Joke at the Gridiron Club annual dinner. (1984-03-24)
Since our minds are on Bret Michaels right now, I will do a little article on Poison – one of the best glam rock bands of the ’80s.
Bret Michaels may be known for the reality shows such as the Rock of Love series as well as the current season of Celebrity Apprentice. But, his best work by far was being the front man for Poison.
Their first album was Look What the Cat Dragged In, and it peaked at #3 on the charts. There were 3 hit singles from that album: “Talk Dirty to Me”, “I Want Action”, and the ballad “I Won’t Forget You”.
On the heels of that albums success, they recorded their own version of Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite” for the soundtrack to Less Than Zero. I personally think they did a great job on that song, and the soundtrack is very good.
On May 21, 1988, Poison released their second studio album – Open Up and Say…Ahh!. This was their most successful album, selling over 10 million copies. It contained their only #1 hit “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”, as well as three other hit singles – “Nothin’ but a Good Time”, “Your Mama Don’t Dance”, “Fallen Angel”. The original front cover was controversial as it had a model dressed as a demon with an extremely long “Gene Simmons” tongue. The cover was later changed to only show the eyes.
On June 21, 1990, the band released their 3rd album, Flesh & Blood, which was also very successful. It peaked at #2 on the charts. The album spawned two top 10 singles: “Unskinny Bop” and “Something to Believe In”, as well as three other hit singles: “Ride The Wind”, “Life Goes On”, and “(Flesh & Blood) Sacrifice”. This was my personal favorite album by Poison.
This was another album with a cover controversy. The front cover of the album featured the Poison logo and album title as a tattoo on Rikki Rockett’s arm. The controversy was that it was a picture of the tattoo freshly inked, and the skin was inflamed and dripping with either blood or ink that looked like blood. The cover was pulled, and then released with the cleaned up tattoo.
Then the band began to fall apart after that. Lead guitarist C.C. DeVille was addicted to cocaine and alcohol. He and Bret Michaels got in a backstage fistfight at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. DeVille was fired and replaced by guitarist Richie Kotzen.
Then the fun party rock was disappearing – thanks to grunge music rise in the early ’90s. Poison released the album Native Tongue on April 21, 1993. It was more blues and funk than Rock & Roll. “Stand” was about the only song that I liked from that album.
They began working on another album called Crack a Smile. But they had to stop when Michaels was involved in a car accident where he lost control of his Ferrari. He suffered a broken nose, ribs, jaw, and fingers and lost four teeth. After he recovered, the band got back to work, but their label, Capitol Records, offered little support for it since hair metal was almost completely gone. Instead, they had to release a Greatest Hits album, which was released on November 26, 1996.
Poison celebrated their 20th anniversary with a “20 Years Of Rock” tour in the summer of 2006, with fellow rockers Cinderella and Endeverafter opening. The tour swiftly became one of the most successful tours of 2006 in the U.S., averaging about 10,000 people per night.
Here is my list of favorite Poison songs:
5. “Talk Dirty to Me” – Where it all began. This was their first hit, and is a fun rock song.
4. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” – This was their biggest hit. It was a great ballad. It would probably by higher on my list, but it kind of got a little too overplayed for me.
3. “Unskinny Bop” – This was the first song off of Flesh & Blood. What a great start. It seemed silly at first, but it is a fun song that grows on you.
2. “(Flesh & Blood) Sacrifice” – I could probably pick any song from Flesh & Blood, and insert it here. This one is just a great hard rock song.
1. “Fallen Angel” – This has been my favorite Poison song since I first heard it. Great video and great song. The vocals and instruments are awesome.
What is your list of favorite Poison songs or albums? Do you have any memories of the band or music that you would like to share?
Bon Jovi has just announced on their Facebook page and web site that on May 11, they will release special editions of all the albums they have had up to this point. Each album will also contain new bonus tracks and special packaging. The following is from their web site:
Each of the band’s 11 studio albums – Bon Jovi, 7800° Fahrenheit, Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Keep The Faith, These Days, Crush, Bounce, Have A Nice Day and Lost Highway and The Circle – will feature the original studio album tracks plus era-specific live recordings included as bonus tracks. The bonus live tracks include songs taken from sound checks and concerts held in venues from all over the world, ranging from 500 seat theatres to massive football stadiums. Many of the live versions are extended, including “Get Ready” (Bon Jovi), “In and Out Of Love” (7800° Fahrenheit), “Blood on Blood” (New Jersey), “Keep The Faith” (Keep The Faith), and a duet featuring Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland performing “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” (Have A Nice Day) with the band.
These albums be available as a physical release and as a digital download.
Today in 1986, Roger Clemens struck out 20 Seattle Mariners for a 3-1 victory. Going into that evening, Boston fans were focusing more on the Larry Bird and the Celtics, who were on their way to their 16th NBA title, and facing the “Human Highlight Film” Dominique Wilkins and the Atlanta Hawks.
But, Clemens struck out the first 3 batters he faced. Then he struck out 2 in the next inning. He went on to be the first pitcher in Major League Baseball to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning game. He broke Steve Carlton, of the St. Louis Cardinals, record of 19 strikeouts in a nine-inning game, which was set in 1969 and duplicated by the Mets’ Tom Seaver in 1970 and the California Angels’ Nolan Ryan in 1974.
Future Red Sox player, Spike Owen was strikeout victim number nineteen and Phil Bradley was number twenty. Boston Red Sox trainer Charlie Moss said in the dugout after those two historic Ks to starter Bruce Hurst, “We should get the ball to save it.” Hurst replied, “You don’t have to, that ball ain’t going anywhere” and he was correct as Ken Phelps grounded out to end this legendary game. Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson each recorded 20-strikeout games after Clemens. However, Clemens repeated the feat 10 years later on September 18, 1996, in a game against the Detroit Tigers at Tiger Stadium.
However, Roger Clemens’ reputation is now tainted since his name came up in the Mitchell Report, which alleged he used performance-enhancing drugs during the 1998-2001 seasons.
Reference: Baseball Almanac
On April 23, 1985, the Coca-Cola Company made a huge announcement: They were changing the formula for one of the world’s most popular soft drinks. It was the first formula change in 99 years. That same week, the company ended production of their original formula. Here are a couple of commercials for New Coke:
However, not long after the release of New Coke there was some backlash. People did not like the change. Pepsi capitalized with this commercial:
In the summer, when soda sales normally begin to rise, Coke’s sales did not take off like they were expecting. On July 11, 1985, Coke brought back the original formula, and called it Coca-Cola Classic®. Towards the end of the year, Coke recovered, and was even outselling Pepsi.
They continued to sell the New Coke, along with Coke Classic. Later, New Coke’s name changed to Coke II.
Patriot’s Day is observed every year in Massachusetts every third Monday in April. It commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which were the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.
Every Patriot’s day, the Boston marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon is run. Also, the Boston Red Sox have played at home every Patriot’s Day since 1959 (with the exceptions of rainouts or strikes). And since 1968, the games have begun at 11:00 AM.
On April 21, 1980, the 84th Boston Marathon was run, and there was great controversy. Rosie Ruiz appeared to complete the marathon with a record time of 2:31:56, and was crowned the winner. But, she appeared well rested. In the thousands of photos and extensive film shot at the event, Ruiz appeared only in the last half-mile. After eight days of controversy, Rosie Ruiz was stripped of her title, but she maintained her innocence and refused to return her medal. Finally, spectators came forward to say they had seen Ruiz join the race less than a mile from the finish. At the same time, officials began to question her time in the New York Marathon, where she had qualified to run Boston. Witnesses said that they had spoken with her during that race — riding on the subway. Ruiz was eventually disqualified from the New York Marathon.
Given the overwhelming evidence, the board of the Boston Athletic Association voted unanimously to strike Ruiz’s name from the record books and declare Jackie Gareau as the winner of the women’s division. Ruiz continued to insist that she had won fairly and refused to give up her medal.
The Boston Red Sox also had a good game against the Chicago White Sox on that day, as they won 9-8.
The Red Sox starting lineup was as follows:
Dwight Evans rf
Rick Burleson ss
Fred Lynn cf
Jim Rice lf
Tony Perez 1b
Carlton Fisk dh
Ted Sizemore 2b
Glenn Hoffman 3b
Gary Allenson c
And Bruce Hurst was the starting pitcher. Skip Lockwood got the win and Dick Drago got the save as the Red Sox, down 8-6 in the bottom of the 8th came back with 3 runs to go ahead 9-8. They held on for the win in the 9th. Unfortunately, all I have is the box score. If anybody finds, or knows the details of this game, let us know.
Boston Marathon reference: http://www.massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=120
The Stuck in the ’80s gang released their most recent podcast this weekend, with their topic being The Horrible Hits of 1987. They count down the worst songs that became hits in 1987. Some of their choices are controversial. Here is their list:
10. I’ve Had the Time of My Life – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
9. Songbird – Kenny G
8. I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany
7. With or Without You – U2
6. Head to Toe – Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
5. Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi
4. Respect Yourself – Bruce Willis
3. La Isla Bonita – Madonna
2. Always – Atlantic Starr
1. Heaven is a Place on Earth
I can’t believe “With or Without You” was on there. Same with “Wanted Dead or Alive”. But I do remember how MTV was heavily promoting Bon Jovi’s new video at the time, but would not say what it was. Everybody assumed that it would be “Never Say Goodbye”, but it ended up being “Wanted Dead or Alive”. I did not care too much for the song until Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora performed their historic unplugged version on the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards.
Does anybody think that any of these other songs don’t belong on the list? Are there other hits from 1987 that should be on the list instead?
Today in 1981, the final episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is aired.
The series ran for two seasons between 1979 – 1981, and the pilot was released in theaters a few months before the series aired. Much like the original Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers was inspired by the success of Star Wars. The title character, Captain William Anthony “Buck” Rogers, was played by Gil Gerard. He was a NASA pilot who commanded Ranger 3, a space shuttle that is launched in May 1987. Because of a life support malfunction, Buck is accidentally frozen for 504 years before the derelict spacecraft is discovered in the year 2491. He was revived, and found out that civilization on Earth was rebuilt after a nuclear war. The series followed him as he tried to fit into 25th-Century culture. Due to his pilot and combat skills, he was able to help defend Earth against evil. Rogers is aided in his adventures by his friend and semi-romantic interest, Colonel Wilma Deering, played by Erin Gray (who would later appear in Silver Spoons), and his comic sidekick robot, Twiki. Twiki was voiced by Bugs Bunny’s Mel Blanc. Ratings dropped significantly after the second season premiere. NBC cancelled the series at the end of an eleven-episode strike-abbreviated season.