Saturday, June 17, 2017

For Father's Day: "The Leader of The Band"



In commemoration of Father's Day, I offer a song that I think is very appropriate: Dan Fogelberg's 1981 tribute to his own father, "The Leader of the Band." This song provides some tender and thoughtful lyrics which describe my own feelings toward my father, now as he finds himself in the later years of his life.
  The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old                             But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul               My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man                                           I'm just a living legacy to the leader of the band

My father was a teacher who taught High School history with great concern and care for the subject he was teaching. He had many ups and downs through his life, including having to leave the nation of his birth due to oppressive political conditions, to start life anew in the United States. He is now enjoying a well deserved retirement.  I am blessed to still have him with me, and to be able to still express my love and appreciation to him.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

E.T. Commercials

In continuing celebration of the 35th anniversary of the classic 1982 movie E.T., the Extra Terrestrial, here are a bunch of E.T.-themed '80s era commercials. As you can see, E.T. was just about everywhere in the '80s.










Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Re-Post: Remembering E.T.

June 11, 2017 was the 35th anniversary of the release of the classic Steven Spielberg movie, E.T., in the United States.  This post is in commemoration of that great film, and the era in which it was released.

Back in 1982, Neil Diamond released a song written by himself, Carole Bayer Sager, and Burt Bacharach, which was inspired by E.T..  Here is that song, "Heartlight," whose lyrics refer to scenes from the movie. (Thanks and acknowledgments to weintzer for this Youtube video.)

Here, below, is a post about my being taken to see the movie with my parents, originally posted in 2011.


Seeing E.T. For The First Time

October 21, 2011

I remember when my parents took me to see E.T., '80s sci-fi classic from Steven Spielberg.

The movie came out in June 1982, so this must have been mid to late late '82. I was a somewhat nerdy, awkward 12 years old loner, often in living in my own odd dreamy world. The fact that I was also an only child added to my solitary nature, I suppose. But I was quite close to my parents, although sometimes I even felt misunderstood by them as well, and this would occasionally lead to conflict in my teen years. But this memory was one of being close to them, and I treasure it now as I sit here writing about it.

We went to see the film at a small, one theater cinema in the downtown of our small home town. It was an old theater that had been there seemingly forever, and was still there in the '80s. It was in the very midst of the fan mania that developed over the film, and there was a long line that stretched around the entire front of the small theater and around the side to the parking lot out back.  

We took our place in line, and when we got inside the theater was packed to capacity, with every seat filled.  At that age, I was not yet used to going to see movies at the theater, so the whole thing was quite new to me. I remember we got some popcorn and Coke, and took our seats in the crowded theater. I also remember that in the midst of the movie, someone spilled a drink a row behind us. But I remember the experience fondly.



I remember the pleasure I got in seeing this beautiful film.  There was a tangible warmth about it, there were so many different details that seemed to shine through about the film. I remember the funny scene where E.T. inspires the young protagonist, Eliot, to come to the rescue of the frogs which were to be used during his school's science class, and he proceeds to cause havoc by freeing all of them in the midst of class. I also remember that my mother cried when E.T. briefly appeared to die, and I remember the joy that came when he miraculously revived and was alive.  



It felt like I was part of some wonderful phenomenon that all of America was participating in, and maybe beyond our borders to the world.  I somehow felt like I identified with the young protagonist Eliot, played by actor Henry Thomas. But then, didn't we all identify with young Eliot at that young age, befriending this wondrous being from another world.  





Thursday, June 8, 2017

Berlin: "The Metro"


 



Another new wave classic song and video from the early '80s, during the halcyon years of MTV: Berlin synth-heavy "The Metro" (1981).

 According to Wikipedia:
The Berlin recording is known for epitomizing the new wave genre as a blending of punk rock and pop, with heavy use of the Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synthesizer. Terri Nunn said the song, which was a breakthrough hit for Berlin, "defined us and defined that period of music."

Monday, May 29, 2017

Roger Moore (1927-2017)

     In tribute to Roger Moore, I now post a revised portion of a previous post which originally appeared on December 8, 2012


Bond (James Bond) In The '80s



With James Bond back in theaters, it got me thinking back to James Bond as he was in the '80s. Bond, of course, was present in films dating back to the early '60s with the first James Bond, Sean Connery. By the time the 1980s started, Bond was being played by Roger Moore, who was chronologically the third actor to play Bond in the movies.

But, as classic as Sean Connery and his brief substitute, George Lazenby, may have been, it was Roger Moore that I first remember as Bond, in television broadcasts of his '70s Bond films like The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). In the early '80s, he was still going strong as Bond, in For Your Eyes Only (1981), and the film whose title I originally thought belonged to a comedy spoof, before I realized it was that of an actual Bond film, Octopussy (1983).

Moore's last Bond film was 1985's A View to A Kill. Although sometimes not accorded the critical respect of certain other Bond films, I can't help but think that A View to A Kill was the quintessential '80s Bond flick. Released in the very middle of the decade, it featured many of the traits we all know and love from that era.

This film featured Christopher Walken as the very '80s, yet also very Bond, villain, in the form of an evil computer mogul. The perfect villain at the dawning of the computer age. In yet another very '80s twist, A View to a Kill also featured Grace Jones in the role of similarly villainous May Day. And if all that weren't '80s enough, there was the very '80s theme song from Duran Duran. Whats not to like?  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The '80s Folk Music Revival

The Washington Squares
The '80s is sometimes, rightly, identified with the colorful and quirky new wave musical movement, or perhaps with the hard rock of glam metal, or with any number of varied other genres, such as the roots rock of Bruce Springsteen or John Mellencamp. But the 1980s was a tremendously vibrant and culturally varied decade, with many cultural subgroups expressing themselves in different ways. One of them was a new generation of folk revivalists.



Folk music is probably most identified with the protest era of the 1960s, through musicians such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Peter Paul & Mary, but folk has both strong roots in previous eras, and also often reappeared throughout subsequent eras. The '80s folk revival was represented by such artists as Traci Chapman, Suzanne Vega, the Indigo Girls, Michelle Shocked, and the Washington Squares. I vividly remember Chapman's "Fast Car," and Suzanne Vega's "Luka," serious songs dealing with serious issues, on the radio when I first started college.  


Above is a great 1983 report about the folk scene at the legendary Folk City in New York's Greenwich Village, which now featured '80s folk revivalists The Washington Squares.  (Thanks and acknowledgement to Dnikdoog1.)

Here's the Washington Squares doing their version of Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows." (Thanks and acknowledgement to Dnikdoog1.)


Here's another group that was more visible toward the end of the '80s, the Indigo Girls with 1989's "Closer to Fine." I remember this song fondly from the beginning of my college years.   (Thanks and acknowledgement to IndigoGirlsVEVO.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dire Straits: "Money For Nothing"







Here's a music video about music videos. 
About "playin the guitar on the MTV"

Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing"