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|Back to the 80s: Pro Wrestling Favorites & Most Hated - Kickin' it Old School
|03.30.08 (4:31 pm) 
Wrestlemania XXIV (24) will take place tonight (Sunday, March 30th). I can't believe that it has been 23 years since the very first one back in 1985. I loved professional wrestling when I was growing up. Being in the Midwest, I first watched AWA wrestling which was based out of Minneapolis and ran by Verne Gagne.
Sunday mornings after Church, I could always be found in front of the TV watching AWA wrestling. WWF (which is now called WWE) was not available in our market until the early 80s, but then I watched that wrestling too. There was another wrestling show, based out of Texas, on late Saturday nights in our market which was called World Class which I would try to stay up to watch. Once cable television came to our market, we finally had access to the TBS channel which broadcast the NWA/WCW programs on Saturday nights out of Atlanta. I was a fan of them all.
There used to be regional promotions all over the country, but WWF really became the first national promotion and thus began to dominate the industry. You really have to consider Vince McMahon Jr. to be a business genius in those regards for what he has accomplished. Once in a while, I will still tune in to a wrestling show and it is amazing the level of athletes and resources now on display. Professional wrestling has really evolved into a soap opera for men, but it features amazing athletic specimens as its stars.
No matter how amazing the athletes, loud the pyrotechnics or slick the marketing, I will always hold a much fonder place for the pro wrestling of the 80s. Like much of that decade's pop culture, it takes me back to a simpler time in our world. This sort of nostalgia is priceless to me. In celebration of the 24th Wrestlemania, I decided I would share my favorite and least favorite characters from classic 80s wrestling (including their primary affiliation during those years).
OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 ‘MOST HATED' PRO WRESTLING CHARACTERS FROM THE 80s (+ Bonus 10):
20. Nick Bockwinkel - mostly AWA
19. "Ravishing" Rick Rude - mostly AWA, WWF
18. Abdullah the Butcher - hired gun worked for all except WWF
17. Honky Tonk Man - mostly WWF
16. The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey) - mostly NWA/WCW
15. Jesse "The Body" Ventura - mostly AWA, WWF
14. Big John Studd - mostly WWF
13. "Gentleman" Chris Adams - mostly World Class
12. "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig - mostly AWA, WWF
11. Jerry Blackwell - mostly AWA
10. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine - mostly WWF
9. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael P.S. Hayes, Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy & Buddy Roberts) - mostly NWA, World Class
8. Larry Zbyszko - mostly AWA, NWA/WCW
7. "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart - mostly WWF
6. King Kong Bundy - mostly World Class, WWF
5. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper - mostly WWF
4. Sheik Adnan El Kassey - mostly AWA - the original Sheik character was both manager and wrestler
3. Jim Cornette - mostly NWA/WCW - always happened to have his tennis racket handy
2. Bobby "The Brain" Heenan - mostly AWA, WWF - amazing manipulator
1. The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Ole Anderson & later Barry Windham) - mostly NWA/WCW - boy, did I despise this group of individuals at the time - link to video tribute
OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 FAVORITE PRO WRESTLING CHARACTERS FROM THE 80s (+ Bonus 10):
20. "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels - mostly WWF
19. Magnum T.A. - mostly NWA/WCW
18. "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes - mostly NWA/WCW
17. Junkyard Dog - mostly WWF
16. Baron Von Raschke - mostly AWA
15. "Mr. USA" Tony Atlas - mostly AWA, NWA, World Class
14. The Fabulous Ones (Stan Lane & Steve Keirn) - mostly AWA, NWA/WCW
13. The Ultimate Warrior - mostly WWF
12. "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff - mostly WWF
11. The Rock n Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) - mostly NWA/WCW
10. Jake "The Snake" Roberts - mostly WWF - most people hated him, but the DDT is one of the best finishing moves of all time and I always liked that
9. Sting - mostly NWA/WCW
8. Randy "Macho Man" Savage - mostly WWF
7. Bret "The Hitman" Hart - mostly WWF
6. Kerry Von Erich - mostly World Class, NWA, WWF
5. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat - mostly NWA, WWF
4. Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka - mostly WWF
3. The British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith) - mostly WWF
2. The Road Warriors aka "The Legion of Doom"(Animal & Hawk) - mostly AWA, NWA/WCW, WWF - the most dominant force in tag team wrestling history - link to some old 80s AWA promos
1. Hulk Hogan - mostly AWA, WWF - was there any doubt that I was a former Hulkamaniac? - link to tribute video set to the song "I Am a Real American"
There are my lists of my favorite and not-so-favorite wrestling characters from that era. Many of those guys are long gone from the industry and some even deceased. Remember, I was only considering the decade of the 80s. Just thinking about these guys brings back so many memories. Who were your favorites and most hated from that era??? Please let me know in the comments. No, I do not plan on watching Wrestlemania tonight, but there are lots of old matches and interviews available to watch on YouTube, so go search there if any of this has caught your fancy. There are also several tribute videos there for all of the wrestlers who have died relatively young. Here is a link to one of those videos.
That will wrap up another issue of Kickin' it. Thanks for reading and please come back often. To find additional 80s articles, please click on the link in the upper left hand column that says "Old School's ‘80s Related Articles' Summary" and that will take you to links to all of my past articles on my favorite decade. Peace and much love.
Check this out: There is a guy from Milwaukee named Drew that is in the process of visiting all 30 NBA arenas during this season. I believe he is on #23 right now and he has a blog describing his experience in each city. It is very interesting and includes lots of pictures. I encourage you to go check it out and here is a link to The NBA Season of Drew. It will take you a while to get through all of it, but if you have interest in the NBA it is well worth it.
Quote of the day: "Train hard, say your prayers and take your vitamins and you will never go wrong." -Hulk Hogan (he used several versions of this quote on a regular basis in his interviews)
Download this: "New Soul" by Yael Naïm
|Robin Williams Divorce & Top 10 Movies
|03.27.08 (11:02 pm) 
Not sure if you have heard yet, but another celebrity is getting a divorce despite a relatively lengthy marriage. Robin Williams has been married to his second wife, Marsha, for 19 years, but she filed for divorce last week citing the ever popular irreconcilable differences. Here is a link to an article that gives you some more of the details and a link to see the actual divorce papers if you wish.
