Showing posts with label michael jackson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label michael jackson. Show all posts

Saturday, November 10, 2018

1988 ~ A Year

1988 was a strange year as far as my "career" was concerned. Life outside of work was good ~ I had two pre-teens at home who were exceptionally good kids. I had an actual house with a foundation; not a tin can on four wheels. I'd settled into a routine. I worked second shift at the hospital, but I had a trusty VCR to record "St. Elsewhere" on Wednesday nights. I liked my job. Until I didn't.

I'd been at the hospital for eight years and I knew my stuff. I could juggle new admits with nary a second thought. That was essentially my job ~ slotting new patients into various rooms. The medical floor had three wings. One was a telemetry unit, but if we needed a bed for a medical patient, I had to put them there if no other accommodations were available. The central wing was staffed with two RN's and two LPN's. Telemetry was also fully staffed. Monitoring heart patients was fraught with potential emergencies. The west wing. while the nicest of the three, was the forlorn forgotten stepchild. Only one RN and one LPN were generally assigned to that unit. Monday evenings were the busiest. Seniors who had toughed it out through the interminable weekend finally went to see their doctor on Monday and were thus in a state of deterioration that required immediate hospitalization. I always endeavored to not overload the nurses with new patients, but sometimes it was unavoidable. If the downstairs admission office was ringing my number incessantly, I had to make judgment calls. At a certain point, all the spare beds rested in the west wing. An RN I liked a lot was manning that station, and she finally, after I'd given her four new admissions, expressed her frustration (in hindsight, understandably) sarcastically. I took it as a rebuke and was hurt.

After a sleepless night, I decided to post out to a different position. The only job in the hospital I was minimally qualified for was in the admissions office. I interviewed and secured the transfer. I hated it from the start. It was too, too quiet. And dark. Between new patients, who I would interview and ask what religion they were affiliated with, I filed three-by-five cards. I think I also trained as a substitute phone operator, which terrified me. I didn't want to have to call codes. I was afraid I'd mess it up and forget which buttons to push and someone would perish due to my incompetence. On the medical floor, I'd felt in command. If there was a Code Blue, I knew exactly what to do to summon the crash cart.

I lasted approximately two weeks in the admissions department before I quit.I couldn't understand how working for the same company I'd been with for eight years could feel so foreign, so like Azerbaijan. I had no fallback. I was in the wilderness. My small-town newspaper contained approximately two square inches of clerical classified ads. The most promising was a position as a medical transcriptionist, for which I had no qualifications other than the medical terminology I'd picked up at the hospital and an innate ability to type. I applied and got it. I was wary from the start. This was a five-person office; supposedly a franchise. They had two transcriptionists already and were awaiting their third "machine" to be delivered. In the meantime, I could sort mail and otherwise act busy. I've always hated pretending to be busy. Time ticks so slowly. The franchisee was the wife of the absolute worst doctor in town. I wonder if the company's only client was her husband. Hospitals, after all, employed their own transcriptionists. Nevertheless, the two gals ensconced in front of the two machines seemed to keep busy, so I was hopeful and anticipatory.

In between marking incoming mail with a red rubber stamp and neatening up the desk, I did get a half hour to drive through the McDonald's queue and feast on a hamburger and small fry in the front seat of my car. I hung on long enough to attend the company's annual pow-wow in Kansas City, although I had no earthly idea what I was doing there. Periodically I inquired when the "machine" would be delivered and received evasive answers. I began to think the whole thing was a scam. Did they actually intend to murder me and hide my body? Why? They barely knew me!

The two transcriptionists, I learned, absolutely hated the blue-haired owner. I bonded with the typists, because who else was I going to bond with? One of them had a plan to corner the corporate owner during our Kansas City convention and "spill the beans". She recruited me as her wing man and I had nothing to lose, plus I was tipsy on the free wine. Upon our return from Missouri, Mrs. Fortman called each of us into her office for a private conference. When it was my turn, she asked me if I really wanted to work there. I reiterated my inquiry as to when the "machine" would arrive. "I told you it's on its way!", she yelped defensively. I said that I guessed I really didn't want to work there, and I left.

I was once again adrift.

The only classified I could find was for a part-time receptionist at the State Teachers Retirement Fund. I had either learned how to interview really well or my 80-WPM typing scores bowled them over. Whatever the rationale, I was hired. Granted, the 8:00 to 12:00 schedule was awesome, but the requisite cut in pay hurt. And, once again, I had to find ways to fill the time. I typed "Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois" on endless business-size envelopes and delivered incoming mail to various offices. In between, I tried to master the workings of the correction-tape typewriter. I had, generously, one hour's worth of work and three hours of time-filling. Plus I was seated at a cold receptionist desk with no one to talk to. Rarely did anyone stop in to see one of the execs and the phone never rang. I could have not shown up for work and nobody would be the wiser. I needed to find something better or I would slit my wrists. When I finally gave my notice, the woman in charge said, "Oh, I was hoping to offer you a full-time position". What? They, in actuality, needed no one, yet they were willing to pay me to work eight hours a day? Now they told me!

I'd found a secretarial position at Farm Credit Services. On the plus side, it was full-time. But there were negatives. Firstly, my hourly wage had not risen. I was still making $5.75 an hour, plus the drive was massive in winter. The financial company was located on the far western outskirts of another town. The only scenery was I-94 whipping off toward tiny farm hamlets. The woman who hired me, Mrs. Park, would have had to pay a headhunter to find her a personality. Another minus was that I was a secretary. No offense to secretaries (or administrative assistants, as they are now called to hide the fact that they are glorified indentured servants), but the constraints inherent to the job are scratchily chafing. I don't like anyone hovering over me as if I am an imbecile. For the record, I'm not one. At least Mrs. Park didn't expect me to bring her coffee. The previous secretary had been promoted to a tax "specialist". That would never, ever be my lot. I don't like numbers and they don't like me. In her free time, the former secretary trained me, and she was impatient and brusque. I hated her. Funny thing, though, in the months to come she would become a cherished friend. First impressions are not always prescient. Generally they are, but not always.

I eventually settled into my new position. I did a lot of filing -- big burgundy binders of tax returns. I spent infinite hours in front of the Xerox machine. I answered the phone and I tried to decipher Mrs. Park's Oklahoma drawl on the dictaphone and type letters the way she intended. The tax office was in the basement (it had its own entry), so I rarely ventured to the first or second floors and struggled to get to know my fellow employees. The person I came to know best was the IT guy, Noel, because every conceivable office machine went on strike every other day. Breaks were expected to be taken in the tiny alcove off the basement entry. Mrs. Park, a couple of tax preparers, and me. Every single day. I'd recently quit smoking, but I fell back into the habit, I think simply to have an excuse to escape the stultifying discussion of which Stephen King book my boss was currently reading.

My one lifeline was the FM radio I kept on my desk. Bob Beck did the morning drive show on Y93. He was our town's one true celebrity, except few people actually knew what he looked like. Bob endlessly entertained me, stuck out in the hinterlands. Music was almost beside the point, but not completely.

The songs I remember most from 1988 and my life in purgatory:

Of course, the geekiest pop star with the most everlasting song:

I wonder whatever happened to Richard Marx. Ballads were a huge component of the eighties. We rather anticipated them. 

Eric Carmen is not a name one hears every day:


What have I, what have I, what have I:

I lasted almost two years at FCS. I rapidly became desperate to get out. When a health insurance company decided to open an auxiliary branch in my hometown, I was determined to be one of the forty hired. I sat in my garage and smoked and practiced my interview, day after day after day. I didn't even know what a "claim" was. I knew medical terminology; my only saving grace. I was crushed when I didn't get the phone call ~ my lot was to be a farm records secretary and report to a priggish schoolmarm until one or the other of us ultimately keeled over. 

Then, out of the blue, my phone rang. I learned later that someone had dropped out and I was first runner-up. I'd take that!

And thus, after all the piddly-assed desperation jobs, I, unbeknownst to me, began an actual career.


Friday, March 22, 2013

I Still Want My MTV

Yep, we've been feeling a bit nostalgic lately.  If you read my previous post, you were no doubt transported back in time, to those bygone days, when times were so much more innocent.

Sort of like this:

I'm just kidding, of course.

There were a lot of music videos that particularly struck my fancy (or at least my funny bone) way back in the 1980's.  Here are a few:

I heard this next song one day on my car radio, and it struck me:  this could be a country song  (seriously)!  Of course, that would just ruin it, but I'm just saying, this song is structured like a country song:

I must include two by Springsteen, because both of these videos are nostalgic for me, and one of them features Courteney Cox (because I love trivia):

And this next one just makes me feel good:

In my book, I noted that we choose to remember the '80's as the time of Springsteen and Michael Jackson; when in actuality, they were the time of Genesis and Lionel Richie.  Every time I flipped my TV on, there was Lionel.  Like this:

So, I just wanted to set the record straight on that.

