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"

Saturday, May 13, 2017

For Mom: "Thank You For Being A Friend"

In previous years, I celebrated Mother's Day by celebrating my mom's love of cop and action shows.  She also enjoyed comedy, especially the mild, non-edgy, well-meaning kind.  She loved the '80s and '90s sitcom "The Golden Girls," which featured the catchy opening song "Thank You For Being A Friend." The song was actually a top 40 pop hit for Andrew Gold in 1978, which was re-purposed for the show.

I think the song is appropriate, not only because my mom loved that show so much, but because the lyrics are also so appropriate.  My mom passed away in 2003, and this post is in tribute to her. Here's to you mom.

          Thank you for being a friend 
          Traveled down the road and back again
          Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidant

          And if you threw a party
          Invited everyone you knew
          You would see the biggest gift would be from me
          And the card attached would say 

         Thank you for being a friend  

(Thanks to TVLand for the video.)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

John Cougar Mellencamp: "Pink Houses"


Here's a video, and song, from the 1980's that contains a story and a message. John Cougar Mellencamp's "Pink Houses," before he discarded the "Cougar" in his name. The messages about life and serious issues were one of the things I appreciated most about Mellencamp's work.  Liked that James Deanish "rebel" image he had.