Thursday, December 29, 2011

R.I.T.: "Diggin' In"

When I say random, I really mean it. Today's random iTunes track (R.I.T.) is "Diggin' In" by Harold Faltermeyer from the soundtrack to the 1985 film Fletch. Standing on its own, it really says a lot about the use of synthesizer in instrumental film scores. It also shares a lot of sonic similarities with Faltermeyer's biggest hit, "Axel F," from Beverly Hills Cop -- which came out the year before. (Both soundtracks were done while he was playing keys and later doing production on albums for Laura Branigan.) The film Fletch was based on a book series by Gregory McDonald that debuted in 1974 and over the last decade has been in various stages of pre-production for a new film.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

R.I.T.: "Satellite"

Today's R.I.T. is Lena Meyer's massive hit "Satellite." This song was Germany's entry into the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest and took first place that year. When released as a single (off her debut album My Cassette Player), "Satellite" went to #1 in Germany, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland as well as top 5 in Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands and #33 in the U.K. An infectious tune (listen to it at least twice.) It was so successful in Germany for her that, since 2006, the song is the 2nd most downloaded single there (just behind Lady Gaga's "Poker Face.") Germany would look to her for their 2011 Eurovision entry, "Taken By A Stranger," which would come in 10th.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

R.I.T.: "Silver"

Today's R.I.T. is "Silver" by Moist. The title track to their 1994 full-length debut album was released as its second single and went to #31 in Canada. The group would win the 1995 Juno award for Best New Group and the MuchMusic Video Award for Favorite Canadian Group. Moist released their final studio album, Mercedes 5 And Dime, in 1999.

Monday, December 26, 2011

R.I.T.: "A Woman In Love"

Today's R.I.T. is "A Woman In Love" by Ronnie Milsap. The song was the third single released from the 1989 album, Stranger Things Have Happened. The 53rd single of Milsap's career would become his final and 35th #1 on the U.S. Country chart as well as top the Canadian Country chart as well.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

R.I.T.: "That's My Impression"

Today's R.I.T. is "That's My Impression" by the Pet Shop Boys. The song surfaced as a B-side to their hit single "Love Comes Quickly" in 1986. It would later in appear in 1995 as a disco mix on their double-CD Alternative collection. The band was sure that releasing a few original songs as B-sides (often in the same key and not usable on the album) would inspire fans to pick up each of their singles -- to collect them all. They were quite often right... well, at least that's my impression.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

R.I.T.: "One Night Love Affair"

Today's R.I.T. is the single "One Night Love Affair" by Bryan Adams. The track was the 5th of six singles released from Adams' massively successful 1984 album, Restless -- which has sold over 13 million copies to date. Written by Adams and Jim Vallance, the song went to #13 in the U.S., #19 in Canada and #85 in Australia in 1985. You may also recognize it from the film Real Genius.

Friday, December 23, 2011

R.I.T.: "Burning Desire"

Today's random iTunes track is "Burning Desire" by New Monkees off their 1987 eponymous album. This song was an album track and appeared in the short-run of the New Monkees television series. Love the groove and guitar-work. I caught one episode of this show before it was off the air but found the album via a friend that was a fan. Some good songs on the album... actually, someone named Sean Roberts covered 3 songs from the New Monkees disc for his 2010 release, The Boy Inside The Man.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

R.I.T.: "The Curly Shuffle"

Today's R.I.T. is Jump 'N The Saddle's 1983 hit "The Curly Shuffle." Written by their vocalist Peter Quinn, the fun novelty song would peak at #15 on Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Chicago band released a debut album and parted ways with their record label the next year after they asked them to cover the song "Shaving Cream." (A demo version was recorded with additional unflattering lyrics directed at the record label.) In Canada, a different version of the song was released at the same time by The Knuckleheads.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

R.I.T.: "Melodie"

Today's R.I.T. is Michael Jackson's "Melodie." The song is an album track from the 1984 Jackson compilation, Farewell My Summer Love, made up of unreleased solo recordings made in 1973. It was released by Motown to capitalize the momentum of the red hot success of Jackson's Thriller. It was claimed that the songs were 'lost' and re-discovered in 1984 -- for which the instrumentation was re-recorded to update the tracks. Great songwriting here by Larson/Marcellino/Richards.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

R.I.T.: "Tiny Daggers"

Today's R.I.T. is "Tiny Daggers" by INXS off of their 1987 album, Kick. Composed by Andrew and Michael, the song closes the album and could have been a single but wasn't. The success of the previous Listen Like Thieves album had the group thinking they needed even better material for their follow-up. According to Kirk, "We wanted an album where all the songs were possible singles."

Monday, December 19, 2011

R.I.T.: "Suddenly"

Today's R.I.T. is Olivia Newton-John and Cliff Richard's "Suddenly" from the Xanadu soundtrack. The 1982 single went to #15 in the U.K., #20 in the U.S., #30 in New Zealand, #35 in Germany, #37 in Australia and #60 in Canada. Known as the love theme from Xanadu, the song was written and produced by longtime Newton-John associate John Farrar. Also notable is that the song was the last single by Olivia before releasing "Physical." It would also precede Richard's 1981 hit "A Little In Love."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Airrace - Back To The Start

Formed in 1982, Airrace began a journey into rock that would include mile markers like their 1984 debut album, Shaft Of Light, and being the first band to launch drummer Jason Bonham's career.  Despite strong reviews and support slots for Queen, AC/DC, Krokus, Ted Nugent and Meat Loaf, the band imploded the following year.  In 2009, a few new members joined the band for reunion shows supporting the 25th anniversary of Shaft Of Light.  With an overwhelming reaction by fans, the group has recorded their long-awaited sophomore effort, Back To The Start.

Power-chord rock anthems return as Airrace open this disc with the uplifting "Keep On Going."  "Two Of A Kind" reminds me of digging into ice cream.  The first bite zings your tongue and makes you go back for more.  But by the time you get a scoop of the chorus... it's another flavor and the initial shock catches you off guard.  By the time you finish the bowl, you enjoyed the whole experience and wondered why you were caught off guard in the first place.  This could be the separation between the fullness of Keith Murrell's vocals and the sticky-sweet chorus vocal harmonies.  "When Baby" is my sleeper.  It's a hit yet to come and I would love to be there to tell someone... "Yeah, I called that one!"  "So Long" grabs you with a marching beat yielding to a near "Eye Of The Tiger" rhythm that then blossoms into one of the album's best tracks.  Love the bluesy feel of "Better Believe It" as well.  "Just One Kiss," "Wrong Way Out," "Enough Of Your Loving," "What More Do You Want From Me" and the Foreigner-esque "Call Me Anytime" also stand out on this release. 

Someone always wins in an air race and I believe that here it will be rock listeners.  Back To The Start is where fans will be going after their first run of the album.  Addictive and infectious, it builds on itself as the listener adds the new information they missed the first time around. Murrell, guitarist Laurie Mansworth and keyboardist Toby Sadler are at the top of their game here with their new line-up and I can't wait to hear what's next.

4 out of 5

R.I.T.: "Church Of Logic, Sin, And Love"

Today's R.I.T. is The Men's 1992 single, "The Church Of Logic, Sin, & Love." Released off their self-titled debut album, the song went to #8 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It was their only hit for the Santa Monica-based band before breaking up. Lyrically a bit quirky but a fun album and a personal favorite. The song definitely fit in with the musical landscape of alternative rock at the time (a notable example would be the success of King Missle's "Detatchable Penis") but without further penetration into the market. Oddly enough, despite calling themselves "The Men"... half the band were women.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

R.I.T.: "Red Red Wine"

Today's R.I.T. is Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine." This 1968 single, off of his Just For You album, went to #68 on the U.S. and #78 on the Australian chart. Diamond wrote it during a slow time while working in his father-in-laws haberdashery shop. Although he doesn't drink and rarely forgets (although he sometimes tries), he thought it'd be interesting try to compose a country ballad. It would have stayed that way until... Jamaican rocksteady singer Tony Tribe recorded a version the following year -- going to #46 in the U.K. You thought I was going to say UB40, didn't you? Well, UB40 heard the Tony Tribe version and recorded their 1983 chart-topping version without hearing Diamond's original.

