Thursday, September 30, 2010
Having said that, the real life movie versions did have two redeeming qualities - Haley Berry and loin clothes............. nuff said.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
The world of rock lost one of the great ones the yesterday with the sad passing of vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Ronnie succumbed to his battle with stomach cancer on May 16, 2010. Ronnie James Dio was hailed as one of the most powerful voices in heavy metal. Dio was the voice behind some legendary metal bands like Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Elf, Heaven & Hell and his own namesake band, Dio.
Born Ronald James Padavona, in New Hampshire in 1942, he was the only child in an Italian family. The traditions and superstitions of his heritage influenced his later stage persona with the gratuitous use of his trademark devil horns which was actually an Italian superstitious remedy to prevent the unwanted "evil eye".
Dio's spent his childhood learning to play various instruments including the French horn which he said helped him become a better vocalist since it taught him how to breath properly. He enjoyed success with Rainbow but it was his selection to replace Ozzy Osbourne as lead singer for Black Sabbath in 1979 that really helped put Dio in the metal spotlight for so many.
Growing up in the 80s you had to make a very important decision if you were a metal head - Dio or Ozzy? Who was the true frontman for heavy metal founders Black Sabbath? At the time I have to admit I didn't like Ronnie and always felt Ozzy was the one true voice for Sabbath but over time you learn to appreciate the operatic ability of Dio and the strength his vocals provided to the thundering guitars. He had a style all his own and was often imitated but truly never duplicated.
His legacy is his body of work that spanned six decades. Here are a few examples of what made him a legend of metal.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
But he could have done worse.
Both Will and Lenny dabbled in the performing arts. Here are two examples of them expressing themselves artistically. Remember as you watch these that these were both serious performances and not meant to be a gag, comedy bit or any attempt to try and be funny. These are two serious performers doing their best to entertain. We can look at it one of two ways - which of these two is the ultimate galactic crooner or which of these two laid the largest Klingon turd.......your call.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Malcolm was a fashion designer originally and opened up a London boutique called "Let It Rock" in 1971 before eventually renaming it "Sex". It was around this time he started to get involved with music. He worked with the New York Dolls for a bit but his true claim to fame came when he started managing a punk band called "The Strand" who later renamed themselves - The Sex Pistols.
After one studio album and a brutal North American tour, the group was done and Malcolm moved on. Among the groups of the day that Malcolm had a hand in include Adam Ant and Bow Wow Wow. He then embarked on his own musical career.
His first venture happened after being exposed to Afrika Bambaata and his Zulu Nation which were a break dance crew that would perform to a new style of music from Bambaata that came to be known as Hip Hop. Malcolm was fascinated and with writing and production help by Trevor Horn put out his first album Duck Rock which featured a couple of early Hip Hop classics "Buffalo Girls" and "Double Dutch" which really helped crossover Hip Hop to the masses.
Malcolm constantly kept reinventing himself and in 1984 mixed electro-pop and opera to create Madame Butterfly which exposed him to a new audience and led to working with Yanni to create the music for a British Airways advertising campaign.
Malcolm continued to work in the entertainment industry and had some songs featured in major motion pictures, appeared on reality TV in the UK, created a few documentaries and just kept it up right till the end. He was anything but boring and a true original.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
First up is Twilight Zone by Golden Earring which was a hit in 1982 and had pretty heavy rotation on all the video music channels back when they actually played videos.......those were good days. It reached number 1 in the US Billboards Top Tracks and number 10 on the Hot 100.
The second Twilight Zone comes from Two Unlimited and was released ten years later and also got heavy rotation on the video channels. The song is pretty much the opposite side of the spectrum to the Golden Earring version yet was a big hit in many countries and became a workout staple due to the very catchy high energy hook. It made it to number 5 on the U.S. Billboards Hot Club Play charts and only 49 on the Top 100.
So what's the connection? They are both Dutch groups. Enjoy.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Corey Haim was one of the two Corey's, who along with fellow child star Corey Feldman, starred in many films in the 80s and early 90s like The Lost Boys, License To Drive, Murphy's Romance, Dream a Little Dream and Lucas. He later became a reality TV star on A&E with Corey Feldman in "The Two Corey's" as the show chronicled the comeback attempt of both Coreys. Tragically it only showcased the spiraling descent that eventually claimed Corey Haim's life.
Although he was working, none of the films or appearances were able to recapture the fame that his early career brought at a young age. This is what kept him turning to drugs both illegal and eventually prescription.
This is sad and senseless. In this day and age, there is ample proof that drugs are bad and NEVER result in a positive and healthy outcome. There is help, there is treatment and there are alternatives. Not to sound preachy, but if you are an addict - get help. Just ask for it. The other lesson here of course is if you are a young actor that find early success, don't give up on studying for a fall back option in the event your career comes to a screeching halt. It happens far too often and the aftermath is never pretty.
Here's a look at some of Corey Haim's work during happier times.
Monday, March 1, 2010
This batch is no different except we threw in a few that were pretty bright eyed and fresh looking in their youth before being run over by the steamroller known as age. Once again it is inspiring to know that celebrities are just like us. Enjoy.
Growing up in the 70s, who didn't want to be John Travolta? Growing up in the 2000's nobody wants to be John Travolta. Okay that was a bit harsh....... he's still cool and takes on pretty daring roles. Gotta love Barbarino.
Seriously though it was sad to see a young athlete lose his life though it was while doing something he loved - how many of us will be lucky to die doing something we love? As a tribute to him and all the athletes who competed, here's a retro classic from 1983 by Spandau Ballet that takes it's title from the one thing everyone strives for during the Olympics - Gold.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Doug formed the band with three other musicians in 1978 after a few failed attempts at having a successful band. The Knack teamed up with producer Mike Chapman who was responsible for some hits by Blondie, Nick Gilder and Exile. They cut all the tracks for their first album in pretty much one take and that was what gave the album that energetic live feel. The whole album was done and ready to press in eleven days at a total cost of $18,000. It was one of the cheapest albums to ever go Platinum. It went gold just thirteen days after its release.
Their biggest hit was the catchy if not annoying My Sharona from their first album. It spent six weeks at number one on the Billboard's Hot 100 in the U.S. while the album spent five weeks at number one.
Rather than giving you My Sharona which you've heard atleast three thousand times, here's one of their followup hits that isn't as well known but still pretty cool.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Regardless which side of the fence (field?) you're on, you can't deny the creative display put on each year during the Super Bowl which this year costs a whopping $3 Million U.S. per spot. Unbelievable. Companies are banking on the exposure the commercial receives and possible buzz it generates will hopefully translate into money well spent.
For a look back at the last 38 years of Super Bowl ads, click the picture of the smirking quarterback below to go to a site dedicated to showcasing some of the best television ads ever produced for Super Sunday. (Hate to say it but I think this guy will be smirking again this coming Sunday - sorry Saints, I'm rooting for you though!)
Friday, January 29, 2010
First up, Rene & Angela's "I'll Be Good" which is the embodiment of all things good about 80's R&B. Released in 1985 by this former husband and wife duo, it peaked and number 4 on the U.S. R&B charts but remains one of my prized possessions on pristine 12" vinyl.
Next up is a classic from 1979 by the Brothers Johnson. This band was made up of a bunch of brothers and a cousin who had originally played for the likes of Billy Preston, The Supremes and were Quincy Jones main go to guys for a time.
"Stomp" was released in 1979 and shot to number 1 on both the U.S. Dance and R&B charts. The group had an on again off again relationship over the years and still perform from time to time and recently teamed up for a tour with Ray "Ghostbuster" Parker JR and Cherrelle. Interesting note, Louis Johnson played bass on Michael Jackson's Thriller album - I told you they were Quincy's go to guys didn't I?
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Duck Hunt was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and players used a NES Zapper which was basically a light rifle. Ducks appeared one or two at a time and players shot them for points and the admiration of their faithful canine which for some reason was officially nameless. They name plumbers, hedgehogs, ghosts, goblins and countless other mind numbingly dumb characters but a cute dog with an annoying laugh..........nada. Can't think of a thing. I'm sure nobody noticed. Players also had the option of shooting clay pigeons in another mode that got increasingly difficult as you moved up the levels.
Today's retro arcade classic won't be a popular one amongst PETA pals though I can say no video ducks were actually hurt during the making or playing of this game. Enjoy.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Either way, no need to argue any longer. Click the pic of the bitchin' PacMan ring to see the definitive collection of all gaming consoles from the original Odyssey to the Nintendo Wii. Click the console of your choice for a quick overview and details.
Amazing how far we've come. Hard to believe there was a time when you had to tape color foils over your black and white TV to get a color burst to add more excitement while you played your games leaving gummy residue all over the screen which all parents loved. Now, all you have to do is reach for your phone to play in full color with people from around the world.
You young'uns have all the neat toys.
Friday, January 22, 2010
With that in mind, here's a way back track that always puts a smile on my face and was (and is) a sure fire crowd pleaser to all the retro lovers and even the non-believers. How can you go wrong with the late, great Barry White? Even his worst track was pretty damn good! This gem is from 1974 and still holds up well.
Happy Friday everyone - spring is just around the corner!