Add Williams to the list of recent celebrity divorces which includes Russell Simmons, Paul McCartney, Hulk Hogan, Sean Penn, Eddie Murphy, David Hasselhoff, Timothy Busfield, Valerie Bertinelli among others. I wrote about Eddie Murphy after his divorce was publicized back in January. In that article, I included a Top 10 list of Murphy's movies. I thought I would do the same thing for Robin Williams. I loved him back in his breakthrough television sitcom Mork & Mindy (1978-1982). He made his cinematic debut in the 1980 movie Popeye. That did not make the list, but here are OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 ROBIN WILLIAMS MOVIES:
Honorable Mention - 2002 was an unconventional year for Williams - He had three movies this year which his roles were much darker than anything he had really played before. One Hour Photo was a crime drama where he played "Sy Parrish," a obsessed film developer. Death to Smoochy was a dark comedy (though not very good at all) where he played "Rainbow Randolph," a horrible kiddie show host. Insomnia was a thriller where he played "Walter Finch," a sociopathic writer opposite of Al Pacino. The movies are not all that memorable, but the fact that the comic genius went against typecast to play these unconventional roles deserves at least honorable mention.
10. Jack (1996) as "Jack Powell" - I feel this is a very underrated performance by Williams which he plays a character with a fictional disease that causes him to age four times faster than normal. He is a 10 year old boy in the body of a 40 year old man and pulls it off with innocence and charm. This touching film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, preaches the message that in life every second counts.
9. The Fisher King (1991) as "Parry" - In this film, which crosses the entire gambit from comedy to tragedy, he plays a deluded homeless man opposite of Jeff Bridges. It is really a wonderful film and Williams was nominated for the Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar for his efforts.
8. Awakenings (1990) as "Dr. Malcolm Sayer" - This film, directed by Penny Marshall and also starring Robert Deniro, received Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. It is a very emotional film with great character development and interaction.
7. Happy Feet (2006) as the voices of "Ramon" and "Lovelace" - This film ranked highly on my Best Animated Feature Films list because of its heartwarming tale and fantastic music. It won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. His vocal performance in this film is superb, but not as special as his performance in another animated film which will appear next on this list.
6. Aladdin (1992) as the voice of "Genie" - This performance is pure brilliance and is the main reason for the success of this Disney movie which was the highest grossing film of 1992. His role would establish the trend of star power in voice casting for animated films. According to the DVD commentary, most of his dialogue was improvised which makes it that much more impressive.
5. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) as "Daniel Hilliard/Mrs. Doubtfire" - He won the Golden Globe for Best Actor as he played the divorced Dad who disguises himself as a 60 year old female nanny in order to spend more time with his children. The film, directed by Chris Columbus, often displays Robin Williams at his comedic best. The make up to transform him into "Mrs. Doubtfire" would take 4 ½ hours each day to apply. I feel that Williams' performance in the film was probably better than the film itself, but it is still very entertaining to say the least.
4. The Birdcage (1996) as "Armand Goldman" - This is a very funny, but over-the-top, comedy about a gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion who agree to pretend to be straight when they are introduced to the conservative parents of his son's fiancé. The film, directed by Mike Nichols, also stars Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest and a very funny Hank Azaria.
3. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) as "Adrian Cronauer" - Williams received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Leading role for his outstanding performance as a disc jockey on Armed Forces Radio in Saigon during the Vietnam War. There are very serious aspects of this film, but many scenes involve classic Robin Williams comedy. It is reported that all of his radio broadcasts were actually ad-libbed which, like in Aladdin, makes it that much more amazing to me.
2. Good Will Hunting (1997) as "Sean Maguire" - This movie has appeared on both my Matt Damon/Ben Affleck Top 10 and Best Films Nominated But Not Winning the Best Picture Oscar Top 10 lists. This film won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and Williams won his only Oscar of his career for Best Supporting Actor. This performance could be the best in his impressive career and ironically it is not a comedy role at all.
1. Dead Poets Society (1989) as "John Keating" - I love this movie which deservingly won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Williams was nominated for Best Actor while the film was also nominated for Best Picture and Peter Weir for Best Director. Williams plays an English professor at a private school who encourages his students to think for themselves. It also features a great cast of kids and some wonderful dialogue (see some great quotes in the 'quote of the day' section below) and character interaction. It is a very special film and Williams is at the heart of it.
There is my list. Are any of your favorites missing??? I never enjoyed several of his children's movies like Jumanji, Hook, Flubber and (though I have loved some of his voice work) Robots, so they do not appear on this list. I truly mean it when I say that Robin Williams is a comic genius. I hope he finds more opportunities to showcase that amazing talent on the silver screen.
That wraps up another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. Please spread the word and recommend it to anyone you think might enjoy. Click on the archives to make sure you have not missed any past issues. Peace and much love.
Check this out: A picture of pure irony at its best...
Quote of the day: I believe I have quoted Dead Poets Society here before, but here are a few more of my favorite quotes from the Robin Williams character "John Keating"...
"There is a time for daring and a time for caution, and a wise man knows which is called for."
"Sucking all the marrow out of life doesn't mean choking on the bone."
"Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, ‘Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.' Don't be resigned to that."
"Carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary."
Download this: "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles
|Sad Story, Happy Story, Weird Story - Kickin' it Old School
|03.25.08 (10:23 pm) 
I thought I would start a new feature here at Kickin' it Old School where I will point out a few interesting stories. One story will be kind of sad , one will be kind of happy and the last will just be kind of weird . Whenever possible, I will provide a link to another article where you can get more details. Here we go...
The husband of singer Corinne Bailey Rae was found dead this past Saturday (3/22/08). He was just 31 years old and, though not confirmed, is a suspected drug overdose. Here is a link to an article over at the Pop Culture Madness Blog. To me it is sad when anybody with this much of their life ahead of them is taken so soon. What is even sadder to me is the seemingly increased amount of celebrity drug overdoses recently. Our thoughts and prayers are with Corinne Bailey Rae at this time. I am a big fan of her music and you can see the "download this" section below where I will recommend one of her songs.
Do you remember Josiah Leming? He auditioned for season 7 of American Idol, made it to Hollywood, but was not chosen to be in the top 24. They covered his story pretty heavily during the auditions because he had been living in his car trying to make it as a musician. The kid was very emotional and cried uncontrollably after getting cut loose. Well, there might be a happy ending for Josiah. Here is a link to an article that reports that he has signed a record deal with the major label, Warner Bros. He does not strike me as a pop star, so I hope they give him some quality time in the studio to put together more of a musician's album. He seemed like a good kid who worked hard and made sacrifices to pursue his dream. I hope everything works out for him. This is another example of the powerful influence of American Idol because I am sure this kid would have never received this kind of attention without the aid of the show. Check out my article on the American Idol Influence.
Most people have heard about the ugly divorce proceedings taking place between Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. Well, now there is an online computer game based on these divorce proceedings. Here is a link to an article that explains it a little more. I can't imagine who would want to play a game like this, but here is a link to the site where you can find the game if interested. Nothing ever ceases to amaze me.
That's all I have for you in this issue of Kickin' it. Thanks for reading and let me know what you think of this new feature. We will still have normal Old School articles on a regular basis as well, but just wanted to mix some new things in. Please click on the archive buttons in the upper left column (January, February or March) to have access to all past issues of Kickin' it Old School. I encourage you to subscribe or at least come back often. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I am sure many of you have heard of this website before, but for those of you who haven't, I thought I would share it with you. It is www.Snopes.com and this site is recognized as the place to substantiate rumors or urban legends of all sorts. When someone tells you something that sounds unbelievable or you get a chain email forwarded to you with some warning or crazy story, go to Snopes and check it out for yourself. Knowledge is power and this site can provide that knowledge for you on many topics. (In case you are wondering, this is in no way a paid endorsement. As always, just sharing information I thought you would find interesting or helpful.)
Quote of the day: "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear." -Mark Twain
Download this: "Put Your Records On (Acoustic)" by Corinne Bailey Rae - I prefer the acoustic version of this song best which was released as a single back in February of 2006 (available on iTunes)
|My Top 10 Baseball Movies of All Time - Kickin' it Old School
|03.22.08 (5:38 pm) 
What a great time of year for sports! March Madness is here with the NCAA basketball tournament and, even better, Baseball's opening day is almost here. The Red Sox and A's will play two games in Japan beginning Tuesday (March 25th) to kick off the season. Most of the other teams, including the Milwaukee Brewers, will celebrate opening day on Monday, March 31st. I can't wait.
With all of this sports excitement, I was thinking of publishing my Top 10 Favorite Sports Movies list, but then I decided to narrow it down further to just my favorite baseball movies. I will publish the all sports movies list at another time. Being a big baseball fan, I am automatically drawn to a great baseball movie. The ironic side to this is that though these movies revolve around the sport, it's the stories and characters that make these films special to me.
There have been many baseball-related movies released over the years. Not all have been good, but some have been extraordinary. Here are OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 FAVORITE BASEBALL MOVIES:
Honorable Mention. I am going to give honorable mention to two movies this time. The Rookie (2002) - This is the Disney movie starring Dennis Quaid as former major league pitcher Jim Morris. It is based on the novel that Morris wrote titled The Oldest Rookie which I had read in 2001 before the movie had been made. It is a true and very inspirational story making for a perfect Disney movie. I would definitely recommend the book and the movie is worth seeing as well. For Love of the Game (1999) - If this movie would have made the Top 10, it would be the third movie on the list starring Kevin Costner. This one was very close to making the Top 10 because I really appreciate the way it depicts the personal sacrifices that the ballplayers have to make to achieve even a moderate level of success in their sport. I felt both of these films at least deserved an honorable mention.
10. Rookie of the Year (1993) - Now, I admit this movie is quite unbelievable and not necessarily worthy of critical acclaim, but I have always found it to be a very touching story which has incredibly funny parts. It is a story about a boy who hurts his arm and it heals somehow giving him powerful strength which allows him to ultimately become a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. As I said, pretty unbelievable, but here is a link to watch some of the best moments from this movie. Daniel Stern plays the pitching coach and he just makes me laugh every time I watch it. It is a silly movie, but definitely one that you can watch with your family.
9. Fever Pitch (2005) - This movie culminates in the surprising Boston Red Sox World Series victory in 2004 and the final scene of the movie was shot during the actual series clinching victory. The most essential part of any movie to me is the character development and interaction. I felt that Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon had surprisingly fantastic chemistry and that really allowed this film to succeed. It is just a very nice romantic comedy and if you are a baseball fan you will just like it a little more. Here is a link to watch a video summary of the movie.
8. A League of Their Own (1992) - This movie, directed by Penny Marshall, is based on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Though the league was very real, this particular story is fiction. It features a tremendous cast including Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty and David Strathairn, but it is Tom Hanks' performance as "Jimmy Dugan" which I feel really makes this film special. I honestly believe this is some of the best work the amazing Hanks has ever done in his illustrious career. Here is a link to a one of my favorite scenes where Hanks' character explains that there is "no crying in baseball." The film has wonderful character interaction as well as a great message of the comradery and capabilities of women in a setting that we are more familiar seeing men in.
7. The Bad News Bears (1976) - This is the oldest film to make my Top 10 and that is because I can still watch it today and be incredibly entertained. It is the story of Morris Buttermaker, played beautifully by Walter Matthau, as he coaches a little league team full of misfits to success. I really like what critic Roger Ebert said about this film back in 1976 when he called it "an unblinking, scathing look at competition in American society." I also feel the film examines kids learning to respect themselves and each other and witnessing the results those actions can have. Watching it in today's politically correct society, you will notice many parts that probably would not be accepted now (including vulgarity, ethnic slurs and the coach with a beer constantly in his hand). Despite that, this movie will always hold a fond place with me. Here is a link to watch a video showing still shots from the film set to its distinctive musical score. It was re-made starring Billy Bob Thornton in 2005, but could not come close to the original.
6. The Natural (1984) - This film is based on the Bernard Malamud novel from 1952 of the same name. It was directed by Barry Levinson and stars Robert Redford as "Roy Hobbs." The film explores the obstacles to overcome and hard work necessary to make his dream come true. There is kind of a magical glow radiating during many of the scenes and the perfect score by Randy Newman gives you goose bumps at times. When Redford's character hits that miraculous home run off of the lights, it is pure gold. Here is a link to watch the video of that scene, it is taken out of context, but you can still see for yourself.