Friday, December 16, 2011

R.I.T.: "Russian Roulette"

Today's R.I.T. is "Russian Roulette" by The Lords Of The New Church off their self-titled debut album. Released as the third single off the album in 1982, it failed to chart as their previous single, "Open Your Eyes," had. Composed by bassist Tony James (of Generation X) and drummer Terry Chimes (of the Clash) in an early incarnation of the band (as they wouldn't be in it by the time they recorded), the song idea came from the 1979 film Apocalypse Now... hence the helicopter intro.  We featured the band on the show a few years back.  A great promo video was released for it but the only version online, that I could find, had horrid audio quality.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

R.I.T.: "I Want Her"

Today's random iTunes track is Keith Sweat's 1987 hit, "I Want Her," off his debut album, Make It Last Forever. Written and produced by Sweat and Teddy Riley, the song went to #5 on the U.S., #1 on the U.S. R&B and #26 on the U.K. charts. It is often cited as one of the first #1 hits of the 'new jack swing' (or swingbeat) movement of which Riley was a shining star -- having been a member of Guy and produced hits for Johnny Kemp, Bobby Brown, Jane Child and even Michael Jackson. The song was the biggest hit of Sweat's career until he released "Twisted" in 1996 (which went to #2 in the U.S.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

R.I.T.: "If She Knew What She Wants"

Today's R.I.T. is the 1986 single, "If She Knew What She Wants," by The Bangles off their Different Light album. The song was the follow-up single to "Manic Monday" and charted in the U.S. (#29), Germany (#17), Switzerland (#20), Austria (#30), Australia (#31) and the U.K. (#31.) The song is a cover of Jules Shear's 1985 song off his album, The Eternal Return, for which they rewrote the lyrics from first person to third person to make it work. Two videos were filmed and the one (not shown here) shown in the U.S. was shot by Susanna Hoffs mother Tamar.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

R.I.T.: "Billy's Got A Gun"

Today's R.I.T. is Def Leppard's 1983 hit "Billy's Got A Gun" off of Pyromania. The song was one of the 7 singles to be released off the 10-track album and went to #33 in the U.S. During their career, Def Leppard scored only one #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 charts... "Love Bites." A live version of this song (not unlike the video posted) was the B-side to that 1988 #1 hit.

Monday, December 12, 2011

R.I.T.: "High School Nights"

Today's R.I.T. is Dave Edmunds 1985 hit single, "High School Nights," off the Porky's Revenge soundtrack. The song peaked at #95 on the U.S. charts. Dave Edmunds scored his biggest hit, "I Hear You Knocking," in 1970 (going to #4 in the U.S. and #1 in the U.K.) and recorded with Nick Lowe as Rockpile in 1980. He assembled and produced the aforementioned soundtrack that included songs by George Harrison, Jeff Beck, Carl Perkins, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Willie Nelson, Clarence Clemons, himself and The Crawling King Snakes (made up of Robert Plant and Phil Collins.) It's hard to believe it but, despite what film it came from, this is a soundtrack you need in your collection.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

R.I.T.: "Stand"

Today's R.I.T. is R.E.M.'s 1988 hit, "Stand," off their Green album. The song went to #6 in the U.S. and Canada, #23 in New Zealand and #48 in the U.K. Fun video with lyrics speaking to finding your direction and change. Sonically, Michael Stipe has said they were shooting for 1960s bubblegum pop in the area of the Archies and Monkees. It was the second single off the album and theme to the Fox television series Get A Life starring Chris Elliott. The song was their biggest hit in the U.S. during the 1980s and second biggest hit over their career here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

R.I.T.: "Don't Go Jumping With Frogs"

Today's R.I.T. is Boys Don't Cry & Friends' "Don't Go Jumping With Frogs." It really was random but a nice chance to give a shout out to Nick Richards. This is one of the first new tracks recorded by the band and Nick came on T8M to explain the relaunch of the group. They've been playing several shows to raise money for local schools. I can't wait to hear the next batch of songs by them.

Friday, December 09, 2011

R.I.T.: "Be With You"

Today's R.I.T. is Erasure's "Be With You." The song is their latest single (i.e. hasn't charted yet) from their new album, Tomorrow's World. Fun video. They held a fan video contest and this was the winning submission. "Be With You" seems appropriate for this weekend as we'll be spending each day of the weekend with child visitors. Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Power Of Siblings

I received a call yesterday that kicked my brain into a different gear.  My brother was sitting with his eldest daughter, Mia, and decided to get me on the phone.  She had been making faces and pretty much antagonizing her little sister.  Matt called to say, in front of Mia, that he was sorry for some of the rivalry we had as kids as family is forever and friends can come and go.

I love my brother.  And that call got me thinking... I believe that there is a hierarchy to relationships that -- beyond faith -- peaks with family.  Family can be mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, son, daughter, nephew, niece, cousin and grandparents.  It's fun to call your best friend your sister or brother but those relationships can and sometimes do come to an end.  Family will always be family.  Let's put it this way, why do they say BFF (of best friend forever)?  It's because often that isn't the case and adding the other F is to make it more permanent.  There are also religions that use the words father, mother, brother and sister as a means to show another form of closeness in the congregation that normally wouldn't exist.  So I place family, best friends, friends, acquaintances and strangers in that order.

The call also solidified a thought I had the previous day.  I had been lucky to spend about 30 minutes with country act The Band Perry.  Kimberly, Reid and Neil as well as their mother are some of the most amazingly down-to-earth people I have ever met.  Among the things we talked about was the strength of being family in a group.  It's easier to pull friends and acquaintances off in the wrong direction but family will always be accountable to family.  They can fight each other but, when the time comes, it can also be them against the world.

So, I called my brother back a half hour later and told him to let Mia know that being the older child (as she and I are) isn't easy.  Her sister and brother (as well as my sister and brothers) came into this world with the best friend they will ever have greeting them.  There is a comfortable feeling to know that your longest relationships will be with family.  An only child doesn't have that and are missing that being their own size to imitate, learn from, look up to and grow with.  My brother's point in calling was to remind his daughter that, later in life, that sibling you are picking on will still be there in your life and it's good to treat them better now than regret it later.  I think I got more out of it than she did.

R.I.T.: "The Voice"

Today's R.I.T. is the classic 1981 Moody Blues single, "The Voice." No, it has nothing to do with the NBC series with Christina, Cee Lo, Adam or Blake. The song was the second single released off of their Long Distance Voyager album and went to #15 in the U.S. and #9 in Canada. The album was about transitions for the group as they were entering a new decade, their longtime keyboardist Mike Pinder had left (and replaced with former Yes member Patrick Moraz) and their last Top 20 hit was 8 years ago. The album would go to #1 in the U.S. and introduce the group to a new decade.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

R.I.T.: "Tonight It's You"

Today's R.I.T. is Cheap Trick's 1985 single, "Tonight It's You." It went to #44 on the U.S. charts and was the first single off their Standing On The Edge album. Producer Jack Douglas (who worked on John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy and Milk And Honey albums) was at the helm but did not mix the album due to legal issues with Ono.

Monday, December 05, 2011

R.I.T.: "Sick Boys"

Today's R.I.T. is Social Distortion's 1990 single, "Sick Boys," off of their self-titled third album. The song was the 4th single off the album and did not chart. The first 3 singles made it on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. The band was formed in 1978 by frontman Mike Ness and 3 of the original members would leave to join The Adolescents. Ness' troubles with the law and increasing drug habit forced the band to go on hiatus in 1985 while he spent time rotating between jail and rehab. Much of this experience definitely fueled his creative spark for the 1988 album, Prison Bound, and future releases.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

R.I.T.: "Falling To Pieces"

What's funny about "random iTunes tracks" is that a lot of songs don't have videos so they get skipped. It's those that do that may have you scratching your head. Today's R.I.T., "Falling To Pieces" by Faith No More off the 1989 Real Thing album is not one of those. It's pretty hard to follow up an epic song like their Grammy nominated #9 U.S. hit... ummm "Epic" as it peaked at #92 in the U.S., #26 in Australia, #41 in the U.K. and #16 in New Zealand. As one of their more popular songs, the band, odd enough, grew to dislike it enough to rarely perform it live (after announcing during a 1993 performance that it was their last time playing it.)

Friday, December 02, 2011

R.I.T.: "Alone"

Today's R.I.T. is the Bee Gees 1997 single, "Alone," off their Still Waters album. The song went to #1 in Hong Kong, #2 in New Zealand, #5 in the U.K., #6 in Germany, #7 in Australia, #20 in Canada and #28 in the U.S. If you listen carefully, you'll hear the bagpipe in the song. It originally was a 12-string guitar but while experimenting on the demo... the bagpipe clicked. When recording, they almost changed the instrument but Robin Gibb was firmly against it. Robin is currently battling liver cancer. The song was their last Top 40 hit in the U.S.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

R.I.T.: "Useless"

Today's R.I.T. is Depeche Mode's 1997 hit, "Useless." The song received U.S. airplay prior to the announcement of the third single, "Home," off of the Ultra album which pushed them to release "Home" and "Useless" as a double A-side single. The song went to #28 in the U.K., #17 in Finland and #16 in Sweden and Germany. It is often looked at as a pop industrial rock track but (as my favorite song on the album) I think it leans more blues-based than pop... just listen to that guitar.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

R.I.T.: "Kiss On My List"

Today's R.I.T. is Hall and Oates' 1981 hit, "Kiss On My List," off their Voices album. The song was the third single off the album and gave them their second #1 U.S. hit (4 years after "Rich Girl.") It also went to #7 in Canada and #33 in the U.K. and New Zealand. It was one of the first hits written by Hall and Janna Allen which would include the top 10 singles "Private Eyes," "Did It In A Minute" and "Method Of Modern Love." Eddie Van Halen reportedly told Hall that he copied the synth part of the track and used it in some song called "Jump."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

R.I.T.: "Mind Of A Toy"

Today's R.I.T. (random iTunes track) is Visage's 1981 hit, "Mind Of A Toy," off their self-titled debut album. The song was the follow-up single to "Fade To Grey" and went to #13 in the U.K., #10 in Germany, #16 in Ireland and #42 in the Netherlands. The video was directed by Godley & Creme. Aside from founding members Steve Strange and Rusty Egan, Visage included members of Ultravox and Magazine. I often find myself mesmerized by their sound.

