Archive for Saturday Night Live

1982: Triumphs and Tragedy

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2015 by 80smetalman

You may remember that when I first entered 1982, I spent eight of the twelve months of that year deployed with the marines. The first six months were especially difficult because I was floating about the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean on a ship. So I didn’t get that much news especially news pertaining to music. However, one piece of tragic news that did reach my ears whilst on the ship was the death of comic actor and Blues Brothers singer John Belushi.

Bluesbrothersmovieposter

Unlike the assassination of JFK, Belushi’s death may not have been a where were you moment when you first learned about it to most people. While I can say for sure that I was on board the ship when I learned about his tragic passing, I can’t say where exactly the ship was at the time. I do know that it was somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

His career may have been short but John Belushi packed a load of things to remember him by during those few years. For us music fans, the biggest contribution to music was most certainly The Blues Brothers. His collaboration with Dan Ackroyd  gave us a brilliant album and in 1980, a hilarious movie with one hell of a great soundtrack. For those new to 80smetalman, I have visited both on here if you want to take a look. Older statesmen like me, however, will always love Belushi for his antics on the old Saturday Night Live show. I will always love his Samurai character. In 1982, a true musical and comical genius was tragically taken from us. R.I.P. John Belushi.

John Belushi as Samurai in my all time favourite one: Samurai Night Fever

John Belushi as Samurai in my all time favourite one: Samurai Night Fever

Now on to the triumph. This year saw the third Monsters of Rock Festival at Donnington Park. Attendance was up from the previous two years and evidence that slowly but surely, heavy metal was taking over the UK. A small piece of festival history was made that year when Saxon became the first band to play at there for the second time. Headlining was another British band who failed to make it very far in the US, Status Quo. I have to admit, that I haven’t listened to them much over the years over the years. Guess I should rectify that. Other players that year included Gillan, Uriah Heep, space rockers Hawkwind and Canadian metal band Anvil. While it would be another year before I would hear about this great festival, I believe that this varied line up would have been a great thing to see and hear.

HW 1982-08-21 Castle Donnington.Monsters of Rock.1.front

Like I said at the beginning, my knowledge of musical events is limited due to the circumstances. So if there is some other event from 1982, triumph or tragedy, let me know and I will post about it because it is part of our history. Call this an urgent appeal.

Next post: Status Quo- 1+9+8+2

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1981: Devo- Dev O Live

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 25, 2014 by 80smetalman

 

220px-Devolive

I must admit, I was never much of a Devo fan. I saw them on “Saturday Night Live” in the late 70’s and I can’t really say they impressed me. Therefore, it would be easy for me to pass them by on that account, however, I can’t deny that they are part of our history and the fact I wasn’t impressed with them back then can’t hide that fact. I remember this album because my then girl friend used to play the hell out of the single “Whip It.” Not a bad song, although my favourite all time Devo song appears on a soundtrack that I will be visiting later on in our tour of 1981.

Thanks to YouTube, I was able to give the album a fresh listen. Maybe it’s me mellowing with age or the fact that my musical horizons are much more broader than they were back then, but I somewhat enjoyed listening to “Dev O Live” this time around. The intro song “Freedom of Choice” was a good way to open the concert this live recording was taken from. I also liked “Girl U Want.” Listening to the six song EP that was released in 1981 encouraged me to listen to some of the full album they released in 1999 on the back of this one. My ears are more in tune with their new wave sound. It’s not hard rock or metal but it is far better than much of the synth stuff that would come out later in the decade. “Planet Earth” was a pretty cool song too.

Track Listing:

1. Freedom of Choice

2. Whip It

3. Girl U Want

4. Gates of Steel

5. Be Stiff

6. Planet Earth

Devo

Devo

Mark Mothersbaugh- guitar, keyboards, vocals

Gerald V Casale- bass, keyboards, vocals

Bob Casale- guitar, keyboards, vocals

Bob Mothersbaugh- guitar, vocals

Alan Myers- drums

In the end, I was pleasantly surprised by this album. Plus, from the footage I saw on YouTube, I think they would have been fun to see live.  My conclusion is that Devo does deserve a place in the annals of rock and metal history for 1981 and not just because of “Whip It.”

