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Showing posts from July, 2009

The Way They Was (Part 1)

It's always cool to see what celebrities looked like when they were younger and what they look like now for a couple of reasons. Not only does it "humanize" them in terms of making them look more like everyday people you come across in daily life, but you see that often times they were very average looking in their younger years but are now quite attractive.

It's kind of inspiring and makes you think that one day, you too may be better looking and more attractive as well. Especially if you invest thousands of dollars in plastic surgery, workout for the better part of the day, have a personal trainer, a personal dietician, and personal assistants that can take care of things for you while you workout - like take your kids to soccer practice.

Angelina Jolie Looking like a little cutie in 1988 - no sign that she'd grow up to be the homewrecker that she is although since she bagged Brad Pitt, somehow she gets a pass from scorn. Hmmmmmm. Brad PittJust as good looking to…

Cartoons Based on Popular Things (That Sucked)

On a recent post, we discussed some live action kid's shows that may have been ill conceived, badly produced or just plain sucked and likely got someone fired (or promoted -go figure). For every live action show produced in the '70s and '80s there were dozens of animated ones that tried to compete for a time slot in the lucrative Saturday morning cartoon market. Here's a look at some that were produced based on the popularity of certain trends or other shows that basically sucked.

Gilligan's Planet
Based on one of the all time Retro TV classics, Gilligan's Island, the ill conceived animated version had our ship wrecked crew flying through the cosmos dealing with all sorts of aliens and nutty situations.
So to recap, seven castaways can't get off a desert island, only have a radio with an awesome set of batteries, need an exercise bike made out of bamboo to wash their clothes but somehow can build a rocket and careen through hyper space on space adventures. Alr…

Retro Video of the Day - Planet Rock

You may have never heard of Kraftwerk unless you are a true Retro lover however you most certainly heard their music or their musical influences on other artists. Artists like Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Ultravox, Devo and David Bowie all owe their sound to the ground breaking efforts of these four German electronic originals.

Founded in 1968, Kraftwerk tried to carve a sound that was uniquely German. They experimented with new technologies and relied on the industrial world around them for inspiration. Album after album their innovative approach to creating new sounds attracted the attention of young musicians and by the early '80s, pretty much every new wave / synth group credited Kraftwerk as a major influence. This made Kraftwerk's Euro sound a dance floor staple.

"Funky Futuristic White Boys"

Th0ugh Trans Europe Express was released in 1977, it eventually caught the attention of an American DJ who went on to release a little ditty you may have heard of - "Planet Rock…

Random 80's Movie Prick of the Day

Growing up in the 80s and 90s it would have been impossible for you not to have seen Pretty in Pink. If you were a guy growing up in the 80s, most of you were probably wondering why they kept casting Molly Ringwald as the female love interest in all those teen movies. Was everyone else simply not available? Was it her pouty lips? Did she do the movies for free? If they ever remade that film again, I can guarantee they wouldn't be casting a pale, scrawny girl for the role. I can see Megan Fox in that role. Okay - maybe that's too much but hey - she definitely looks pretty in pink! She'd have to get a restraining order on Duckie for sure.

Back to topic though. In the movie, the chief protagonist was Blayne's best friend Biff who was played superbly by James Spader. James is a great actor and watching him on Boston Legal is simply a treat and certainly deserves his Emmy for that role. In the movie he kept trying to convince Blayne that Andy (Molly Ringwald) was nothing spe…

Who Knew That Lysol Was a Girl's Best Friend?

Read the ad first. Not sure what's more disturbing about this ad, the fact this woman needs a household cleaner to achieve that fresh feeling down there or that women walked around in the 50's smelling like pine cones. Honestly, what if it didn't work? Where do you go from there if Lysol doesn't work for you? It was the 50s afterall - Woolite? (Just sayin'........)

I can imagine the conversation at the lodge between the men.

"Say, how's the Lysol working for you Bob?"

"Pretty good Fred! Got the boat all scrubbed down and ready for fishing!"

"That's great Bob. How'd it work on Ethel?"

"Not so good Fred.......not so good."

"That's a damn shame Bob."

"Go to hell Fred."

Duran Duran Turning Japanese

Most bands tend to be influenced by another artist to forge a new sound or style. It’s either a blatant rip-off or just a skimming of the best traits to take advantage of a trail already blazed. One such example is one of my all time favorite 80s bands, Duran Duran. A true Duranie would already know that the fab five were heavily influenced by a group called Japan who were a former glam rock band that made the switch to the New Romantic scene in 1980.

Japan was formed by Steve and David Batt, two brothers who were heavily influenced by David Bowie and the New York Dolls to the point where they not only copied the musical styles of both Bowie and the Dolls, but actually changed their last names in homage of the Dolls’ key members, Sylvain Sylvain and David Johansen. Steve and David Batt became Steve Jansen and David Sylvian.

As a glam band they achieved little success and by 1980, they were ready for a change. The idea was incorporating elements of the emerging Euro Disco sound, heavy sy…

Michael Jackson - Then and Now and What Could Have Been

No matter how you feel about Michael Jackson, there is no disputing the fact that he had a seriously messed up childhood which probably led to much of the weirdness in his later life. I challenge any of you to grow up in his environment and be normal and not end up on the floor in the corner in a fetal position singing Diana Ross songs. No doubt this is only the beginning with much more weirdness to come thanks to people's never ending thirst for celebrity dirt. Let the man moonwalk with Elvis in peace.

One of the things that Michael always denied was the amount of plastic surgery he had. He only ever admitted to doing his nose (shocker!) to correct a breathing problem and attributed his facial change simply to natural aging. Obviously there was nothing natural in the way he looked in his recent years. Back in 1985, Ebony magazine commissioned an artist to create his rendition of what some celebrities would look like by the year 2000 which is what you see in the middle picture abov…

Darth Vader - The High School Years

Saturday Morning Kids Programs We Actually Watched

When you try to tell your kids that back in the old days certain things were better you can usually make a decent argument. For example, you could play outside without fear of smog, nobody you knew was alergic to peanuts and you could walk out of a store with a handful of gum and candy that would last you the whole week for a quarter.

Some things aren't as easy to defend such as Saturday morning kids shows. Sure we had classics like Looney Tunes (before they got all censored and polically correct), the Flintstones and Scooby (before Scrappy) and of course Josie and Pussy Cats but let's look at some live action shows that you likely watched as a kid in the 70s either because nothing else was on or you actually liked it though secretly you wished the Jetsons were on again.

Ark II Nobody really remembers this until you show them the picture of the jacked up RV and they suddenly vaguely recall seeing it. The other reason they likely don't remember is the fact it only aired one se…

Retro Video of the Day - Pump Up the Volume

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo landings, I thought the video should reflect the space theme and frankly Pete Schilling's Major Tom thing is way too obvious so I decided on one of my personal favorites from 1987 - "Pump Up The Volume" by M/A/R/R/S. The video featured some vintage footage from the early U.S. and Russian space program. The footage confirms these astronauts had balls of steel or were heavily sedated and brainwashed to volunteer for this gig. How do you convince a guy to sit on top of a long gas tank and let them light the fuse. Now it seems fairly routine but back then I'm sure there was a lot of finger crossing and rabbit feet rubbing going on in the control rooms.

This song was a collaborative effort and became a one hit wonder since the people involved couldn't play nice together. Literally. Even though they were nominated for a Grammy in 1989, they never released anything after that. I never get tired of this one. Turn the volume …

Quest for the Perfect Mullet

If you were around in the 80s you would have seen the birth of a new hair trend. I didn't call it a style and when you see the pictures you'll know why. The Mullet was the perfect solution for anyone who wanted long hair but couldn't be bothered dealing with the hassle. Best of both worlds - short around the sides and front to keep hair out of your eyes and out of your way while doing stuff and long silky locks in the back to show the world you were actually a badass.

Click the pic of the patron saint of mullets to see a definitive guide to mullets and a gallery of every kind of mullet recorded to date. Truly an archive for the ages.When it comes to mullets, I'm all for keeping it Retro but I do have my limits!

Yo Quiero No More

Sadly, we lost one of the most popular advertising dogs in recent years today. Gidget the Taco Bell Chihuahua died of a massive stroke (no relation to eating Taco Bell I'm sure) and has moved on to the big taco stand in the sky.

She (yes it was a she) became part of our pop culture in 1997 with the now classic "Yo Quiero Taco Bell" ad campaign which had all of us mumbling the phrase whether we really wanted Taco Bell or not. Other catch phrases this pint size pitchman drilled into our collective heads included "Drop the Chalupa!", "Viva Gorditas!" and the classic, "I'm thinking you, me...... burrito!". Honestly could you ever imagine a time in your life where you thought you'd ever have the need to utter any of these phrases? Yet, we did. Even SportsCenter was hooked on the Chalupa phrase for a while. And oh, how we laughed.

One company that didn't laugh to loudly though was Taco Bell themselves. It seems they ripped off the idea…

When Retro and Politics Collide

Arguably one of the most influential Hip-Hop artists to inspire the newer generation of rappers are Run D.M.C. They were credited with bringing rap to the mainstream with their collaboration with Aerosmith and have been honored with numerous accolades including showing up 48th on Rolling Stone's list of the greatest musical artists of all time back in 2004.