5. Eight Men Out (1988) - This film told the story of the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal in which members of the Chicago White Sox were convicted of conspiring with gamblers to intentionally lose the World Series. It featured an outstanding cast including John Cusack, D.B. Sweeney, Charlie Sheen, John Mahoney, David Strathairn, Christopher Lloyd among others. To me, it takes a special movie to hold your attention and entertain you even when you know what ultimately happens at the end. This film does just that by telling this compelling story and allowing the characters to develop. I would consider this a must see especially for any baseball fan.
4. Field of Dreams (1989) - This movie is so much deeper than simply a baseball movie, but since baseball is at its roots it definitely belongs on this list. It stars Kevin Costner as an Iowa corn farmer who hears the now famous voice tell him "If you build it, he will come." I love the tag line for this film which reads, "All his life, Ray Kinsella was searching for his dreams. Then one day, his dreams came searching for him." The movie, which was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar but did not win, really seems to be about second chances as that is what all of the characters seem to receive through this experience. This film also stars James Earl Jones who has one of the best speeches which really helps summarize why so many of us love baseball so much. Here is a link so you can watch that particular scene from the film.
3. The Sandlot (1993) - This charming film ranked #7 on my list of most underrated movies which you should also check out. At the surface it appears to be a kids movie, but I feel it really appeals even more to adults. This coming of age film really shows the pure joy of the game and features outstanding characters and dialogue. Here are links to a scene where the kids are playing ball during the 4th of July fireworks and another great scene where rivals hurl insults back and forth like only kids can. It is just a truly special movie in my opinion.
2. Bull Durham (1988) - This movie about love and baseball was written and directed by Ron Shelton (who was nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for it) and stars Kevin Costner as "Crash Davis." It also stars Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon and tells the story of two baseball players at opposite ends of their careers. Both players cross paths playing for a minor league baseball team and also compete for the attention of the same woman. Fantastic character development and interaction is at the heart of this film which also has its share of funny moments, too. It depicts some of the best and worst aspects of minor league baseball and human relationships, too. Here is a link to watch the original trailer for the movie.
1. Major League (1989) - I'm sure you are not surprised this film made the Top 10, but I am pretty sure you are surprised it is ranked #1. Though many do not give it the credit it deserves, I feel this is one of the funniest sports movies of all time. As I have mentioned many times, I believe the biggest factor creating greatness in a movie is character development and character interaction. This movie has outstanding characters and their interaction with each other is hilarious. It stars Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen and was the first breakthrough role for Wesley Snipes. One of my very favorite characters is the team's radio broadcaster, "Harry Doyle," played by the great Bob Uecker. The baseball aspect to the movie is very well represented as well and I feel that helps make the film that much more genuine. I am also very partial to this movie because it was filmed here in Milwaukee at the old County Stadium. I was able to attend some of the filming as a "face in the crowd" and even was able to storm the field after the big win at the end. Here is a link to watch the end of this movie and if you knew where to look you could see me running onto the field. This clip does not properly reflect the comedy aspect of the film, but I encourage you to watch the entire movie yourself as we get ready for baseball season to begin.
There is my list, but please remember that these are ranked by my favorites and my criteria for this list was based more on entertainment value rather than cinematic excellence (which should be obvious). One film not listed, but often included in the discussion of great baseball movies is the 1942 film The Pride of the Yankees which starred Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig. Though I acknowledge it as a great story and the Yankees Stadium speech at the end is a special moment, it would have made my list of best baseball movies but just does not make my favorites. The great thing about all of the movies I listed is that they all are connected to baseball, but each has a unique story to tell in its own regard.
That will wrap up this issue of Kickin' it. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it. Please be sure that you have not missed any past issues of Kickin' it Old School by clicking on the archive buttons in the upper left column. Happy Easter to you all. Peace and much love.
Check this out: The video to the 80s song by John Fogarty "Centerfield" includes baseball highlights. I always enjoyed this video back from the time when MTV actually played music videos and here is a link to check it out yourself. Turn up the volume and enjoy!
Quote of the day: "The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and all it could be again." -character Terence Mann played by James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams
Download this: "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding
|Mellencamp Hall of Fame & Top 10 Songs - Kickin' it Old School
|03.19.08 (10:07 pm) 
On March 10, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted two 80s icons who have stood the test of time. John Mellencamp and Madonna among a few others were both part of the class of 2008.
I admit, I am not much of a fan of Madonna or her music, but I do acknowledge her longevity, huge success and pop culture status. I especially appreciate her contributions to 80s culture both in music and fashion. Here is a link to watch the video that proceeded her Hall of Fame induction.
I would not call myself a die hard Mellencamp aficionado, but I definitely consider myself a fan. One of the best live concerts I have ever been to was a 1998 Mellencamp tour stop which a group of us scored third row seats. We had an absolute blast all night and much of it had to do with the awesome performance of his instant classics. I was a fan before this concert, but appreciated him even more after that show. Here is a link to watch the great video that played before Billy Joel inducted Mellencamp into the Hall. Be sure to watch those videos because they are excellent career summaries.
No matter if you call him John Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp or just John Mellencamp, he is one of the few special musical artists that can generate a legitimate Top 10 list of favorite songs for me. He has released 21 albums (including 2 greatest hits compilations) since 1976 when he released Chestnut Street Incident to very little acclaim. His first few albums were released under the name John Cougar because the record label felt that was more marketable. He never liked that they changed his name, but his growing success made it difficult to change it back.
In 1982, his album American Fool ended up being the best selling album of that entire year. So in 1983, his next album Uh-Huh was released under the name John Cougar Mellencamp (adding back in his real last name). He continued using the combo name until his 1991 release titled Whenever We Wanted which he finally dropped the Cougar and would simply go by his real name. Thirty two years and twenty one albums give me lots of songs to choose from, but I narrowed it down to give you OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 JOHN MELLENCAMP SONGS:
Honorable Mention. "Hurts So Good" from American Fool (1982) - I like this song, but do not love it. It did spend an impressive 16 weeks in the Billboard Top 10 (4 of those at #2) which is longer than any other single during the 80s. It also won the Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance so I thought it at least deserved honorable mention. Another candidate for honorable mention was his cover of the Van Morrison great "Wild Night" that he did with Me'Shell Ndegeocello on his 1994 album Dance Naked.
10. "Check It Out" from The Lonesome Jubilee (1987) - The Lonesome Jubilee album marked the addition of Lisa Germano and her fiddle to the band. This created a unique sound that I really like as you see 3 songs from this album made my Top 10.