Next post: Cheap Trick- All Shook Up

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1981: Franke And The Knockouts

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2014 by 80smetalman

untitled (3)

Franke and the Knockouts were originally going to be placed in my selection of One Hit Wonders for 1981 because all I can remember about them was their one song “You’re My Girl” being played on the radio at the time and watching them perform the song on the ABC late night comedy show “Fridays.” For those who don’t remember “Fridays,” it was ABC’s attempt to match the very successful “Saturday Night Live” on NBC. It was roughly done in the same format and although it ran for a couple of years, “Fridays” couldn’t hold a candle to “Saturday Night Live” even after the departure of all the original greats like Dan Akroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray. One thing I could say I liked about “Fridays” however was Melanie Chartof. She did stir my red blooded maleness and was the main reason I watched the show in the first place.

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Melanie Chartof

Melanie Chartof

So you’re probably asking, “What’s all this got to do with the album by Franke and the Knockouts?” Let me get back on track here. After doing a tiny bit of research, I discovered that they weren’t one hit wonders. I never knew it was them who performed “Hungry Eyes” and I can’t even blame my naivety on being in the service. Must have been asleep on that one. Still, the debut, self titled album from Franke and the Knockouts is more of a progressive AOR sound that fit right in about that time. The first three tracks give a definite feel that this album is heading down the AOR path. The single “You’re My Girl” marks a slight turning point for the songs get a bit more rockier after that. Not a total rock out but you can hear more of the guitar on those songs. That brings me to another point and my obsession for guitarists. From what little I hear from Billy Elworthy on the album, I hear that this is potentially a great guitarist. Unfortunately, he isn’t given the time to show what he can really do and that’s a bit of a let down for me.

Track Listing:

1. Come Back

2. Sweetheart

3. She’s a Runner

4. You’re My Girl

5. One For All

6. Tonight

7. Running Into The Night

8. Tell Me Why

9. Annie Goes Hollywood

10 Don’t Stop

Franke And The Knockouts

Franke And The Knockouts

Franke Previte- lead vocals

Billy Elworthy- guitars

Blake Levinsohn- keyboards

Leigh Fox- bass

Claude LeHanaff- drums

Tommy Ayers- synthesiser, organ, backing vocals

I have to confess, I always thought the name Franke and The Knockouts reminded of a doo-wap band from the late 50s or early 60s. These guys are nothing like that. Instead, they bring a good fusion of progressive rock that can be enjoyed and is probably the reason a later hit would be often used in films.

Next post: Jefferson Starship- Modern Times

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1979: Blues Brothers- Briefcase Full of Blues

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 9, 2012 by 80smetalman

This album taught me a valuable lesson: Never judge an album until you’ve heard it all the way through. I first saw the Blues Brothers on the old Saturday Night Live show and seeing that the band was fronted by Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi, I expected it to be some kind of satirical take on music. After all, Gilda Radner introduced us to punk rock star Candy Slice on the show. As a result, I was somewhat disappointed at first when the music didn’t have me rolling on the floor with laughter.

That changed one night in early 1979. I was at the roller rink, skating hard in an attempt to ignore all the disco being played when “Soul Man” came blasting out of the speakers. My first thought was, “This song is good” and then I recognised the voice of John Belushi as Jake Blues. The song immediately went to number one in my mind and a week later, I got to hear the album “Briefcase Full of Blues” in it’s entirety. I was hooked!

The other thing that made me a bit wary of this album was that it was a blues album. I remember John Belushi saying in an interview that he had been getting tired of rock and roll and that was why he turned to the blues. Back then, I was way too naive to realise that rock music came out of the blues.  This album taught me different and I’m forever grateful for it. “Briefcase Full of Blues” is a bonefide classic album with some great tracks other than “Soul Man.” “Rubber Biscuit,” Messin’ With the Kid” and “Hey Bartender” all do it for me. What helps make this album so good is the fact that Ackroyd and Belushi were able to round up some of the best studio musicians that were around at the time, including Paul Schaffer, who most people know from the David Letterman Show.