It seems their influence is still felt to this very day not only in music but politics as well. I seem to recall Obama using the term "It's tricky" a few times in his address yesterday on Healthcare reform. Coincidence !?!? I think not.

Cars That Would Have Saved Pontiac If They Still Built Them

With the recent collapse of the North American auto industry, there have been more than one casualty and the jury is still out on if there are any more to come. One of the biggest brands to bite the dust was one of the former pearls on GM's crown - Pontiac.

Although it can be argued that the Pontiac laid many a turd in recent years like the much hated Aztek which although was much more feature rich than many other SUVs in it's price range, was just plain ugly. Other cars in recent years that brought on universal yawns from Pontiac included the Bonneville, the G3 (they build excitement?!?!) and the Montana. All had promise but all had severe short comings that made the Pontiac one of the brands to hit the chopping block.

Even great new cars like the G8 GXP, the 2010 G8 ST which would have heralded the return of the El Camino type car/truck hybrid, and the Solstice GXP Coupe all had the earmarks of what once made Pontiac great but it was too little too late.

While many car companie…

Before They Were Famous Part 1

Before they were stars, many actors and musicians were just average Joe's trying to make a buck while waiting to make it big. I'm sure they hoped that many of their early efforts would fade away on crappy VCR tapes never to be seen again and eventually forgotten.

Of course, that was before the internet. Thanks to modern technology, these examples of fine acting and suave career decisions will haunt them forever. Here's two good examples for you:

John Travolta for SafeGuard Soap

Jason Alexander from Seinfeld for the McDLT

Retro Video of the Day - Spin Me Round

Pete Burns and Dead or Alive are considered by many to be one hit wonders but that actually isn't true. The problem is their one big monster hit everyone remembers them for was so massive that it kind of set the bar pretty high in terms of trying to come up with a decent followup that would compare to Spin Me Round (Like A Record).

Before Pete became the mess that he is today, and before the countless remixes and remakes, he and the boys came up with some pretty catchy and memorable ditties but the one below is and will always be their greatest contribution to Retro dance parties everywhere.

Vintage Movie Inspired Sneakers

Here's a collection of brand name sneakers that were inspired by major motion pictures. You can deny it if you want, but you know you wanted them. Some were very cool - others, not so much. You can certainly file some of these under what were they thinking. It would be interesting to see if anyone lost their jobs over some of these designs.

Click the hideous Air Jordan below to see the article:

Scary Old School Surgical Tools

You may want to pray the doctor is out. It seems kind of dumb to be squeamish about needles or having a prostate exam when you see the kinds of vintage instruments of terror doctors used back in the day.

Click the Vicodin popping doctor below to goto the article.

Vintage Ads From A Simpler Time - That Creep You Out!

You often hear of people talk about the good ol' days because those were pure and innocent times. These days, we seem bombarded with TV and magazine ads that push the boundaries of good taste or obscenity.

Here's a collection of ads from simpler times that used the innocent images of suicide, murder, wife beating and pedophilia to sell their wares. We've certainly come a long way - suddenly a half naked woman strutting her stuff doesn't seem so bad!

Click the politically correct ad below to go to the article:

The Complete History of the BoomBox

This is the definitive guide to the history of the boombox or ghetto blaster as is was also known as. These battery sucking bohemoths were a staple in many playgrounds back in the day. Here is a complete history along with great examples of some of the obscure and oddball options that may or may not have survived the test of time.

Click the boombox to go to the article:

Video games during simpler times.....

It's amazing how far we've come with video games and home video game platforms. When you consider that the average home gmaing console has more computing power than NASA had during the Apollo missions, it really puts things in perspective on how far we've come from the early days of Pong.

I know I've spent countless hours in arcades back in the day spending a small fortune on quarters to try and just get to the next level of the latest and greatest game. Even though you knew they were making it more difficult to suck more quarters out of you - you still fed those babies like your life depended on it. When home computers and gaming systems came along, it allowed you to play in the comfort of your own home without having to constantly feed more quarters. Having said that, you had to spend a small fortune to keep up with the technology to be able to play the latest and greatest games.

Game consoles came along and we were hooked on crappy graphics for the longest time until …

So it begins........

If you're reading this then I assume you got here by mistake. This is my first attempt at a blog and trying to figure out how this whole blogging / RSS / Twittering stuff works. Yeah - I'm a newbie so be gentle.

I don't know anything about blogging effectively but - I do know great retro music. So without any further delay, let's take it back to the old school!