Remember That Song: 8/20/15

Can you name the artist and song:

Take your baby by the hand
And make her do a high handstand
And take your baby by the heel
And do the next thing that you feel

Last Song: “Superstitious” by Europe from Out of This World (1988)
Great job Frida (@carrjam94)!!!

Keep on walkin’ that road and I’ll follow
Keep on callin’ my name I’ll be there
And if a mirror should break it’s easy to take
Cause deep down I know that you care

Quote of the Day: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Kirk: [showing the Vulcan salute] How many fingers do I have up?
McCoy: That’s not very damn funny.
Kirk: You’re sense of humor’s returned!
McCoy: The hell it has!

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was born on this day in 1921.

Return to the ’80s Movies: Top Gun

Tom Cruise
Kelly McGillis
Val Kilmer
Anthony Edwards
Tom Skerritt

Rated PG

Runtime 110 minutes

Released May 16, 1986



Synopsis: As students at the United States Navy’s elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom. – imdb

Last time I had seen this? Maybe 10-20 years? I had seen this many, many times throughout the ’80s and ’90s.

Tom Cruise currently has a smash hit out in theaters right now – Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. But, he has been in blockbuster films for over 30 years, including this movie. Did this movie deserve to be a hit? Let’s find out.

The movie begins with Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Goose (Anthony Edwards) in one F-14A Tomcat, and Cougar and Merlin in the other, on a mission over the Indian Ocean. They come across a Russian jet. No shots were fired, but Maverick and Goose chased it off. Both Maverick’s and Cougar’s plane were low on fuel, so they headed back to their aircraft carrier. However, Cougar had a meltdown, and panicked. Against orders, Maverick headed back out and helped bring Cougar back in.

It turns out that Cougar was intended to be going to Top Gun – school for the best of the best pilots. But, Cougar gave it up because he has an unborn child he wants to see. Despite his recklessness, Maverick is sent in Cougar’s place.

Not long into this, we already get the “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” serenade scene, where Maverick tries to woo Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood (Kelly McGillis). He gets shot down. It turns out that Charlie is a civilian Top Gun instructor.
imagesIn a combat game, Maverick beat the Lieutenant Commander of the school, Jester (Michael Ironside). However, he broke a rule to do it. Then he topped it off by doing a flyby really close to the control tower. Maverick and Goose get in trouble with the commander, Viper (Tom Skerritt). Maverick also finds a rival in Iceman (Val Kilmer), who doesn’t care for Maverick’s methods. We find out that Maverick’s recklessness comes from compensating for his father. His father, Duke Mitchell, was shot down and killed in the Vietnam War.

Then we have the beach volleyball scene. Yeah, that was critical to move the plot along. Actually, that scene was probably in the movie to draw in the female demographic. Poor Anthony Edwards was the only one to leave his shirt on. I wonder if he started taking his shirt off, then saw the other guys, and said, “Aw, forget it!”

Then we have a blooming romance between Maverick and Charlie. Charlie is conflicted, because she doesn’t date her students. But, this is Tom freakin’ Cruise! Decisions, decisions. In class, she used one of Maverick’s missions as an example of what not to do. Maverick doesn’t take to kindly to the criticism. The have a confrontation, which leads to Maverick’s bedroom.

Maverick get’s humbled by his commander, as Viper and Jester use teamwork to defeat him in a training exercise. Next there is a party where we meet Goose’s family, which includes Meg Ryan as his wife. Since we meet his family, we know something not good is going to happen.

In the next training mission, Maverick and Iceman are taking on Viper. Iceman is having a hard time getting a lock on Viper. Maverick keeps trying to tell Iceman to move, and let him take the shot. Iceman finally had enough of the nagging, so he moved. But in the process, the jetwash of Iceman’s plane causes Maverick’s engines to flameout. So, he and Goose are spinning out of control, and Maverick can’t regain control. They eject, but Goose hits the glass canopy of their jet, and dies instantly.

Although the formal board of inquiry clears Maverick of responsibility, he feels guilt for Goose’s death, and loses his confidence. Maverick considers retiring. Then he spoke with Viper, and Viper told him that he served with Maverick’s father in Vietnam, and tells him classified details that show that Duke Mitchell died heroically. He tells Maverick that he can graduate tomorrow, if he chooses. Maverick chooses to graduate, but Iceman wins the award for top pilot.

Oh, but the movie is not over yet! During the graduation party, a few of the pilots, including Iceman and Maverick, are ordered to report to the aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise. There is a crises situation where a communications ship drifted into hostile waters. There is an awesome air battle. Maverick learned from his mistakes, and even used one old trick. Celebration time! Maverick decides to become an instructor at the Top Gun school. At the bar near the school, Maverick has the place to himself. He plays “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” on the jukebox. Then Charlie walks in, and they are reunited. The end.

Does the movie stand the test of time?
Pretty much. The theme of personal growth is still appropriate. I don’t think movies, these days, have many music montages. Instead, I think there is a full movie about the beach volleyball scene. I believe the movie was called Magic Mike. Some other things don’t stand the test of time, although they were way better back then. First, the music is incredible. With Kenny Loggins, king of the ’80s movies soundtracks, performing a couple of songs, you know that this is an ’80s movie. They don’t have good music like that in movies these days. And second, no CGI was used. They used actual jets in the flight sequences. According to Wikipedia, “Paramount paid as much as $7,800 per hour for fuel and other operating costs whenever aircraft were flown outside their normal duties.” I’m sure some kind of CGI would be used in most movies. One major exception is the aforementioned Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, which stars…Tom Cruise. Over the past month, all we have been hearing about, is that Tom Cruise actually did that stunt himself, on a real plane.

So, the final verdict is that this movie does stand the test of time, and more movies would do well these days if they took some notes from this movie.

Worth the Return?
It’s worth checking out again, if you haven’t seen it in a while. I felt that some parts were boring, but the action sequences were amazing. One funny thing I noticed was that I used to think Val Kilmer’s Iceman was an asshole in this movie. After just watching it again, I feel like I was on his side this time. But, I think him snapping his jaw at Maverick when Maverick said, “That’s right. I’m dangerous,” was one of the dumbest moments in movie history. So, I’m actually kind of mixed on this. Some parts were great, and other parts prevent this from being a perfect movie. One other note: Apparently, this movie caused a spike in Naval recruitment. I joined the Navy almost 3 years after this was released, and my decision definitely was NOT based on this movie.


Rating: 3 Dead Geese

What? Too soon?

You may have noticed that I did not really touch on the great music too much here. There is a reason for that. Tomorrow, Robert is going to take us on an in-depth journey of Top Gun‘s music. So, be sure to check back in tomorrow!

Remember That Song: 8/19/15

Can you name the artist and song:

Keep on walkin’ that road and I’ll follow
Keep on callin’ my name I’ll be there
And if a mirror should break it’s easy to take
Cause deep down I know that you care

Last Song: “She’s Like the Wind” by Patrick Swayze from the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack (1987)

Patrick Swayze would have turned 63 yesterday. R.I.P. Patrick.

Great job Emma (@emmakwall), Andy (@andytorah) and Rachel (@DarkDemonHeart)!!!

I feel her breath on my face
Her body close to me
Can’t look in her eyes
She’s out of my league

The Goldbergs

This article was originally posted last year. I had been planning on reviewing every Goldbergs episode. Well, as we approach another television season, it’s about time I get to it! This is an introduction of the show, so anybody who missed it the first time around, can see it now. And this can be a refresher for anybody who had seen this when it was originally posted.

It was 1980-something, and the Goldbergs of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania bought a video camera. Youngest son, Adam (not to be confused with the Adam Goldberg that had that gruesome death in Saving Private Ryan), used it often to record his family.

Adam would go on to become a movie and television producer. This led to him creating his own show, based on his own family – The Goldbergs. In my opinion, it is the best show on TV right now. It is a show that everybody can enjoy, but if you are a child of the ’80s, this is “Must See TV”.

Every character is outstanding and hilarious. Each episode features at least one ’80s song towards the end – as issues are resolved. Then in most episodes, real video footage is shown at the end.

When the show premiered in September 2013, I tuned in to check it out. I knew that it took place in the ’80s. I was a little nervous about how the show would be handled. After the fiasco that was That ’80s Show, I had lost faith in the ’80s on television. But, what a pleasant surprise The Goldbergs was! There was no over-the-top ’80sness. There’s like totally no Valley Girl vocabulary, like for sure, and no Flock of Seagull hairdo’s. Everybody is “normal” like most of us were back then, which makes the show easily relatable. Thank God Adam F. Goldberg has genuine respect for the ’80s. Plus it didn’t hurt that the first words ever uttered on the show was “Man, I loved the ’80s”.
The show is narrated by Patton Oswalt (maybe best known as Spence on King of Queens) as an adult. This reminiscent of The Wonder Years.

One thing that stands out in this show is that it is not pigeon-holed into a specific year in the ’80s. It is a mashup. For example, early in the season I got a little confused when Adam went to go see Poltergeist in the theater with his grandfather. At the same time, Adam’s brother Barry believed he was going to be a basketball star now that he had his Reebok Pumps. Poltergeist came out in 1982, and I’m almost positive that the Pumps did not come out until the very late ’80s. My first reaction was [in nerdy voice] “This is inaccurate!” But, that feeling faded fast for me. I think it is a brilliant idea!
First of all, the show does not get stuck having to stick to a particular year each season. It can stay on the air for many years, and still remain set in the ’80s.
And best of all, we get to reminisce about every portion of the decade. If you are a little older, you will catch all the early ’80s references. And if you are in the younger demographic, you will understand all the late ’80s references. I was born in 1970, so I feel a strong nostalgia for every single portion of the ’80s.
So, I think it’s pretty cool that in one episode, Adam can be playing Nintendo, and in another episode, Murray can be enjoying when he’s not being interrupted That’s Incredible!

Speaking of Murray (played by the awesome Jeff Garlin), I cannot express enough of how great the cast is. So, let’s meet these characters.

Murray Goldberg (Jeff Garlin)

Murray has a colorful way of speaking and seems abrasive, but he has a big heart. After a long day of work at the furniture store, Murray walks in the door of his home, and immediately takes his pants off and wants to watch TV in his underwear in peace and quiet. But with this crazy family, peace and quiet is out of the question. This makes him high strung – and hilarious!

Murray is played by comedian Jeff Garlin. Garlin has appeared in several movies, including Daddy Day Care (with Eddie Murphy), as well as small roles in Robocop 3 and Fun with Dick and Jane, as well as being a voice actor in the movies WALL-E as the Captain of the Axiom spaceship and Toy Story 3 as Buttercup. He also is a co-star and executive producer in the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm along with Larry David.

Beverly Goldberg (Wendi McLendon-Covey)

The mother of all “smothers”. There are no boundaries for her in the Goldberg household. She’s everywhere! She may be smothering and tough with her family. But, God help anybody who crosses the family or tells her kids that they can’t do something! She’ll leave them quaking in their boots with just a look. And that goes double for any cashier who tries to rip her off! I think most of us have mothers that have at least a little Beverly Goldberg in them, which makes us totally relate to what the family has to deal with. But, at least my mother never referred to me as being “delicious” or “yummy”.

Beverly is brilliantly played by Wendi McLendon-Covey. She is best known for her roles as Deputy Clementine Johnson in the Comedy Central series Reno 911! (2003–2008), as Liz on CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement (2010–2013). McLendon-Covey is also a comedian and was a member of The Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles from 2002 to 2009. She was there with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, with whom she would later star in the movie Bridesmaids.

Erica Goldberg (Hayley Orrantia)

Erica is the oldest child, and only daughter, in the Goldberg household. She is rebellious, often hanging with the wrong crowd. She also loves to push her brother Barry’s buttons in order to set him off into one of his meltdowns. She may be tough with her brothers, but when push comes to shove she looks out for them, and they look out for her.

Erica is played by Hayley Orrantia. She was a contestant on Season 1 The X Factor USA. According to, originally auditioning as a solo artist, she and three other contestants were assembled during the boot camp phase by Simon Cowell into a girl group to continue in the competition. Calling themselves Lakoda Rayne, they were the last group in the competition and made it to the top 9.

Here they are performing “Landslide”

Erica got to show off her singing chops, in an episode I will cover, by singing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. It would be great if they could find more ways to get her to sing.

Barry Goldberg (Troy Gentile)

Barry is my favorite character in the show. He is a classic middle child, and he is high strung and an over-reactor. He could be happy as a clam, until the slightest little thing sets him off. Sometimes, his temper tantrums end with him running off. It is the funniest run I have ever seen in my life! I laugh every single time he does it, and I’m chuckling right now thinking of it. Erica is not the only family member with singing chops. Barry is a rapper, with the rap name Big Tasty. I wonder if he came up with that name from his mother calling him “yummy” and “delicious” all the time.

Barry is played by Troy Gentile, who steals every scene he is in. Here is his bio from
Troy Gentile got his start in entertainment at the age of 11 when he landed his first acting job, playing the supporting role of Hooper – the bear in the wheelchair – in the remake of Bad News Bears with Billy Bob Thorton. He later went on to play another supporting role as little Jack Black in the film Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny. His career continued its rise when he was cast in the role of young Dan Fogel in Good Luck Chuck.

At the age of 13, Gentile was cast in Drillbit Taylor in his first lead role, opposite Owen Wilson and produced by Judd Apatow. He was also seen in Pineapple Express, Nacho Libre and Hotel for Dogs, with Don Cheadle and Kevin Dillon.

Adam Goldberg (Sean Giambrone)

Adam is the youngest child of the family, and the reason why this show exists. He always has the video camera ready so he can capture every family fight, embarrassing moments, and touching moments. Adam is into some of the things I love, such as Star Wars and Tron. But mostly, he’s from my little brother’s generation, and is into Transformers, GoBots, He-Man, and Nintendo. Adam is at a transitional age where he is beginning to like girls, and wants to start picking out his own clothes.

Adam is played by Sean Giambrone. according to, Giambrone began his acting career at the age of 9 and starred in various television commercials, including for McDonald’s and Friendly’s Restaurants. He gained particular attention in the nationwide campaign for Sea World, even making an appearance in a spoof on The Tonight Show, and also appeared as Afro Boy in the film I Heart Shakey.

Albert Soloman (George Segal)

Albert is Beverly’s father. This widower is quite the ladies man, and is adored by his grandkids especially Adam. “Pops” is a human lifeboat to the kids when their parents are getting out of control. He constantly gives advice to the kids – sometimes good, sometimes not so good.

Albert is played by George Segal, perhaps the most familiar face of the cast. I could not picture anybody else playing Pops. Segal was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Nick in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). Most of us probably know him from his role as Jack Gallo in the sitcom Just Shoot Me! (1997–2003).

Narrator Adam Goldberg (Patton Oswalt)

A Christmas Story had Jean Shephard, The Wonder Years had Daniel Stern, and now The Goldbergs has Patton Oswalt. Not only does he narrate the show, but he enhances it with his perfect timing. It was a brilliant idea to have a narrator, and Oswalt was an awesome choice.
Most of us know Patton Oswalt from his role as Spence on King of Queens. He also performed the voice of the lead character, Remy, in Pixar’s Ratatouille (2007). He is also a successful Stand Up Comedian.

If you have not seen The Goldbergs yet, please tune in! It airs on Tuesday nights at 9:00pm Eastern on ABC.

In upcoming articles, I will write about each individual shows. It will be a lot of fun, just like the show itself.

Quote of the Day: The Natural

Pop Fisher (Wilford Brimley): You know my mama wanted me to be a farmer.

Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford): My dad wanted me to be a baseball player.

Pop Fisher: Well you’re better than any player I ever had. And you’re the best God damn hitter I ever saw. Suit up.

The Natual

Happy 78th Birthday to Robert Redford!!!

Remember That Song: 8/18/15

Can you name the artist and song:

I feel her breath on my face
Her body close to me
Can’t look in her eyes
She’s out of my league

Last Song: “Vacation” by The Go-Go’s from the album Vacation (1982) in honor of Belinda Carlisle’s birthday. She turned 57 yesterday.

Great job Jim (@jimvilk)!!!
And thanks, once again, to Andy (@andytorah) for the submission!

A week without you
Thought I’d forget
Two weeks without you and I
Still haven’t gotten over you yet


Quote of the Day: The Untouchables

Al Capone: A man becomes preeminent, he’s expected to have enthusiasms. Enthusiasms, enthusiasms… What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy? Baseball! A man stands alone at the plate. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone. But in the field, what? Part of a team. Teamwork… Looks, throws, catches, hustles. Part of one big team. Bats himself the live-long day, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and so on. If his team don’t field… what is he? You follow me? No one. Sunny day, the stands are full of fans. What does he have to say? I’m goin’ out there for myself. But… I get nowhere unless the team wins.

Happy 72nd Birthday to acting legend, Robert DeNiro!!!

Remember That Song: 8/17/15

Today’s Remember That Song is brought to us from Andy (@andytorah), a friend of Return to the ’80s.

Can you name the artist and song:

A week without you
Thought I’d forget
Two weeks without you and I
Still haven’t gotten over you yet

Last songs: “All She Wrote” and “Love of a Lifetime” by Firehouse from the album Firehouse (1990)

“All She Wrote”
Then I found the note on the door
It said good-bye and she don’t want me no more

“Love of a Lifetime”
With you I never wonder – will you be there for me?
With you I never wonder – you’re the right one for me?

Albums of the ’80s: When Seconds Count by Survivor

Today, not only do we get a great album review from Robert, but we also get a love story. Robert Returns to a time when he and his now-wife, Diana, fell in love. In honor of Robert and Diana’s 25th wedding anniversary today, let’s enjoy his wonderful story, and listen to some great music! Happy Anniversary Robert and Diana!!!


When Seconds Count – So Many Seconds

If you are reading this, it is time to be honest. Most of us regular readers of nostalgia websites and blogs do so for one BIG reason: We miss our youth and look for ways to recapture those good old days that will always be deeply etched in our minds and, more importantly perhaps, our hearts. We all have a special song, album, commercial, TV show, or movie that has made an indelible imprint on our lives. The reasons are as limitless as the choices. These “artifacts” remind of of both good and bad times and how we got through those crazy, and sometimes brutal, junior high and high school days. If you are still reading this, I know you agree and truly understand the importance of these days and that you will never forget them.

IMG_0273We do all have a special something that we carry with us and will never let go of, but that something differs for all of us. Ever since I bought REO Speedwagon’s Hi Infidelity, I have been absolutely hooked on music. Lucky for me, the ‘80s were by far the best time to be a music fan. My music collection is big and very important to me; I literally own over five thousand songs from the ‘80s in one format or another. Even with all of this music there a few albums that I treasure as particularly important to me. I believe that many music fans out there are able to connect a certain song or album to a life changing event or a life changing person. I will even venture to say that all of you reading this now can name one or two songs or albums that have had a significant impact on you and who you are today. I am no different – here in my story.

I am presently a high school English teacher and love it! Every year students will ask me what I was like when I was younger. I am honest with them and tell them that I was a very quiet and shy boy who said very little in school or out. I had a few very good friends who, despite being many miles apart today, I am still in nearly daily contact with, but I was nowhere near outgoing. They never believe me – things have changed (I do not think you can be quiet and be an effective English teacher at the same time). Needless to say I did not exactly have a line girls waiting to go out with me. Other than a few very temporary female acquaintances, I typically hung out with my friends, played Atari or Commodore 64 games, read books, and listened to music. In October of my senior year that came to a screeching halt. I went to junior high and high school in Frankfurt, Germany and, due to noise ordinances, our football games were played on Saturday afternoons. Our school typically supplied buses to away games since the driving age was 18 and only about 8 people in my senior class drove. On one crisp October 4th Saturday, I took the subway to school to meet my friends and travel on one of these buses for a game against Manheim – a bus ride of a little more than an hour.

IMG_0276A mistake was made; only two buses showed up – we had enough people for three buses! So we all crammed on the two buses, sitting three to a seat (this would probably incur a lawsuit today). My friends and I had to separate and I was forced to sit with girls from the dance team! How was I ever going to survive this? Well, I did more than survive – I fell in love. I was forced to sit with a girl I did not really know, but kind of admired when I saw her in the halls. Her name was Diana and she had gorgeous red ‘80s hair. I was as scared as I had ever been. There was no way I could manage to come out of a longish bus ride next to this girl and look anything resembling cool. I was quiet – of course – but we slowly started to talk to each other. We ended up sitting together at the game and the ride back to school. The entire time I knew I wanted to ask her out, but could not imagine myself actually doing so. When we got back to the school I walked her to the phone booth (how strange does that sound?) so she could call for a ride. I steeled myself as much as I possibly could and asked her for her phone number. To my surprise, she gave it to me! I told my friends and they insisted that I call her the next day.
IMG_0275 2Finally, the purpose of this article. I did call her the next day and asked her out. Once again she said yes! – we were set for that next Friday. She had dance team practice on Friday so I needed to kill some time. I went to one of my favorite places – the audio store that sold tapes and records. I saw that one of my favorite bands, Survivor, had just release a new album, When Seconds Count. I immediately grabbed the cassette and paid for it. This was the first album that I bought after I met the girl who would become my wife. I have always felt that Survivor was one of the most underrated bands in ‘80s rock. IMG_0277Sure, everyone knows “Eye of the Tiger” and “Burning Heart”, but how many have listened to an entire Survivor album? If you need some proof of Survivor’s excellence, check out the Return to the ‘80s review of Vital Signs. I own all of Survivor’s albums – even the Japanese import Reach. I love all of their songs and mourned the death of Jimi Jamison by listening to nothing but Survivor and his solo albums for two solid weeks. When Seconds Count is my favorite Survivor album, mostly due to the girl I was falling in love with when I first listened to it.

The album itself was a follow up to the excellent Vital Signs. Survivor had successfully replaced their lead singer Dave Bickler with Jimi Jamison and was enjoying some serious chart success. When Seconds Count is certified gold and had three Top 100 hits with “Is This Love” reaching #9.

How Much Love (#51)

The album begins with an excellent song that exemplifies the Survivor sound. Lyrically, it is a song that has the speaker wondering what to do about a woman he likes. Does she want him to pursue her? He clearly wants to but is not sure if she is willing. Guitarist Sullivan has a reputation for being a master of the rhythm guitar (see “Eye of the Tiger” or “Burning Heart”) – I agree, he is great. Unfortunately, his guitar solos are too often overlooked. I never fully appreciated this until I saw Survivor in concert when I was in college; after that I started paying closer attention to those solos. This song has his typical smooth solo that Sullivan consistently plays. This song was the perfect match for how I was feeling when I first met Diana. I was young and had zero experience with girls; I had no idea what to do. Do I ask her out again? And if she says yes, what then? Hold hands? Kiss after the date? I was truly a wreck, but she helped me through it like, as I was soon to learn, she always does.

Keep It Right Here

The second track picks up right where the first left off. Listen for the bass note after the third line – simple, but impossible not to pluck your air guitar. This song has the typical catchy Survivor chorus. The speaker here is realizing that the relationship he is in is progressing in a positive direction that he really likes. There are a few lines that still jump out at me today, “There will be nights, some restless nights / When you’re alone, your thought start to wander / Wondering if it’s right, you search the night.” As I said earlier, I had zero relationship experience – Diana had a little more than I did. Soon after we started dating she went to visit another boy – wait – the arrangements were made before we went. I pretended like it didn’t bother me and took her to the train station. Inside my mind I was sure that this was the end – one month – a great month – but that was it. As fate would have it, she returned (I nervously picked her up from the same train station) and she told me that she felt nothing for that other guy and she wanted to keep dating me. My first win! We clicked right away and I felt early on that this could be something that would last for a while.

Is This Love (#9)

What a great song and the biggest hit from this album. This song could easily have been on the Vital Signs album – it is pure Survivor. It starts with Petrick’s signature keyboards and Sullivan’s rhythm guitar – do not miss another nice solo, though. There are so many great lines that remind me of what I was feeling early in our relationship. Lines like “I’d like to know that for once in my life I’m sure of what tomorrow may bring” and “I need to prove to myself that this is more than a crush / Can you convince me it’s not just a physical rush?” absolutely captured exactly what I was feeling. Again, Diana and I clicked right away, but I was worried that it would be a fleeting thing. This was my first real girlfriend and I had just turned seventeen; I was worried that I was being swept by her beauty and charm and not thinking straight (it was easy to do). I did not want this is be temporary, but did not want to tell her that after just a few months.

Man Against the World (#86)

The first song on this album that is not a true love song. I would put it in the category of a Journey type of inspirational song, like “Be Good to Yourself.” My favorite thing about this song it how it builds to a climax. It begins with piano and vocals, then rises and rises, adding powerful guitars. It then backs off and gives the listener time to contemplate the emotions in the song. The Jamison sings, “I shout, can a single voice carry? / Will I find sanctuary within your arms? / Someday when the answer‘s clearer / Someday when I even the score / You’ll reach and find me near you, right beside you, forevermore.” When I was a sophomore in high school I decided that I wanted to be an English teacher. As a senior, I still wanted to, but I was beginning to feel that I wanted Diana to be with me. As decision time came upon us, we both decided to attend college in Nebraska – man, am I glad we decided to that!

Rebel Son

Any Survivor fan would not want you to forget that, despite some great ballads, this band can really rock – this song is an example of that. It starts slow, giving the impression that it will be another ballad. Once the guitar kicks in, it does not look back. It reminds me a bit of “First Night” from Vital Signs, but it is smoother and lyrically stronger. The singer is speaking directly to a young man, urging him not to give up, to have the confidence to believe in himself and become who he wants to be. Oh yeah, best solo on the album so far. Looking back, this song has no real connection to our relationship. It just reinforced my determination to be what I wanted to be and not worry about what others thought.


I really like this song. In fact, this one and the next are my two favorites on this album. It is one of the few songs on this album that uses imagery to capture an emotion. It is not complicated. “If only we could go back to square one / If finally we could pinpoint where we lost touch / I’d stand alone reaching out my hand to you / Oceans between us.” Sometimes simple is the most effective way to get an idea across. The speaker does not want to lose the relationship that the two of them have built, but does not know where things went wrong. The lyrics continue the water/ocean imagery throughout the song. At the time, this song scared me. I was young and in love for the first time and I did not want it to end. Over the years, I have used this song as a reminder to not let oceans come between Diana and me. Not every day is perfect, but for twenty nine years we have done a really good job in preventing this from happening.

When Seconds Count

My second of two favorites songs on this album is coming at you right away. Even at the youngish age when I met Diana and we started dating, this song freaked me out. We have all heard about or known couples who have lost touch as the relationship wore on. These lyrics have always chilled me a bit: “Special moments taken for granted, tenderness that found no reward / Funny how you’d speak of forever only to wind up restless and bored / Can sweethearts so suddenly stranger recapture in a moment the fire?” I promised myself to do my best to never let this happen to us. Realistically, over 25 years of marriage there will be times when things get somewhat predictable and boredom sets in, but overall we have done a really good job in enjoying each other’s company and not letting things get too predictable. I cannot imagine myself with anyone else; most days I feel as if we are still young and in a new, exciting relationship. This song has yet another really good guitar solo that ties the whole song together.

Backstreet Love Affair

This is a decent song, but my least favorite one on this album. It starts with a solid keyboard that sets up the melody. Sullivan’s rhythm guitars are excellent and completely drive this song. Lyrically, the song is about the deep passions that exists between two people despite others not approving of the relationship. Fortunately, Diana and I never really had this problem. Her father was the typically suspicious at times father- she was the only girl in the extended family and he wanted to protect her – understandable. I made it a point to be on my best behavior when he was around, but overall, we both got along with the other’s families.

In Good Faith

This great ballad made it on every mix tape that I ever made for Diana. There is nothing wrong with this love song; in fact, I like it better than the “The Search is Over”, a major hit from Vital Signs. I have always been one to not fully express my feelings- I still am – so I had a tendency to do so through songs. This song captured how I was feeling about Diana perfectly – “I never needed anyone this way / Never found the right words to say until today.” Oh yes, I know it is corny, but hey, I was 17, what do you expect? Even listening to this song right now I remember how it, and she, made me feel then. She still does today and the song still matches our relationship.

Can’t Let You Go

Musically, this is my favorite track. Sullivan’s guitars are perfect. It has a driving rhythm guitar and the best solo on the album – at the 2 minute 40 second mark, just sit back and enjoy how expertly the solo is laid on top of the rhythm guitar – beautiful. Yes, I was that lovesick teenaged boy who stayed up all night thinking about this beautiful girl who was now actually talking to me. Seriously, I couldn’t sleep most nights: “Two eyes that haunt me when I turn out the light / Two lips that taunt me from the darkness each night / I try and hide my heart to keep my distance in the dark / What makes me fall apart and call out your name?” Early on, I was completely smitten – and it has not changed yet. 29 years later, Diana is still the most beautiful woman I have ever met and I cannot imagine a single day without her.

My love for this album has origins in two places. First, it is Survivor and I love them. They are a perfect ‘80s rock band with a completely underrated and underappreciated guitar and keyboard combination of Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik. I place the powerful lead vocals of Jimi Jamison right next to the great Steve Perry. This band’s songs are solid – well written and musically very sound. When I was very much into making mix tapes for friends, I always included a few songs from Survivor – and they always liked them.

With When Seconds Count, I have always associated every song with Diana – I still do. Not every song is completely relatable, but, to me, this album is the most important one I ever purchased. I listen to it frequently in all sorts of moods and it never fails to take me back to those wonderful days of new found love. Diana has always been there for me since that chilly October Saturday. She is my life. She is my love. She is my best friend. Today, we are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary – 29 years together. Diana, I love you – forever and always.