Monday, November 28, 2011

R.I.T.: "Shadows Of The Night"

Today's R.I.T. is Pat Benatar's 1982 single, "Shadows Of The Night," off of her Get Nervous album. As the first single off the album, it went to #13 in the U.S., #12 in Canada, #19 in Australia, #32 in New Zealand and #50 in the U.K. No, it didn't chart in Germany. Could be because the video never aired there due to the Allies/Nazi theme. Covers of the song have been done by Mary J. Blige and Ashley Tisdale. The album was the first to include Charlie Giordano on keyboards as Scott St. Clair Sheets had left the band after Precious Time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

R.I.T.: "Sweet Thing"

Today's R.I.T. is Keith Urban's 2008 single, "Sweet Thing," off of the album, Defying Gravity. The song went to #1 on the U.S. Country, #30 in the U.S., #45 in Canada and #96 on the Australian charts. The single became his 10th U.S. Country hit and his 19th Top 40 country single. Meanwhile, Urban has something to be thankful for during the holidays. He's currently recovering from a successful throat surgery to remove a polyp on his vocal chords.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

R.I.T.: "Your Woman"

Today's R.I.T. is the 1997 single, "Your Woman," by White Town. The one-man act formed by Jyoti Mishra released their first single in 1990. This one went to #1 in the U.K., #2 in Australia, #5 in Ireland and New Zealand, #13 in Canada and #23 in the U.S. Hardly hear it anymore but it's a fun track. In October, he released his new album, Monopole, via the Bzangy label.

Friday, November 25, 2011

R.I.T.: "Blues Before And After"

Today's R.I.T. is the Smithereen's 1990 single, "Blues Before And After," off 1989's 11 album. The song was the follow-up to "A Girl Like You" and went to #98 on the U.S. singles chart (Billboard) as well as #7 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock and #18 on the U.S. Modern Rock charts. Recently, frontman Pat DiNizio launched his new show Confessions Of A Rock Star at Las Vegas' Riviera Hotel. I'll be getting tickets soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

R.I.T.: "One Vision"

Today's R.I.T. is the powerful 1985 Queen single "One Vision" off of their A Kind Of Magic album. As the only single released by the band that year, the song went to #61 in the U.S. and #7 in the U.K. The idea for the song was Roger Taylor's but is the first Queen song that each band member co-wrote. The track was also featured in the soundtrack for Iron Eagle. According to Taylor, the lyrics were "half nicked" of Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream' speech. The odd culinary ending was the sole left-over from early stages of the track when, while eating Chinese takeout, they threw a bunch of food items into the lyrics for fun.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

R.I.T.: "Fire Woman"

Today's R.I.T. is the 1989 hit, "Fire Woman," by the Cult. The song was the first single off of the Sonic Temple album and charted on the U.K. Singles (#15), Billboard Hot 100 (#46) and U.S. Modern Rock Tracks (#2) charts. The Bob Rock-produced album would go to #10 in the U.S.

Monday, November 21, 2011

R.I.T.: "Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah (Means I Love You)"

Today's R.I.T. is the Violent Femmes cover of "Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah (Means I Love You)" which appears on the 1995 Saturday Morning Cartoons Greatest Hits compilation. The original song debuted on the 1962 episode of The Jetsons titled A Date With Jet Screamer. Sung by late actor Howard Morris (who voiced Screamer), it was written by Hoyt Curtin, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. I don't think any other band other than They Might Be Giants could have gotten away with covering this.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

R.I.T.: "History Never Repeats"

Today's R.I.T. is the Split Enz 1981 hit "History Never Repeats" off their Waiata album. The song was a top 5 hit in New Zealand and Australia and went to #63 in the U.K. The guitar part in the bridge (played by Neil Finn) was originally part of an old song, "Bergen Aan Zee," written by previous band member Phil Judd.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

R.I.T.: "Muscles"

Today's R.I.T. is Diana Ross' 1982 hit "Muscles" off her Silk Electric album. The song went to #10 in the U.S. and #15 in the U.K. Written and produced by Michael Jackson (with some backing vocals), "Muscles" earned Ross a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The song was named after Michael's pet snake.

Diana Ross - Muscles by papafonk

Friday, November 18, 2011

R.I.T.: "A Girl Called Johnny"

Today's R.I.T. is The Waterboys' 1983 classic "A Girl Called Johnny" off their eponymous debut album. I absolutely love this song which peaked at #80 on the U.K. chart that year. It's a tribute to Patti Smith. The band's rotating lineup is legendary as there have been more than 50 musicians that have been able to call themselves Waterboys. Former keyboardist Karl Wallinger would form his band World Party after his 3 year tenure.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

R.I.T.: "Cheer Down"

Today's R.I.T. is George Harrison's "Cheer Down." Released in 1989 off of the Lethal Weapon 2 soundtrack, the song went to #7 on the U.S. Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and #53 on the Canadian singles chart. The lyrics to the song were co-written with Tom Petty. The song was released later that year on his Best Of Dark Horse 1976-1989 collection. No video was released for the track but found a great live version.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

R.I.T.: "Big Ole Butt"

Today's R.I.T. is LL Cool J's "Big Ole Butt." The track was the third single off of his classic 1988 album, Walking With A Panther, going to #13 on the U.S. Rap and #57 on the U.S. R&B charts. 'Panther' became his second #1 R&B album spending 4 weeks in that position thanks to this track and the singles "Going Back to Cali," "I'm That Type of Guy," "Jingling Baby" and "One Shot at Love."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

R.I.T.: "Bad Is Bad"

Today's R.I.T. is the classic Huey Lewis And The News song "Bad Is Bad." It's intriguing that this 1983 track, off the Sports album, got a video and received a lot of airplay but was never released as a single and never charted. The Sports album already had 5 top 20 singles off of it which may have prevented an official release. Usually charts are determined as much by sales as airplay. It did appear as a B-side to "The Power Of Love" later and was added on their first 'best of' (which skipped "Jacob's Ladder") but it's amazing when what seems to be a hit really wasn't.

Monday, November 14, 2011

R.I.T.: "Someday"

Today's R.I.T. is the 1986 song "Someday" by Glass Tiger. It was the third single from their debut album, The Thin Red Line, and went to #7 in the U.S., #14 in Canada and #66 in the U.K. This song was written by vocalist Alan Frew and producer Jim Vallance (who was a longtime songwriting partner of Bryan Adams) on the first day working together -- as well as their other huge hit "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)." It says a lot about musical magic created by fresh chemistry. You also now understand how they got Adams to do backing vocals on the other song.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's a special day again.  Well, special for our family.  This weekend we took our son and nephew off to see Blue Man Group for an early celebration of David's 14th birthday.  We end the celebratory weekend with a cake and some other goodies.

It was also a moment to look at who else celebrates birthdays today.  Rather funny that he had just been reading The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in school as Robert Louis Stevenson also shares the same birth date.  Jimmy Kimmel, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Noth and former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis also share that date.  This might speak a lot for his diverse personality.  But, I am very proud of my son and know that his future will be no less brilliant.

R.I.T.: "Kennedy"

Today's R.I.T. is 1986's "Kennedy" by French post-punk act Buzz. Definitely in the dark electronic area. I was lucky enough to get to know main-man Jean-Christophe Van Thienen during and after recording an episode of the show about the group. They even sampled my voice from a bit of the show for a song demo we debuted on episode 100. Anyhow, it's amazing to see an actual video for their best known track.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

R.I.T.: "Towa no Hana (Eternal Flower)"

Today's R.I.T. is a little unusual but... heck, that's who I am. The song is "Towa no Hana (Eternal Flower)" by Yoko Ishida from the 2002 anime series Ai Yori Aoshi. See what randomness gets you? Beautiful Japanese pop song. Love the production but found myself picking up a lot of Ishida's work afterwards. She released a lot of music from 1993 until 2009.

Friday, November 11, 2011

R.I.T.: "Brothers In Blood"

Today's R.I.T. is a rather new track. Last year, Keel released their latest studio album, Streets Of Rock & Roll, and I was lucky enough to talk with frontman Ron Keel for one of the episodes of our former show. "Brothers In Blood" is a great example of the unyielding force of rock & roll. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

R.I.T.: "She's Right On Time"

Today's R.I.T. (random iTunes track) is Billy Joel's "She's Right On Time" off his 1982 album, The Nylon Curtain. Until 2007's "Christmas In Fallujah," this was the closest Joel got to releasing a Christmas song. A personal favorite, it was never released as a single yet had a video made for it... rather perplexing. It did surface later in 1984 as the B-side to "Keeping The Faith" in the Netherlands.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

R.I.T.: "I Loved 'Em Every One"

Today's R.I.T. is T.G. Sheppard's 1981 single, "I Loved 'Em Every One." The song was his biggest hit during his long-running career -- charting at #1 on the U.S. Country, #3 U.S. Adult Contemporary and went to #37 on the Billboard Hot 100 (becoming his sole Top 40 entry.) During his career he scored a series of 15 consecutive Top 10 releases, including 10 No. 1 country songs. He was also a friend of Elvis Presley who gave him his first tour bus and let him live at Graceland for awhile.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

R.I.T.: "Knee Deep"

Today's R.I.T. is the Zac Brown Band's "Knee Deep" featuring Jimmy Buffett. There is a common thread between Brown and Buffett that brings a smile to my face. Heck, I think you have to add Kenny Chesney as well as they release songs that remind us to sit back, breathe and enjoy the little moments. Buffett has been recording since 1970 and is a touring juggernaut. I enjoy all his guest appearances. If you enjoy the song, look for the episode of CMT Crossroads episode with Zac and Jimmy.

