Rest in peace, Ric Ocasek: The Cars, “Since You’re Gone”

(Above: "How does he walk on the pool?" we asked, dumbfounded.) The news of the death of Cars frontman Ric Ocasek came as a bit of a surprise yesterday. I was perhaps more surprised by the fact that he was 75. That would have made him about 34 when the band hit it big initially, … Continue reading Rest in peace, Ric Ocasek: The Cars, “Since You’re Gone”

Songs of senior year: The Billboard Hot 100, September 21, 1985

(Above: The new sign in front of Andrew High. I never sped past this playing the "Miami Vice" theme.) September 21, 1985 is a Saturday - which is the day that all of the Billboard charts come out. It was a hectic time at the start of my senior year of high school. The night … Continue reading Songs of senior year: The Billboard Hot 100, September 21, 1985

Ten Albums: Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde (1966)

At long last, we have reached the top of my personal Top Ten.  To recap: 10. Too Much Joy, Cereal Killers (1991) 9. R.E.M, Document (1987) 8. They Might Be Giants, Flood (1990) 7. Dire Straits, Making Movies (1980) 6. Simon and Garfunkel, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966) 5. The Who, Meaty Beaty Big … Continue reading Ten Albums: Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde (1966)

Stuck inside of Mobil, or How I Missed Live Aid: Katrina and the Waves, “Walking on Sunshine” (1985)

(Above: Had I seen Live Aid, I would have no doubt seen this image.) I didn't watch Live Aid. Every year around this time - July 13 - someone brings up the anniversary of Live Aid, the benefit concert that took place in London and Philadelphia on that date in 1985.  It was a huge … Continue reading Stuck inside of Mobil, or How I Missed Live Aid: Katrina and the Waves, “Walking on Sunshine” (1985)

Hearts and dances: Billboard Adult Contemporary hits of February 1983-1986

(Above: A high school dance, circa 2018) The power of Twitter: I learned that my old high school, Victor J. Andrew HS, is holding a dance tonight. It's called "Just Dance." It comes at the end of Spirit Week, which had a variety of activities to bolster pride in the school. Tickets for Just Dance … Continue reading Hearts and dances: Billboard Adult Contemporary hits of February 1983-1986

‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the mall: Atlantic Soul Classics (1985)

(Above: The mall used to get a bit trashed on the day after Christmas.) In my career, I have worked in three main areas: Retail (1985-1988). My first job was selling cigarettes to minors at a gas station in Tinley Park, IL. From there I moved to working at the mall. Most of the time … Continue reading ‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the mall: Atlantic Soul Classics (1985)

Rest in peace, Tom Petty: “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (1985)

(Above: Tom Petty from the coolest video of 1985.) This one's going to be hard to write. I have a list of them in my head: the musical obits that will be tricky ones for me, because the music that the people who will be featured in them meant so much to my formative years. … Continue reading Rest in peace, Tom Petty: “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (1985)

Fall, football, and forgetting: U2, “A Sort of Homecoming” (1985)

(Above: My senior picture, Fall 1985.  You'd think someone would have said "Do you want a comb?") The past week has been Homecoming Week at my high school.  I was at Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park for four years. I haven't been back to it in twenty, or five times as long … Continue reading Fall, football, and forgetting: U2, “A Sort of Homecoming” (1985)

As I look back now, the summer seemed to last forever: The Billboard Hot 100, July 27, 1985

(Above: me, representing AM radio, circa 1985-86.) In some ways, the Summer of '85 was my last truly carefree summer.  I know I've made a similar argument about 1988 in another piece, as that was the last time I had had a summer vacation at all until leaving the world of radio for teaching. But … Continue reading As I look back now, the summer seemed to last forever: The Billboard Hot 100, July 27, 1985

Greatest misses: ‘Til Tuesday, “Coming Up Close” (1987)

(Above: LP cover for Welcome Home, 1987) In the summer of 1985 I got to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for the first time.  It was the Southern Accents tour, perhaps now more famous for the concert shirts featuring the Confederate flag on them as "Rebels" was the single the record company was pushing.  … Continue reading Greatest misses: ‘Til Tuesday, “Coming Up Close” (1987)