Old Music Monthly #(-135) [March 1982]

Rolling Stone: March 18,1982

(I apologize for these scans being janky. The magazine’s stupid format makes scanning a challenge.)

Rolling Stone first landed in November 1967, and while it was primarily aimed at hippies, it tried to avoid the radical politics of the hippie movement. The magazine focused on entertainment, especially music, but also other entertainment, politics, and world events. Even though I never had a subscription, that is one thing I enjoyed about. If we look at the cover of this installment, we see those hippies Simon and Garfunkel.

The Letters

Rolling Stone has a reputation of kind of being up its own ass, and I think that’s deserved. It’s not that they haven’t done good things, but their reviews are often abysmal and they really think they’re so counter culture. Here they’ve pissed off a whole bunch of people by dragging Journey and Styx in a previous issue.

The Features

There are articles on Francis Ford Coppola, some Vietnam vets going back to Vietnam (for some reason), and another one about a murder in LA where some white people clutch their pearls that the police aren’t doing their jobs. Pretty boring shit.

This Simon & Garfunkel piece really cracked me up. Firstly, since this magazine came out they have “reunited” 4 times, and broke up 5 times. They broke up three times before this article! They haven’t released anything but live albums and compilations, no new material since their original break up in 1970. So, at the risk of sounding cynical, are these reunions merely cash grabs? The article really wants us to think they are reunited for good this time (we swear!), and they both talk about how they started the healing process, but the article is chock full of pettiness between them. They can’t even be photographed together for the feature… the cover feature that is less than two pages of text.

Rod Stewart

This is the usual shit. Rod Stewart has sucked since he left Jeff Beck Group! Rod Stewart has sucked since he left Faces! Rod Stewart has sucked since his first two solo albums! But this one (Tonight, I’m Yours)… this new one… hoo boy, it’s a return to his classic form! The pictures are pretty funny, especially the “I’m a bad widdle boy for exploring disco! LOVE ME!”

Bits and Pieces

There are a number of album reviews, but not a single one of them commands any sort of cultural relevance. The closest is Molly Hatchet, and only because burnouts in high school with wispy mustaches have to wear a t-shirt with something on it.

Well, my Commodore was never this cool.

No Sisters were a band of four brothers who self-released a single, and were at one time considered the most popular unsigned band in San Francisco. They had this self-released single, “Roscoe’s Family” in 1981, and a twelve inch in 1982 (“You Bring Out (The Animal In Me)”), and then …. Poof. Nothing.

“We’re presenting ourselves as we are, and if people like it, they like it,” guitarist Tim Barrett said. “If they don’t, bye-bye career. It’s our parents’ fault. Blame them.” I guess it’s safe to assume they did not light the world on fire, since there is literally nothing about them anywhere. They have a YouTube channel with 1 video on it (a 2 hour live show from back in the day, date unknown) and a Facebook page with 62 likes, and that is IT. All the same, the single is pretty good.

Hmmm, not quite. But “De Niro Christ” is a good user name if anyone wants it.

I guess we’re supposed to care what David Bowie’s ex-wife is doing?

Here’s a subscription card. I’ve grown up with the shadow of this bloated junkie looming overhead for so long, so the “he’s hot, he’s sexy, and he’s dead” is really funny to me. I’m sure the actual article isn’t as glib as that cover makes it seem.

The Ads

So, so many alcohol and cigarette ads. In fact there were at least 3 more of each before I just gave up and stopped scanning them.

Is this a metaphor for being chained to alcoholism? Nah, that might be too on the nose.

Now, see, this is very clever. The name of the liquor is also an ad showing that this young lady only needs two fingers to achieve orgasm! How cheeky!

In case you missed it, to me a true man (or a woman with a bob haircut), you must make a deal. You carry the burden of emphysema, and you can be a cowboy, a skier, a guitar god, or whatever the fuck these guys on the boat are doing.

Ok, so what do you think this is ad for?

Turns out it’s an ad for the Kawasaki Spectre! Oh, I see there is a sweepstakes, let’s see what the prizes are…

The Grand Prize is… an Isuzu 4×4 truck? There is no relationship to Isuzu and Kawasaki that I can find. First Prize is a Mitsubishi television (?!)… the closest relevant prize to the motorcycle is the Spectre belt buckle. So weird.

There are a few ads for cassette tapes, but this is the best one. When you see this couple, you should be hearing this song:

There are a high number of ads for new albums, of course. There were two ads for this group Prism, “Experience the spectrum of rock n’ roll!” Well, I’ve never heard Prism, but let’s check out the “hit single”, “Don’t Let Him Know.”

All right, Prism, let’s pump the brakes. This song peaked at #49 in their native Canada, and #39 in the US. “Hit” might be a little much. It’s not like it’s terrible, typical AOR stuff of the era.

Then there’s this:

“Hey, how do we get more subscribers to our magazine?”

“Let’s advertise out magazine in another magazine!”

Here is an ad for an Amnesty International concert.

But I want you to take a closer look at this:

The Classifieds

The Classifieds… well, they are always weird. Here, they start normal, then turn into tiny ads… with amazing results.

I would definitely buy the Hosehead hat, but not the Ska shoes.

Oh, you like collectables? Hope you like The Beatles, because otherwise you are shit out of luck.

Hey, remember her? In case you missed it the first time, she needs your two fingers at Daytona Beach. If you can’t make it to Daytona Beach, you can mail your two fingers to…

Here is a classified for a pair of Anti (I assume) Ronald Reagan t-shirts. The second one is obvious, but the first one is totally beyond me.

The original Human Centipede?

Here, pay for a “free” sample of condoms. You get 22 condoms for $5, which is $15.35 in 2022 money, which is 69.77 cents each (nice!). Or you can go to Walmart and get a dozen for $6.06, which is 50.5 cents each. But these condoms are for thin dicks, sorry, I didn’t understand. Cheerfully withdrawn.

What better way to tell people you love drugs than to wear a shirt with Alice In Wonderland characters on it. I’m serious. Alice In Wonderland only exists to promote drugs.

Ok, I don’t know what the fuck this is, but it’s amazing.

Without further delay, the CD:

Obviously, no CD here, but here’s the top 100 albums, were going to look at the top 20. No one is going to read my ramblings about 100 albums in one sitting, and I want to be finished with this before 2025.

J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

The J. Geils Band started in 1968, which is insane to me. The peaked in the early 80s, and dissolved by 1985, with some reunions here and there for charitable functions. I really, really hate the song “Freeze Frame”, I think “Centerfold” is much better.

J. Geils died in 2017.

The Police – Ghost In the Machine

I love The Police on a song by song basis, but I’ve never really found a complete album that I’ve liked… but this one comes closest, even though it doesn’t have “Mother” on it. This album does have “Demolition Man”, which Sting wrote and gave to Grace Jones and was big hit for her, so they recorded it on the next Police album.

This is their second to last album, and it’s a wonder the accomplished anything at all since they hated each other so much. Also, Stewart Copeland is a rad fucking guy.

The Go-Go’s – Beauty and the Beat

Belinda Carlisle was a real life beauty school dropout, who was also the drummer of The Germs (as Dottie Danger), but had to quit because she got Mono. Jane Wiedlin was active in the punk scene and was known as a designer of punk clothes going by the name Jane Drano. The duo formed The Go-Go’s with Margot Olavarria and Elissa Bello. Soon Olavarria and Bello were out, and guitarist Charlotte Caffey, bassist Kathy Valentine, and drummer Gina Shock were in.

The group started as punk, but evolved into new wave and pop rock by the time this album, their debut, was recorded. They initially had trouble getting signed, but ended up on I.R.S. Records. “IRS was where you went if you couldn’t get a deal with a real label,” Valentine said.

Beauty and the Beat went double platinum, and the group lasted until 1985 when Carlisle and Wiedlin each went solo. They reunited in 1990, 1994, and in 1999, the reunion stuck and they are still together today.

The Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

Tattoo You is a hodge podge of stuff that wasn’t good enough for other albums. The band wanted to tour, but had no album so they raided the vaults and dusted off a bunch of old shit. Honestly, for a bunch of cast offs, the album was reviewed quite well, and “Start Me Up” has had a surprisingly long life.

When I was a kid we didn’t have cable, but I would sometimes stay with my cousin who had MTV. It was a huge disappointment to stay at his house and it would be a designated “Rolling Stones Weekend”. I swear to God they played “Start Me Up” every hour on the hour.

Foreigner – 4

British guitarist Mick Jones (Spooky Tooth, Leslie West Band) found himself stranded in New York City in 1976. What was he to do but start a band? After merely 6 months, the band was recording their debut album. By the time they decided to cover the entirety of Led Zeppelin IV (just kidding), they only had 3 original members left because Jones ousted Ian McDonald (King Crimson) Al Greenwood so he could completely control the songwriting. Fun Fact: On 4 they had a then little-known Thomas Dolby on synthesizers.

Jones is still soldiering on with Foreigner, delighting State Fair fans across the land. He is the last original member. The next most senior member is Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio) who joined in 2004.

Daryl Hall & John Oates – Private Eyes

My entire life I’ve known them as “Hall & Oates”, so when I see them credited with their first names, it looks weird to me. But, they disagree. Oates once said, “There isn’t one album that says Hall and Oates. It’s always Daryl Hall and John Oates, from the very beginning. People never note that. The idea of ‘Hall and Oates’, this two-headed monster, this thing, is not anything we’ve ever wanted or liked.”

Hall and Oates met when they were each leading their own groups at a battle of the bands. The battle was interrupted by gang gun fire, and the two of them ducked into the same service elevator and discovered they had a lot of influences in common and decided to team up. How long was this gang war, anyway?

Here we have their tenth album, they go back way farther than I realized. In fact, their first record is 50 years old this year.

Quarterflash – Quarterflash

Portland, Oregon’s Quarterflash began in 1980 as Seafood Mama (Jesus Christ). They recorded a version of “Harden My Heart” on a private label, which gained them an hour long television special, and then a deal with Geffen Records. They re-recorded the song for the Geffen Records debut, which was released September 1981, and in October 1981, they were given their second hour long TV special. By June 1982, their debut was certified platinum.

Quarterflash released two more album in 1983 and 1985, but with all these things, 1985’s Back Into Blue underperformed, and they were dropped from Geffen which led to their immediate break up. But you know, it’s hard to keep a good band (or any band) down, and they reformed in 1990 and signed to Epic Records. The group carried on with new lineups, but keeping the core of married couple Rindy & Marv Ross. They played their final show on March 23, 2019.

Journey – Escape

Neal Schon was previously a member of Santana, before breaking loose and forming Journey as a jazz fusion group. They signed to Columbia and put out a few albums before the label said, “Uh, guys, can you do something a little less wankery?” And lo, Steve Perry joined in October 1977, and the version of Journey everyone knows was born. This album had 3 HUUUUGE singles. I like this one, and I wouldn’t have known if Anthrax hadn’t covered it.

Steve Perry left the band and embarked on a successful solo career, but then only appeared sporadically after 2000. Journey took a short break, but is still going now.

The Cars – Shake It Up

These dudes were that even mix of new wave and power pop. They have tons and tons of high charting singles, or did until the broke up in 1988. Here we have their fourth album, I wasn’t sure I had heard anything from this before. Then I played “Shake It Up” and I immediately knew it. Ric Ocasek was a weird lookin’ dude, right? But he still had tons of super models, so good for him.

The Royal Philharmonic – Hooked on Classics

This was a weird time, right? First there Walter Murphy with his disco version of “A Fifth of Beethoven”, and then Stars on 45 with their disco medleys of… well… everything. The Hooked on Classics albums were a direct result of Stars on 45’s success, and the first one sold at least a million copies. But not everyone was happy with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The old fuddy duddies thought it was terribly low class and many a pearl were clutched. “Infamous… entirely opposed in spirit to everything the [Royal Philharmonic Orchestra] stood for,” cried the 1982 British Music Yearbook.

But they’re all dead now, so who cares.

Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna

Here we have Stevie Nicks’ first solo album, recorded between sessions for Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk. She recorded it like a college student who is moving apartments; she just offered her friends free pizza and beer if they would come help record an album.

I had this girlfriend through 1999-2000, who was obsessed with Stevie Nicks. She would only listen to Stevie and Stevie related Fleetwood Mac, and she had not nice things to say about Christie McVie. In fact, she had not nice things to say about everyone who wasn’t Stevie. She was also lactose intolerant, which meant to her that I was also lactose intolerant. When it finally ended, I was so thrilled to be able to date someone who could eat cheese, but it was at least a decade before I could hear Stevie or Fleetwood Mac again.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – I Love Rock N Roll

Joan Jett first found fame with The Runaways, who were Japan’s favorite group of jailbait (I made that up). After the Runaways broke up in 1979, Jett went solo and here we have her with her second album and new backing band The Blackhearts.

I haven’t heard the whole album, it’s 50% covers. It seems like a lot, but that’s the way is used to be, everyone just stealing each other’s hits.

“I Love Rock N Roll” was originally by London band Arrows, and Jett added it to her set list long before recording it because she liked it so much. She put it on record here (4 years after Arrows broke up, so it’s not like she’s Pat Boone stealing songs). This was on Guitar Hero, I think the first one, and my stride mother couldn’t get past 19%, and it killed me hearing that intro riff over and over again.

AC/DC – For Those About to Rock

I am not an AC/DC fan, they really only sound good if you’ve been drinking. That being said, they do some songs that work if you’re sober. Here we have the second album with Brian Johnson on vocals, after the untimely death of Bonn Scott.

The Razor’s Edge came out when I was 13 or so, and my mom went and saw them in concert. I did not go, I was not invited. She bought me a shirt that I wore to school and everyone asked if I went to it, and of course I wasn’t smart enough to lie.

Loverboy – Get Lucky

OK, first I have to say, in Loverboy’s history there’s only been one lineup change, and that’s because the bass player died. Impressive. Anyway, our friends in Loverboy are from Calgary! This was their second album, and the album cover everyone knows. Loverboy became kind of a punchline (especially on 30 Rock), but their only crimes are fashion related, and it’s not even that bad… it’s not like they looked like Poison or anything.

Get Lucky sold over 4 million copies.

Bob & Doug McKenzie – The Great White North

It is absolutely baffling to me. I didn’t even know this existed, but it went triple platinum in Canada (platinum in Canada is 100,000, where in the States it’s 1 million). These characters debuted September 19, 1980, by 1981 they have an album, and by 1983 they have Strange Brew. I can remember seeing Strange Brew all the time on HBO, when I was clearly too young for it.

Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas are treasures.

Dan Fogelberg – The Innocent Age

Dan Fogelberg got his start in cover bands, before graduating to session musician status. By 1972, he released his solo debut, which didn’t initially make an impact. His second album was produced by Joe Walsh, and started to gain him some traction. Here, we have his seventh album. This is some real Yacht Rock shit. If you’ve stepped into a retail establishment from 1982 to 2002, you’ve heard this song.

Rod Stewart – Tonight, I’m Yours

Much has been made of Rod Stewart “selling out” when he went disco with “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” I am not a fan (his voice on the Jeff Beck albums sounds like dying cats) of everything he does, but to be fair, The Rolling Stones and Kiss also flirted with disco. I don’t think it’s a sell out move as just following trends in a bid to stay relevant. With this, his eleventh album, he’s kind of working on his version of New Wave.

Was he chasing fame? Was he chasing money? No, he was chasing women, and it worked.

(This video is also, allegedly, the first video on MTV that showed break dancing.)

Earth, Wind & Fire – Raise!

In 1969, Earth, Wind & Fire singer Maurice White was a session drummer for Chess Records, when he formed a trio that got their start doing commercial jingles. The Salty Peppers got signed to Columbia, had a region hit single, then … were dropped by Columbia.

Undeterred, White moved to Los Angeles and started assembling a new group, but pulled a lot of people from Chicago. By 1971, Earth, Wind & Fire released their debut album on Warner Bros.

Raise! is the group’s eleventh album. Reviews were pretty good, but Allmusic as it as only 2 stars… but they gave Paris Hilton’s album 4 stars, so I don’t really trust their judgment. Plus, “Let’s Groove” is an all-time banger. Two things about the video: 1.) It must’ve been difficult to give all 48* members screen time. I can just see Verdine White saying, “Ms. Pluto has 3 seconds more screen time than me!” 2.) I can’t help but wonder if this video was an influence on The Jacksons’ “Can You Feel It” video.

*I know there are not 48 official band members, but Wikipedia credits 69 musicians on this record. I can hear you right now, “Nice!”

Genesis – Abacab

You could probably throw a stick and hit 3 Avocados that know more about Genesis than I do.

They started in 1967 and had their first album released in 1970, Phil Collins joins as drummer/backing vocalist in late 1970, “My only knowledge of Genesis was through seeing the ads for their gigs. It seemed like they were constantly working… I thought, ‘at least I’m going to be working if I get the gig’.”

Peter Gabriel quit in 1975 because he was disillusioned with the music industry, and the band was seemingly fine with it, because Gabriel was getting too big for his britches anyway. Gabriel put out his first solo record in 1977.

Originally, Genesis was going to instrumental, but the very idea bored them to their very core. Thus, Phil Collins took over vocal duties. People like to give Collins grief, and some of his stuff is absolute shit, but he has a pleasing voice. Plus, this video is probably where Martin Atkins stole his Hamburgler look from.

George Benson – The George Benson Collection

Jazz guitarist George Benson was a prodigy who started playing in unlicensed clubs in his native Pittsburgh at the age of 8, and started recording when he was 9. After high school, he created his own jazz quartet, before being hired as a side mane for Miles Davis, and eventually other jazz heavy hitters.

Here we have a hits collection, and of the 17 songs on it, only one was written by Benson. There are two new songs, one of which is “Turn Your Love Around”, but I hate that song so much. It seemed to be on the Muzak every time I took a break when I worked for McDonald’s in 1994. So, here is the one Benson wrote which is a duet with Chaka Khan.

As always, thanks for hanging out!