Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Nena: "99 Red Balloons" and Visit to America

Check it out. 

Back in 1983, as the Cold War was in full swing, the German singer-songwriter Nena released a timely protest song that raised the concerns so many had about the threat of nuclear war. It became one of the most memorable and iconic '80s songs, and a reminder of one of the more scary aspects of living in the '80s. 
The Cool video illustrates the point.

Nena became one of a few German new wave artists that had hits in the United States, along with Falco ("Rock Me Amadeus") and Peter Schilling ("Major Tom").

Now, Nena's visiting the U.S. for several concerts starting in late September. 

Welcome Nena!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

To Those Who Gave All

Deep respect and honor to those whose lives were taken on 9-11, including those who died in the towers, on the aircraft that were taken as weapons, in the skies over Pennsylvania, in the Pentagon, and among those first responders who were trying to save people and lost their own lives in the process.

Thank you to all first responders who risked all to do good on that tragic day, and every day.

Above, Sir Paul McCartney's simple, uncomplicated, but heartfelt tribute.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Us Festivals (1982 and 1983)

Early on in the '80s, just as MTV was starting to take off, Apple Computer mogul Steve Wozniak sought to put together a concert festival that combined the biggest bands with the latest technology. 

The result were the Us Festivals.  So named to encourage community in the dawning decade of the '80s, in contrast to the "Me Generation" of the '70s. 

The first Us Festival was held over the course of three days, during the Labor Day weekend of 1982. This first festival included such cutting edge musicians as Pat Benatar, the Talking Heads, Oingo Boingo, and the B-52s, along with classic acts such as the Grateful Dead and Jimmy Buffet.  Above is Pat Benatar rocking the Us Festival with her very '80s style.

A second Us Festival was held the following year, during Memorial Day holiday of 1983. This time, the festival was a total of four nights, with each night devoted to a particular category of music: New Wave, Heavy Metal, Rock, and Country.  Here's some footage from the Us '83, including Missing Persons performing the very, very new wave '80s song "Walking In L.A."

Sunday, August 28, 2016

'80s Summer Songs: "R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A."

Here's a great '80s song which would be suitable at any time of year, but it sounds like a great song to blast from your car radio on a good summer roadtrip.  Back in the '80s, nostalgia for the '60s was all over the place and this 1985 song highlights that.  Just as Mellencamp says that he was glad to have grown up in such a unique era as the '60s, I too am glad to have grown up in the awesome '80s.  Here's two in one: a fun '80s song about the '60s.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Boy George, Jack Black and Robbie Krieger: "Hello, I Love You"

Check this out.  Its Boy George and Jack Black on the Conan show doing the classic Doors song, "Hello, I Love You," with Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger.

This is such a great combo. I love all these guys, and what a great classic song.

Since were on the topic of Boy George, here's a flashback from him.  Culture Club with their classic song and video, "Karma Chameleon."

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Dick Van Dyke Still Spreading Joy

Its wonderful to see that Dick Van Dyke is still out there spreading wonder and joy. Here he is regaling breakfast customers at a Santa Monica Denny's with a rendition of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," from his 1968 movie of the same name. He posted on facebook that "Breakfast at Denny's with a side of grits makes me want to sing!!"

Van Dyke has become well known for the '60s era Dick Van Dyke Show, for his performances in such family fantasy fare as Mary Poppins (1964) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), and is more recently known for his '90s stint on Diagnosis Murder and in Night at the Museum (2006).  Now he's in an a cappella singing group called Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastics, who join him in the impromptu surprise performance shown above.  Its great to see him going strong and having fun at 90. 

Here they are on Conan's show.

Heres their site: www.vantastix.com

Sunday, August 14, 2016

'80s Summer Song: "Walking on Sunshine"

Here's a summery type of song, although the video doesnt look very summery.  I guess the video shows that the sun can be shining in your own world, even if the world around you looks cold and dreary.   Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine" always sounded to me like a wonderful song to play poolside during the summer heat, with the smell of chlorine and the sound of pool water splashing in the air, and people slathered in sun lotion lounging around catching some rays or drinking a cool tropical drink.