9. "Peaceful World" from Cuttin' Heads (2001) - The original version is actually a duet with singer India.Arie, but he also contributed a live, acoustic version to the compilation album God Bless America as a benefit for the 9/11 victims.
8. "Paper In Fire" from The Lonesome Jubilee (1987)
7. "Lonely Ol' Night" from Scarecrow (1985)
6. "Small Town" from Scarecrow (1985) - Mellencamp wrote this song about his experiences growing up in a small town in Indiana (having been born in Seymour and then living in Bloomington). The song utters "small town" a total of 18 times. Here is a link to a cool Larry Bird highlight video set to this song.
5. "Cherry Bomb" from The Lonesome Jubilee (1987)
4. "Pink Houses" from Uh-Huh (1983) - Rumored inspiration for this song is that he was driving on I465 beltline that encircles Indianapolis and his eyes met the eyes of a black man who was sitting on the front porch of his pink house. Mellencamp either surmised or found out later that the man lost part of his property when this highway was built. This is the origin of the line, "He's got an interstate running through his front yard." He was so struck by the utter despair of this man that he wrote the song in tribute.
3. "Your Life Is Now" from John Mellencamp (1998)
2. "Jack and Diane" from American Fool (1982) - This song was Mellencamp's only single to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed there for 4 weeks
1. "Ain't Even Done With The Night" from Nothin' Matters and What If It Did (1980) - This is actually the oldest song on the list, but easily my absolute favorite. Here is a link to watch the very cheesy video from back in the day.
There's my Top 10. Several other songs just missed the list and there are some very popular songs that I intentionally left off as well. Mellencamp's most recent album Freedom's Road, released in 2007, hit #5 on the Billboard Album charts which is higher than any album since his 1985 release Scarecrow (which hit #2). This album is probably best known for the song "Our Country" which has been overexposed due to its use in Chevy truck ads. He has another album scheduled for release this year titled Life, Death, Love and Freedom. Mellencamp was a very deserving inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
That wraps up another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading and to make sure you have not missed any previous issues, be sure to click on the archive buttons in the upper left column. Also in the links section you will find summaries of some of the past Old School Top 10 lists among other interesting destinations. Peace and much love.
Check this out:
Here is a novel illusion that is as striking as it is simple. The two images of the Leaning Tower of Pisa are identical, yet one has the impression that the tower on the right leans more, as if photographed from a different angle. The reason for this is because the visual system treats the two images as if part of a single scene. Normally, if two adjacent towers rise at the same angle, their image outlines converge as they recede from view due to perspective, and this is taken into account by the visual system. So when confronted with two towers whose corresponding outlines are parallel, the visual system assumes they must be diverging as they rise from view, and this is what we see.
Quote of the day: "It's what you do and not what you say. If you're not part of the future, then get out of the way." -John Mellencamp from "Peaceful World"
Download this: "Ain't Even Done With The Night" by John Mellencamp - Obvious recommendation since it ranked #1 on the list above, but any of the songs on the list are highly recommended
|Horton Hears a Who Review & Top Animated Feature Films of All Time
|03.14.08 (11:56 pm) 
I took my 3-year-old daughter to see her very first movie in a theater today, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who. She loves Dr. Seuss books and we have been waiting for an appropriate movie to come out before we took her to an actual theater. There have not been many G rated films released recently. The run time on the movie is 88 minutes (plus about 15-20 minutes of commercials/previews) and I was worried whether it would keep her attention for the entire time. It did and she really loved the film.
Horton Hears a Who, from the makers of the animated film Ice Age, is based on the Dr. Seuss children's book of the same name. It was just released in theaters today (3/14/08) and here is a link to the trailer if you have not already seen it. The movie is actually very well done and stars the voice talents of Jim Carrey (as Horton), Steve Carell and Carol Burnett among others. Unlike some animated children's movies, this movie is really aimed at entertaining kids and there is not much secondary humor that adults would appreciate. It is at least relatively fast paced and very charming to say the least.
My daughter immediately recognized a phrase in the movie from the Horton books and it spotlights as well as rewards the outstanding traits of loyalty, trustworthiness and perseverance. Horton likes to say, "I mean what I say and I said what I meant, an elephant is faithful 100 percent." The other moral to this particular story can be summarized in the very last words the narrator speaks in the film, "A person's a person, no matter how small." This really teaches children a message of equal rights and to protect those who are smaller than you. All of the kids in the theater adored Horton, but it is nice that they are also getting exposed to such positive messages.
I don't believe this film ranks up there with the much more brilliant Disney Pixar films (like Cars, Toy Story and Finding Nemo), but as a children's movie you could do much, much worse than Horton Hears a Who. Not as much entertainment for the parents, but the kids will definitely love it. My daughter gives it two thumbs up!
Speaking of other animated films, I felt this might be the appropriate time to give you my Top 10 list of animated feature films. Animated feature films really saw a resurgence back in 1989 when Disney released The Little Mermaid and since then the industry has shown incredible growth. Disney proved that you could make a blockbuster out of an animated film and proceeded to prove that point over and over again. Now with "direct to DVD" films, the growth is even more obvious. For the 30 years from 1937, when the first was released in the U.S., until 1967, there were only 42 animated feature films released in the United States. As a comparison, there were 50 of them released just in the year 2006 alone.
Just because there are more animated feature films released does not mean there are more great ones being made. Though Horton Hears a Who does not make my list, it was definitely a worthy effort. Without further ado, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 ANIMATED FEATURE FILMS OF ALL TIME (+ bonus 5):
Honorable Mention. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) - This was the first full-length animated feature film released in the United States. It was the first feature film created by the great Walt Disney and its success resulted in all of the other amazing Disney films to follow. For that, I feel it at least deserves an honorable mention.
15. The Incredibles (2004) - This is a Disney Pixar film written and directed by Brad Bird who was actually nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for it. It is about a family with super powers featuring the voices of Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee and others. The Incredibles won the 2005 Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film (which only began being awarded at the 2002 ceremony).
14. Shrek (2001) - Here is one that I know will be higher on the list of many others, but other than Eddie Murphy's donkey character, I am not that big of a fan of the original or either of the two sequels which were released in 2004 and 2007 all by DreamWorks. In addition to Murphy, it also stars the talented Mike Myers as "Shrek" the Ogre and Cameron Diaz as "Princess Fiona." The original Shrek won the 2002 Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film and was the very first to ever receive this Academy Award.
