November 12, 2018 · 10:25 am
Ever since music video programs took to the airwaves in the 1980s, I have always been a huge fan of the art form. Whether it was “Friday Night Videos”, “Video Hits”, “Good Rockin’ Tonite”, “MuchMusic” or “MusiquePlus”, I was glued to the set. Hour after hour I would watch, mesmerized by this cool art form combining music, film and storytelling in a tight package with a run time of about four minutes.
Through my late high school years and university years, music videos formed the soundtrack of my life, featuring artists like Duran Duran, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Bananarama, Depeche Mode, the Pet Shop Boys and the Jackson family. Music videos welcomed me home from school, were the focal point of some parties, helped keep me awake through late-night essays and helped me pace myself in studying for final exams.
When I got into the career years, priorities changed a little as did my ability to watch 12 consecutive hours of music videos. But I remained a fan nonetheless, often keeping the music channels on for background music while I cleaned my apartment or worked in the kitchen.
A few nights ago, I realized how much I missed music videos as a source of background music. I decided to try to recreate that feeling.
Since I got the iTunes app almost a decade ago, I have purchased a few music videos that were particularly special to me, but not enough to make a playlist as diverse as what a music video channel offered back in the day. Plus, iTunes doesn’t carry all of my old favourites.
YouTube on the other hand, carries almost everything I could possibly want, with only a few exceptions. Sadly, some treasured videos are hanging by a thread in cyberspace with only a couple of grainy versions to be found. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, music, pop culture, TV
Tagged as 1980's, Apple TV, art, artful life, celebrity, Duran Duran, education, entertainment, Friday Night Videos, Good Rockin Tonight, industry, interviews, media, MuchMusic, music, music videos, MusiquePlus, program, programming, stories, technology, television, video, Video Hits, video jockey, VJ, YouTube
December 24, 2017 · 9:08 am
When I think back to my Christmas wish lists over the years, music has been a constant. As a long time music lover, my voracious appetite for music goes as far back as age 10.
Through my early teens, I had an allowance from my parents, and in my later teen years, I had pocket money from a part-time job. A lot of that money was spent on records.
At that time, vinyl record albums were relatively pricey for someone earning $2.35 per hour. Christmas became that opportunity to ask Santa for the albums I did not get a chance to pick up myself through the year.
In preparing that wish list, there was some careful consideration and a few (if not several) trips to the record store(s) to ensure that the albums I chose would bring maximum enjoyment. I would meticulously review the song lists and count the number of songs I knew versus the ones I didn’t, and then compared from one album to the next.
We didn’t have listening stations, YouTube, iTunes or Spotify to check out those other unknown songs. Sometimes I might have been able to borrow a certain album from a friend or from the library, but for the most part, those other songs were often a mystery until the record was home and on the turntable.
When I think back, I am surprised at how methodical I was for such a young age, but value for money was pretty important given my limited means and my appetite for music. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Christmas, Humour, music, pop culture
Tagged as 1980's, albums, Boxing Day, Canada, Canadian, Canadiana, Christmas, collection, collector, discounted, discounts, gift certificate, gift certificates, icons, joy, memories, money, music, music lover, pop culture, price, prices, record albums, records, retail, sale, sales, Sam the Record Man, shopper, shoppers, songs, store, stores, teenager, tradition, traditions, value for money, vinyl, wish list, wishlist
May 1, 2016 · 12:11 pm
I never anticipated the strong reaction I would get among my Facebook peeps, when I innocently posted this picture for “Throwback Thursday”.
This shot from 1989 was taken at one of the first parties I hosted in my first apartment. What appealed to me about the picture was everything in the background: the cassette deck/turntable, the little TV, the VCR, the record albums, the video tape collection. To me it was a time capsule in a snapshot, displaying a treasure trove of my prized possessions at the time (for a 24 year old in his first apartment), but also an interesting case study in 1980’s memorabilia.
Yet my Facebook peeps seemed to zero in on one thing in particular: the cigarette in my mouth.
“You smoked?” several asked. Yes, my friends, I was a smoker!
At that time, I was what you might call a social smoker. I smoked at parties, in bars, at concerts. I also remember a few smoke-filled evenings in my man-cave at my Mom’s house, preparing university papers until all hours of the morning, as I alluded to in my post The Writer All-Nighter.
I was also a little bit of an oddity in the fact that I rarely smoked when I was stressed, I smoked more when I was happy, content, among friends and doing fun things in a social context.
I remember cancelled classes and the irony of going out for a smoke, while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine of a nice day. I also remember Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, Running, Writing
Tagged as 1980's, 1999, cigarettes, friends, generations, health, lungs, memorabilia, non-smoking, parties, record albums, regrets, risks, smoker, smoking, social, VCR, video tapes, Y2K
November 7, 2013 · 5:02 pm
Here is a piece of writing history for #throwbackthursday !
Back in the mid 1980’s, I was a huge fan of the “:20 Minute Workout” and had quite a crush on one of its instructors, Bess Motta. Keep in mind that I wrote this little poem when I was just a young pup of 20. This was my playful tribute to Bess! I hope you enjoy it!
Title: Aerobic Queen (written Feb 26, 1986)
He sat right down
And watched TV
His eyes popped out, what did he see?
A pretty girl
Who’d stretch and pull,
His jaw hit floor, began to drool.
It was a love,
At first sight said,
His interest new, was now phys ed.
Four more, three more,
Two more, one…
Aerobicize was now great fun! Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, pop culture, Running, TV
Tagged as 1980's, 20 Minute Workout, Aerobic, Bess Motta, exercise, fitness, fun, health, poetry, television, tribute, TV, workout