Monday, November 07, 2011

R.I.T.: "I Still Believe"

Today's R.I.T. is Tim Cappello's memorable 1987 song, "I Still Believe," from the Lost Boys soundtrack. The multi-instrumentalist worked with Billy Crystal and, for a long time, Tina Turner before recording this. His performing the song in the film and video appearances led to a stint as an actor. The song itself is a cover of The Call's "I Still Believe (Great Design)" off their 1986 album, Reconciled. Funny how this song pops up randomly after just watching Lost Boys with the family a week ago.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

R.I.T.: "Last Train To London"

Today's R.I.T. is 1979's "Last Train To London" by Electric Light Orchestra. The song was their last hit single of the 1970s -- released as a double-A side single with "Confusion" in the U.K. (#8) and Ireland (#9) and charted alone at #3 in France and #39 in the U.S. U.S. radio stations decided just to air "Confusion" first and later started adding "Last Train To London" which took its chart tenure into the new decade.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

R.I.T.: "Love To Love You Baby"

Today's R.I.T. is Donna Summer's 1975 classic "Love To Love You Baby." A world-wide smash that went to #2 in the U.S., #4 in the U.K., #2 in Canada... but only after the original 3 minute 21 second track was remixed (into the nearly 17 minute album version.) After leaving disco behind, Summer would not perform the sexually suggestive track live for 25 years. I can't help but think that this helped inspire Terri Nunn's work on Berlin's 1982 hit "Sex (I'm A...)"

Friday, November 04, 2011

R.I.T.: "When You Say Nothing At All"

Today's R.I.T. is Keith Whitley's 1988 #1 U.S country and Canadian country single, "When You Say Nothing At All." It was a shining point in his career being the second of five U.S. country #1's. Whitley, 34, a longtime alcoholic died the following year from alcohol poisoning. The song has been covered by Alison Krauss and Ronan Keating and even landed at #12 on CMT's 100 Greatest Love Songs list in 2004.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

R.I.T.: "Something's Always Wrong"

Today's R.I.T. is the 1994 single "Something's Always Wrong" by Toad The Wet Sprocket off their Dulcinea album. The song just missed becoming their fourth Top 40 hit (landing at #41) on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart but was their second biggest hit on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart at #9. Recently heard from the band and they are starting the writing process for their first new studio album since 1997's Coil.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

R.I.T.: "The Right Decision"

Today's R.I.T. is Jesus Jones' 1993 single, "The Right Decision," which was a #36 U.K. and #12 U.S. Alternative chart hit from of their often forgotten Perverse album. A new rarities compilation containing B-sides and unreleased tracks has been in the works. In fact, their official Facebook page just announced the tracklist for disc one: Band Favourites.

Journey Get It Right With Volume 2

I have to admit that I'm a completist.  I believe that a 'best of' should have the 'best' and a 'greatest hits' should contain the 'greatest.'  So I get let down often.  Bands leave out hits.  It happens.  Sometimes it's in lieu of that new single that they expect will earn its place as a hit as well.  Sometimes... well, sometimes it seems to fans that someone was drinking or didn't care.  A hit left off a retrospective album can become lost to new fans who have purchased the hits disc as their introduction to the band.  They will never know what they missed (unless they buy all the early albums like I would.)  But, I also love seeing these kind of wrongs righted and Journey has now done so.
Their original 1988 Greatest Hits collection only had 15 tracks (until the addition of "When You Love A Woman" as a 2006 bonus track.)  Great songs, all of them.  Yet the band had 25 chart hits on the Billboard Hot 100, 6 other hits on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and even a few U.S. Adult Contemporary chart hits.  Their new Greatest Hits Volume 2, released yesterday, contains 17 songs that aren't on the Volume 1 (like the Top 20 hits "Still They Ride" and "Suzanne.")
Let's break this down a bit more systematically.  The original Greatest Hits included the 1978 hit "Lights" which went to #68 and when released as a live version in 1993 went to #74 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  So, skipping bypassing two Top 20 hits made sense because "Lights" was a 'greater hit'?  It is a beautiful song and a fan favorite live but even 1983's "After The Fall" went to #23 (same position as "Send Her My Love" attained) but didn't make the 'greatest hits' list.  I can beat this dead horse a bit more but you get the point.  It's a good time to remind fans that Journey weren't just those 15 or 16 songs from Volume 1 and nudge them to go shopping.  What I could see is that maybe the songs from the first collection had a special sound to it or gelled better as a set.  I mean, how could they leave a song like this off it for any other reason.  Go get Volume 2, folks!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

R.I.T.: "Darklands"

Today's R.I.T. was the 1987 #33 U.K. / #2# Irish hit, "Darklands," by Scottish modern rock act The Jesus And Mary Chain. The song was the title track to their most successful album in the U.K. -- which went Top 5.

Monday, October 31, 2011

R.I.T.: "Tuesday Morning"

Todays R.I.T. (random iTunes track) was a surprise hit in 1993 by the Pogues (after moving on without their original singer.) A personal favorite that went to #11 on the U.S. Modern Rock Chart and #18 in the U.K. It was also on the soundtrack to Blown Away.

Friday, October 28, 2011

R.I.T.: "Cruising For Bruising"

This R.I.T. is Basia's #29 hit in the U.S. in 1990, "Cruising For Bruising," off their 1989 album, London Warsaw New York.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

R.I.T.: "Tunnel Of Love"

R.I.T. (random iTunes track) of the day brings us a 1983 U.K. Top 10 hit by the Fun Boy Three. It preceded their next single, "Our Lips Are Sealed," which was written by Fun Boy Three vocalist Terry Hall and the Go-Go's Jane Wiedlin.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

R.I.T.: "Gotta Let Go"

The latest random iTunes track is the 1984 #94 U.K. hit single, "Gotta Let Go," by Lita Ford. This final single from her sophomore album, Dancin' On The Edge was her first charting solo single. Her next single... the #12 hit "Kiss Me Deadly." So you can say that this paved the way.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

R.I.T.: "Ray Of Shine"

With iTunes set to random, we return to my favorite band... the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience and their 1993 single, "Ray Of Shine." It's the third single from their final album together and I just adore the "How Soon Is Now?" pulse of the guitar on this track.

Monday, October 24, 2011

R.I.T.: "Love Is Alright Tonight"

As part of my random songs that play on iTunes... Rick Springfield. His 1981 single, "Love Is Alright Tonight," was a #20 hit in the U.S. and #26 in Canada. Still sounds great live.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

R.I.T.: "Fairytale"

Decided that I'm going to post random videos here and there that pop up when I shuffle songs on the iPod. This video for Alexander Rybak's "Fairytale" is a fun one to watch with the kids. The performance is from the 2009 Eurovision contest which he won for Norway with this song. Now if only I can get my niece and nephew to play it on their violins. Oh, I know. You are probably thinking this is some obscure song but it was a #1 hit in Norway, Russia, Finland, Greece, Sweden and Denmark (as well as Top 10 placings in several other countries.)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

iTunes Has Failed Me, You And 34 Recording Artists

The picture you are looking at is real.  Just saw it a few minutes ago.  Sounds like a great deal, huh?  You can see a listing for it here at the iTunes page.  But the whole concept of a collection of '80s One-Hit Wonders starts to unravel quickly.  I've written about it, talked about it ad-nauseum on the show and, for some reason, someone missed the lesson.  So, I'm going to take a deep breath and calmly explain for those uninitiated.

I've always loathed the term "one-hit wonder."  Let's break the phrase down to its components, shall we?
  • 'One' -- meaning less than two and more than none.  It's specific.
  • 'Hit' -- meaning to impact.  Which is so much less specific (I actually dedicate a section of the upcoming book to this as well.)  In music, it often refers to charts but this is also ambiguous as there are local, national and international charts for a multitude of genres for radio airplay and sales.
  • 'Wonder' -- meaning to be curious about, to marvel or to be filled with amazement, admiration or awe. 
So, what does that leave us with?  To 'be curious or filled with awe at a recording artist's only (one) charting song.'  One could try to derive that it is being amazed at one artist having a hit but... that would be most musicians.  We'll dismiss that idea entirely.  Yet, there are many examples of true 'one-hit wonders' that fit that previous description.  I don't plan on listing them here.

What I will do, is bring you back to that link I started with above.  '80s One-Hit Wonders, a collection of 35 songs for sale at iTunes for 69 cents each.  I'm not upset about selling songs cheaply.  But I am upset about cheapening songs or the artists themselves.

We'll narrow our scope a bit.  To start off with the first track, we could excuse the listing of Nena's "99 Luftballons" if we were to say our criteria were based solely on the U.S. charts (but it is notable that she had this #1 and two #2 singles in Germany off her debut album.)

Track two is Midnight Oil's "Beds Are Burning."  Using Billboard's U.S. charts, the band scored 3 hits from that album on the U.S. Hot 100, U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks and U.S. Modern Rock Tracks charts.  Let's give iTunes a break here.  Let's just count the most accepted and universal of the charts, the U.S. Hot 100.  "Beds Are Burning" was a #17 hit.  The preceding single, "The Dead Heart," went to #53.  Just boggles the mind doesn't it.  They even scored a #47 hit on that chart in 1990 with "Blue Sky Mine."  But, the collection is about the 1980s, so we can exclude that one.  We may even have to give another break to the compiler as maybe they are only considering the Top 40.  Heck, that's what Casey Kasem used to count down, right?

Track three is Warrant's "Cherry Pie."  Which was a #10 hit... in 1990.  Ooops!  A bigger 'ooops' is that it wasn't even their biggest hit.  In 1989, "Heaven" would go to #2 on the U.S. Hot 100.  And, if the criteria is Top 40, then Warrant's 1989 #27 hit, "Down Boys," would disqualify them from 'one-hit wonderdom' for that decade.  Yet, they didn't even include a song from the '80s.  Sad.  But, again, let's adjust the criteria in hopes to help iTunes out.  Maybe, they think the decade started with 1981 and went to 1990.  Let's humor them.

Track four is Bananarama's "Cruel Summer" which was a #9 hit on the U.S. Hot 100 in 1983.  Doing pretty good so far.  Until their 1986 #1 single, "Venus," rears its ugly head.  (Nothing can feel more contrarian than putting Venus and ugly in the same sentence.  "Goddess of beauty and love...")  Heck, even 1987's "I Heard A Rumour" went higher at #4.  I don't know how much more I can stretch the boundaries of '80s 'one-hit wonder', do you?

Track five is Cutting Crew's "(I Just) Died In Your Arms."  The 1986 #1 hit seems like a safe bet.  But, if we are thinking Top 40, it fails.  That doesn't hold up even if we said Top 10 as their 1987 single, "I've Been In Love Before," went to #9.

Track six was a #1 hit and safe choice with Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy."  The follow-up single, "Thinking About Your Body," only went to #46 in the U.K.

Track seven is The Human League's "Don't You Want Me."  The 1981 #1 hit seems like a safe choice, right?  If we are looking only at Top 10, (even though the aforementioned "Beds Are Burning" didn't achieve that height) it seems to overlook the group's 1986 #1 hit, "Human," and 1983's #8 hit "(Keep Feeling) Fascination."  'One-hit wonder', just say it with me for a moment.  The whole concept fell apart awhile ago here but I think we can sink the idea around song 7.  But let's belabor the point a little longer.

Further tracks on the album include:

  • Men At Work's "Down Under" (a #1 hit that followed up another #1 hit, "Who Can It Be Now?, and also saw them score a #3 with "Overkill" and #6 with "It's A Mistake"... kinda like this list)
  • Paul Young's "Everytime You Go Away (Single Version)" (a #1 hit but had other hits going to #8, #13, #22 and #45)
  • Irene Cara's "Fame" (a #4 hit but had a #1 hit with "Flashdance...What A Feeling" in 1983, a #8 with "Breakdance" the following year and 3 other Top 40 hits)
  • Tom Tom Club's "Genius Of Love" (a #31 hit and only one on that chart but have 3 other Top 5 hits on the U.S. Dance chart)
  • Ray Parker, Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" (a #1 hit but he also had two #4 hits with 1981's "A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)" and 1982's "The Other Woman" as well as 6 other Top 40 hits)
  • Fine Young Cannibals' "Good Thing" (a #1 hit but, then again, so was "She Drives Me Crazy")
  • Thompson Twins' "Hold Me Now" (a #3 hit but also had a #6 with "Lay Your Hands On Me" and #8 with "King For A Day" as well as 4 other Top 40 hits)
  • A Flock Of Seagulls' "I Ran (So Far Away)" (a #9 hit but also had singles go to #26, #30 and #56)
  • Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy" (a #62 hit but had a #77 in '83 with "Do You Wanna Hold Me?")
  • DJ EZ Rock & Rob Base's "It Takes Two" (a #36 hit but 1988's "Joy And Pain" went to #58)
  • Club Nouveau's "Lean On Me" (a #1 hit but had a #39 with "Why You Treat Me So Bad" in '87)
  • The Dream Academy's "Life In A Northern Town" (a #7 hit but had a #36 with "The Love Parade"
  • The Psychedelic Furs' "Love My Way" (a #44 hit but 1986's "Pretty In Pink" went to #41 and 1987's "Heartbreak Beat" outcharted them both going to #26)
  • Toni Basil's "Mickey" (a #1 hit but she also had a #77 with "Shoppin' From A To Z")
  • Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" (Arguing the merits of Rick Astley is painful.  Sure, this is a #1 hit but, Hello!, so was 1988's "Together Forever" and he had 3 other Top 10 hits)
  • UB40's "Red, Red Wine" (a #1 hit but also had a #28 single with "I Got You Babe" featuring Chrissie Hynde in 1985)
  • Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science" (a #5 hit but had a #62 and #67 hit)
  • The Tubes' "She's A Beauty" (a #10 hit but also had a #35 with "Don't Want To Wait Anymore" in 1981)
  • Corey Hart's "Sunglasses At Night" (a #7 hit but 1985's "Never Surrender" went to #3)
  • J.J. Fad's "Supersonic" (a #30 hit but they also had a #61 hit with "Way Out" in 1988)
  • Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" (a #1 but also had a #23 with "No More Words")
  • Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" (a #1 but also had a #34 with "Holding Out For A Hero"
  • Martika's "Toy Soldiers" (a #1 but she also had a #18 with "More Than You Know" in '88)
  • Bananarama's "Venus" (hello again ladies... hmmm... funny how they can list a 'one-hit wonder' twice!!!)
  • Toad The Wet Sprocket's "Walk On The Ocean" (1992 #18 hit... ooops)
  • Katrina And The Waves' "Walking On Sunshine" (a #9 but had a #16 with '89's "That's The Way")
  • The Romantics' "What I Like About You" (a #49 hit chosen over the #3 hit "Talking In Your Sleep)
  • Loverboy's "Working For The Weekend" (hmmm... so the other 5 songs that charted higher than this #29 hit didn't count).
Ok, the fact that I went through all 35 tracks on this collection could be overkill but I wanted you to see how insane even trying to call some of these songs 'one-hit wonders' would be.  I'd love to say that if they called them '80s U.S. Top 10 One-Hit Wonders that it would be alright but no matter what criteria you use, this list is a fails on too many levels.  Maybe calling some acts 'one-hit makers' sounded too dull, drab and discardable that they needed to spruce it up a bit.  Then it became hard to fill the category.  It has often been said that 'history is written by the winners' but I would go so far as to say that history is written by the people that write history.  If you pigeon-hole an artist as a 'one-hit wonder', people start focusing on only that hit.  Time will do the rest.  It's sad and disturbing.  And now you know why I avoid the term entirely.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Happy 30th, MTV!!!

So, with that announcement out of the way last week, I can talk about how numerology plays a part in things.  MTV was launched 30 years ago today.  Last week, I turned 40.  Meaning, I was 10 years old when Music Television came into being.  Yes, I spent over a decade celebrating, researching and sharing news and information about that decade.  It only makes sense that I would have to finish work on the book about the decade before the end of the year... I mean, just look at all those 'zeroes'.  They speak volumes to me.  I digress.  This was supposed to focus on a birthday.  So I'll share my experience with the channel. 

I discovered MTV late.  Well, not really late.  I really was 'raised on radio'.  Yet, I was spending the night at a friend's house (I think his name was Matt W. but I won't condemn him) when I first glimpsed a music video.  I was in awe!  I begged my parents to get cable.  That didn't work.  They were late adopters.  I mean, we didn't get our Atari until Ms. Pac-man came with it.  Anyhow, I'd have to steal moments at other people's houses until we finally got Music Television.

I've told listeners before that I was an avid Casey Kasem listener.  There is something about countdowns related to charts and the battle for the top spot that thrilled me.  Ok, it was mainly the trivia that came along before Casey would play the song.  So, watching MTV's weekly countdowns became just as important later on.  But, none more than what happened on July 13, 1985.

Summer vacation was in full swing.  We were on our way up to Idaho to spend time with my grandparents and aunt.  Actually, it wasn't so bad there in their little town as they had this funky dish pointing at the sky with hundreds of channels... including MTV.  (Where I first caught the premiere of Falco's "Jeanny" video.)  Anyhow, here we are on this trip.  For some reason, my family decided to stay a day or so in the itty-bitty town we kept blowing through on every trip to Idaho.  But, I'm content... they have MTV in the hotel.  My brothers and sister were down playing in the pool and I was glued to the television screen watching something called Live Aid.  I don't know how I got away with watching that much uninterrupted TV but seeing some of my 'radio' heroes on stage trying to make a difference meant something... means something to this day.

