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‘Joanie Loves Chachi’ on Rolling Stone list of worst TV shows ever

“Worst of” lists are always more fun than “Best of” lists. Case in point: The latest list from Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield gives us the 12 Worst TV Shows of All Time. So how many ‘80s series made the list? Just two.

Joanie Loves Chachi and The Ropers.

Sorry, Scott Baio. We really loved you in Charles in Charge and Zapped. But Joanie Loves Chachi was historically bad, and yet lasted two seasons on ABC from 1982-1983. The Ropers, that unneeded spinoff from Three’s Company, likewise made it two seasons from 1979 to 1980. It’s saving grace was it featured a young Jeffrey Tambor as the Ropers’ next door neighbor.

BTW, if you’re wondering which TV show got the top spot as the worst ever, it’s Duck Dynasty. That’s one election result we can all stand behind.

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30 years ago, 'Sid and Nancy' gave us Romeo and Juliet ... with heroin

Sid and Nancy

Long before Gary Oldman was “Commissioner Gordon” or “Sirius Black.” Before he was “Zorg” or that evil Russian trying to take down Air Force One. Even before he was Beethoven or Lee Harvey Oswald, Oldman was Sid Vicious. So convincing was the British actor in 1986’s Sid and Nancy that when ‘80s fans think of Sid today, the image that comes to mind is that of Gary Oldman. 

Released 30 years ago today, Sid and Nancy tells the tale of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen (played by Chloe Webb) and their tragic end. Like so many movies centered around punk rock, the movie was a box office disappointment but proved to be a cult classic when later released on VHS. 

Critics nearly unanimously praised the film - it maintains an 88 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes - even if the people who actually knew Sid and Nancy best didn’t. …

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Sex as a weapon? Sadly, this isn't just an '80s phenomenon

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You can't have the radio or TV on this election year without some candidate touting their support of Second Amendment Rights. In the '80s, you probably didn't feel the need to pack heat since we had Pat Benatar and she had Sex As A Weapon

In 1985, Pat Benatar was starting a new chapter in her life with the birth of her first daughter, Haley, but was still hitting the charts. Invincible was a Top 5 hit and late in the year she released her album Seven The Hard Way with the lead single Sex As A Weapon.  Written by the '80s hit-making machine of Tom Kelly and Billy Steinman, Sex As A Weapon only made it to No. 28 on the singles chart, the lowest charting first single Benatar experienced in the '80s.

Though not the blockbuster as some of her other singles, Sex As A Weapon was a clever single and the video is an interesting mixed media assault presentation that takes presents how sex is used in advertising - something has really hasn't changed much at all from the '80s.

Benatar still juggles performing along with her family life and last night she and husband Neil Giraldo played in Clearwater at the Capitol Theatre.

 

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John Fogerty didn't make a killing with his zombie story

The Walking Dead just started Season 7 a few weeks ago we now know who Negan killed and so it seems that zombies are still climbing in popularity among our favorite monsters. In the '80s, zombies were less visible as other than Michael Jackson's Thriller, only a few scattered zombie sightings occurred, lest we forgot John Fogerty and Eye Of The Zombie.

John Fogerty was the feel-good story in 1985 as the former Creedence Clearwater Revival singer made a triumphant solo return with his Centerfield album that sold two million copies and had several Top 40 hits. In 1986, Fogerty returned quickly with the follow up album Eye Of The Zombie, but the darker album failed to repeat the success and while it did go gold, the title track single stumbled hitting only No. 81 on the charts.

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Even in the '80s sometimes you pray history doesn't repeat itself

Rarely do you hear a song played on the radio by Orchestral Manoeuveres In The Dark other than If You Leave, but the facts are that OMD had four Top 40 hits in the U.S. with other pop love songs. But OMD also had a social conscience side too like their early '80s anti-war song Enola Gay and the forgotten but edgy 88 Seconds In Greensboro.

While If You Leave was the prom favorite for the Class of 1986, OMD first hit the U.S. singles chart in 1985 when So In Love was a Top 40 hit. Off the same Crush album was the scolding 88 Seconds In Greensboro that was not released as a single, probably due to its grim history lesson. However, OMD filmed a video album of Crush that included today's video.

Though OMD were from England, they obviously watched a 1983 episode of PBS's Frontline titled 88 Seconds In Greensboro and learned of a North Carolina event on Nov. 3, 1979 known as The Greensboro Massacre. On that fateful day, members of the Communist Worker's Party and other sympathizers were marching against the Ku Klux Klan when a confrontation between the Worker' s Party, the KKK and the American Nazi Party turned violent with five people killed.

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The reboot we never knew we wanted: ‘American Gigolo’

American Gigolo

When you name-check Richard Gere movies, a lot of obvious titles come to mind: An Officer and a Gentleman, Primal Fear, Pretty Woman, and of course, American Gigolo. Wait … what? 

It turns out Hollywood has a soft spot for this somewhat forgotten 1980 movie, which starred Gere as a - you guessed it - high-priced male escort who is accused of a murder he didn’t commit. The film costarred Lauren Hutton and Hector Elizondo (his pal from Pretty Woman) and was a somewhat respectable hit that maintains a lukewarm 67 percent “fresh rating” on Rotten Tomatoes

American Gigolo is probably best known for its use of the song Call Me, written by Debbie Harry and Giorgio Moroder, who handled the rest of the soundtrack as well. 