Track Listing:

1. Opening: I Can’t Turn You Loose

2. Hey Bartender

3. Messin’ With the Kid

4. (I Got Everything I Need) Almost

5. Rubber Biscuit

6. Shot Gun

7. Groove Me

8. I Don’t Know

9. Soul Man

10. B- Movie Boxcar Blues

11. Flip Flop and Fly

12. Closing: I Can’t Turn You Loose

Jake Blues (John Belushi)- lead vocals

Elwood Blues(Dan Ackroyd)- backing vocals, lead vocals on “Rubber Biscuit,” harmonica

Matt “Guitar” Murphy- lead guitar

Steve “The Colonel” Cr0pper- lead guitar

Donald “Duck” Dunn- bass

Paul “The Shiv” Schaffer- keyboards

Steve “Getdwa” Jordan- drums

Lou “Blue Lou” Marini- alto and tenor saxophones

Tom “Triple Scale” Scott- alto and tenor saxophones

Tom “Bones” Malone- tenor and baritone saxophones, trombone, trumpet

Alan “Mr Fabulous” Rubin- Trumpet

This album opened my eyes to the wonderful world of the blues and forced me to appreciate its influence on rock. It also showed me that even people who have a reputation for being funny, can be serious singers too. A great album that helped me to see there are more types of good music out on the horizon.

Next post: Blondie- Parallel Lines

To buy Rock And Roll Children: go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle

Great Metal Albums of 1978: Van Halen I

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by 80smetalman

I thought what better way to end the tour through 1978 than to visit the very first album by Van Halen. Like so many great rock and metal albums that came out in this year, this album didn’t come into my fields of vision for another year when I heard a marine buddy blasting it through the barracks. I only heard part of the album, but I was hooked. The weird thing was that I actually bought II before I bought this one.

Some metal officiandos have compared Van Halen to Led Zepplin and I admit there are some similarities. But Van Halen I gave Van Halen a unique sound of their own. To me this was just as heavy as Ted Nugent and it opened my eyes to a whole new world out there in music. You could say that Van Halen I was the final rock in the stream that caused the rivers of rock to overflow.

What really made this album for me was the fantastic guitar work of Eddie Van Halen. “Eruption” totally blew my mind and the way they metalised a classic Kinks song let me know that heavy metal was the road I wanted to travel down. I can’t really think of a track I don’t like but if you were to ask my favourite, it has to be “Ice Cream Man.” I loved the way it starts with the accoustic and then rips into a full metal frenzy. Yes, I can say that for me and others, Van Halen I was the album that paved the way.

Track Listing:

1. Running With the Devil

2. Eruption

3. You Really Got Me

4. Ain’t Talin’ About Love

5. I’m the One

6. I’m on Fire

7. Jamie’s Crying

8. Atomic Punk

9. Feel Your Love Tonight

10. Little Dreamer

11. Ice Cream Man

Van Halen

David Lee Roth- lead vocals, accoustic guitar

Eddie Van Halen- guitars, backing vocals

Michael Anthony- bass, backing vocals

Alex Van Halen- drums

I hope you have enjoyed my little tour through the rock and metal history of 1978 and will continue on the ride to 1979. There will be plenty of albums to come in that year. So, I will leave you for now with one artist I first discovered in 1978 on the Saturday Night Live show. I admit, I like some of Kate Bush’s eccentricities and her early music. It is also probably why I have a thing for British women, after all, I married two of them.

Next post: 1979- The Year the Damn Began to Burst

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1978: The Rutles

Posted in 1978, Humour, Music, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by 80smetalman

You’re probably thinking, “Is he serious? How can he post something like this after recent visits to great 1978 albums from such Gods as Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, The Who and AC/DC?” You may be even be thinking that I am posting a joke album here. After all when the programme that influenced this album, “All You Need Is Cash” was shown on NBC in that year, the main attraction was that it featured members of both Monty Python’s Flying Circus and original members of Saturday Night Live. So I can understand why people may think that.