13. Lady and the Tramp (1955) - This was Disney's 15th animated feature length film release. It is the classic tale of two opposites attracting. Back then, animated films did not feature the voices of famous actors, but instead featured specialists in this type of voiceover work. This movie, like most others by Disney, stands the test of time even over 30 years later.
12. Pinocchio (1940) - This holds a fond place in my heart because it is the very first movie that I actually saw in a movie theater (though in its 5th theatrical release in 1978). It was just the 2nd animated feature from Disney released a few years after Snow White. It features the amazing song sung by Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Cliff Edwards) called "When You Wish Upon a Star" which still remains one of my favorites. Pinocchio is scheduled to be released as a Disney Platinum Edition DVD in 2009.
11. Aladdin (1992) - This was Disney's 31st animated feature and ended up being the highest grossing film of 1992. The voice of the genie is done by the incomparable Robin Williams and this hilarious performance truly makes this film special. This was the first time a major movie star was a featured voice in an animated film and would begin a trend that would make such a thing almost essential to the success of animated films today. This film won Oscars for both Original Score and Original Song ("A Whole New World" by Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle).
10. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) - Though it is not a completely animated movie, I feel it deserves to be included because of its landmark special magic of combining animation with live action. It was quite the technical achievement at the time and ended up being one of the most expensive films to that date costing over $70 million to produce. Its Animation Direction won one of the only 18 Oscar Special Achievement Awards ever given by the Academy. This film also marked the first time animated characters from several different studios appeared in the same movie, so we were able to see Bugs Bunny meet Mickey Mouse.
9. Happy Feet (2006) - One of the few non-Disney movies on my list, this film surprised me with its fantastic music and heartwarming tale of never giving up. It is movie about penguins and features the voices of Robin Williams, Elijah Wood, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Brittany Murphy among others. Happy Feet won the 2007 Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.
8. Finding Nemo (2003) - This Disney Pixar film is very funny and entertaining. It tells a father/son story of both growing up and overcoming fears. It features a very talented cast of voices including Albert Brooks, Brad Garrett and Willem Dafoe, but it is Ellen DeGeneres as "Dory" the fish that suffers from short-term memory loss that really puts this film over the top. An interesting note on voices is that the surfer dude turtle "Crush" is actually voiced by the writer and director of the film, Andrew Stanton. Finding Nemo was nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar and won the 2004 Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
7. Peter Pan (1953) - This was Disney's 14th animated feature and was based on the J.M. Barrie book about a little boy who does not want to grow up. It has a wonderful music score including the songs "You Can Fly" and "Second Star to the Right." The film also includes the "Tinkerbell" fairy character which would become an icon possibly only second to Mickey Mouse himself in the Disney family. The Disney Platinum Edition DVD was released just last year (2007).
6. The Aristocats (1970) - This was Disney's 20th animated feature and is supposedly set in Paris, France back in 1910. It features the voice talent of Eva Gabor as "The Duchess" who gets stranded with her three kittens and is aided by a rough-around-the-edges alley cat named Thomas O'Malley. It also includes some comic relief from two dogs names "Napoleon" and "Lafayette," but the true star of this film is the fantastic jazz music. The song "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat" is very catchy and here is a link to watch that song. I love this film.
5. Cars (2006) - I am not even a Nascar fan in the slightest, but I found this Disney Pixar film to be phenomenal. This great story of maturity and appreciation stars the voices of Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt and Michael Keaton, but it is Larry The Cable Guy that steals every scene that his "Mater" character is in. The film succeeds at being funny and touching. It is beautifully done from every angle.
4. The Jungle Book (1967) - This was Disney's 19th animated feature and the last actually produced by Walt Disney himself (he died during production). It is inspired by the book by Rudyard Kipling and it only runs 78 minutes. The reason I love this movie so much is the music. In particular two songs "The Bare Necessities" and "I Wanna Be Like You" which I feel are spectacularly written and performed (with links to watch both songs). The Disney Platinum Edition DVD was released in October of 2007 to commemorate its 40th anniversary.
3. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) - This was the 22nd full-length animated feature from Disney and it brings to life the 100 Acre Wood and those lovable characters from the classic A.A. Milne books. The movie weaves three different stories together and is narrated by Sebastian Cabot. I have always loved these stories and these characters. Here is a link to the opening credits to the movie which includes the "Winnie The Pooh" theme song which introduces all of the characters.
2. The Lion King (1994) - This was the 32nd animated feature from Disney and the highest grossing traditionally animated film (as opposed to the newer computer animation now used more often). This is a story about growing up, overcoming obstacles and "the circle of life." It stars the voices of Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons and many, many other fantastic talents. My favorite characters are "Timon" and "Pumbaa" and here is a link to see them perform the song "Hakuna Matata" from the film. The film did win 1995 Oscars for both Original Score and Original Song ("Can You Feel the Love Tonight" by Elton John & Tim Rice). I also very much liked the 2004 sequel called The Lion King 1 ½ and highly recommend you check that out if you liked the original.
1. Toy Story (1995) & Toy Story 2 (1999) - The original Toy Story was the first fully computer-animated feature film and its success has led to the other fantastic Disney Pixar films many of which were ranked earlier on this list. These movies revolve around "Woody" the cowboy voiced by Tom Hanks and "Buzz Lightyear" voiced by Tim Allen. There are many other contributors, but those two characters and the talented actors bringing them to life are at the heart of these heartwarming yet entertaining films. These films were revolutionary and the original is set for re-release in 3D in 2009 leading up to the long-awaited release of Toy Story 3 in 2010.
There is my list. I know many of you are going to ask, "Where is Beavis and Butt-head Do America or Garfield: The Movie?" Just kidding, but there are many other solid efforts that did not make the list. What favorites of yours do you feel are missing???
Hope you enjoyed this issue of Kickin' it Old School. I appreciate you reading and be sure to click on the Archive buttons in the upper left column to make sure you have not missed any past issues. Remember that all issues, no matter what topic, end with the special features as you see below. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Another optical illusion for you. Do you see gray areas in between the squares? They are not really there, so where did they come from?