That’s good enough for the trolls in cable TV these days, so Showtime has decided to remake American Gigolo as a TV movie, says The Hollywood Reporter. THR says the new movie will follow the same storyline but be set in modern times. 

One thing in favor of the remake: Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the 1980 movie, will executive produce the Showtime reboot while Paul Schrader, who directed and wrote the original, is onboard as exec consultant. …

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Only the Exorcist can compete with Michael Oldfield's 'Moonlight Shadow'

Yes, there were scary movies in the '80s, but for many of us '80s kids there was no more frightening movie than The Exorcist. One of the reasons why The Exorcist was so terrifying was the theme music by Mike Oldfield. In the '80s, Oldfield was prolific in his output with his most popular song being another haunting song called Moonlight Shadow.

Tubular Bells is more commonly known as the theme to The Exorcist. As creepy as it was, the single (edited down from its 49-minute (!) album version) was a Top 10 hit in 1974. It was Oldfield's only charting song in the U.S. Oldfield had a worldwide hit in 1983 with Moonlight Shadow that hit No. 1 in at least a dozen countries in Europe and was the top single of 1983 in Austria.

While Englishman Mike Oldfield is the key musician, he's barely in the video. The singing star of Moonlight Shadow is Maggie Reilly from Scotland. Moonlight Shadow was inspired by the death of Harry Houdini and the attempts of his wife to communicate with him after his death. In the song, a man is shot six times in the middle of the night and his widower feels she sees him in the shadows, evoking a traditional ghost story.

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Life moves pretty fast, so take time out to enjoy this '80s homage

Check out this amazing video - "Dave's Brain's Day Off" - created by Stuck in the ‘80s contributor and guest co-host “Dave Dirt.” The video was a project for Dave’s video art class and features music by his old band Rocket Park. 

Here is Dave’s story on how it came about from Mr. Dirt himself: 

“My original idea, albeit a convoluted one, was inspired quite a bit by Terry Gilliam's work on Python - just something basic and rather ludicrous. I wanted to have movie couples appear, then break off and hook up with people from other movies. I just started looking for as many screenshots I could find of different characters from all the movies I loved.  They didn't have to all have full bodies, because I just think that made it funnier.”  

“I put them all into Photoshop and made big character sheets, printed them off and cut them out with an Exacto knife. Many hand cramps were had.”  

“After that, I came up with somewhat of a storyline, actually did the math to figure out how many shots I'd need for each scene, so that I could match up different movements with the music and lyrics, got a green piece of construction paper, and started shooting - about 1800 frames in all!” …

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Sandy from ‘Grease’ was dead the whole movie?!?

Grease

Forget the crazy presidential election season - here’s the news that will really rock your pop culture world: Hardcore fans of the movie Grease are claiming Sandy was dead for part or all of the 1978 movie.

The theory was first noticed on Reddit and then reported by a few newspaper and entertainment sites around the world back in September. 

One fan theory is that Sandy (played by Olivia Newton-John) actually does drown at the beach at the beginning of the movie rather than being saved by Danny (John Travolta)

Another theory: Sandy kills herself toward the end of the movie, hence the line “Goodbye to Sandra Dee.”

Yet another thought: Both Sandy and Danny die at some point, and their car flying off at the end of the movie is actually headed to heaven. Bummer.

Oh, it goes on and on and on. Read it all on Reddit and try to keep up. It's all a little dark, but maybe we need a taste of the macabre a day after Halloween.

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‘Rambo’ reboot in the works … without Sylvester Stallone

First Blood

Is John Rambo the new James Bond? A reboot of the ‘80s action movies is being planned by Hollywood, but with a younger actor in mind to replace 70-year-old Sylvester Stallone. The announced title - Rambo: New Blood.

The Hollywood Reporter says Nu Image/Millennium Films is working on the project and has decided that it’s time for Stallone to step down and let a more age-appropriate actor take his place. (Somewhere out there, Roger Moore and Sean Connery just let out huge sighs.)

The first Rambo movie was released back in 1982 and was based on the 1972 novel of the same time from author David Morrell. Stallone starred in all four Rambo films and was once in talks to appear in a Rambo V movie to be called “Last Blood.” That project feel apart over battles about the storyline. 

THR says Brooks McLaren will write the script for the new Rambo film with Ariel Vromen set to direct. No other production details are available. 

TOP 5 MEMORABLE LINES FROM FIRST BLOOD: 

5. “I don't think you understand. I didn't come to rescue Rambo from you. I came here to rescue you from him.”

4. “Don't push it or I'll give you a war you won't believe. Let it go. Let it go!” …

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Just between you and me, we like this other April Wine song better

Publicity photo

Rocktober is over but that does that mean it's time to stop rocking out? Certainly not, as we at SIT80's have one mantra: I Like To Rock and today we do it April Wine-style.

With equal success in both the '70s and '80s, April Wine transitioned into the '80s easily when their late 1979 album Harder ... Faster was released and became April Wine's first gold album in the U.S. Two underrated singles were released from the album with Hello and its follow-up I Like To Rock, which peaked at No. 86 on the U.S. singles charts in February 1980.

I Like To Rock is a stadium anthem with great riffs, and the video culls together recording footage and some glimpses of how April Wine unwinds behind the scenes. If the studio in the video looks familiar it is because the same recording room was used in the video for Rush's Tom Sawyer.

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