Moving on, however; I don't care who says Huey Lewis and the News are kitschy.  Not to me!  I love them!

And this one was "fun":

Both the hair and the music are excellent on this one; although the split screen tends to make my head throb:

I don't even know how I forgot about this, but in addition to Genesis and Lionel Richie, the 1980's were SO all about Whitney:

BLOGGER'S NOTE:  While I love, love Prince, I definitely do NOT love his stingy ways.  Prince (a Minnesotan, alas, like me) chooses to not make his videos available to anyone.  I do not know why, but I've been down this road before, and I've yet to find an official Prince video online.  And I'm not about to risk a computer virus trying to find a bootleg copy.

Speaking of Genesis (not to change the subject), an unusual phenomenon occurred in the '80's:  Phil Collins discovered (much to his surprise!) that he was suddenly a sex symbol.  And thus, he left his bandmates (and his drum kit) behind, and stepped into the spotlight as a solo artist:

Of course, I didn't forget Michael Jackson!  I succinctly remember all the pre-video hype about Thriller; how MTV got us all worked up with regular news flashes and every-five-minute promos.  I'm not going to post all 13 or so minutes of Thriller, though.  Feel free to search it out on YouTube.  I do like this one a bunch, however (and believe it or not, it's more memorable to me than Thriller ~ maybe it was the moon walk):

I'm realizing that this post is becoming a tome, so I need to stop; although the more I think about MTV videos, the more I say, hey!  That one!  What about that one!  That one was great!

So, I will end by posting a couple that are either fun or just plain cool.  You be the judge:

And my favorite....Yea, Shania did a takeoff of this video, which was actually cool, even if derivative.  But nothing beats the original:

Bottom line, for me, is; I do love the eighties and my MTV.   My music tastes are perhaps odd.  My times were the sixties; the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and Motown; the eighties (and my MTV!), and strangely, eighties country (Dwight, George, Nitty Gritty, Rodney, et al).  I know those don't seem to go together, but I just like what I like. 

And I like reliving good times.  Those three categories reflect "good times" for me.  Maybe it was me; maybe it was the music.  Maybe it was just both.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Fame Does

I'm obviously not a famous person, nor will I ever be. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

I've been thinking about it a lot this past week, and kind of getting angry.

It seems that what fame does is destroy fragile souls.

Face it, artists are fragile to begin with. At least most of them. It's that sensitivity that allows them to tap into the feelings, wants, fears of the world at large.

It's a double-edged sword, to quote an over-used cliche.

But even not-so-sensitive people fall prey to the dishonesty that comes with fame.

You know, the hangers-on; the ones who really don't give a damn about you, but they'll say, "Yes, Ma'am", "You bet, Sir", just to keep getting their palms greased. They're no fools.

I read some stories in the past week, where people who interacted with Whitney in her last days said, "Oh, she was FINE! No, there was no strange behavior! Are you kidding? She was great ~ in high spirits; fully in control."


I saw the pictures. If those people think she was "fine", they must live in a nether world that the rest of us simpletons can't seem to view through our naive haze of reality.

Fine. Protect her reputation. It's a little late now, though.

How about one of those morons taking her aside and asking, "Are you okay? Is there anything I can do to help you? I'm worried about you".

But it's not just Whitney. It was Michael. It was Amy. It was Elvis.

They were all "just fine". Okay.

"Are you sure you should be mixing those pills with alcohol, Whitney?" Did anyone ask that?

Elvis had his own "mafia" around him. Hand-picked. "Hey, Big E! TCB! Got another Cadillac you'd like me to take of your hands?" I wonder if they feel really good about themselves.

"Oh, Michael? Well, he's just 'shy'."

"So, Mr. Jackson, you want me to smuggle some Propofol out of the hospital and shoot it through your veins? I see absolutely no problem with that!", says Dr. Murray. "By the way, when can I expect my next paycheck?"

"Amy, you are looking GOOD! Have you put on a few pounds? You look so healthy!"

Did any, just ONE, person around these artists ever deign to tell them the truth? I doubt it.

They surrounded themselves with sycophants.

Of course, it's ultimately the responsibility of the person themselves to get it together.

They become...I don't know, spoiled? Big spoiled brats?

So used to everyone bowing and scraping that they take advantage of it? Expect it?

It seems like Elvis was that way. Seems to me that he banished anyone who would dare speak some truth. How dare they? Don't they know who I am? THEY don't think. I do the thinking around here. And it's all about me. Nobody else. ME. I am the star. I am, in fact, the king of the world! Everyone tells me I am. So, I am.

"All my fans really love me."

Well, here's the thing: unless you're some kind of shallow, celebrity-obsessed cyborg, you do not actually LOVE an artist.

What you love is, the memories they have created for you.

It's really NOT about them; it's about you.

Honestly. Think about the songs that flash in your mind. The ones that, to you, are classics. Why are they classics to you? Because they were the soundtrack of YOUR life. A special time. These songs were the BACKGROUND for your movie.

You flash back on these songs, you're not picturing the artist. You're picturing where YOU were; what YOU were doing; what YOU were feeling, at that exact time.

They flatter themselves too much. If it wasn't them, in particular, it would have been someone else. That's just the way it is.

I don't LOVE Whitney Houston. I never met Whitney Houston. How could I love her? Even among the people I actually know, I wouldn't say I love the majority of them. I love my husband. I love my kids. I love my siblings. I like a lot of people, but again, these are people I have actually met and interacted with.

I do love some of Whitney's songs. They take me back to a time in my life. I remember turning the radio on, waltzing around, cleaning house, singing along off-key. It was a happy time for me. My kids were young; life seemed so open and bright.

I love some of Michael Jackson's songs, and mostly, his performances of them. It was the time of MTV videos. My kids were of an age when they were starting to get into music. I loved watching their interest in music begin to take root.

I admired Amy Winehouse's artistry. I liked that she was kind of a throwback to an earlier time. I remember my husband and I listening to her CD together. I remember the closeness we felt as we shared that time.

I admit, I am a bit lost about Elvis. You see, he was before my time, really. I was always sort of critical of his recordings, because I found them to be over-produced and his voice too bombastic.

Yet, I do remember as a kid, playing the 45 of "Return To Sender" and singing along. Honestly, at that age, I thought he was singing, "Return to Cinda" ~ a variation of Cindy? So, hearing that song takes me back to the upstairs of the farmhouse, and me dropping the needle on the turntable, and pretending I was the one on stage singing. Again, a time in my life.

It was only years later, when I heard some of his Sun recordings, that I began to appreciate Elvis more. In the time that he was around, in my memory bank, in the seventies, I remember seeing footage of middle-aged women throwing their underwear at him, and me wondering, what the hell? He was doing a parody of himself, I thought. "Hunka hunka burnin' love"? You could hear the background singers way more than you could actually hear Elvis.

To me, he was completely delusional. Doing those karate stances. Wearing the big chains and the big sunglasses. Those vacant, drug-addled eyes. I thought he was a joke, but he was the only one who wasn't in on it.

But then, I would hear, "Can't Help Falling In Love", where he actually practiced some modulation, that I thought, well, he really CAN sing.

So, much as these artists chose to believe that people really loved them, people really didn't.

I guess the price of fame was that they became more and more isolated, and they chose to surround themselves with people who would give them what they wanted them to give, and would say things that they wanted them to say.

It's a self-centeredness that, I suppose, is human nature. Maybe I'd like to have a servant, too. But would I? I think it would begin to feel like a sort of prison. Always being hovered over. No time to myself. Losing myself.

I think these guys were lost.

And while I'm on the subject, I'm going to say this: These entertainment magazines, and these tabloids, just love, LOVE, this kind of story. It's one last way to exploit these people. One last way to extract a buck from them. Sure we read this stuff, so maybe we're exploiting them, too. Maybe the whole world just feeds off the sad stories of their lives. It completes the circle. In one flash of time, we dance joyously to their music, and in the next flash, we gossip in hushed tones about their downfall.

It just seems to me that the price of fame is too high.

I thought about this, and I decided that I would end this post with the way they were. The way WE remember them. The soundtrack of OUR lives. Thank you for the memories. Regardless of how it turned out in the end, we won't, can't, forget your music.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blast From The Past - Let's Travel Back to 1988

Just for fun, and because I have nothing profound to ruminate on tonight, I thought we'd travel back to the year 1988 in music. Why 1988? Beats me. I just picked a year from the '80's, and decided to look up the top hits of that year.