I was born to be on their music video-related game show, Remote Control.  Never got the chance.  I also waited anxiously for MTV Music News with Kurt Loder.  The man knew his stuff.  Heck, that could be a reason for me taking music journalism seriously.  Hmmm...

There was also something called 120 Minutes that seared a place in my skull.  Alternative music was defined differently back then.  You see, 'alternative' was what wasn't being played on the radio -- making it the alternative to what was out there.  Many genres filled this area (of which some became favorites of mine) but it could all be lumped into the college rock banner as well.  Heck, where else would bands like Public Enemy, Morrissey, Mudhoney, Public Image Ltd., the Ramones, 3rd Base, They Might Be Giants, the Replacements or many others be seen?  It was 120 Minutes that gave me variety and view of what was beyond 'pop.'

I dedicate part of a chapter of the upcoming book to MTV for taking a bunch of musicians and making them bigger than a radio wave.  Breaking artists that wouldn't normally get heard, breaking some that probably shouldn't have been heard or prolonging careers that maybe shouldn't have been -- the network did more to change the trajectory of music than any force during the decade.  It may have also been it's worst enemy.  Many imitators arose (many a local UHF station was launched under the guise of a 'free' music video channel, weekend video shows like Friday Night Videos and Night Flight, Canada's MuchMusic and scores of others) and eventually they changed what the M in MTV stood for.  But, what a run it was.  A history worthy of singing a little "Video Killed The Radio Star" or "Money For Nothing" to celebrate a 30th birthday for it, isn't it?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I guess it can be viewed as odd when one categorizes things in decades.  Of course, this is coming from someone who spent more than one decade focused on a particular one.  So, I guess it makes it more notable when I experience my own new decade.  Today is the big 40.

I can sit here and babble about all that I've learned and all that I've accomplished and how, looking back, I feel fulfilled.  That isn't happening.  I can say that I am inspired each and every day to do more, accomplish more and fill every bit of my life (and the lives around me) with as many great experiences as possible.  My circle of family and friends branches and becomes bigger every year and makes me that much more in awe of what I have.

Anyhow, that off my chest, I promised listeners of the show and readers of the blog/newsletter that I'd make an announcement on July 26th.  There was a reason.  What better way to announce my celebrating a decade in writing than when I become 4 decades old.  Heck, this is also the third decade anniversary of MTV's debut.  But, yes, I've been doing a lot of writing and hope to finish the book by the end of the year.  As soon as work on that finishes, we may be launching a new video series.  But, let's tackle these things one at a time.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Attending A Peepshow

Went out with the Hennessy boys (Dad and brothers) last night.  Had a great dinner at Strip House before going to see something called the Peepshow.  Tremendous show but I figured that, if anything, people walk in with no real idea what to expect other than Holly Madison.  So, why not take a moment and share it with you.

The show is a mix of burlesque, musical and Cirque Du Soleil.  Take a young overworked woman that comes home to her dog after a long day.  Bring her into the world of nursery rhymes in a mix of escapism but also trying to find herself.  Great music, a beautiful cast, sensual moments with many laughs, Peepshow is not what you think from the title.  (Instead think Little Bo Peep mixed with ummm... a peepshow.)  One of the major parts that you walk away astounded by is a spoiler that I can't reveal but you have to see to believe.

Overall, Peepshow is better than I expected.  Visually entertaining and something for everyone.  Ok, not everyone.  Actually, I was amazed at how many young women were dressed to the nines there attending (as if it was a girls night out.)  There is a lot of toplessness and sexual connotations made but if you have no problem with that (and are old enough) go check it out.

Monday, July 11, 2011

She Blossoms

Growth takes a lot.  Let's take a moment and think that somewhere a seed sinks deep enough into the soil to take root.  Of course, that wouldn't happen without enough water, sunlight, nitrogen, carbon dioxide... well, I think you get the point.

Next month will be a sort of anniversary for my wife.  She took a bad situation and planted a seed.  That seed was an education in the field of medical coding.  She fed that seed a lot of her time, energy and passion.  That nurturing allowed it to sprout recently in the form of a certification by completing her coursework with flying colors.  That sprout has matured over the last few months and today... it bears fruit.

Kerry isn't the type to pat herself on the back, shout out her accomplishments to the world or bring them up unless pressed.  That's her husband's job.  Speaking of jobs, that's what she starts today.  Of course, you really never know what you are going to accomplish until you put your feet in the right direction and start pushing forward.  You will never know how proud I am of her.  (That Bee Gees' song "More Than A Woman" is hard to get out of my head right now.)  She's a true fighter and is more than deserving of my awe.

Anyhow, a few hours from now, I'm going to make her a nice breakfast as she prepares for her first day at work.  As anyone would be, she is a little nervous.  Here's hoping that with a few nutrients and the sunshine on her (as it always is) she will have an amazing day and continue to blossom.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Independence Day 2011

I don't expect anyone to celebrate this holiday in Canada, Mexico or the U.K. -- especially there as it would be like celebrating the ex-fiance's wedding anniversary.  But, many people forget that July 4th is Independence Day (after the date written on our Declaration of Independence.)  Heck, most think of it a celebration of BBQ, fireworks and cold beverages.

It was on the 50th anniversary of that aforementioned document that the only two signers to become president (John Adams and Thomas Jefferson) passed away.  President James Monroe also died on a 4th of July.  Not to leave things on a downer, President Calvin Coolidge was born on the holiday (as it was made a federal unpaid holiday 2 years before his birth.)  All in all, I'm just thankful to have this moment to reflect on a small country's determination to become "free and independent states."

Happy Independence Day, folks!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Deep Dental Disturbances

Went to the dentist yesterday.  Sometimes things just go through your head while sitting in the chair waiting for their exploration.  I was hungry.  I got up late, brushed my teeth and casually considered having something to eat on the way there.  So, I had to ask the dentist:

"What percentage of your patients didn't brush after eating prior to their appointment?"

I mean, it was on my mind.  You don't really have to speak out what is in your head but for some reason, I had to.  She didn't take long to think about it and said 65%.  Which is a bigger number than I thought.  She then said, "The early appointments have less as most brush right after breakfast.  After lunchtime is another story."

My lesson for the day was that most people figure that a dentist is already going in looking for decay... might as well surprise them with something freshly chewed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yes - Fly From Here

Yes have returned with their first new studio album in a decade, Fly From Here.  The release also marks the debut of new vocalist Benoit David as well as the return of former keyboardist Geoff Downes and producer Trevor Horn.  Yes' sound is unmistakable and trace it back to vocal harmonies, arrangements, instrumentation or what many just call mysticism.  Many of their albums can be seen as growing things... let's go with the multiple limbs trees with a solid base.

Fly From Here is no different.  It is also the title of the 6-part trunk supporting a stand-out track like "We Can Fly" which branches off and reaches onward and upward for a bit more sun.  A direct extension of that melodic limb is the breathtaking "Sad Night At The Airfield."  I get chills from that one.  "Bumpy Ride" is frenzied and exactly as advertised -- taxiing you back to the "We Can Fly (Reprise)."  "The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be" is a solid song that someone could build a treehouse on.  "Hour Of Need" just fills the room and is quite a distinct path from the other tracks.  You could even call it a meandering branch.  "Solitaire" is a stunning little instrumental leading to the full-throttle "Into The Storm."

You may notice that I didn't cite specific stand-out performances by the band members.  I have to say that I just can't here.  This is such a cohesive Yes release with each piece so vital that I wouldn't want to pull anything apart and hear it as less than the whole.  No parachute nor Dramamine needed for this flight.  Fly From Here is a steady ride that soars!

4 out of 5

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Future Will Be Visualized

I have to say that the time I've had since ending Talking 80s Music has really given me a chance to step back and look at things.  The OCD spiral of news writing and hosting the show had to come to an end.  It was either going to be clean or messy.  One of the things that I've concluded is that my future with podcasts may be minimal.

I remember sitting in a conference room listening to a great keynote speech by Gary Vaynerchuk a few years back.  Of the many nuggets I got from him was in the form of a question, "Why aren't you doing video?"  If you are honest, personable and have a working knowledge of your subject, people would like to see you.  That thought sat in the back of my mind for years.

Recently, I started thinking about the future of 'the show' and know that it will never be back in that same form.  It was an amazing time and an unforgettable journey.  Yet, if CNN or USAToday ran a poll asking people what a 'podcast' was... it'd stump 80% of the readers.  Of the 20%, not all of them are regular listeners and many focus on niche markets.  Even as I type this, the word 'podcast' is showing up in my spellcheck as an error.  Heck, the word has been around for 7 years... get with it people.

So, I ask myself, why try to push into an area that is self-limiting.  Sure, changing the terminology from podcast to talkcast or blogcast can affect the numbers but we are innately visual beings.  During the last few months, I've been tinkering with video projects and in the future... it very well could be the path for a new show.  I can see it clearly but I have another goal in sight and I expect to talk about it next month.  Back to work for me.