Quote of the day: "A person's a person no matter how small." - Dr. Seuss from Horton Hears a Who
Download this: "The Bare Necessities" by Harry Connick Jr. - his cover of the great song from The Jungle Book from the 1991 album of Disney covers by various artists called Simply Mad About the Mouse
|Airborne Lawsuit & Zicam Homeopathic Cold Remedies?
|03.13.08 (9:58 pm) 
I am sure you have heard about the lawsuit surrounding Airborne, the effervescent dietary supplement that you drink after dissolving in water and that supposedly boosts your immune system enough to fight germs including the common cold. If not, here is a link to an article detailing the situation and another link which includes a video.
I was very disappointed to hear about these findings because I have used Airborne in the past. Honestly, I had never really noticed any specific results from taking it, but I always felt that it definitely couldn't hurt. I try to avoid taking any over-the-counter drugs whenever possible, so this all natural homeopathic product appealed to me. Unfortunately, as it is in most situations, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Though I had never noticed specific results from taking Airborne, there is another homeopathic product which has caused me to experience the desired result. Zicam Cold Remedy claims to reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms and I have found this to be true if, and only if, I begin using it at the first sign of a cold.
I know with the recent findings regarding Airborne that you may be skeptical of a product like Zicam, but I am here to tell you that I have experienced the benefits and it can work. It does not prevent or cure the common cold and it does not claim to. I do attest that it can actually reduce the duration and severity of a cold. I prefer to use the "no drip nasal gel" which has an active ingredient of Zincum Gluconicum. If I do not begin using it soon enough when the cold just begins, I have found that it really does not seem to help at all. If I am able to begin at the first signs of a cold coming on, it has definitely made a difference.
I am only sharing this with you because of the Airborne news and because if it works for me, it might just work for you, too. I am not promising that it will work for everybody, but I am promising you that it has worked for me. Zicam does offer some other products, so if you want additional information I would recommend going to their website, www.zicam.com.
That's all I have for this issue of Kickin' it. It is Old School's version of a Public Service Announcement. Hope you found it helpful. Remember those great PSA's from the 80s like this one? Mine was not quite as snappy, but it still does the job. I loved watching Saturday morning cartoons back in the day. Thanks for reading and be sure to click on the Archive buttons in the upper left hand column to make sure you have not missed any Kickin' it Old School. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I want to thank tblog's own Inkspector for bringing this one to my attention. I admit it is quite strange, but I feel it is also quite brilliant. Here is a link to watch a video which takes place in New York's famous Grand Central Station. Another similar recommendation will come in a future issue.
Quote of the day:
A Winner's Creed - Author Unknown
"If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't;
If you'd like to win, but think you can't, it's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you're lost;
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a person's will.
It's all in the state of mind.
Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster hand;
But sooner or later,
The person who wins is the one who thinks ‘I can'."
Download this: "Comfortable" by John Mayer - One of my very favorite songs from his debut 1999 album titled Inside Wants Out
|New Indiana Jones Trailer + Harrison Ford Top 10
|03.11.08 (11:47 pm) 
The most highly anticipated movie of 2008 might be Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. If you have not seen it yet, here is a link to watch the trailer for this movie set to hit theaters on May 22nd (you have to watch a very short commercial before the preview starts).
It has been almost 19 years since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was released back in 1989, so I guess I can wait another 2 months. Now the great George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford reunite to bring one of the most beloved characters in the history of cinema back to the big screen. I have already given you my Steven Spielberg Top 10 List, so I thought I would now do the same for Harrison Ford.
Ford, who will turn 66 this July, made his first film appearance way back in 1966. It was an uncredited role as a bellhop in Dead Heat on a Merry Go Round and here is a link to watch that short scene. He teamed up with George Lucas for a small role as "Bob Falfa" in the 1973 film American Graffiti which really opened the door to Ford getting to audition for a role in a little film called Star Wars. The rest is, as they say, history. I now give you OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 HARRISON FORD MOVIE CHARACTERS:
Honorable Mention. "Allie Fox" in The Mosquito Coast (1986) and "President James Marshall" in Air Force One (1997) - First, The Mosquito Coast was one of my favorite books as a kid, so I really enjoy seeing Ford bring that character to life. Then you have to at least give an honorable mention when someone plays the President of the United States.
10. "Quinn Harris" in Six Days Seven Nights (1998) - Though his leading lady was a very strange casting choice (Anne Heche), he creates a good curmudgeon who crashes his plane on a tropical island. The movie is a little predictable, but I feel it was one of his better characters. I almost gave this spot to What Lies Beneath, but ultimately chose to keep it here.
9. "Jack Trainer" in Working Girl (1988) - This film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, but lost to Rain Man. Ford's understated character plays very well opposite the powerful female characters performed by Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver.
8. "Det. Capt. John Book" in Witness (1985) - Ford received his only Oscar nomination for his outstanding performance as a cop who goes undercover within an Amish community in order to protect a young boy who is a key witness in a murder trial. At the same time, Ford's character develops a romantic relationship with the boy's mother played by Kelly McGillis.
7. "Rick Deckard" in Blade Runner (1982) - Fresh on the heels of the first Indiana Jones film, Ford teams up with director Ridley Scott to create this science fiction cult classic. For an 80s sci-fi movie, it actually holds up pretty well today. It is a very dark story and, though I have tried to like it more, it really has never captured my heart.
6. "Jack Ryan" in Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994) - Ford brings the character created by author Tom Clancy to the big screen in both of these movies. If you are a fan of Clancy's novels and these types of action flicks, you will love Ford in this role.
5. "Dr. Richard Kimble" in The Fugitive (1993) - This film is based off of the 60s TV Series of the same name. Ford's character is wrongly accused of murdering his wife, so he escapes from custody and is determined to prove his innocence as well as find the real killer. Very intense role played with outstanding skill.
4. "Linus Larrabee" in Sabrina (1995) - This film is a remake of the fantastic 1954 Billy Wilder film of the same name and Ford plays the same character originally performed by the one and only Humphrey Bogart. This is a tall order which I feel Ford pulls off brilliantly in this much underrated performance. He is forced to be unlikable for the majority of the film which is not something that Ford has had to do too often. In this case, it pays off as we see his character literally change before our own eyes during the course of the story. This makes him that much more likable in the end.
3. "Henry Turner" in Regarding Henry (1991) - This film, written by J.J. Abrams and directed by Mike Nichols, could have very well been included in my list of the most underrated movies of all time. A lawyer who is shot in the head survives to realize that he does not really like the person he used to be. During his recovery, Ford's character displays every range of emotion and almost becomes childlike. Superb performance in this charming film.
