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”

A summer vacation soundtrack: The Billboard Hot 100, June 9, 1984

(Above: The end of sophomore year. Someone please get this kid a haircut.) The first full week of June 1984 would have meant the start of summer vacation. I had just completed my sophomore year at Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park. The bulk of my daytime activity that summer involved something that … Continue reading A summer vacation soundtrack: The Billboard Hot 100, June 9, 1984

Rockin’ the suburbs: The Billboard Top Rock Tracks, February 12, 1983

Yesterday's post about the songs likely played at the school dances right around this time was a bit of a bummer. It's not because school dances themselves are sad - certainly not so many years later - but because the songs on the list were, frankly, a downer. They're also not the things I would … Continue reading Rockin’ the suburbs: The Billboard Top Rock Tracks, February 12, 1983

RIP, J. Geils: “Must Of Got Lost” (1974)

(Above: J. Geils.) Last night my various social media feeds filled with the news that John Warren Geils Jr.  passed away at the age of 71.  It's only when you shorten his first name to an initial that the name likely rings a bell. The J. Geils Band was a live show phenomenon in the … Continue reading RIP, J. Geils: “Must Of Got Lost” (1974)

Exploring the pop charts: The Billboard Hot 100 (March 26, 1983)

(Above: Michael Jackson, about to debut the moonwalk on Motown 25, taped 3/25/1983.) The last week in March of 1983 I was looking forward to the end of my freshman year of high school. Baseball fans on the South Side of Chicago were looking forward to opening day, not necessarily realizing that it would become … Continue reading Exploring the pop charts: The Billboard Hot 100 (March 26, 1983)

A Friday night watching MTV Classic’s “I Want My ’80s”

It's a cold Friday night in Michigan. Spring break at GVSU has technically started, but we're too exhausted to do anything more than plop down on an overstuffed couch and relax.  There's nothing on television worth a darn (we had Will and Grace on WeTV, but that ended in favor of Marriage Bootcamp and promos … Continue reading A Friday night watching MTV Classic’s “I Want My ’80s”

Days of future, past: The Dream Academy, “Life In a Northern Town” (1986)

Right about this time in 1986, a catchy song with a simple chorus that - on the whole - wasn't so simple was peaking on the Billboard charts. "Life In a Northern Town" appealed to me when I first saw it on MTV. I had never been to England, which is depicted in the video.  Hell, … Continue reading Days of future, past: The Dream Academy, “Life In a Northern Town” (1986)

Rest in peace, John Wetton: Asia, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” (1983)

(Above: And now you find yourself in '82.) Among the first stories that I read this morning was the sad news of the death of John Wetton at the age of 67.  Wetton was a part of a group that isn't often referred to as a "supergroup" anymore, Asia - although they definitely count as … Continue reading Rest in peace, John Wetton: Asia, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” (1983)

Self-help music: Will Powers, “Adventures in Success” (1983)

(Above: What a Friday night at home looked like, 1984.) If you lived in a place without cable television in the early 80s, you weren't a part of the revolution that MTV was bringing to music distribution, at least not directly.  The success of music video led other networks and even local stations to offer … Continue reading Self-help music: Will Powers, “Adventures in Success” (1983)