Remember Richard Marx? He's still around, you know. At least, that's what I hear. I guess he has a co-write on a Keith Urban song. Not that I would know the song, because (as you know) I don't listen to the radio. I wonder what he looks like now. Does he still have a mullet? Probably not. I should Google him. Anyway, some people liked to make fun of this song, but I always (secretly) liked it. I remember some DJ saying that he thought Richard was singing, "hold onto the mammaries". That disc jockey wasn't as funny as he thought he was.

You know that clean-cut redheaded kid from the '80's? No, not Ralph Malph. I mean, of course, Rick Astley. Again, a song that was the subject of numerous put-downs, but I think it's great. So sue me.

Switching music styles completely, Steve Winwood showed those kids a thing or two. He wasn't just Spencer Davis Group. Oh no. He still had it, as evidenced by this:

One cannot hear this song without being swept back in time to the movie, Dirty Dancing (okay, females can't, anyway). But Eric Carmen had it first, and here it is:

Robert Palmer had such success with his music video for Addicted To Love that he decided, why not? Let's do it again!

Lest we forget the biggest artist of the '80's, here he is:

Remember UB40? Nobody does. But they had a top hit with this Bob Marley song:

Okay, how about Escape Club? No, we don't remember them, either. But we remember this song:

Remember David Coverdale's hair? I do! Finally! Something I remember! Oh, and he had a song, too:

Not to shortchange the women! By no means! Whitney didn't really have any good songs in 1988, so I'm going with Belinda Carlisle instead:

Apparently, this was the top song of 1988. George Michael, what the heck? Now you only make the news when you get arrested. Well, time marches on, I guess.

Here's Michael again:

Just so you didn't forget the Beatles, who broke up nineteen years prior, along came George Harrison with this:

So, overall, 1988 was a pretty good year for music. Of course, with the benefit of hindsight, I can pick and choose the songs I want to include. I love the benefit of hindsight.

I apologize if I neglected to include your favorite song from that moment in time. All I can say is, don't worry...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bad Week

It's been a bad week for some of us.

Milestones are often tough, because they remind us of our own mortality.

Three milestones this week, and the week's not even over!

Let me start at the beginning and work my way backwards (if that makes any sense).

In the late seventies, I abandoned my one true love, country music, for reasons that I've documented in the past, and I won't bore you with now. I switched my radio dial over to the rock station, and I tuned my TV to MTV (when MTV was still actually broadcasting music!)

Sure, I'd been familiar with the Jackson Five. Didn't do a lot for me. But it seemed that one of the "Five" (the main one) had decided to set out on his own. And what a "set out" that proved to be!

I was a young mother, sitting at home, raising the babies, watching TV, cuz there really was no money to do anything except watch TV. I watched music videos, and saw one that really caught my attention:

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (Official Music Video) - For more of the funniest videos, click here

A short time later, I saw this:

You might not remember this, but this was THE musical event of 1982:

Thriller - Michael Jackson

In 1985, I was overly excited by this video, because it featured so many music icons, and I'm just a sucker for that kind of thing.

It kind of went on from there, with:

And with:

Michael Jackson - Bad (Official Music Video) - Click here for funny video clips

So, I was a true admirer of Michael Jackson. Who wouldn't be? Sure, there was a bunch of weird stuff that came later, but as judgmental as I was at the time, I don't even want to rehash that now.

Working my way forward (by going backwards), I'm led to this:

I'd never been a "Charlie's Angels" fan. Who was, really? Sure, my nephew had the poster on his wall, and I spent a strange night visiting my sister and sleeping in my nephew's bed, with that stupid poster staring down at me, but that was really neither here nor there.

But Ann Rule? I could get on board with that. I was always a big Ann Rule fan, and therefore I'd read her book, "Small Sacrifices" and had been eternally haunted by it.

Well, when Farrah made the TV movie, and so eerily portrayed Diane Downs, I was spellbound. That's what I will remember Farrah for. That and the recent documentary, that I forced myself to watch, because it seem so exploitative. But I'm glad now that I did watch it, because I realized what a courageous and loving person Farrah was (Ryan O'Neal not withstanding).

Oh, and here's the poster (for those who care):

I'm old enough to remember when she was Farrah Fawcett-Majors. Farrah led a long, yet short life. Her passing makes me feel sad.

Pretty much, from the time that I started to form memories, I remember The Tonight Show.

Johnny Carson was a constant in my life. In the summers, when school was out, I'd stay up and watch The Tonight Show. Johnny was the best late-night TV host there will ever be.

But, you know, every genius needs his foil, and Ed McMahon was Johnny's foil.

Take a look at this:

Who can forget this?

And, of course, Carnac the Magnificent:

So, I guess, three decades. The sixties, seventies, and eighties. All wrapped up in one sad week. How damn often does that happen? Never?

I'm feeling melancholy tonight. It's hard enough to grieve for one person, but three? And I guess what I'm really grieving for is the times that are gone. I can't recapture these times, and I didn't even realize how poignant they were. At the time.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Rock & Roll - The Eighties - Part 1

As we've learned from previous posts, the '70's weren't a great decade for music. Oh sure, there were some good songs here and there (as I noted), but overall, the '70's kind of sucked, music-wise.

Plus, I'll admit, in the '80's, MTV was actually showing music videos (a weird concept, I admit). And music videos were new then. So, there was some creativity going on. Believe it or not. I enjoyed MTV back then. But, it all came down to the music. And I liked a lot of the music of the '80's. We can quibble, if you like. But you won't change my mind.

Music does go through cycles. The '60's were inventive; the '80's were re-inventive. The '70's were kind of sluggish. I don't know why. Maybe it was because of Jimmy Carter (ha!) I think maybe the artists of the '70's were like, "Damn! I missed out on all the good years of music! I can't top that! So, maybe I'll just tie a yellow ribbon 'round that old oak tree. Everybody's so sick and tired of Jimmy Carter, they'll buy anything that makes them feel good." Just a theory.

So, herewith, some songs from the '80's:


Here's the CEO of Acme Products, Incorporated, conducting his semi-annual all-staff meeting. All decked out in his dress shirt and tie. "Well, we had a pretty good quarter, sales are up. I know these meetings can get a little dull, and if we didn't give you free donuts, most of you probably wouldn't even be here. Right, Big Larry? But, today, in lieu of the handouts I've prepared, I thought I'd sing you the third-quarter financial report. So, if the HR staff would join me up here. HIT IT, GIRLS!"


Anyone who knows me, knows that Billy Joel is not one of my favorite artists. However, this is one of the few Billy Joel songs that I actually like.

That said, remind me to never go to this garage to get my car serviced! While they're busy wiping down the headlights and acting like they're in the touring company of "Grease", my lug nuts are falling off, and I'm driving off on bare rims. Oh, and that'll be $199.95. Gee, thanks for the headlight cleaning, guys.


By means of clarification, "Purple Rain" and "When Doves Cry" are unavailable on YouTube. I think Prince had them removed. Cuz they were there before. That's okay, though. He's kind of protective of his privacy and what-not. This video will probably be gone before long, too, so I'll just be blogging about a video that's not even there. Thanks for making me look like a fool, Prince.

Anyway, Prince is from Minneapolis. He's the second most famous artist to hail from Minnesota. And deservedly so. I am a big fan of Prince and I'm glad that I could at least post one video from him (at least for the time being). If one looks back on the '80's (fondly, of course), and they try to decide who was the most influential artist of that decade, in hindsight, it wasn't Michael Jackson. Sorry. It was Prince.

This video was shot in Minneapolis. Yes, just another typical day in the neighborhood.


Isn't this just the cheesiest video ever? The first time I saw this video, I wondered if it was some kind of youth worship know, with the "Choose Life" tee shirts and all.

And it seems like kind of a lopsided partnership. Andrew: "Hey! You get all the screen time!" George (hip-thrusting Andrew off the stage): "That's because I have the BLINDINGLY white teeth and the impossibly short shorts!"

And weird that both George Michael and the back-up girls had the exact same hair style. Easy day for the hairdresser, I guess.


Filmed in the 1930's, one doesn't realize that Steve Winwood is actually over 100 years old! Here he was, in his prime, and he even goes back further, back to the 1890's, when he was with the Spencer Davis Group! He's held up well!

This is one of my favorite songs from the era (you know, from the dust bowl days). Nevertheless, in all seriousness, it is one of my favorite songs. I 'm a big Steve Winwood fan.

Let's talk now about two of the most enduring acts from the '80's.

The first:


Here's our San Francisco stockbroker, taking a rare break from his stockbroking duties to visit a nightclub (for the first time).

What's this he sees up on the stage? His alter ego, in a sleeveless white tee shirt, acting all cool and carrying around that microphone. So emboldened, our shy stockbroker decides to choose the frizzy-haired blonde girl in the frilly plus-size tunic to be his dance partner. As he tries to leave the nightclub with his new "girlfriend", he finds that behind every door he opens is a member of the "News" (and behind one door, a steam locomotive!) Eeek! Finally! They find a door that leads to the alley! Whew! That was very spine-tingling! And so he takes Frizzy back to his office to show her his "ticker-tapes". The end.


The Moonlighting Mafioso Band appears here, led by Daryl Hall, wearing his green huge shoulder-padded sports coat. And who knew that the mafia had such rhythm? Those hand-claps seem just like gunshots! So, in essence, rock band/mafia family ~ apparently pretty much the same, in Daryl Hall's world.


The first thing that strikes me about this video is - hey! Look at that hair! I guess that's where Pantene made its fortune. All that conditioner that the boys in the Jovi band were buying. Cuz believe me, when you get those curly perms, you need a LOT of conditioner. I remember that from the eighties.

This video is from back before Jon Bon Jovi decided he was a country artist - ha!

I always liked this one, with Jon attached to the harness, so he could fly out above the audience. They did things BIG in the eighties.


This is no doubt the most inventive video of the eighties. Seeing this kind of makes me wonder if Peter was living in "crazy world" when he filmed this. Cuz, man! This is disorienting! Still good, though!


Maybe it's just me, but I think these guys are hilarious. They were so stupid, and yet, so smart-alecky. What more could you ask for? That's me in a nutshell.....stupid, yet smart-alecky. I guess that's why Beavis is my hero.


This is the video that sealed The Police's fame. Black and white. Sting and his upright bass. Sting the Stalker. I mean, really, if you think about this song, it's really creepy. I need to go peer out my window, to make sure no one is out there on the street.......with an upright bass.


One should never forget how HUGE Michael Jackson was in the eighties. This is from Motown's 30th Anniversary Special. You know, the moonwalk, the single white glove, all that stuff. If only Michael could have maintained that semblance of normalcy. But it was not to be. And now we look at Michael as basically a pervert. And a weirdo. And insane.

But back in the eighties, the only thing we wondered about Michael was why he kept insisting that the CHAIR was not his son.


Here is a young Bruce Springsteen, wearing his bowling shirt. Dancing awkwardly. Basically doing the one-armed dance. Alas, Bruce can no longer do the "one-armed dance", because Bruce is old now.

But this video features the E Street Band, including a weirdly androgynous Clarence Clemens and also that guy from Late Night With Conan O'Brien. I would know his name, except I am unable to stay up that late.

This video is notable for the appearance of Courtney Cox, who later, of course, went on to star in "Friends", and is now WAY richer than Bruce himself. Funny how things work out.

Naive as I was, I actually thought, at the time, that this was a real audience member, plucked out of the crowd to dance (awkwardly) with Bruce. Ah, the media. It manipulates people. I'm WAY smarter than that now. In hindsight.


I just realized that I could have skipped all the other videos and just included this one, since what better representation of the eighties could there be? Look at these guys! Stevie Wonder, Huey Lewis, Cindi Lauper, Springsteen, Bob Dylan (and it was sort of lame that Quincy Jones told him to sing it in more of a "Dylan" style), Joe Perry, Kenny Loggins, Tina Turner, Lionel Ritchie. Michael, off by himself, singing, so no one could touch him. Odd that they included Willie, since I don't know exactly where he fit in the pantheon of eighties rock. Ray Charles - yay! I'm not exactly sure why Dan Ackroyd was there, but, okay! A bunch of Jacksons. Diana Ross. Well, I can't remember them all. But suffice it to say, this is the eighties in a nutshell.

Part two will be forthcoming. As I thought about this topic, I realized that I have only scratched the surface of music videos from the eighties. And watching VH1's program, "Top Videos Of The Eighties" today only made me feel more insecure in my choices.

So, if the seventies rate a two-parter, surely the eighties demand the same courtesy.

But this is a good primer, don't you think?