Tag Archives: 1980s

What An Instant Messaging System Looked Like In 1984

This 1984 Advertisement For An Instant Messaging System Will Amaze You (Or Maybe It Won’t)

If you were born after 1986 you have always had the internet and email at your disposal since childhood. It may come as a surprise to you that in one form or another email has been around since the 1960s.

But when did IM (Instant Messaging) come into being?

The early 1980s saw the dawn of what would later be termed instant messaging.

From an advertisement in the November 12, 1984 issue of Newsweek magazine, this is what one of the first instant messaging systems looked like:

Easylink 1984 advertisement

Easylink 1984 advertisement

Introduced in 1982 Western Union’s EasyLink system was considered revolutionary. EasyLink’s messages were stored in the computer memory and not seen until the user checked to see if there were any messages. Continue reading

Remembering AC/DC’s Bon Scott

It Was 35 Years Today That The Greatest Front-man in Rock History Died

Bon Scott 1979 I clearly remember when Bon Scott of AC/DC died. I heard it on the radio on a dreary February day in 1980. To me he was just a good singer in a band where all the members were very short.

It was sad, but honestly I didn’t think too much about it at the time having heard only some of AC/DC’s songs such as Let There be Rock, Highway To Hell and Touch Too Much. I was more into The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, E.L.O., Judas Priest, Van Halen, The Cars, Elvis Costello and The Clash and many other mainstream bands. But his death sparked an interest in discovering what Bon Scott and AC/DC was about.

Over the next year I would come to love AC/DC especially with the American release of Dirty Deeds in 1981, five years after it was released everywhere else. After that, I went out and bought all of the old AC/DC albums. To say I liked the Bon Scott version of AC/DC would be an understatement.

As the years have passed and I get older, I get more and more depressed that Bon Scott left us at age 33. It is hard to fathom he has been gone 35 years.

While not diminishing the passing of Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison and countless other rock icons, Bon’s death along with John Lennon’s and John Bonham’s (all coincidentally in 1980) are among the greatest losses to rock music ever.

What Bon Scott would have gone on to do can only be left to conjecture, but I would venture to say he would have built upon the previous successes the band had finally achieved. My friends who had seen AC/DC live said Bon’s charismatic stage presence was palpable in person and it came through on film and video as well. With his unique voice and take no prisoners attitude when performing, the audience felt an authentic connection to Bon Scott.

In the six years Bon Scott was the lead singer for AC/DC he recorded six studio albums. It says a lot that from those six albums are where AC/DC have continually pulled half of their live set from.

Brian Johnson who replaced Bon as AC/DC’s lead singer Continue reading

It’s Time For Day Baseball Games To Return To The World Series

It’s Been 30 Years Since The Last Outdoor, Daytime World Series Game Was Played – Who’s to Blame? MLB, FOX & “TV Research People”

World Series baseball the way it used to be played - during the daytime. Pirates center fielder Bill Virdon awaits the first pitch from Yankees ace Whitey Ford to begin game 3 of the 1960 World Series at Yankee Stadium, October 8, 1960.

World Series baseball the way it used to be played – during the day. Pirates center fielder Bill Virdon awaits the first pitch from Yankees ace Whitey Ford to begin game 3 of the 1960 World Series at Yankee Stadium, October 8, 1960.

30 years ago on October 14, 1984 the Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres played game 5 of the World Series at Tigers Stadium under what used to be normal circumstances – they played a day game.

Three years later in 1987 the Minnesota Twins and St. Louis Cardinals also played a day game in the World Series, but you would not have known it because the Twins played their home games indoors at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

Since then, every World Series game has been played at night. Continue reading

SCTV – The Funniest TV Show Of The Late 70’s / Early 80’s

John Candy and Cast Lampooning Leave It To Beaver

SCTV cast 1982 clockwise from top left; John Candy, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Andrea Martin and Dave Thomas

SCTV cast 1982 clockwise from top left; John Candy, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Andrea Martin and Dave Thomas

Canada’s SCTV (Second City Television) was one of the most brilliant comedy sketch shows ever created. The ensemble cast featured John Candy, Robin Duke, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy,  Andrea Martin, Rick Moranis, Catherine O’Hara, Harold Ramis, Tony Rosato, Martin Short and Dave Thomas.

Airing weekly on late night television from 1976 -1984, the show never achieved critical mass appeal but had a strong cult following.

Having been off the air for nearly 30 years most people under the age of 35 have never seen or heard of SCTV. That’s a shame. Because even though there are some obscure references to celebrities, shows and movies of the past, the comedy holds up pretty well today.

Here is a sample of one of the funnier sketches from 1977, a take-off of the stereotypical 1950’s All-American family TV show Leave It To Beaver, with John Candy playing “The Beaver” in Leave It To Beaver 25th Anniversary Party.

For those who want to experience SCTV, seasons 4 & 5 which aired on NBC are available on DVD. A best-of DVD featuring episodes from seasons 2 and 3 is available as well. The remaining episodes and seasons have yet to be released.

SCTV is not for everyone. If you like Monty Python’s Flying Circus and The Marx Brothers – I’ll bet you ‘ll like SCTV. As the lead commenter on this youtube video says “There are 2 types of people in the world. People who understand and appreciate SCTV’s humor, and those who are utterly stupid morons.”

UPDATE  4/19/13 – Actor Frank Bank who portrayed Lumpy Rutherford on Leave It To Beaver did just pass away at the age of 71 on April 13, 2013, not as Catherine O’Hara says on the SCTV video, “Lumpy died 7 years ago when he jumped in front of that train.”

12 Great Heavy Metal Albums From The 80’s That Are Under The Radar (Part 2)

Great Metal Albums from the 1980’s That Have Been Forgotten

Continuing our article from Part 1 of twelve metal albums from the 1980’s you should check out:

1986 – Metal ChurchThe Dark (Elektra)

Metal Church put out great albums during the 1980’s and 1990’s and even opened for Metallica during their 1991 tour and this should have lead to more exposure for the band. But Metal Church never caught on with the music video generation and that may have had an big impact on sales. Continue reading

12 Great Heavy Metal Albums From The 80’s That Are Under The Radar (Part 1)

Great Metal Albums from the 1980’s That Have Been Forgotten

Still one of the most exciting things for me is to be introduced to great music that I have never heard before. It doesn’t matter if it was made this year or thirty years ago. If you haven’t heard it before, it’s new to you, isn’t it?

I started thinking about bands casual heavy metal fans may be familiar with by name, but not their work with the exception of possibly a song or two.  That lead to the creation of this list. Rather than focus on great albums from well known bands such as Judas Priest, Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax, Iron Maiden, Dio, Van Halen, Testament, Overkill, Exodus or any of the well known bands, these are bands and albums that may have had a brief moment in the spotlight or are known for the wrong reasons, like an MTV video.

So in chronological order, here is part one of twelve albums that you should check out.

1980 – Angel WitchAngel Witch (Bronze Records)

What a debut album should be: songs with one amazing hook after another. Angel Witch emerged from The New Wave of British Heavy Metal looking like they would rise to the top. This trio lead by Kevin Heybourne lead singer and guitarist should have conquered the world. For whatever reason it never happened.  Almost every song on here is a classic in songwriting 101. Continue reading

Cliff Burton’s Death and Metallica’s Commercial Popularity

Metallica’s Cliff Burton Died 25 Years Ago, September 27, 1986

In 1984, I already owned a 51 minute, soon to be thrash classic called Kill ‘Em All. So when I played a new cassette tape for my father and told him “this is the best heavy metal album I ever heard and one day this band will be acknowledged as great, although they will probably never be popular,” I was sure he would agree with me.

He agreed with one part- that they would never be popular and years later we would both be proven wrong. They did become very popular.  The band was Metallica and the cassette tape was Ride The Lightning.  My father couldn’t understand how I could listen to it.  Too fast, too loud, too much screaming. His hard rock tastes stopped somewhere between Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper.  Getting no radio airplay, Continue reading