Friday, January 12, 2018

Mall Memories

Some of the best memories of my '70s childhood and '80s adolescence took place in shopping malls. Nowadays there is talk that the age of the shopping mall is passing (although you couldn't tell it from some of the malls where I live, where there are several thriving), but in the '70s and '80s the mall was at its height as a center of commerce and popular meeting place.

I have so many good memories of being in these climate-controlled, air conditioned shopping centers, and here are some.

The Style. Malls in the '70s and '80s had such a different style than today. Back then the typical mall aimed for a futuristic style that resembled the city in Logan's Run. Modern sculpture, water features, and lighting were common. 

Fountains. Most Malls of the '70s and '80s featured fountains, usually with the same modern style. Lots of them too, often in different locations of the same mall.  I loved those, and the fun ambiance they created. 

The Stores. I remember the specialty stores that you sometimes found only in malls, where you found them in abundance. Food vendors like Fanny Farmer Candies and Hickory Farms. Bookstores like Waldenbooks and B. Dalton Books. Record stores like Camelot records. Big department stores, some no longer in existence, like Burdines, Robinsons, Maas Brothers, and Jordan Marsh. There always seemed to be a store selling electric organs, featuring someone hired to play it and attract customers. Chick Fil-A was, at that time, found almost always in malls. Some of those names and experiences are now forgotten, others continue as much cherished establishments.

Growing up, my family used to eat at York Steak House, a family restaurant commonly found in malls. The decor at York often had the dark wood style so often found during that era, with a certain "Olde English" decor. We would then walk over to Doctor Pet Center, a typical mall pet shop where we would look at the various animals they had on display. And then we would go through the mall to enjoy the various sights and sounds of the mall. As a teen, this would involve bookstores and record stores, where I would indulge my musical and reading tastes as a nerdy teen.

Now, it is said that internet shopping and outdoor shopping centers are eclipsing the old malls. But I will always remember fondly the ways malls used to be. They were a safe place where you could stroll, get the latest record, and get something to eat. Here's to malls of the '70s and '80s.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year from Space

I'm a major fan of the space exploration. It always gives me hope in the human ability to advance, and even the most mundane space missions seem exciting because . . . its space!  So occasionally, I feature some space-related posts, regardless of whether they are retro or not. What a better way to celebrate New Years Day than from space? So here's a space-age Happy New Year from the International Space Center. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Band Aid at Top of The Pops, 1984 (and Happy New Year!!)

If you can handle one more bit of belated holiday spirit before the new year, here's a wonderfully '80s performance by Band Aid, the '80s super-group of primarily British musicians, of their hit charity single "Do They Know Its Christmas" on Britain's Top of the Pops program. 

This 1984 performance seems to have most of the Band Aid musicians present, and everything looks and feels very '80s.  

I figure the sentiment is just as applicable to New Years as to Christmas, so, with that, I wish you all a Happy New Year!! 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Sia - Candy Cane Lane

This is such a catchy, happy song. Just makes you want to jump into the holidays!!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Holiday Songroll 2017

Its become almost a tradition on this blog that every December, I do a post with a bunch of Christmas songs. Its that time of year again, and what a better song to start with than the truly beautiful '80s Christmas song from the Pretenders, "2000 Miles."

Here's one from the late '70s from former Beatle Paul McCartney, and his band Wings, who are having a "Wonderful Christmas Time."

Heres another incredible voice from the '80s, that of Annie Lennox.  Here, she's with her early '80s synth duo Eurythmics, with their rendition of "Winter Wonderland."

U2 rocks Christmas in a very '80s style, with "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"

Another '80s rocker, John Mellencamp, does his version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."

And, lastly on this post, the truly memorable Christmas song with a message, Band Aid's "Do They Know Its Christmas," from 1984.

To all my readers:

Merry Christmas
Happy Hannukah
Happy Holidays
Feliz Navidad

Sunday, December 3, 2017

1977 Commercial with a Message

Okay, I've posted this wonderful 1977 Coca-Cola Christmas commercial several times before, but this year in particular it's message is poignant and true. Look at the idea this clip presents, which I wish would be more true in our society: people of all walks of life and cultures together sharing the love of the holidays.

To all my readers:
Merry Christmas!!
Happy Hannukah!!
Happy Holidays!!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Thanksgiving Message: "Let It Be"

In 1987, a group of British and American musicians created a single to collect proceeds for charities set up in the aftermath of the Zeebrugge Disaster, the sinking of a British ferry loaded with people in which many died. 

The group sang the classic 1970 Beatles song, "Let It Be." The musicians gathered included Paul McCartney, Boy George, Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits), George Michael, Kim Wilde, Nik Kershaw, Edwin Starr, Kate Bush, Gary Moore, Bananarama, Bonnie Tyler, The Alarm, and many others.

I post this song on for this Thanksgiving 2017, and dedicate it to the healing of our society and the people in it. In the United States, where I live, and also perhaps throughout the world, we are undergoing a season of discord and conflict. We seem to have a hard time, presently, listening to one another and seeing each other beyond the sharp political and social divisions which now exist. Here's to healing, and, as the holiday season begins, to faith in a better and brighter future.

Let It Be.