“All You Need Is Cash” was about a band called The Rutles and followed their history from their formation in 1958 to their break up in 1970. And yes, it was very much fashioned on The Beatles, but with a more humourous approach. My one high school friend refused to watch the programme because he was a Beatles fan and thought it was taking the piss out of them. Okay, maybe it was and while, in spite of the cast, didn’t have me rolling on the floor laughing throughout, it was still pretty funny.

All that said, let’s take a look at the album by The Rutles. When I first listened to it, I assumed that it was going to be full of satirical lyrics making fun of Beatles classics. When you listen to the album, you can definitely hear the Beatles influence on it and can accurately identify most of the Rutles songs with the appropriate Beatles song it’s associated with. Some are quite obvious, like “Ouch” is definitely based on “Help” and “Love Life” is definitely “All You Need Is Love” and so on. Others you may have to listen a bit more carefully, but you do figure out which song it’s based on. However, most of the songs aren’t funny lyrics making fun, some are what you can call serious. While I did laugh my rear end off when I heard “Piggy in the Middle,” the song “With A Girl Like You” could be seen as a light hearted love song.

One thing that strikes me is that Neil Innes is a good musician who seems to have been overlooked. You may remember him as one of Sir Robin’s minstrels in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and he has some singing parts on the album “Monty Python Live at City Center,” but the man does have musical talent. He was the brains behind The Rutles and wrote the songs on the album. I think he deserves more credit than he has been given.

Track Listing:

1. Hold My Hand

2. Number One

3. With a Girl Like You

4. Living In Hope

5. Ouch

6. Love Life

7. Nevertheless

8. See How the Good Times Roll

9. Doubleback Alley

10. Cheese and Onions

11. Another Day

12. Piggy In the Middle

13. Let’s Be Natural

The Rutles

Ron Nasty (Neil Innes) guitar, piano, vocals

Dirk McQuirkley (Eric Idle) bass, vocals

Stig O’Hara (Rikki Fataar) guitar, vocals

Barry Wom (John Halsey) drums

Note: Eric Idle didn’t actually play on the album, other muscians also contributed

I hope you like my little break in the action, but in the mean time, why not listen to the album. You will have a laugh as well as hear some good songs. Back in 1978, this was a real “feel good” album for me and I still feel that way after 34 years.

Next post: Ted Nugent- Weekend Warriors

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Froogle and Barnes& Noble and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1978: Patti Smith Group- Easter

Posted in Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by 80smetalman

One great thing visiting all of these classic albums does for me in other ways is to take me down various alleys off memory lane. The same applies to this classic rock album. See, I first learned of the Patti Smith Group when I saw them perform on the old Saturday Night Live Show way back in 1978. This was the original Saturday Night Live, which brought us the talents of Dan Akroyd, John Belushi, Bill Murray, the late Gilda Radner. (I won’t name the entire crew here.) As was the norm, the Patti Smith Group performed two songs and though I can never remember what the second song was, the first song was the famous rock anthem, “Because the Night.”

I remember when this album first came out, everyone (at least in my redneck area) called the Patti Smith Group a punk rock group. Even Saturday Night Live kind of made fun when Gilda Radner came up with the character, Punk Rock Star Candy Slice, who many thought was based on Patti Smith.

When I listened to the album, I never considered the album to be punk, nor did I care if it was. To me, it was just a great rocking album with some great tracks like “Rock and Roll Nigger” as well as the well known single already mentioned.

Track Listing:

1. Til Victory

2. Space Monkey

3. Because the Night

4. Ghost Dance

5. Babeloque

6. Rock And Roll Nigger

7. Priviledge (Set Me Free)

8. We Three

9. 25th Floor

10. High on Rebellion

11. Easter

The Patti Smith Group

Patti Smith- vocals, guitar

Lenny Kaye- guitar, bass

Jay Dee Dougherty- drums, percussion

Ivan Kral- bass, guitar

Bruce Brody- keyboards, synthesiser

 If this album is to be branded punk, then it does a magnificent job of bridging the gap between punk and more mainstream rock from the time. “Easter” is one of those albums that everyone remembers when talking about the classic albums. It always manages to sneak in there with all of the great albums of 1978. I shall always remember it for this and its brilliant music.

Next Post: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle