Category Archives: Music

Live Aid: 25 Years ago today

Live Aid, the multi-venue charity concert, was held on July 13, 1985. It came on the heels of the charity songs “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, and “We Are The World”. The event was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia, and was held in Wembley Stadium in London, England (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia (attended by about 99,000 people).

There were some memorable moments at the concert. I remember Madonna performing:

And Queen – one of my favorite bands of all time – gave one of the greatest preformances of all time:

Phil Collins and his mullet performed in both England and the U.S. After he performed at Wembley, he took the Concorde to get to Philadelphia:

And former members of Led Zeppelin, with Phil Collins and Chic member Tony Thompson sharing duties on drums (although they were not officially announced by their group name from the stage, but were announced as Led Zeppelin on the VH1 10th Anniversary re-broadcast in 1995).

Do you have any memories that you would like to share? Any favorite performances?

Trivia Tuesday – 7/13/10

Question: What 80s pop star got her start on Star Search, but did not win, but came in second?


Last Week’s Question: What 1983 big-screen smash was hyped with the line: “Take your passion and make it happen”?


Answer: Flashdance

Flashdance was released in 1983, and was the 3rd highest grossing film of the year (behind Return of the Jedi and Terms of Endearment) by taking in almost $93 million.
Jennifer Beals starred as Alex Owens – a welder at a steel mill in Pittsburgh by day, and a dancer at a tavern by night. She wanted to become accepted by a prestigious dance school, the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance and Repertory. During one of her performances at Mawby’s, the bar where she works, she attracts the attention of Nick Hurley (Michael Nouri), who is her boss at the steel mill, and he soon learns that Alex is one of his employees.

Alex’s best friends also work at Mawby’s, and they have their own aspirations to fame. Jeanie Szabo (Sunny Johnson) is a waitress who aspires to be a professional ice skater, and Jeanie’s boyfriend Richie Blazik (Kyle T. Heffner) is a cook who wants to be a professional stand-up comedian.

Alex needs professional dance instruction, so she gets a dance teacher and mentor who is a retired ballet dancer – Hanna Long (Lilia Skala), who encourages Alex to pursue her dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer. After Jeanie falls twice while auditioning for an ice show, she loses confidence in herself and becomes a dancer at a strip club, where she performs in the nude, and Alex goes there to rescue Jeanie.

Alex and Nick become lovers, but she later learns that he has an ex-wife named Katie (Belinda Bauer), and they have a hostile encounter in a local restaurant. Nick uses his contacts at the Conservatory to secure an audition for Alex, and just before the audition she goes to Hanna’s house and learns that Hanna died the previous night.

At the audition, Alex falls at the beginning of her routine, but starts over and completes the routine successfully. In the final scene, Alex runs out of the Conservatory building with a smile on her face and is hugged by Nick, who gives her a bouquet of red roses.

The Music

“Flashdance… What a Feeling” was performed by Irene Cara, who also sang the title song for the similar 1980 film Fame. The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as a Golden Globe and numerous other awards. It also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1983. Despite the song’s title, the word “Flashdance” is not used in the lyrics. The song is used in the opening title sequence of the film, and is the music used by Alex in her dance audition routine at the end of the film.

Another song used in the film, “Maniac”, was also nominated for an Academy Award. It made Michael Sembello a one-hit wonder.

Here is Irene Cara’s video for “Flashdance… What a Feeling”:

While that was a great song, and she had great success with “Fame”, here is my favorite song by Irene Cara – “The Dream (Hold On To Your Dream)”. This is from the movie D.C. Cab:

Men at Work Reunion Tour Facebook group page

If you are a Men At Work fan, check out this Men at Work Reunion Tour page on Facebook, or search for Men at Work Reunion Tour on Facebook. Here is a description from the site:

This is for Men at Work fans young and old to get together and ask that the original quintet of Colin Hay, Greg Ham, Jerry Speiser, John Rees and Ron Strykert regroup and tour the world once again!

So check out this group page, and feel free to join the group, and share your thoughts, pictures, and ideas on this page.

Music Video of the Week – 7/7/10

Here is the inaugural Music Video of the week. Appropriately, this week’s pick will be:

Video Killed the Radio Star- The Buggles

As most of you may know, The Buggles secured their place in pop music history by being the answer to the trivia question: “What was the first act ever played on MTV?”. They were a one hit wonder with this song in the U.S., and only had moderate success in the U.K. with a few other songs such as “Living in the Plastic Age”, “Clean Clean”, and “Elstree”.
In 1980, the members of The Buggles – Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes – joined the band Yes to replace lead singer Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. Then Yes temporarily disbanded in 1981.
After Yes broke up, Downes and Horn resumed work on a second Buggles album, entitled Adventures in Modern Recording. But that album wasn’t too successful, and they broke up.
Geoff Downes then joined his former Yes bandmate Steve Howe in supergroup Asia, together with John Wetton (ex-King Crimson), and Carl Palmer (ex-Emerson, Lake & Palmer). Downes is the only original member still in that band.
And the other Buggle, Trevor Horn went on to become a successful producer for such acts as ABC, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Art of Noise, Seal, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, and Cher.

Men at Work must pay royalties for copied riff in ‘Down Under’

In February, a judge has ruled that the flute riff in Men at Work’s Australian anthem “Down Under” plagiarized a popular nursery rhyme, called “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree”, which was written in 1932. It was written by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair for a Girl Guides competition.

Sinclair died in 1988. In 1990, an Australian publishing group called Larrikin Publishing bought the copyright to the song. “Down Under” was composed and performed by Men at Work founding member Colin Hay in 1978. Greg Ham added the flute riff after he joined the band in mid-1979.

The band has to pay 5 percent of the song’s royalties, which was a lot less than the 60 percent that Larrikin Publishing was looking for.

According to court documents, Ham added the riff to the song to inject some “Australian flavor.” He admitted he had heard the song while growing up in the country in the late 1950s and was “pretty sure” that Kookaburra was in his school’s song book.

Judge Jacobsen found that Ham deliberately included the bars from Kookaburra into the flute line, but accepted that Colin Hay didn’t realize it was from the nursery rhyme until early in the last decade.

On Tuesday, Jacobson ordered Men at Work’s recording company, EMI Songs Australia, and “Down Under” songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, to pay 5 percent of royalties earned from the song since 2002 and from its future earnings. A statute of limitations restricted Larrikin from seeking royalties earned before 2002.

The court didn’t specify what the 5 percent penalty translates to in dollars.

“I consider the figures put forward by Larrikin to be excessive, overreaching and unrealistic,” Jacobson wrote in his judgment.

Mark Bamford, a lawyer for EMI, said the company plans to continue with its appeal of the February ruling.

“The ruling today on quantum is a good result in light of Larrikin’s ‘excessive, overreaching and unrealistic’ claim” for a higher cut of the profits, Bamford said in a statement. “EMI Songs will now focus on its appeal against the broader decision.”

Adam Simpson, Larrikin Music’s lawyer, said the company had no comment on the ruling, due to the pending appeal. Hay and Strykert were not in court for the decision and couldn’t immediately be reached.

“Down Under” and the album it was on, “Business As Usual,” topped the Australian, American and British charts in early 1983. The song remains an unofficial anthem for Australia and was ranked fourth in a 2001 music industry survey of the best Australian songs. Men at Work won the 1983 Grammy Award for Best New Artist.

Reference: The Christian Science Monitor

Trivia Tuesday – 6/29/10

Question: Which Facts of Life girl was the first to lose her virginity on the show, simply because the actress playing her volunteered?


Last Week’s Question: Who told Rolling Stone that U2’s album title, The Joshua Tree, sounded like it “would sell about three copies”?

Answer: Bono

In the interview, Bono said, “The thought of the world waiting for The Joshua Tree is a bit ridiculous. It sounds as if it will sell about three copies.”
However, The Joshua Tree was the band’s first number one album in the US and within 48 hours after it was released on March 9, 1987, it went platinum in Britain becoming the fastest selling album of all time.

The album is dedicated to lead singer Bono’s assistant, Greg Carroll, who was killed in a motorcycle accident during the album’s recording.

The album contained the hits “Where the Streets Have No Name”, “With or Without You”, and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. The album won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1988.

The Joshua Tree is the band’s best-selling album, having sold 25 million copies worldwide. That’s a lot more than three!!

In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked the album at number 26 on their list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Michael Jackson: Television Tributes This Week

This Friday, June 25, will mark the 1 year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. Here are the list of television programs that I could find, that will be covering the late “King of Pop”. The descriptions are from the shows’ web sites whenever I could find them:

6/24/10 – syndicated: Oprah Winfrey – Oprah Remembers Michael Jackson (2009)
See their historic worldwide interview from Neverland Ranch. Then, Oprah speaks about where she was and how she felt when she heard the tragic news.

6/25/10 – 7:00 am – CBS: The Early Show – Remembering Michael Jackson
A Michael Jackson tribute featuring music stars such as Christina Aguilera, Marc Anthony, LL Cool J and Smokey Robinson.

6/25/10 – 8:00 am and 1:00 pm – E!: The E! True Hollywood Story: Michael Jackson (2008)
Yes, it’s the gloved one again. More than 1000 journalist and the TV nation are anxiously awaiting the start of the most high-profile celebrity trial of 2005.

6/25/10 – 10:00 am, 3:00 pm, and 8:00 pm – E!: E! Investigates: Last Days of Michael Jackson (2009)
As questions arise about the nature of his death, revelations of his often bizarre life continue to be brought to light.

6/25/10 – 11:30 am, and 11:30 pm – VH1: Famous Crime Scene (2010)
Follow LAPD detectives in their investigation of the sudden and shocking death of the King of Pop. Toxicology reports confirm he died from a combination of prescription medications and a heavy-duty anesthesia drug called Propofol, all administered by a mysterious physician who was treating Jackson at home in the last month of his life. But other doctors were also giving Michael drugs up until his final days, some administered through his various aliases. Will this ongoing homicide investigation turn into a criminal case? Who will be responsible for this music legend’s tragic and controversial death?

6/25 – 1:00 pm – BET: Michael Jackson: Life of a Superstar (2009)
Get an in depth look at the biggest entertainer that ever lived…Michael Jackson.

6/25 – 2:00 pm – BET: Inside the Michael Jackson Mansion (2009)
See the mystery behind Michael Jackson’s NeverLand Ranch.

6/25 – 5:00 pm – MTV: Michael Jackson Top 10 Video Countdown (2010)

6/25 – 6:30 PM – MTV: Michael Jackson’s Influence on Music (2010)
This is a 1-hour special consisting of videos by top artists in music who have in some way been inspired by Michael Jackson – from choreography, to fashion, to actual reinterpretations of MJ’s songs. His impact on the game was huge! During each video, there will be scrolled messages about Michael from many of the artists featured, along with interesting trivia. At different points throughout the special, several of the featured artists will also appear in short interview moments discussing MJ and his impact on their life and art.

6/25 – syndicated: Access Hollywood – Remembering Michael Jackson (2010)

6/25 – 8:00 PM – BET: Michael Jackson History: King of Pop (2010)

6/25 – 8:00 pm – CNN: Michael Jackson: The Final Days (2010)

6/25 – 11:00 pm – QVC: Michael Jackson Music & Memories
His spellbinding music defied imagination. His performances immortalized him as the King of Pop. And now, QVC remembers Michael Jackson with a selection of music and collectibles that span his astounding, four-decade career, from the Jackson 5 through his solo years.

6/26 – 6:00 am – MTV: Michael Jackson music
videos

6/28 – 8:00 pm – The History Channel: Pawns Stars (2010)
The Pawn Stars meet a man hoping to sell a several hundred-year old edition of Dante’s Inferno; Rick is presented with an antique serpent shaped sword from the Philippines; Corey has a chance to purchase photo rights for Michael Jackson.

Pat Benatar releases memoir

Pat Benatar has just released her new book called Between a Heart and a Rock Place.” She talks about her struggles, and how she became successful. Benatar opened the doors for a lot of women rockers in the ’80s. She had great hits such as “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, “We Belong”, ” Shadows of the Night”, as well as “Love is a Battlefield”, which was in very heavy rotation in MTV’s early days.

Go-Go’s Cancel their Farewell Tour

The Go-Go’s have canceled their “Happily Ever After” tour this summer after guitarist Jane Wiedlin tore her ACL after suffering a 20-foot fall in the mountains in California last month. She has to have surgery to replace the ACL, and could take up to a year to heal.

The band made the following statement on their web site:

It is with great regret that the Go-Go’s announce today the cancelation of Happily Ever After, their summer farewell tour. The tour was scheduled to kick off July 7 at Lilith Fair San Diego, and conclude in Austin, TX on July 27. The band will also be unable to perform live on Good Morning America, scheduled for July 16 in New York’s Central Park.

The news comes as a result of guitarist Jane Wiedlin injuring herself after a 20-foot fall while hiking near her home in Northern California a couple of weeks ago. Jane is scheduled for ACL replacement surgery for her knee in the coming weeks, with a prognosis of up to a year recovery time.

The band is heartbroken and hopes their fans will send best wishes for Jane’s speedy recovery. In the meantime, tickets can be refunded at point of purchase.

Belinda Carlisle interview on “The Joy Behar Show”

Last Thursday, June 3, Belinda Carlisle appeared on The Joy Behar Show, which is on CNN’s channel HLN. Belinda is out promoting her memoir “Lips Unsealed”. In her interview with Behar, Carlisle talks about being physically and mentally abused has a child by her stepfather. She also talks about her 30 year addiction to cocaine, and she talks about her husband, Morgan Mason.

Here is the interview: