The podcast/syndication edit for this week’s Revenge of the 80s Radio show is up and available at the bottom of this post. This week, we play more of your requests (you can send yours by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or joining our Facebook page). In hour 2, we will air a music block tribute to Devo percussionist Alan Myers, who passed away on June 25.
We will also play classics from Captain Sensible, Ultravox, Furniture, Moving Pictures, The Belle Stars, Japan and more.
Revenge of the 80s Radio also broadcasts each week on our affiliate radio stations:
- Q93.5FM – WTBQ FM, Warwick, NY, US
- Rock 103 FM, Central Illinois
- Q107 FM, Peoria, Illinois
- Flashback Radio, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Central FM - 98.6 FM Gibraltar, Spain & 103.8 FM Calahonda, Spain
- Totally 80s – 88.4 FM, Beindorm, Spain
- Surf FM – 87.6 FM, Melbourne, AUS
- Radio 80s – 87.6 FM, Korumburra, AUS
- Seymour FM – 103.9 FM, Seymour, AUS
- Greater Home Radio – 96.7FM, Holbrook, New South Wales, AUS
- Indigo FM Radio Network – 88.0 FM Beechworth, AUS; 88.0 FM Yackandandah, AUS; 87.6 FM, Corowa, AUS; 87.6 FM Rutherglen, AUS
- Elwood FM – 89.1 FM, Melbourne, AUS
- Whaley Radio – 107.4FM, High Points, UK
- WMAC Radio – 107.3FM, Manchester, UK
- 80s & More – Internet Radio, U.K.
- Radio Vera – Limerick, Ireland
One of the new wave movement’s most defining drummers passed on Monday. Alan Myers, who joined Devo in 1976 and was with the band for a decade, died from brain cancer.
Myers’ craftiness on the skins was both subtle and startling to music fans of the era, as he could not only anchor the band but create rhythms as well. He was a true percussionist, rather than a drummer, who could make an already jaunty/quirky tune more jaunty and quirky.
He joined Devo shortly before the group’s “Q: Are We Not Men, A: We Are Devo” album was released and remained through their ascension coinciding with that of MTV. While it would be nearly impossible to pick out a few songs as his best, perhaps most music lovers across the fandom spectrum will always remember Myers’ performances on “Girl U Want” and Devo’s cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.”
Myers’ death was first reported by longtime friend, musician Ralph Carney, who posted on his Facebook page:
After Myers left Devo, he did remain with the music scene in Los Angeles, working with a number of bands including the most recent, Skyline Electric, fronted by his wife.
The two groups kick off their tour on September 7th in Woodville, Washington and will perform through September 26th in Chicago with stops in places including Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Original Blondie members Deborah Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Barker and newer band members Leigh Foxx, Tommy Kessler and Matt Katz-Bohen will share the bill with Devo co-founders Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh and Gerald and Bob Casale plus tour drummer Jeff Friedl. They will play a mix of classic songs and their recent work. Tickets are available here; the tour dates are:
- September 7 Woodinville, WA – Chateau Ste. Michelle
- September 8 Ridgefield, WA – Sleep Country Amphitheater
- September 10 San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theatre
Click here to listen live between 9-11pm Eastern US Time You can also get the show from our flagship station website: www.wtbq.com. Check the bottom of this post for other affiliates’ dates and times.
Tonight on Revenge of the 80s we will re-broadcast a classic program, featuring music from Debora Iyall, Stan Ridgway, The Time Bandits, Rikki St. James with Ken Mazur, Devo and more.
Revenge of the 80s airs live on Radio 80s 87.6FM weekday mornings 7-9am ; We are also on live with Indigo FM, (Victoria, AUS), Seymour FM, Elwood FM and Surf FM in Melbourne, AUS, Central GM in Spain, and Sobel Nation Radio’s Wildcat FM 80s Channel..
In addition to their most successful chart hit, “Whip It,” Devo performed “Fresh” and “What We Do,” tracks from the new album, Something For Everyone, the first for the new wavers in twenty years. The band announced on the show that the collection will be available in June.
One of the all-time great concert films, thought to be lost in the annals of the Warner Brothers archives, is now available for new wave fans on DVD. For the first time, Urgh! A Music War, the 1981 movie loaded with performances from classic alternative pioneers including The Cramps, X, UB40, The Police, XTC, Klaus Nomi and some lesser-known acts is available for us, the common people, who are now able to see the footage collection in its entirety.
The film was released in 1981 and serves as another time stamp of music history and has aired at times over the years on cable television. It was not, however, released on VHS due to a rights issue (although there are conflicting accounts on its availability on an old laser disc format).
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The podcast for our May 22, 2009 Revenge of the 80s Radio show is up and available at the bottom of this post.
This week, we have wall-to-wall classic alternative cover songs of the 1980s. The art of the cover song was not a new phenomenon then, but it was a bit different from eras past. The 50s and 60s found the recording industry a huge platform for artists who performed work previously released by another singer or group. In many cases, the covers sounded very much like the original or companies would have an unknown artist perform the track for special compilation edition records (hence those Time-Life infomercials for 50s-era music collections constantly assuring buyers that they have the “original recordings by the original artists”). It was the late 1960s when artists would begin to understand that covering a song means putting their own twist on it or making some improvements to the first cut. There were folk versions of old rock tunes and acid rockers found ways to make some songs stand out more by doing them in their style while still paying homage to the original (Blue Cheer’s “Summertime Blues” and The Zachary Thacks’ “Little Red Book” comes to mind here). That trend continued in the 1970s as popular bands of the time would recreate an oldie by turning it into a fun 70s style pop song.
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The 1980s, as an era of new sound, technology and creativity, produced possible the most interesting covers in music history. From Wall of Voodoo’s version of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” to Devo’s “Satisfaction,” some of the great American classics were re-translated and admired by a new generation of listeners who wanted something different but understood what great music was.
Later on the recording industry “suits” started winning their choke hold on mainstream radio play lists and found that bland, mellow versions of once-great songs would “test well” and make lots of money. Soon came Celine Dion and her watering down of “The Power of Love” and “I Drove All Night.” Consequently, the industry kept churning out short-lived manufactured acts that all sounded like the typical “pop diva” or “boy-band lead whiner” and made money from the masses by having them strip the soul from what was great music (did I not mention that awful version of “Time After Time” by some trendy-boy-du-jour in a prebious post?).
This Revenge of the 80s show features classic covers by artists of the era including Captain Sensible, Strawberry Switchblade, The Tom Tom Club, Louise Robey and The Cure.
As a junior high school student, CBS Television Network’s show “Sqaure Pegs” was required viewing. The show was an instant hit, featuring Tracey Nelson of the famous Nelson family (Ozzie, Harriet, Ricky, etc) and future stars like Sarah Jessica Parker and Jamie Gertz.
One of the strong points of the show was the use of some of the great new wave talents of the era like The Waitresses and Devo, who each performed on an episode. The school’s radio station would play and reference several classic alternative performers as well.
The show did not last more than one season, but might have been on for longer if not for the rampant drug use and less-than-professional atmosphere as reported by TV Guide in 1984. The 25-year-old story was recently re-confirmed in a Heeb Magazine interview with Devo’s bassist Gerald V, Casale. In that episode, Devo was booked to play at Muffy’s Bat Mitzvah (although she also struck a deal with Johnny Slash’s band, Open 24 Hours/Open 48 Hours) for the gig. Casale told Heeb about the cocaine-induced hi-jinks that many attributed to the show’s quick death:
“The girls were out of control—they were doing drugs and they were making out and they were coming on to us in a big way… They might have been 15 or 16, but in their heads they were already 40. I don’t think there was a virgin on the set, except maybe a couple of the guys.”
Casale also told Heeb of a crush on Gertz, who recently starred in the sitcom “Still Standing” with British comedian David Addy.
It would be naive to think that over-partying and rampant drug use has not a long-standing Hollywood tradition, but one of the secrets of the industry is to not let a good project be destroyed by those activities. Might the demise of “Square Pegs” be chalked up to lack of experience by those on and off-screen? The potential for a good show was there as was the talent, but declining ratings did not help the show’s producers either.
The podcast for the 4/10/09 Revenge of the 80s Radio show is up and available at the bottom of this post. This week’s Revenge of the 80s Radio features a conversation with actress Sally Kellerman, best known to 80s fans as Rodney Dangerfield’s English Professor/love interest in the movie Back to School and the Judge in Moving Violations. She also helped create the character that would elevate her to legendary status: Major Margaret Houlihan in the MASH movie. Sally’s memorable voice can be heard on several commercials and in many animated features.
Much of our discussion is about Sally’s music. While most people know her as an actress and voiceover specialist, Kelerman’s love is music. She had a record contract at age 18 and a well-received album in the early 1970s. She recently released a new CD, Sally, which she promoted while out touring with what she calls her “anti-show.” Her celebrated voice translated extremely well to song: her repertoire includes jazz classics, lounge and a very well-done cover of a Stephen Tyler song (which we play at the end of our interview). Our discussion leads off the second hour of the show.
We also played classic-alternative tracks from artists including Strawberry Switchblade, The Little Girls, Devo, Altered Images and Big Audio Dynamite.
According to the band’s website, the Devo Bicycle was created by Mike Hammond as a piece of “rolling artwork” complete with song lyrics and high-quality parts. The auction is part of the South by Sunset Valley 2009 event.
This will be the only bike of its kind and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Cancer Foundation. To place a bid, go to DevoBikeAuction.com. The bidding period will end on March 23rd; the winner will be notified by e-mail.
March 14, 2008 was the official launch date of Revenge of the 80s Radio. Since that initial broadcast, we not only played alternative classics from the 80s (give or take a few years for some tracks), we also interviewed some of the great artists of the era and showcased their new music and programs. We also added features to the news, information and podcasts on the Revenge of the 80s blog. There will be more exciting things happening with Revenge of the 80s in Year 2. Our first anniversary show is now available in a podcast at the bottom of this post.
I would like to thank you for listening to the radio broadcasts and podcasts as well as visiting our blog and making Revenge of the 80s one of the fastest-growing shows in the U.S.
To celebrate our first anniversary, we re-aired our first-ever interview on the program: a conversation with Tracey and Missy Belland of Voice of the Beehive. They are incredibly talented ladies who who grew up in California, moved to London and formed one of the most unique and memorable bands of the late 1980s. Our discussion leads off the second hour. They both are extremely nice and I was honored to have them on to help Christen the show; Tracey and Missy will always have a special place in the heart of Revenge of the 80s and, of course, mine.
These days, Tracey shares her talents with youngsters as a music teacher and Missy creates hand-crafted faeries, which are available at the Laguna Beach Sawdust Festival and through her website for Made In Heaven by Missy.
We also featured classic alternative tracks from artists including Altered Images, Devo, EBN-OZN and ABC.
Click here to listen live between 7-9pm Eastern US Time. You can also get the show from our flagship station website: www.wtbq.com.
It was one year ago when Revenge of the 80s aired on the radio for the first time. Since then the show, the website and podcast have grown thanks to all of you who listen to us and read our blog.
While next year we have some exciting things planned for Revenge of the 80s Radio and the B.C. Eagle Radio Network, we want to celebrate our first anniversary by re-airing the first interview we did fro the show: a conversation with Tracey and Missy Belland of Voice of the Beehive. It was fun talking with them and finding out more about the band that still has a strong following to this day. Our discussion leads off the second hour of the show.
Also, be sure to check out Missy’s website for Made In Heaven By Missy, where she hand-crafts fairy figurines and accessories. VOTB’s former bassist, Martin Brett, is now a part of I, Ludicrous in London and Daniel Woodgate is still with Madness.
In the first hour, we play classic alternative favorites from artists including Devo, Altered Images, ABC and The Clash.
Revenge of the 80s airs live on Friday nights 7-9ET on Q99.1FM in the Hudson Valley (www.wtbq.com) and on Wednesdays 12noon Melbourne, AUS time on Radio 80s 87.6FM. Podcasts are available on Saturdays after the live show.
The festival is one of the world’s biggest music events and features several music genres and acts form all over the world.
People wishing to attend the SXSW festivities can find ticket information on the event’s official website.
This week, Revenge of the 80s Radio will feature a re-play of an interview with the legendary musician/singer/songwriter/storyteller Stan Ridgway. Most famous for being a founding member of Wall of Voodoo, Ridgway started in the music business writing scores for movies as his own company.
Ridgway talks during the interview about the need for musical innovation at the time of the late 1970a and early 1980s, when radio programming started becoming “safer” and generic. Many music listeners were tired of being force-fed the same mellow mainstream hits, watered-down disco and similar-sounding music industry formulaic songs; they wanted something different and Wall of Voodoo responded.
After Wall of Voodoo broke up, Ridgway went on his own and soon produced the international hit “Camouflage,” the success of which, he revealed, was something of an accident. We talk about songwriting, storytelling, creativity and his career into today, which includes a separate project known as “Drywall” and a stellar group led by his wife and longtime musical partner Pietra Wextrum called Hecate’s Angels.
Ridgway still tours and sells out several concerts every year with old and new fans. Tour information and news can be found on Stan’s excellent website.
We also featured music from artists including Madness, Amazulu, The Tourists and Devo.
We apologize for the delay: After a short vacation and a fix of some technical issues, our podcast from the last show is up. We featured some classic music from the new wave era as always, including a track from the late Robert Hazard who passed away on August 5th while fighting pancreatic cancer. Hazard was known for hits like “Escalator of Life” and “Change Reaction,” but also wrote the song that launched a young Cyndi Lauper into stardom when she covered it: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”
We also played pieces from Madness, Devo, Animotion and more.
The podcast for this week’s Revenge of the 80s Radio show is up. With the upcoming final Police concert in New York, we invited Lynn Goldsmith, the famed photographer who put together the 2007 book The Police: 1978-1983 featuring a huge collection of her work with the band as well as quotes and insights from the members. Our interview with Lynn kicks off the second hour of the show. The Regeneration Tour 2008 began its run through North America, so we played a track from each of the performing artists: ABC, Naked Eyes, Belinda Carlisle, Naked Eyes and A Flock of Seagulls. Also, it was the 27th anniversary of the launch of MTV, which played a big role in the success of several new wave bands; we played tracks of some of their most remembered videos.
During our interview, Lynn Goldsmith talks about her time with The Police, who were up and coming when she started working with them. She was there when a record executive thought the song “Roxanne” was gong to be a flop through their big years into the time when they broke up in 1983. Her several candid and behind-the-scenes shots capture the band members as they were humans and not as members of “the business.” Part of the profits for the Police: 1978-1983 will go to help the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which puts musical instruments in the hands of young people whose schools do not have the resources; Copeland is a board member of the organization.
Lynn Goldsmith has photographed several recording artists throughout her career, including the B-52s, Devo and Bruce Springsteen. Her website, www.rockandrollphotogallery.com, showcases her work, as well as behind-the-scenes unreleased Police videos.
While many know Lynn Goldsmith for her photography, she also recorded a series of inspirational music videos under the name “Will Powers.” We are going to have her back in the near future to talk with us more about Will Powers and the Will Powers Institute. Her videos were featured on USA Network’s “Night Flight” and known for their ahead-of-its-time computer graphics work combined with dance choreography. Here is her video for “Adventures In Success:”
Devo is suing McDonalds fast food chain over their “American Idol Happy Meal” character “New Wave Nigel,” which the band claims is a blatant rip-off of their look and style. This came out in a recent story from the Australian Associated Press.
A while back, we posted a story on how McDonald’s new Happy Meal toy “New Wave Nigel” looked like a cheap imitation of members of the band.
While the chain might have considered the character a composite of the new wave style like others in the series were for different genres, company suits failed to check on whether the Devo Energy Dome hat and suit were copyrighted (according to bassist Gerald Casale, the energy dome is). This week, the band’s members revealed it is suing the fast-food chain over the little prize.
In the Australian AP report, Casale had this to say about “Nigel” (thanks to stuff.com.nz):
“They didn’t ask us anything. Plus, we don’t like McDonald’s, and we don’t like American Idol, so we’re doubly offended.”
As the case heads to court, Devo are still busy touring this summer. They play in Brooklyn tonight as part of the American leg, then on to Australia and Japan.