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DailyBoom Your Old School Music Authority

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Fleetwood Mac - 'Big Love'

"Looking out for love
In the night so still
Oh I'll build you a kingdom
In that house on the hill
Looking out for love
Big, big love
You said that you love me
And that you always will
Oh you begged me to keep you
In that house on the hill
Looking out for love
Big, big love
I wake up alone
With it all
I wake up
But only to fall"

I was raised by parents that loved Fleetwood Mac. I vaguely remember parties thrown by them back in the 70's, a bunch of people crammed into our small living room with Stevie Nicks singing in the backdrop. Then when Tusk first came out my dad was absolutely obsessed. He played the title cut CONSTANTLY, on loop for what seemed like days. I totally got it though. I really was different from everything else that he played and I loved it. Still, I wouldn't exactly peg myself as a Fleetwood Mac "fan". I'm more of a cherry picker, with them and lots of other artists that I'm "supposed to" love.

That pickiness has still led me to a bunch of songs by the band (and by the individual artists' as well) that I do love, like "Big Love". It comes from their 1987 release Tango in the Night, which I generally do like from start to finish. "Big Love", especially acoustic versions later on, really made me appreciate Lindsay Buckingham's voice and guitar skills. He and Christine McVie released an album of duets that have done really well and is considered to be a follow up to songs from 30 years ago, like "Big Love". Check out the video below!

Sunday, November 27, 2022

LET THE MUSIC PLAY: The Tipping Point (Watch)

Follow up to Let The Music Play, an award-winning documentary by DailyBOOM Media on Covid-19's crushing impact on the music industry as seen through the eyes of artists, musicians, promoters, venue owners, merchandisers, and more.
Featuring: Jeff Pilson Michael Sweet John Waite Joel Hoekstra Haley Johnsen Sabrina Nieves Todd "Dammit" Kerns Chip Z'Nuff Ron Keel Tony Hall Jeffrey "Soave" Martinez Stacey David Blades Sal Abbatiello and more.

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Bananarama- 'Trick Of The Night'

When the day is over
And the work is done
Well it's a different story
As the darkness comes around
I tried to let you know
You're going the wrong way

And the streets you thought
Would all be paved with gold
But when the wind cuts through
You'd even try to sell your soul
Everywhere you go
It's the long way

Bananarama is easily one of the most popular girl groups of the 80's. Songs like "Cruel Summer", "Venus" and "I Heard A Rumor" kept them near the top of Billboard's Hot 100 charts for a few years in the mid-80's. Their True Confessions album from 1986 is probably one of my all-time favorite pop efforts from that era, with "A Trick of the Night" arguably being one of Bananarama's best songs ever. The album version is basically a ballad but when it was released in December of 1986 as a single extra synthesizers and vocals were added in to give it a dance feel.

"A Trick of the Night" was also included on the Jumpin' Jack Flash movie soundtrack. While the song kind of stalled out on the charts it is still considered by many to be one of the ladies best songs, especially in retrospect. Do you guys remember this one?

Friday, November 25, 2022

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Al B. Sure!- 'Night and Day'

"I can tell you how I feel about you night and day
How I feel about you
I'll love you more in the rain or shine
And making love in the rain is fine
love so good and I call it mine
Love is blind"

Al B. Sure! is one of the very first soul singers that I can remember actually being my own age when he first broke through. In the late 80's I thought of Motown when I thought of soul and just about every R&B artist out there in my age group was headed in a real New Jack Swing kind of direction. Al B. Sure! kind of made me stop dead and really listen. His song "Night and Day" hit Billboard's top ten and it was one of those end of the night request countdown favorites. The perfect song to dedicate to your boyfriend or girlfriend before going to sleep.

I know Al B. Sure! was popular but I hadn't realized just how many awards he was nominated for. We're talking Grammy's, Billboard Awards, Soul Train Awards... In other words, he had the music industry's respect as well as the fan's love. Al B. Sure! is still rooted firmly in the music biz and so are his three grown sons. 

Check out the video for "Night and Day" below. It's one of those songs that I always recognize 3 notes in!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Daily Boom Holiday Tunes: Def Leppard - 'We All Need Christmas'

Currently Booming: Exclusive Interview: Nu Shooz

(BagTown Cover Art: Malcolm Smith)


Valerie Day and John Smith, the masterminds behind the music of Nu Shooz, are always looking for creative ways to involve their fans in whatever they're doing and that certainly includes an active presence on social media. The band was first formed way back in 1979 and they were playing live gigs for years before that big breakthrough finally came. Back then Nu Shooz found it self working several nights a week onstage as part of Portland's pre-synth raging music scene. While the synth sound eventually was the catalyst that brought the bands' music to the masses (and earned them a Grammy nomination in 1987 for Best New Artist), their love for organic music and using real instruments runs deep. 1986's Poolside may be considered the most successful album for the Shooz, but their journey certainly has encompassed decades.

(Photo: Phil Isley)

While on paper it may seem that Valerie and John dropped off the radar for years, just the opposite is actually true. Valerie has performed with the Oregon Symphony Pops, several celebrated jazz artists and she has co-created a show called Brain Chemistry for Lovers beside Darrell Grant. John has been equally busy and his musical genius has kept him working in the commercial industry for more than twenty years. The 80's are one of the hottest genres out there right now and last Christmas Target decided to use "I Can't Wait" as part of their holiday advertising campaign. Admit it, you were singing along every time the commercial came on, weren't you?

The only thing bigger than the 80's right now are the tours circling the country that feature large roster's of some of the biggest names in old school music and so when the Freestyle Explosion show came knocking, Day and Smith were thrilled to jump on board. "It's amazing how strong the love for music from way back then still is. Social media also helps to keep us connected with our audience on a regular basis. It's neat to see fans from the 80's at our shows and they're now bringing their kids with them. We actually have different generations of fans waiting for autographs at meet and greets- that's a little surreal! We were told about a fun little tour (Freestyle Explosion) that would reunite Nu Shooz with a whole roster of other performers from the 80's and it's something that we've really enjoyed doing." explained Day in a recent interview with The Daily Boom.

(Photo: Mike Hipple)

Ironically enough, according to Smith, reconnecting with the diehard 80's fan base is what helped to breathe life into their latest album. "It was doing that tour that actually made us want to consider coming back with another Nu Shooz album. The love for that era of music is pretty amazing and the rush for us is still the same as it was back then. We decided that it was time to take ourselves maybe a little less seriously. We're definitely more confident both as artists and as people. Plus we have a really great band to play with. We have alumni band members now that have played our style for years. The cohesive mix makes for many “Life is good” moments. It was fun to have radio hits but nothing beats playing live."

"After making ourselves miserable musically we decided to make a record aimed at having fun and it has really worked for us. At one point John and I went to dinner with our good friends, Marv and Rindy Ross (of Quarterflash) and we were all feeling similarly about where we were at musically at that point in time. They were coming off the release of a more serious record (as were we) and Marv mentioned wanting to create an album that was just fun to play live. That idea really clicked with us and it felt like exactly what we needed to do as well." explains Day while contemplating why making this record has really worked for them.

(BagTown Cover Art: Malcolm Smith

The key to the magic that has unfolded really seems to be the fact that they have absolutely enjoyed the process.  According to Smith, "BagTown is the funnest (yes, 'funnest' and 'funner' became the descriptive words for BagTown)  album that we have made, maybe ever. With every record, the process of creation is different. Sometimes it's lyrics first, other times the music is written first. We made a city of bag people and started drawing on them and all of a sudden these bags were partying. The songs from BagTown actually came from creating this city and bringing it to life in our minds. Of course music for us is a two-way relationship and so the audience ends up being an equal partner in the whole experience."

Connect with Nu Shooz below so that you're kept up-to-date on everything that they're doing!

Nu Shooz Official Website

Nu Shooz on Facebook

Nu Shooz on Twitter

Nu Shooz on Instagram

Nu Shooz on YouTube

Monday, November 21, 2022

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Journey- 'Why Can't This Night Go On Forever'

Raised on Radio (Journey album - cover art).jpg

"Lost in twilight, the memories
Precious moments, you and me
We've been old friends, all through the years
Picture postcards, sharing tears
What's in our hearts, there's never time, to say
Need you tonight, lover don't fade away
I've seen your city lights
As I walk away."

When I think of 80's groups one of the first that has to come to mind is Journey. Whether they were rocking out or serving up one hell of a power ballad, Steve Perry and the rest of the guys always made a rock solid impression. It's really hard to choose just one favorite Journey song too. It totally depends on my mood on any given day. While I love their earlier stuff, Journey's 9th studio album, Raised on Radio has always been a favorite of mine.

The fifth single off of it, for whatever reason didn't do so great which at the time was pretty shocking to me. "Why Can't This Night Go on Forever" seemed like a pretty solid ballad to me and it was done in the same vein of every other one that charted well- or maybe that was the problem. Maybe back in 1986 we were all looking for something a tiny bit different from the guys. Regardless, it's still a really great song that seems to often be forgotten in Journey's extensive catalog of hits. Check it out for yourself below. Does this song ring a bell?

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

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: The Bangles - 'Hazy Shade of Winter'

Hang on to your hopes, my friend
That's an easy thing to say, but if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend
That you can build them again
Look around, the grass is high
The fields are ripe, it's the springtime of my life
Ahhh, seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won't you stop and remember me

Not every cover of an already popular hit works even if it's performed by a big name. Just ask Taylor Swift about that recent Earth, Wind & Fire cover. But when it does work, it usually helps to spin the song in a completely different direction, one that introduces it to a new audience.The Bangles version of "Hazy Shade of Winter" did exactly that. It was released in 1987 as part of the Less Than Zero soundtrack, but if you were a longtime Bangles fan, then you knew that they had been playing the song live since the early 80's.

The song, originally done by Simon and Garfunkel back in 1966, has a great arrangement that allows each of the ladies to shine- something that was important to them at the time. They also filmed a slick futuristic video to go along with it and that gave the song an even sharper edge. The Bangles spent the mid-80's fighting for the same band credibility that the men were being given because they could rock out just as much as the guys. "Hazy Shade of Winter" seemed to really be a breakthrough for them.

 Do you remember the video?

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Dead Or Alive - 'Come Home With Me Baby'

"Same place, after midnight,
Saw you looking so nice,
Hot stuff, pants on fire,
Please me, I want you now,

I'm born to flirt,
You're born to run,
Let's get together,
And get it on.

Come home with me baby,
Ooh, ya must be lucky,
No I don't do this for anyone,
Come home with me baby,
Ooh! ya must be lucky,
I was looking for somebody,
And you got the body I want"

When we first were introduced to Pete Burns, the lead singer for Dead Or Alive, right out of the gate it was pretty clear that he was not the typical artist. His mild gender-bending was on full display in early songs like "Brand New Lover" but by the time the group released their fourth studio album, Nude, in 1989 he had clearly quit caring what people thought. Burns was doing music his way and while mainstream radio was kind of afraid of it, Dead Or Alive was burning up the dancefloors.

"Come Home With Me Baby"  maybe would have been a huge hit if sung by someone else, if the lyrics were toned down just a bit. Burns was fearless in demanding a one-night-stand and the Latin freestyle vibe made this such a huge club hit. At a time when any hint of an alternative lifestyle was not only hidden but still considered taboo in middle America, Dead Or Alive did their thing anyway. And it was fabulous. Check out "Come Home With Me Baby" below, my all-time fav by Dead Or Alive.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: George Michael - 'Jesus to a Child'

"And what have I learned
From all this pain
I thought I'd never feel the same
About anyone or anything again
But now I know
When you find a love
When you know that it exists
Then the lover that you miss
Will come to you on those cold, cold nights
When you've been loved
When you know it holds such bliss
Then the lover that you kissed
Will comfort you when there's no hope in sight"

I jumped on the George Michael bandwagon the very first time that I heard "Careless Whisper" blaring through my father's speakers. He and Andrew Ridgely put out some of the best pop songs of the 80's but I always felt like Michael really hit his stride in the 90's. He was grown and had experienced the harshness of real adult life. By the time he released Older in 1996, he had already lost one of the loves of his life and was starting to see the downside of fame firsthand.  I think he poured everything into that album and you can feel it.

"Jesus to a Child"  is one of those songs. You can feel the fragility and the brokenness in him and in his lyrics. For every fluffy pop song out there, there needs to be something as deep as this to balance the scales. "Jesus to a Child" has a way of uniting anyone that has felt deep pain and unimaginable loss. Sooner or later, we all get there and connect with this. Check out the video, it's George at his most honest. 

Sunday, November 13, 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. 

Friday, November 11, 2022

Currently Booming: Dance Party USA Full Episode- 1987 (Watch)

Freestyle Throwback: Expose` Demo Clip of 'I Know You Know' [Listen]

Here's one from the old school freestyle vault for you guys. Earlier this week Gioia Bruno posted a clip for the demo of Expose's song "I Know You Know".  The track, off of their debut Exposure album back in 1987, is arguably one of Expose's very best. It was never released as a single but it is one that, to this day, the ladies love to perform live and audiences eat it up. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 10, 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.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Exclusive Interview: Nelson's Matthew Nelson on Elevating People with Music in an Ever-Changing World


Do you remember when Matthew and Gunnar Nelson first hit the ground running with their debut CD, After the Rain? MTV took the title track, as well as, "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" and propelled the brothers to reach the kind of popularity most musicians will only dream of. Sure, they are the third generation of successful performers in the Nelson family (beginning with grandparents Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, then father Ricky Nelson), but it's their own undeniable talent that made them a household name. Thirty years later, the Nelson brothers are still playing to sold-out audiences worldwide.

Imagine not just being on the road, but being in a different country when Covid-19 first inched its' way towards becoming a pandemic. Countries began mandatory lockdown, schools closed and borders were quickly shut in an attempt to keep the invisible virus from spreading. The Nelson brothers ended up playing beat the clock to get back to the states and back to what mattered most, their families before the whole world would quite literally change overnight.

I caught up with Matthew Nelson recently and he told me all about that experience and how the music industry has already changed out of necessity because of the ongoing pandemic. Check it out below.

Matthew Nelson on being on the road when lockdown first started:

"When this outbreak first started to happen Gunnar and I were up in Canada because we had eight sold-out shows that we had been looking forward to all year. I remember getting up there right when the Prime Minister's wife got sick with Covid-19 and just knowing we probably weren't going to be able to play the entire engagement. We knew we needed a plan B to get out just in case they closed the border. We figured out how to get through the border from different ways and sure enough, the border was closed four shows into our engagement. We had our bags packed and ready so they took us across the border into Buffalo, NY, and Gunnar and I rented a car, sanitized it, and then drove home to Nashville. We had to make sure that we got home to our families. That was our biggest fear and we talked about it a lot because no matter what came next we needed to make it home to our families.

The last show that we played was a retrospective for our father's life and music, which meant primarily people over the age of 70 in the audience. We had 4,000 older people in front of us at the first show, then the news stories started coming out and even though the shows were pre-sold out, the balcony was getting emptier.  Then by the last show, there were about 500 people in the audience. That was 500 people that chose to come and relive their youth while knowing that this thing was targeting older people. We were doing a service to them by taking them back to their youth and then we were doing the worst possible thing by collecting them all in one spot next to each other. That was really hard because they were there to see us while this invisible thing could be putting them at risk at the same time. It was really heavy and I'm not going to forget the looks on their faces because these people were so happy to be there, but they also knew it could be the last concert that they ever went to."

Matthew on how Covid-19 will inevitably change things:

"Gunnar and I are using this experience and what we're learning from it to revamp the way that we do things. I think that by the time this is all said and done the concept of streaming virtual concerts by national acts will really have been fleshed out. That's not to say that we don't want to go back out there and do more real live shows, that's not going to be taken away, but we'll have more reach if we utilize the powers that are available to us through things like the internet. For us, there will definitely be a reengineering of how to do things and it will certainly drift away from the old '70s memo on how to be a viable artist.

We normally meet people after our shows for hours.  I'm a handshake or a hug kind of guy and I like to really connect with people, but how it's done is just going to have to, unfortunately, be different for a while. There will be some good stuff that comes out of this but I sure do miss human contact."

Matthew on the good things that have spun out of being lockdown for weeks:

"It's interesting how there is almost a stronger sense of community right now in spite of the restrictions. Everyone checks in with each other more even though you can't give a handshake or a hug. I've seen a lot of really compassionate people step up during all of this.

My brother and I have had such a great run and we've been all over the world. We work so hard that we say it's like being on a treadmill because, with travel and preparation, it's like a three-day time investment for us to do just one show. We do it because to a certain degree we feel like we're ministering through music. We're elevating people for an hour and a half and that's really important, but I think the positive side of what we're all experiencing now this year is that we are able to stay home. My five-year-old asked me if I'm going to be playing shows again soon, because he said that he'll miss me when I'm gone and oh, did that hit me right in the heart. I mean my dad went through it and my grandparents went through it and they figured out how to still keep the family close together. I don't care that much about money and things, I feel far wealthier by getting to be a dad. I value family and a good thing that is coming out of this now, people know what their house looks like. Parents right now have to be schoolteachers and funmeisters, and I don't think that's a bad thing.

Maybe we really needed to be reminded of what really matters most and it was going to take something this drastic to get everyone to all stop at once. We get caught up in thinking we have to have a nicer house or a nicer car and then we've got to pay for all of that stuff. So we all keep going, we stay on that treadmill and you know what, at the end of our lives we're not going to look back thinking, 'man did I have cool stuff'. If you were on your death bed you'd be hoping that your family would be okay, you'd hope that you made a difference and that they'll still love you when you're gone. That's the stuff you're going to think about and not what kind of car is in the garage. None of those things matter now it's all back to the basics of food, shelter, water, and our health.

I think our focusing on family now is a shift that really needed to happen. It has happened in a weird way and we are barraged with all kinds of conflicting information, it's like, 'don't ever leave the house unless you have to leave the house!'. The one thing that I'm not digging is the whole controlling people through fear thing. The opposite of fear is love and at least people at home with their families are connecting with their nexus, the people that are really important. Start right there with the people that you love and then kind of reset everything else. I think we were kind of in a hurry to nowhere with everyone being so divided on politics or on what they feel. A lot of people gain from that and people are easier to control when they're angry with each other. People are realizing that they don't like being told what to think or how to feel and I'm one of those people that believes that people are inherently good. I think we're starting to remember that because we're all together now. Alone together, but we're dealing with the same things and facing a common thread which is fear."

Matthew on why he and Gunnar decided to join Cameo:

"Cameo is a site that allows us to connect directly with our fans. People will ask us to send a greeting to this person or to cheer up that person and I always have my guitar with me when I'm doing them. One person mentioned an obscure song that was done years ago and never released so I relearned the song just to be able to surprise them with it. That kind of thing is cool because it feels like a personal meet and greet just for them, but it's forever. I really dig that, being able to make our fans something special and talk to them directly. It's not the same as a meet and greet, it's a little different, but it's something that we can do to stay connected to them for now and that's really important. If you're getting me or Gunnar, or both of us singing you a song personally, that's not so bad (laughing), plus we love doing it.

It is a pay service, everything has a value and that's really how you have to look at it. People aren't spending money on shows right now and it's not like it was when Gunnar and I were just starting out when everyone would line up at the record stores. When we first started we used to give a lot of tickets away and when you actually came to see Nelson on our tour in 1991 the tickets were $18.The philosophy was that we would give away our performances, and trust me we left it all on stage always, but the goal was to sell the CD's. Now kids aren't paying anything for music, they grow up thinking it's free. I'm a songwriter, I write my own stuff and I've found that if there is no value attached to something then people either take it for granted or they think that it's worthless. Entertainment is not worthless and we still have to put food on the table."

Matthew on what the immediate future may hold for music fans:

"We're going to have to figure out how to do concerts again with social distancing and so first we have to figure out how that can even work. Gunnar and I have taken this time to really study up and there are a couple platforms online that people are using to stream shows. At my brother's house, we've built what is basically a live performance venue, a full room with pallet wood and guitars everywhere, lighting, the whole deal. We're looking into purchasing a system so that we can actually broadcast and live stream real shows and maybe have it be interactive so that we can take people's requests. We still would need to figure out the monetization of it because again, things of value must have a value. We'll figure it out, I do believe that and I believe that stuff will get better."

Check out Nelson's official site for music, merch, and rescheduled tour dates.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Robert Plant- 'Tall Cool One'

"Move over mister - step on back in the crowd
'Cause she's a whole lotta sister 'bout to drive me wild
Lotta places I've been, lotta names, lotta words
No one compares to my real gone girl
Lighten up baby, I'm in love with you."

When Robert Plant left Led Zeppelin it kind of seemed like a no-brainer that he would of course go on to have a fantastic solo career. It was his fourth album, Now and Zen that is probably the best remembered, thanks in great part to the success of "Tall Cool One". Ironically, it wasn't the best charting song, landing in Billboard's top 25, but MTV kept the video in heavy rotation. Coca-Cola knew a catchy tune when they heard it and started using "Tall Cool One" as part of a commercial campaign. The fact that it samples a medley of Zeppelin hits at the end doesn't hurt either. Check out the video below, do you remember this one?

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Daily Boom Freestyle Friday: Pajama Party on Dance Party USA- 'Yo No Se'

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Giant - 'I'll See You In My Dreams'

I'll see you in my dreams

There we'll be safe tonight from the lonely days of memory
I'll see you in my dreams
Back in my arms again and no matter what tomorrow brings
I'll see you in my dreams

It's kind of amazing how much staying power a good rock ballad can have, even if it's a one-hit-wonder. In 1990 "I'll See You In My Dreams" hit the radio airwaves and it was one of those songs that everyone wanted to know who was singing on it. It's that big, showy power ballad that grabs your attention right from the start and holds it. It gave Giant their first and only real moment in the chart success sun that is Billboard. The guys first got together in 1987 and had disbanded by 1992. While they've moved in different directions over the years, a reunion album and some shows have popped up every once in awhile.

I'm not sure if Giant will ever find themselves with another hit, but "I'll See You In My Dreams" is still getting plenty of airplay on rock stations. Check out the video below. Do you remember this one?

Monday, October 31, 2022

Daily Boom 90's Nostalgia: Simply Red- 'Stars'

I wanna fall from the stars
Straight into your arms
I, I feel you
I hope you comprehend.

I'm going to be really honest here, I don't remember very much from 1991. I was 20 and it was most definitely not my best year that's for sure. I was juggling school, work, and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life and that day job, it really didn't help the quality of my life at all. It was an office (not so) affectionately known as "the smoke infested dungeon" because back in 1991 smoking inside of public places was perfectly legal and smoke, they did.

Twenty-five salespeople in one huge space cold calling hundreds of people each day, begging them to invest in five years worth of magazines.

Five magazines for five years. Obviously, that went really well. The same pitch call after call, half praying that the next person that answered didn't decide to do the math in your ear and point out that it was actually a $500 investment to paper that may not even exist in 5 years! Lousy job and most days ended with no commission and a massive headache from all of the smoke sitting in the air.

There were three side offices off of the main room and after about 6 months I was lucky enough to be bumped to a desk in one of them. The four people in each office were out of sight and out of managements' mind, so they usually forgot to listen to our calls. We also had a radio and believe me, besides having each other to talk to, that radio was the only other high point in the job. When you've got an office job it quickly becomes apparent just how repetitive regular radio is and back in 1991 the top 40 songs were played every 3.5 to 4 hours without fail. "Stars" by Simply Red was one of the last songs that I heard at the end of my shift every day for about two weeks leading up to when I told Hearst Corp exactly where they could stash their mags for good. 

The song, combined with quitting time always made me happy back then and now, it still puts a smile on my face for sure.

Daily Boom 70's Throwback: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

"Let's do the time warp again."

For the record, I'm not so old that I remember the cult classic hit when it first rolled into a limited number of theaters. No. But it does take me back to my freshman year of high school.

Up until then my knowledge of Rocky Horror was limited to the fact that our local shopping mall movie theater showed it every Saturday night and honestly, I only knew that because it was listed on the big sign out front. It was the very last thing listed and it seemed like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" always seemed to be missing a letter.

In ninth grade, my homeroom was in one of the main freshmen art rooms and it was like nothing I had ever seen before. While I've mentioned my dad's love/obsession with music and how that influenced me, my mom's creativity also rubbed off. She was always an artist of some sort. I actually remember her being in art school when I was in preschool and going to the library with her every week. She would check out books on commercial art while I got... whatever and then we would go for lunch at a little drugstore luncheonette nearby. I still remember looking at copies of our daily newspaper to find my mom's drawings. Way back in the 70s and early 80s store advertisements were drawn and she used to do the ads for women's wear. She also had a perfume ad that was used for a major campaign and I remember her working on a greeting card line that featured a little girl with a magical purse.

So anyway, back to me. I was raised surrounded by art supplies and creativity so walking into this classroom was surreal. Real talk, it was probably pretty shitty if you weren't into art. It was the size of about three classrooms put together and we sat at huge wooden tables that seated 8 people. The tables were coated in paint, pastel, and every other medium available. There was artwork from floor to ceiling, no lie. Mr. Kingsley put things up really high to dry and while it looked like a disaster I don't think he ever actually lost anything. I ended up having him for art, which I chose as an elective so that meant I spent 90 minutes in his class twice a week.

It was in his class that I got to know a girl named Kim. I had known her for a few years but never spent any real time with her until 9th grade. She and I were the only girls at our table and as luck would have it, all eight of us really were into art, so it was cool right from the start. It was early 1986 and after a few months together we had all really bonded. Mr. Kingsley, well he was a trip. Super quiet and always wore a layer of guyliner. He smoked in his closet and let the guys chew (remember when THAT was popular???) as long as they hid their spitters if the principal walked in. As long as we did our work he left us alone and encouraged us to talk from bell to bell.

Talk we did. Kim's obsession was The Rocky Horror Picture ShowShe talked about it nonstop and was super excited because her mother was allowing her to go to the midnight showings at the mall each week. Since she was able to go Kim decided to dress up as her favorite character, Columbia. Back in the 80's not only did people go to the movie every week but they also dressed up and reenacted it in front of the screen and Kim was picked to be our theater's unofficial official Columbia.

She would take pictures every weekend and bring them into art class on Monday to show us. I have to wonder if she still has a stack of those photos and if so does she crack them out to show her kids now? Anyway, after months of hearing about Columbia and Magenta and Riff Raff, a few of us decided to go to the show with Kim. That was a one-time thing because none of us really saw what it was that kept Kim running back for more, but Rocky Horror gave this girl life all the way through high school.

I shared a lot with my table mates in that art class. On the good days we won the coin toss and controlled the radio, dissected Heather Locklear's marriage to Tommy Lee, and counted down until we weren't freshmen anymore. On the bad days, we cried over a classmate's death in a car accident, fought over art supplies, and vented about real-life problems at home. On one particularly bad day in January of 1986 we, like the rest of the school, had our classroom television tuned to the live launch of the Challenger Space Shuttle. It was the first time that a teacher was chosen to go into space, making it a groundbreaking mission. When the Challenger broke apart a little over a minute into its launch our whole class screeched, a sound that seemed to echo through the entire school.

That old art classroom may have been the messiest in the school, but looking back it kind of feels like one of the most valuable spaces in the building. Those walls, to this day, hold an awful lot of personal history for thousands of kids that have passed through over the years. Make-ups and break-ups, secret revelations, historical moments in American history, oh and of course, tons of creativity and the birth of a few very successful artists as well. I used to think that Mr. Kingsley was just flying by his ass and doing the bare minimum to keep his job. Now I get what he probably did decades ago. The very best thing that he could do was to create a space for kids to come and just "be" for a while. Rocky Horror Picture Show and all.

I still can't believe it's more than 40 years old. I'm thinking it's time to take another look at the flick to see if my impression has changed. God only knows what seeing the real Columbia in action will remind me of!

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Currently Booming: Whitesnake - 'Here I Go Again' Original 1982 Version (Watch)

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Franke & the Knockouts- 'Sweetheart'

Who love you from the start?
Who treats you like a star?
Oh sweetheart
Who loves you baby?
Who loves you wrong or right?
Cause you're the spark in my life
Yeah day and night

"Sweetheart" by Franke & the Knockouts is one of those songs that I remember loving but I knew absolutely nothing about. It ended up on my Discover playlist that Spotify hand-picks for each user every Monday. This song was a top-ten Billboard hit for the New Jersey group way back in June of 1981. Franke & the Knockouts eventually put out two successful albums and had a few singles before splitting in 1986.

This is where it gets pretty cool, Tico Torres moved on to play drums for none other than Bon Jovi and lead vocalist Franke Previte's writing talents were honored a few years later. He contributed two tracks on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, Eric Carmen's "Hungry Eyes" and the infamous "I Had The Time Of My Life". The later actually earned Previte an Academy Award for Best Original Song. 

Before those great accomplishments came "Sweetheart", complete with chest hair, glitter and (not so) slick dance moves!