero

Original Lineup:
Feels Like the First Time
Double Vision
Blue Morning Blue Day
Long Long Way From Home
Dirty White Boy

Both Lineups:
I Want To Know What Love Is
Hot Blooded

Lou Gramm

Ian McDonald

Jeff Pilson

Tom Gimbel & Bruce Watson

Bruce Watson & Tom Gimbel

Jeff Pilson

Tom Gimbel & Kelly Hansen

Bruce Watson & Tom Gimbel

Jeff Pilson

Bruce Watson, Tom Gimbel & Kelly Hansen

Currently Booming: Toto- 'Devil's Tower' (Newly Recorded)

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Jewel- 'You Were Meant for Me'


"I go about my business, I'm doing fine
Besides what would I say if I had you on the line?
Same old story, not much to say
Hearts are broken, everyday."


Jewel burst on the scene at just the right moment in the 90's. Hairbands and grunge had both died down and R&B was slipping just a little. New Jack Swing and house music were on the sidelines and we were needing something fresh so along came Indie rock chicks.

Sarah McGlaughin, Shawn Colvin, Paula Cole...the list is endless. One after another they pinned songs designed to tug at our heart strings as well as our wallets, and it worked. Jewel's "You Were Meant For Me" became a classic almost over night.  Especially if you were college age and trying to fill a void left by a guy. Oy was kind of the official song for breakups that aren't mutual. 

I remember watching Jewel's earliest videos and being mesmerized by the simplicity.  There was nothing flashy or glitzy. Almost the exact opposite. The visuals, while stunning, were primarily about this young woman and her guitar. They told a story all on their own. One that's worth revisiting so check it out bek

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Hole - 'Violet'




"And the sky was made of amethyst
And all the stars were just like little fish
You should learn when to go
You should learn how to say no
Might last a day, yeah
Mine is forever
Might last a day, yeah
Mine is forever
Well they get what they want, and they never want it again
Well they get what they want, and they never want it again
Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to"

I still remember the first time that I listened to Hole's Live Through This album when it was released just days after Kurt Cobain's suicide. It just clicked on the deepest level possible for me. Everything that Nirvana was to other people, Hole became to me. Cobain had reached so many people through his lyrics, but it was his wife Courtney Love, that I connected with. She fearlessly tackled feminist issues, beauty ideals and douche men in a way different from any of the rockers before her. Lyrically, Love easily became the voice for a generation of young women.

"Violet" is rumored to have been about her screwed up love affair witch Billy Corrigan of The Smashing Pumpkins. I was in my mid-twenties when the song first dropped and I totally understood the kind of situation Love was singing about. Check out the video below.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Currently Booming: New Def Leppard- 'The Story So Far: The Best of Def Leppard

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: H-Town- 'Knockin' Da Boots'


"I feel so good when I'm near you
That's why I always wanna be close to you
I'm so addicted, I'm so addicted
To makin' love to you, baby
All night long, baby, all night long, long, long, long"

H-Town's "Knockin' Da Boots" is one of my all-time favorite slow jams. The 1993 R&B classic hit Billboard's charts at the height of the New Jack Swing era and it sat near the top for several weeks in the spring of that year. Kristine Huskey, who is now a distinguished attorney and author actually appeared in the video as a dancer.

H-Town remained popular throughout much of the 90's and were putting the finishing touches on an album when lead singer Keven "Dino" Conner was killed in a car accident along with his pregnant girlfriend. The album was released nearly two years later but without Conner it didn't garner much airplay or distribution.  The remaining members of H-Town, Solomon Conner and Darryl Jackson perform some of their classics from time to time.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Saigon Kick- 'Love is on the Way'


"Time of season
Wipes the tears
No rhyme or reason
No more fears
All the dreamin'
Is far behind
You are here now
Everything's alright"


Is Saigon Kick one of the most underrated bands around? Their fans like to think so. After forming back in 1988 the band finally made a huge breakthrough with their 1992 hit ballad, "Love is on the Way". It made it to number 12 on Billboard's Hot 100 but more importantly, the song got tons of airplay across the country.

Technically, "Love is on the Way" is considered a one-hit-wonder but the band is still around, thirty years after the fact. I realized that I had never listened to a full album of Saigon Kick's and so I gave The Lizard a shot. You should too,  it's definitely worth a spin. In the meantime, here's "Love is on the Way".

Are you like me? Do you recognize this song a few seconds in, whenever you do hear it?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Currently Booming: DailyBOOM Old School Radio is Coming!


Currently Booming: Exclusive Interview with Foreigner's Tom Gimbel

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Poison - 'Life Goes On'


"Life goes on while you're miles away
And I need you
Time goes on as night steals the day
There's nothing I can do
You heal up my wounds
I tasted your tears
You spilled out your heart
So I let out my fears

But one fear that I kept to myself
Was how I prayed that you'd love no one else
Like you're saying you love me"


I'm going to let you in on a little secret. You already know how much I love hair bands (and if you don't know then just click the link at the bottom of this post to view the archive) but Poison has never been a favorite. Not even a little. Sure everyone around me was obsessed with them especially in the late 80's, but it took me a little longer.

My turning point came in 1990 when Poison released "Life Goes On". That song was and is even to this day, a pure rock ballad. It includes one of the best guitar solos of that era. It was also a turning point for the band because they were starting to trade in some of the glam elements for a more masculine vibe.

"Life Goes On" is almost like a lost hit because of so many of Poison's earlier tunes out-selling it. The thing about lost hits is that they are always a gift to rediscover, so enjoy this one!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Currently Booming: DEF LEPPARD - The Stories So Far Episode 1

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Lisa Stansfield - 'All Around the World'


"I don't know where my baby is

but I'll find him somewhere somehow

I've gotta let him know how much I care

I'll never give up looking for my baby

Been around the world and I I I

I can't find my baby

I don't know when I don't know why

why he's gone away

and I don't know where he can be
my baby but I'm gonna find him."


I always wondered why Lisa Stansfield didn't become a bigger star in the states. When she broke out in the late 80's her voice was something different. She wasn't a pop princess like Debbie Gibson or Tiffany or... instead she had an older, more grown sound. She fused pop, soul and a touch of jazz with some pretty perfect balance. What that meant for her biggest hit, "All Around the World" was that it found a comfortable spot on numerous Billboard charts. It just kind of fit wherever you put it and on numerous occassions the song fit at number one.

You can still find Stansfield performing to this day and I have to believe that smaller venues are really her favorites. Her music can just envelope an audience in theaters and clubs. Check out the video for "All Around the World" below. Do you remember it?


Monday, November 26, 2018

Exclusive Interview: Jeanette Jurado of Exposé Grateful to Share the Stage with Her 'Sisters' Thirty Years After 'Exposure'

(Photo: Daniel K. Lew)

(In case you missed it the first time!)

There are very few albums in my life that I've liked from start to finish Exposure, the debut effort from legendary girl group Exposé is still near the very top of my short list of favorites. 1987 was a year of firsts for me- the first job slinging fish in a fast food restaurant. First summer of freedom thanks to turning sixteen and having a bestie with a car. First taste of heartbreak courtesy of a boy that I didn't honestly even like.Exposé was there with me every step of the way. Whether they were blaring from a boombox while my friends and I laid in the sun covered in baby oil or were whispering through my Walkman headphones about seasons changing while tears rolled down my cheeks at 2am, they were there. And I was grateful.

Perhaps the best thing about the 80's being so hot right now is hearing my kids walk around the house singing the exact same songs that I was singing at their age. Why? Because the music is fun and it holds up and that's precisely the reason why you can catch acts like Exposé (Jeanette Jurado, Gioia Bruno, and Ann Curless) still lighting up the stage. Over the last few years, I've had a few opportunities to catch the ladies live and to connect with both Gioia and Ann, both of whom I adore.

Jeanette has been a bit more elusive. I'd liken it to catching a unicorn, you just know that if somehow you can make it happen it'll be totally worth the time and effort. This week I was finally able to chat with her one-on-one and was not disappointed. She is deeply devoted to her family, including her Exposé sisters, and has a sense of humor and a sarcastic streak that I really appreciate. Most of all, Jeanette was totally present in this interview and really dug deeper than even I expected. Check it out below. Click the links and if you have an opportunity, go and see Exposé live. I promise you'll love every minute!

Cate Meighan: It has been more than thirty years since you, Gioia Bruno and Ann Curless broke onto the music scene as Exposé, What is it that keeps you still out there performing in 2017?

Jeanette Jurado: First of all, I'm not at peace with myself or comfortable with myself unless I'm singing somewhere. If I go too long without singing my boys are like “Mom!!!” because I'm singing around the house or I'm singing in the shower full blast (laughing). I have to have some way to be able to get that out of me, it's like this built up energy and if I can't go out and sing then I'm not a happy individual. The second reason is actually getting together with Gioia and Ann. I keep joking with them about how you hear of maybe once a year girl's getting together with their friends and planning a girls weekend. I get to see them all the time and get paid (laughing)! What's there to complain about? We go and stay at a nice hotel, enjoy dinner and catch up on what's going on in each others' lives. The third thing is the audience, of course. That moment when you first go out on stage and you just feel the audience and the energy of that room. It really is, quite addicting. It's really all of those things that keeps me out there performing regularly.

(Photo: Robert Valesco)

CM: Onstage I know that you refer to each other as “sisters”. Does it really feel like a sisterhood to you?

JJ: It's absolutely true. I have two real-life sisters, no brothers. I'm the middle of the three. There's nobody that I argue with and love more. In some ways you can kind of get away with stuff because you love them so much that you know you're going to come back and work it out. Ya know, you're sisters so you kind of have to. That's the same way that it is with Gioia and Ann and I'm glad that we feel comfortable enough to be horrible with each other sometimes (laughing). I think it's a healthy thing and whenever there is a conflict between us I do think, “Okay, they're my sisters and I know we're going to get past this just give it a little time.” and in the end, we always do.

  

CM: The group really skyrocketed quickly (seven back-to-back top ten Billboard hits) and you found yourselves on the road with your sisters. Did you enjoy that part back in the early days of Exposé?

JJ: That's a hard one. There was a time when we were in Europe together, I think we were in Scotland and I was just so young and homesick. Growing up I was never one of those kids that wanted to travel the world, I was not even interested (laughing). I thought I was going to get married and have children and stay in East LA for the rest of my life so, surprise (laughing)! I was very young and I was literally having a hard time getting out of bed. I just wanted to stay in the hotel, order room service and watch CNN because it connected me to the United States. Had it not been for Annie, who had to literally at one point go and get a key to my room and force me to come out- and she yanked me out (laughing) and made me leave. She said I'd never get this opportunity again and that I had to get out of bed because she had made reservations to go see this and that. I think I was literally crying and she would often push me to go and see things that I thought I had no interest in. Had it not been for her I probably wouldn't have enjoyed half of the places that we traveled to.

That still really sticks out in my mind. I'm so grateful and I always thank her because without Ann I wouldn't have done half the things that I did. I'm much different now, but I think then I was just so young and naive that I didn't realize the golden opportunity that was right in front of my eyes that I fell into. I just didn't get it. I just thought, oh this happens to everybody that wants to be a singer (laughing). I think back now and it's comical, I thought it would always be there and I'd always be traveling- you know, who doesn't get a tour bus (laughing)? Because when you grow up and this is what you wish for this is what happens, right? No. Now I look back and realize the amazing blessings I had. Just the record company and having Gioia and Ann and being able to travel. It was all a little miracle in itself. Now I know! You're young and you think you're just invincible until you grow a little more and realize you're not.



CM: Once Exposé started to conquer the charts several other girl groups like Sweet Sensation and The Cover Girls also started to break out. Did you keep your eye on the competition?


JJ: I'd have to say I was pretty secure (laughing) only because we were so busy that I probably wasn't even paying attention. The three of us discuss that quiet often, how we were so busy and just spinning in everything going on within us and around us. Everything was so new to us so to tell you the truth I was not paying attention. I was secure in a very naive way (laughing). I had enough to worry about within Exposé to waste a minute worrying about anything outside of Exposé. We were absolutely in our own bubble and I don't remember having conversations about what anyone else was doing.


CM: When the group disbanded back in 1996, were you ready to move on?

JJ: I was def ready. We were all just so miserable in that contract. I didn't think that at the time I was saying goodbye to Kelly (Moneymaker, who replaced Gioia Bruno in the early 90's) and Ann. I knew that it wouldn't be goodbye for the three of us so I was good with that. I knew that wasn't gonna go away. But we were all just so tired of waiting to be told what we could or couldn't do. We were also not as young as when we had first started and so there were other things that had become important to us. Our freedom being one of them(laughing). I was definitely ready to not be in that position any more.


CM: So then you fast forward a decade and you girls decided to reunite. Was that an easy transition or did it take some pushing?

JJ: It took a little pushing in the beginning. It was weird talking to the girls about coming back. I think so much of it for me was wondering if we would still have an audience because I didn't know for sure. I had met a friend that suggested we get back out there and I called a few booking agents thinking that interest really wouldn't be there. But once I had conversations with various people that were still anxious to work with us, then I thought that maybe we were just missing out on an opportunity to still be doing this. I think some pushing came between the three of us, actually putting ourselves in that zone after we had been on our own for so long. We are three very headstrong women and getting together and making decisions can be tough. Sometimes what's great for Ann and I may not be the best thing for Gioia or vice versa and so it's always a compromise. Just like in any marriage, it's a constant compromise and so it takes a lot of putting your ego aside. Luckily, we were all ready to do that and so, here we are. Ann and I still have kids at home to worry about. The good thing is that Gioia is also a mom (her daughter is 29) so she really understands those feelings and that love and how important it is to be present. Somehow it all balances itself out. She knows that this is the real gig, here at home (laughing).

CM: I'm generally a B-side girl when it comes to music. What are some of your favorite Exposé songs that maybe weren't released as singles or haven't gotten the mainstream accolades as say, “Point Of No Return”?

JJ: A favorite of mine that didn't get as much attention. Funny enough, “In Walked Love” I love doing and I love the adult contemporary genre of our songs. I love being able to sing background (laughing). I love sitting behind Gioia or Ann and supporting them because I don't get to do it all the time. I get to sit back and really hear their voices and work on blending backgrounds and those are some of my favorite moments and songs. We rate our own performances on whether or not it was a great blend or the volume of the band. Those are all of the things I'm actually thinking of (laughing) and we need to have the full band with us to really figure out how to tweak our performances in general. We all discuss the technical part when we get off the stage.


It depends on the audience that we're about to perform for how we pick our songs and how we get to perform them. When we're doing the freestyle shows and it's a bunch of people onstage then we only have a short amount of time and I know the audience is there to hear the hits. So it's like bam-bam-bam, I'll arrange the show that we're about to do to please that audience. When we have a show where we have a live band, then I know it's more relaxed and we have an opportunity to play around with our arrangements and our song choices as well. It's a much more personable audience and so we have to be more personable as well. That gives us a better chance to talk to our audience, maybe tell them a story about the songs and really just play off of each other a little bit. I think the audience expects to see that investment from us at that type of show.

CM: Expose` shows are generally on the weekend and so what does a typical weekday look like for you now?

JJ: Right now my day consists of doing things with the boys because they're out of school. When they're in school it's so much easier (laughing) because when they're here it's like “Mom can we do this, mom can we do that...” so there's a lot of planning around them and cooking three times a day rather than just once. Right now I'm also putting together another band and getting all of the music together, talking to the guys. A lot of scheduling and figuring out who is free for certain dates. There are new arrangements for the live band shows that we're doing. That's my day. I also talk to the booking agents and figure out if we want to do dates or not. So it's a little of family and work. I'm all encompassing of my family but I also get to do a little Exposé stuff too. It's important to the three of us that we all have a responsibility in the group and so we've sliced it up into three pieces. My piece happens to be the music part of it.