Monday, May 30, 2011

American Pride

I mentioned several video projects in the works before.  You are going to have to get used to seeing them pop up here and there.  This Memorial Day, my assistant videographer woke up early with me to catch the sun rising over Veteran's Memorial Cemetery.  It was all part of the plan for creating a video for a terrific song called "American Pride" co-written by my friend Geno.  So, despite a few technical issues (that I see more than some others,) it went pretty well.  Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Night Ranger - Somewhere In California

Energy.  It's something we all seek in one form or another.  Sometimes it's from a restful sleep, a caffeinated drink, a second wind or pure inspiration.  Night Ranger have definitely found the latter for the release of their upcoming album, Somewhere In California.

The disc leads off boldly, yet brilliantly, with the keyboard-heavy first single, "Growin' Up In California."  The chorus is pure bliss and it reminds you of everything you liked about Night Ranger to begin with.  Not an easy feat.  "Lay It On Me" with its scorching guitars showcases their rock roots and begs to be heard live in an arena.  It'd be easy to mistake the slow build of "Time Of Our Lives" as a just some ballad.   Make sure you hear the whole song as the guitar solo here rips just after an emotional blues run -- stamping this as something special.  "End Of The Day" has some beautiful layering on what becomes a love song of perseverance. While those are some amazing stand-out tracks, there are some terrific journeys on songs like the thumping and wailing of "Follow Your Heart," past romantic reflections of "Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)," the high-flying "No Time To Lose Ya," the very catchy and possessive "It's Not Over," the rock tribute-laden "Rock N' Roll Tonite" and the slick closer "Say It With Love."

This is the album Night Ranger fans have been waiting for... no matter in which decade they loved them most.  It's also a great place for the uninitiated to dive in.  Somewhere In California is crammed full of catchy choruses, determination, self-aware production and it just rocks throughout.  Now, if we could only just bottle what Night Ranger has.

4 out of 5

And The Future Will Write Itself...

Lots going on over here. Some of it is even along my current direction... some not. I don't think that I'll ever be able to walk away from my love of music and my quest for knowledge surrounding many acts. So, while it looks like I've gone underground, I've been formulating a way to combine everything. As of now, you'll see more and more music-related posts from 'Classically Martin', reviews and other meanderings. There are multiple video projects that are in the works, some written work and I'll mention that in the future. But, I figured I'd need to prepare you for seeing CD reviews surface here at (a.k.a. Rantings Of An 80s Nut.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Bella And Tulip Show: Caught In The Act

So, I've been spending a lot more time messing around with my video projects during my musical hiatus.  Today was a chance for me to test out some new software.  But I knew that I'd have to have something to work with as subject matter.  One thing we've been confused about is the mess we sometimes see in the kitchen when we've been gone for a little bit.  It's hard to punish one dog over the other without evidence.

Around noon, we set up a camera and left a banana peel and part of a PBJ sandwich in the trash.  We left for just over 11 minutes.  The video above is what transpired.  Hope you enjoy.  It was fun editing.  We've put velcro on the door in hopes to avoid this kind of incident again.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Caring 4 Kids

My friends and sister-in-law have been involved in a charity called Caring 4 Kids for quite some time.  I had been there a few times to help out but, this week, they needed it.  As you'll hear in the video, a local church donated 21,000 pounds of food.  (You may want to increase the volume on the video as it drops a little in the middle.)  It's amazing how much there was but more astounding is the work entailed to just organize the items.  Funny, as I had mentioned the charity the day before in a Facebook post.  I went with the wife to help sort for a few hours.  It's a bit of a blur but I also took a day off of work to help with the bagging and today helped hand out the food to the kids.

It isn't often that I'm able to help but I found myself wanting to get the word out a bit more about what they do.  So, here it is in a little video.  If you'd like to help them out by 'liking' their page on Facebook, you can do so here.  But, if you also happen to be in the Las Vegas/Henderson area and are looking for something positive to do for an hour or more on a Thursday around 6pm... call the people mentioned at the end of the video.  That's when they bag a lot of the items.  If you can imagine about 400+ bags being filled with 9 items or so and the assembly line that it takes to make it happen, you can understand why I mention it.  But, I can see myself spending more time helping them out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Breaking Open Some Boxes For A Cause

Back a bit ago, I mentioned my wife's mission to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation through the 3-Day For The Cure event.  She's been doing great (although the moving did interfere with training a little but we are finding new routes.)  She has raised 17% of her goal so far (which she needs to accomplish by around August.  It also happens to be a big garage sale happening within our new community and... well, it just makes sense to use it to raise money towards her goal.  So, on Saturday Apr. 16th, you will find me behind a table maybe with a stereo going.  The location could be found here. 

Funny thing about moving is that we've been going through a lot of boxes recently and found that I still have an odd CD or two, some DVDs, lamps and other stuff gathering dust for the sale.  Here's the interesting part.  I know that not everyone has money to donate to a great cause like breast cancer research.  But it amazes me how we can all find junk we are close to throwing away (as we don't all have time to hold a garage sale... especially for just a few items.)  So, if you'd like to help me, help Kerry, help the Susan G. Komen Foundation by donating those items for the sale, we'd love to have them and would cherish your support.  Most of you have ways to get ahold of me (especially via Facebook) and if you'd like to drop something off (old plates, appliances... heck, this could be a long list) just drop me a line.  If you are in the area that day, feel free to stop by as well.  Kerry will also be selling some pink rubber-like wristbands (think LiveStrong meets boobies) and some bracelets specifically for the charity.

During the week, we heard from a member of our family that went through a breast cancer scare.  One of the hardest things about dealing with the disease is that it's hard to talk about when you are waiting just to find out how test results are.  Since starting this journey we've also found more and more family and friends that have fought this disease.  So, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for contemplating or even reading any of this.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Moving Can't Be Painless: Part 2

I have to say that after all that previous drama, it got kinda boring with the relocation.  We're starting to feel a bit at home.  Sure, you set one thing up and then break something else and now have to replace it... but that's the fun of organizing a new abode.  Put together a lot of shelves, ceiling fans, a television stand and set up the computers.  I'm sure that I'm forgetting something else.  We also started organizing the garage (which cleared out a lot of the boxes stacked taller than the wife... no, it wasn't intentional.)  The dogs are enjoying the new running room.  Our son is enjoying his new-found freedom to explore (it seems like his room isn't dangerous enough for him anymore.)  If his grades stay above water, he'll be picking up a new bike next week.  Kerry is back to reading (for enjoyment.)  And I'm getting closer and closer to starting a project that I expect to announce in July.

We still have a few home projects to finish (computer networking issues, a ceiling fan and a dishwasher) but there are less and less boxes stacked up and tools lying around (because at any moment... aha... needed that screwdriver.)  I think the only thing we really need right now is a bit of rest and a start on our new routine.  Probably going to start that by exploring the nearby restaurants and walking routes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

To The Missus On Year #3 Of Her Purgatory

I don't mention it often but I'm a very lucky man.  I'm not easy to be around for long periods of time.  I ramble on about bizarre things.  I listen to music some people wouldn't let their children hear.  I snore.  I talk in my sleep.  I am stubborn, out-going, opinionated and right most of the time... (Ok, that last part is a bit overboard.)  But, for some reason, I was lucky enough to find someone as caring, stubborn, patient and as loving as my wife.  She doesn't like the spotlight on her but I wouldn't be half of what I am without her.  Thank you for 3 wonderful years and making my family that much better for it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Moving Can't Be Painless: Part 1

I know, it's been a bit.  Here is the Cliff's Notes synopsis.  We moved.  Computers remained unplugged for over a week.  (The shakes started wearing off after a few days.)  Moved crap around.  Broke things.  Fixed things.  Built things.  (It amazes me more and more how companies can send extra pieces for bookshelves... has to be a psychological trick to make us feel stupid as we re-read the instructions for the 49th time.)

I have to say that the physical move went great and a big Thank You goes out to my brother-in-law Greg and friend William.  Let's dwell on the move for a moment.  Kerry and I picked up the U-Haul early and went straight to a store to pick up some furniture we ordered.  We then headed to the house to start unplugging the computers, loaded up the delicate items in her car and prepped the big items for loading up.  Greg and Willie arrived and we loaded up a few items going to my Dad's house and then everything else joined the party.  We were mainly concerned about the big items as there were many and we left more than we should have (but didn't have much more room in the truck.)  We then drove to the new place and dropped off the goodies and ate lunch.  We then went to my father's and dropped off some big items for him and loaded up a lot of items that he'd been holding there for us.  Off we went to the new place to drop off the stuff.  I was able to drop off Willie and the U-Haul in time to not get charged.  (I'm not going to mention the turn signal light issue to save time.)  I then ran to the old house to see if there was anything we'd need for the night.  Called the wife and told her I'd call when I got closer to the new place to pick up food on the way back.

So, it seemed like a busy day already.  Right?  I take these items over to Greg's house and add two tired dogs to my cargo (as my sister-in-law Kelly watched over them during the move.)  I'm now heading out and I get a frantic call from the wife saying, "Head home!  Head home!," and, confused as I can be, I reply, "Which home?!"  It didn't help matters.  Needless to say, my son David was working as hard as a one-armed child could (seeing as he broke one in a scooter accident.)  While helping out by breaking down boxes, he cut his wrist open...  he screamed, ran towards where his mom was (and this is where I lose track of the story because from my later view of the crime scene... it looked like he ran circles around the house.)  Kerry took him to the emergency room while I continued to drive home.  I had a heck of a time keeping the dogs away from the puddles of coagulating fluid.  Oh, did I mention the nice new cream colored carpet at the new place?  No?  Well, I got acquainted with it for 3 hours as Spray & Wash with Resolve works wonders but requires a lot of elbow grease.  (Leave it to me to leave the steam cleaner at the old house.)  I finished moments before they got back from seeing the doctor.  David earned 3 stitches, a lot of praise for being a 'big help' and a wrapping covering his unbroken other arm... yes, his best hand for doing anything was at the end of a cast now.  Great for the upcoming CRTs.

I have a photo stashed away somewhere but... it was a painful but satisfying move.  David's cast was removed a week later and he still has the stitches in.  He's also getting to know the neighborhood really well.  Anyhow, there is more to the move but it'll have to wait.  Still have more stuff to get done around here but wanted to check in and let you know what's been going on.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


As much as I loathe moving, there is something cathartic to it.  It's a time for you to re-evaluate items you've been holding onto.  The last time I moved (almost 3 years ago when I got married), I discovered a stack of notes from a girl in high school.  I thought that it was funny that here were 20+ letters that were jotted down during a history class that I knew I read but they were scattered in a little paper bag all by themselves.  They came from my senior year and my correspondence with a classroom pseudo-pen pal.  So, I decided to look at the notes.  I told the wife about it and even read them to her -- partially to absolve myself of the contents but also to share in the discovery.  Yes, the girl (no names) was persistent and had a crush.  It even reminded me of a time when she came over (in a tight black leotard... my favorite color) and received a massage... and I didn't take it further.  To this day, I don't know why I didn't (because massages always lead me into trouble) but I do know that some things aren't meant to happen.  I tossed each of the letters away after reading them.  But, being 20+ years older and going over 20+ letters really reminds a man of how much he's grown and how oblivious to some things he can be.

So, it's funny that as I was doing some early pre-packing for the latest move, I discovered another set of letters --  this time from an ex-girlfriend.  You can say she was the first significant one after high school.  No, there weren't 20+ there but I let them sit on the desk for about two months and explained what they were to the wife (with the intention to do the same as before.)  It was as we were talking about the move and some logistics that the phone rang.  I looked over at the letters (post-marked 1991-92) and started opening them.  The wife was on the phone as I browsed the first one, ripped it up, browsed the second, ripped it up... and then just ripped the others up.  I came to the conclusion that sometimes there are reasons why the past is the past and the present is the present.  Holding on to some great memories of the past are fine.  Clinging onto them can be maniacal.  So, I'm feeling good.  Purging some things always lightens my soul and... I was able to share it with the one I love.  Back to packing but... I might have to be more selective of what I keep for now on.  B)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Leaving Las Vegas

The phrase 'Las Vegas native' has always been odd for me.  I mean, when you move to a town when you are 2 years old, you really don't remember enough of your old one to say that it was home.  So, after 37 wonderful years (minus a 6-month sabbatical in Reno), we're leaving.  We signed the papers today.  It's hard to do when you have a lot of great memories of the place and, yes, even the stigma of 'Sin City' on your back never seemed that bad.  Heck, I'm a huge fan of the weather.  I really can't stand the cold.  So, as I start packing up my things along with my wife and son, I say farewell to a city that never sleeps and never did me wrong... and say "hello" to Henderson.

Monday, February 21, 2011

She's In Training For A Cure

I might not have mentioned it previously but the wife and I have been doing a lot of walking.  Usually, we'll try to take the girls (dogs) out with us and have worked up to a 4-mile hike a few weeks ago (hours before Super Bowl.)  There has been a reason.  Sure, the health benefits are great (as is wearing out the dogs.)  But, Kerry has a goal and I'm going to support her every step of the way.

In November, Kerry is heading to San Diego with her BFF to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure event.  This isn't a simple little trip.  Essentially, they will head out and walk 20 miles, camp out, pack up, walk another 20 miles, camp out, pack up and walk the remaining 20 miles in what can only be called a 3-day endurance test.  So, she's in training.  I mean, it isn't often that anyone walks for 20 miles continuously or does so 3 days in a row.

Yes, training will be difficult but also difficult will be fund-raising.  Neither of us have really ever done that before either.  They have set a minimum of $2,300 in donations as her goal before she participates which means we have until September-ish to work on it.  I try not to use the web sites or my other ventures as a platform for asking for things... I am bad at that but, during the next few months, I will be trying to keep you up-to-date on Kerry's training progress and post a little link up.  We also hope to hold a few fund-raising events as well.

Right after signing up, a friend of hers told her that her other friend had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Cancer, itself, is scary but when it hits home, it hits hardest.  Men also get breast cancer.  One of the sad things about the disease is how it can destroy a woman's self-esteem.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I think breasts are one of the most amazing inventions and I can stare at them for hours.  Let's go save some boobies!

It might be good to mention now that unfortunately, donations from outside the United States are unable to be processed but we would like to thank you for even considering it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Coke, Is It?

I can honestly say that I failed the Pepsi Challenge over 2 decades ago.  I just like the taste of Coke.  For the longest time, I was a 2 20-oz. bottle-a-day Diet Coke drinker (yeah, caffeine.)  Anyhow, I don't drink soda anymore but this article saying that they've finally revealed the recipe for Coca-Cola got me thinking.  First, it's hard to say 'finally revealed' as they say it was found in a 32 year-old newspaper.  It's like saying, "We can finally reveal the winner of the first American Idol."  It happened, was covered and it's done.  But can the recipe be real?

I'm writing this to say that I'm doubtful.  Just a few problems with the recipe that includes at least 4 different oils and 8 oz. of alcohol amidst 2.5 gallons of water and 1quart and 2 pints of lime juice.  Not only do the oils (which would be a fat) not register on the label as even a less than a gram but at no point is alcohol listed on the label.  Here's one label below:

So, if this this recipe is false, it is blatantly so.  If it were correct, it could be an issue with mis-labeling the product -- which could be a lawsuit.  It also must be noted that the above label has to be an older one as high fructose corn syrup is the major sweetener used today.  Could that recipe, printed in a newspaper 3 decades ago, be a very early one that was discarded, changed and rendered useless by the time it was published?  Something to consider.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Super Day 2011

I do not know if I can legally say Super Bowl or not but I spent a great day with my wife, son, nephew and dogs.  We woke up around 6am and had cinnamon rolls and packed a few sandwiches for a trip.  There is a section of this massive hiking trail around Boulder City near Lake Mead and we decided to give that a try.  Our plan was to try to get a good 4 mile hike in (with the dogs) before heading back home in time for church.  We figured out the directions and despite leaving late got there just about when we intended to.  With two boys and two dogs in tow, my wife and I started our walk/hike.  But, we wound up going the wrong way.  It really wasn't a bad thing, though.  You have a great view of Lake Mead and half-mile markers to give you an idea of distance.  The dogs did great and spent most of the day sleeping afterwards.  When we got back, we prepared for church and the Super Bowl.

David is a little funny... ok, a lot funny.  He has his favorite football team and can barely remember any of the players' names.  Part of what I believed made me a bigger fan of professional football was fantasy football -- where you have an investment in almost every game and particular players.  This prompted me to create a Super Bowl fantasy match-up for the boys (the prize being bragging rights, 3 packs of sugar-free gum and a Star Wars Pez dispenser with 3 packs of Pez.)  For anyone attempting a two-person fantasy draft, it's important to balance things.  There is only one QB and one defense which means that when one is taken, the other is pretty much given to the other player by default.  The draft went well.  My nephew wanted the Packers to win the game and went after only Green Bay players.  David was more selective but of course would have many of the default Steelers players after losing the coin-toss but also grabbed wide receiver Greg Jennings of GB.  By the time the game started, Jakob told us that he thought he made a mistake.  His second pick, running back Brandon Jackson, was hurt and he forgot.  I conferred with the wife and then asked David what he thought.  I asked my son, "What would you want to happen if we found out that your other running back was hurt and not going to play the game?"  With everyone agreed, Jackson was replaced with Starks... until Jackson caught a pass.  I had to tell my nephew that changing players during a game was already a bit unfair but the player he drafted was actually in the game and his replacement player would have to be switched back.  I don't think he took it well.  When offered dinner at Olive Garden near half-time... he was outta here.  But, I told him that we'd still keep score and the winner would still be the winner.  David watched the rest of the game (and we'd have to keep reminding him when his player scored points or screwed up.)   Final total was about 53 to 25 (I didn't keep the sheets so we are guesstimating here) in my son's favor.  We even ran the points with the replacement player -- which only got the score 4 points closer.

But, I think this was a growing step for the boy as he watched everything but the half-time show (to play outside.)  Had a great time with the wife and it was a great day.  We passed out earlier than normal as well.  I'm sure that I had nightmares about replacement players.