I don't think that I'm any more technical than Gioia or Ann is but I have the advantage of working regularly with the band. Most of the time when we go out on the road I have a closer relationship with them because I work with them from where I live. I rehearse them and choose which band members we're going to use and so by the time we get to the stage there's already a great relationship between me and the guys. Ann and Gioia will sometimes just be working with them for that day or two and then they're off. So I keep up the relationship with phone calls so I'm kind of the link between the three of us and them.

CM: I think that our kids are about the same age. Is it as hard for you to step back and let your boys become more independent? I know I struggle with helicoptering myself.

JJ: I struggle every single second of the day. It is so difficult for me and the fact that my boys are both driving just like, drives me insane. You pray every time they get in the car and it's so difficult to let them fly on their own. I keep myself in check because I don't want to ruin them by being too over protective. It's just hard because there's no way that you can make sure they're safe once they go out the door so I have to tell myself that I've done my best. I've taught them, talked to them and then I shout things to them at least 12 times as they're walking out the door (laughing). These poor kids. It's my hardest struggle of all, letting them go.

CM: You so rarely speak on the record, what would you like to say to all of the fans that still listen to Exposé and venture out to the live shows?

JJ: Oh my gosh, it's going to sound so corny but I'm just so grateful to them. I'm grateful that they have a desire to come and see us and that it's important enough to leave their homes and spend their hard earned money- whether it's for the first time or the fourth time. Sharing that time with them means so much to me, now more than ever, so I'm just really grateful. We did a show recently and it was a city-run event. The audience wasn't as big as we're used to, the advertising was a little strange and it was very hot. We performed and then after the show, we actually walked around after the show and talked to the audience, which we never ever get to do. It was just the best thing talking to them was so wonderful. It's just like when I go to see a group that I admire or grew up with. When you meet them you tell them the story of why they're so important to you and what their songs remind you of. I love hearing all of that stuff and we so rarely get a chance to really do it! Even if we're signing autographs after a show it's not the same. This time we went out to talk and to connect with as many people as we could as they were leaving. It was so cool and I wish we could do that more often, have those actual
conversations when things aren't so crazy and venues aren't rushing to get people out the door.



The people were introducing us to their kids that they brought along, those Exposé babies
 (laughing)It was just so great and I wish and hope we'll maybe be able to do that more often. It's still weird to think that our songs and our music means as much to people as some of my favorites mean to me. So when we're reminded of our impact, for whatever reason, it makes me more grateful now than I've ever been. How can I not be? It just melts my heart knowing that it touches someone. 


(Photo: Rich Suweidan)


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Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Paula Abdul - 'Cold Hearted'

Image result for Paula Abdul Cold hearted

"It was only late last night he was out there sneakin'
Then he called you up to check that you were waiting by the phone

All the world's a candy store

He's been trick or treatin'
When it comes to true love girl with him there's no one home
He's a coldhearted snake look into his eyes
Oh, oh he's been telling lies he's a lover boy at play."

Who didn't love Paula Abdul back in 1988? The media had her pegged as a sweet, girl next door type that just so happened to dance her ass off. She was a former Laker girl that had already choreographed for Janet Jackson when her own solo album dropped. Forever Your Girl was a bonafide hit. By the time the third single, "Cold Hearted" was out, Abdul decided that it was time to sex up her image a bit.

She mixed Bob Fosse inspired choreography with moody lighting a barely there costumes and the result, well it was magic."Cold Hearted" is one of those videos that trained dancers consider memorable. I appreciate how timeless it is. If you were to watch it for the very first time today you would never know that it's 30 years old. Abdul and her crew create frozen moments that are memorable even after a few decades. 

I also like to kick the weekend off with something fun and this sure fits the bill. Check it out below.