2. "Dr. Henry ‘Indiana' Jones" in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom (1984) and Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade (1989) - Ford has the distinction of playing two of the greatest characters in cinema history and this is one of them. He brings tremendous personality, comedic timing, rugged good looks and somehow believability to this amazing character. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg helped create this character, but it is Harrison Ford who brings him to life and makes him truly special. What else can you say?
1. "Han Solo" in Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983) - This character also has to be considered one of the best in cinema history. He plays one of the most interesting and complex characters in the Star Wars trilogy. Looking back, I cannot even imagine anyone else being "Han Solo." Burt Reynolds, Al Pacino and James Caan all turned down this incredible role. Can you imagine any of them creating the special character that Ford did? Me neither.
There's my list, so let me know what you think. Harrison Ford has definitely slowed down in recent years with only 5 films released since the year 2000, but he will more than make up for that with the new Indiana Jones movie this May. I don't think they would have made it unless it was going to be spectacular, so I expect nothing less.
That will wrap up another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading and be sure to click on the Archive buttons in the upper left column to make sure you have not missed any previous issues. I appreciate all of the support. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I came across this French clothing label. You can read the translation below the tag. It just struck me very humorous that something like that would actually end up printed on the label.
Quote of the day: "If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." -Frank A. Clark
Download this: "Babylon" by David Gray - from his album titled White Ladder
|TV Show: High School Reunion - Kickin' it Old School
|03.09.08 (9:04 pm) 
Back in my January 24th issue I gave you my Top 10 favorite shows on television, but I think I have a new show to add to that list now. This past Wednesday, a new show called High School Reunion premiered on the cable channel TV Land (9:00 pm Central) and it actually looks to be very entertaining.
More than a dozen classmates from the 1987 graduating class of a high school in Dallas, Texas reunite after 20 years. In high school, they were known as the jock, the popular girl, the stud, the bully and the geek (among other stereotypes). Have they changed or are they still living up to their high school roles? Find out when they all get back together for a two-week Hawaiian get-away sure to rekindle past relationships, rivalries and romances (and/or start new ones). Now I do not find myself interested in all "reality TV" shows, but this one peeked my interest and, after watching the first episode, I think I am hooked.
The 80s lover in me adores the time which these people were in high school and you get to hear the great music of that time as a soundtrack to the show. I love to watch great characters and character interaction and this show looks to be filled with them. Though they are in a forced environment and know they will be televised, there still seems to be something honest and real about the interaction so far. This show could totally change directions and its appeal to me, but I can usually identify a quality show relatively quickly and I feel High School Reunion is definitely one to watch.
I guess this show used to be on the WB network, but this TV Land version seems to be much, much better. I think the major difference could be that the previous seasons were based around high school classes that graduated in the mid-90's. The twenty years since graduation from a mid to late-80's reunion seems to offer more time for maturity and change. No matter the reason, this current format (from the creator of The Bachelor) seems right on the money.
If interested, you should go to the High School Reunion TV Land website and find out more about the show and its cast of characters. I am not sure if you will be able to watch them all, but you can watch the first episode for free right there and also see a preview for the second episode. I have my DVR set to record this show going forward and I am already looking forward to the next episode to see what happens next.
That's all I have for this issue of Kickin' it. Thanks for reading and please continue to spread the word. If you know someone who might enjoy Kickin' it Old School, please send them the link and tell them to let me know who sent them. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I came across a website called Wonder How To that seems to have nearly every "how to" video in existence. You can find videos from "How to filet a walleye" to "How to hit a tennis forehand" to "How to solve a rubiks cube in 5 steps" and thousands more. Warning there does seem to be some videos on inappropriate behavior on this site as well.
Quote of the day: "Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring." -Oscar Wilde
Download this: "Danny's Song" by Loggins & Messina - This song originated from the 1972 debut album titled Sittin' In for this duo of Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina.
|Summary of all Kickin' it Old School's 80s Issues - Back to the 80s
|03.09.08 (8:08 pm) 
Are you looking for just my articles relating to the 80s??? By popular demand, here is a summary with links for all of OLD SCHOOL’S 80s CONTENT that has been published in Kickin’ it Old School thus far. Some of these articles are listed because they at least loosely relate to the decade of the 80s. Please continue to check back often because I am always adding new 80s articles. The list is getting quite long as you can see. You may find it easier to use the Google Search bar in the right hand column to find an issue of particular interest. Also see my other links in the left hand column for other great 80s websites that might also interest you. Hope you find them all… awesome, rad, gnarly, fresh and totally tubular to the max!
> Top 10 Teen Comedies from the 80s (January 9th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Top 20 Classic 80s Arcade Games (February 7th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Top 50 Songs from 80s Movies (March 8th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Top 10 TV Characters from 80s Shows (February 8th issue 08)
> Top 15 TV Theme Songs (February 16th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Oscars in the 80s (February 21st issue 08)
> 1st Annual Old School 80s Movie Awards (February 22nd issue 08)
> Top 10 John Candy Performances (January 21st issue 08)
> Top 10 Bill Murray Films (January 29th issue 08)
> Favorite and Most Hated Pro Wrestling Characters from the 80s (March 30th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Top 10 New Edition Songs from the 80s (April 1st issue 08)
> Top 30 Duets from the 80s (April 27th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Worst #1 Songs from the 80s (May 3rd issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> 80s Presence at the American Idol Season 7 Finale (May 24th issue 08)
> Lakers vs. Celtics, Magic vs. Bird (May 31st issue 08)
> Top 20 Prince Songs (June 7th issue 08)
> Top 10 Movies from the 80s Starring “Brat Pack” Members (June 17th issue 08)
> The Karate Kid & “Sweep the Leg” Video (July 1st issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Top 15 Classic Nintendo Games + The Great Miyamoto (July 3rd issue 08)
> Top 8 Movies Starring Corey Feldman and/or Corey Haim (July 5th issue 08)
> Molly Ringwald new TV show, The Johnny musical & Huey Lewis Top 10 Songs (July 7th issue 08)
> Entertainment Weekly’s Top 100 Movies from 1983-2008 (July 12th issue 08)
> 80s Cool Movie Montage Video – “Sucker” by Ethan Joy (July 13th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Contradicting ‘Top 20 Most Beautiful Songs of the 80s’ & ‘Top 10 U2 Songs of the 80s’ Lists (July 20th issue 08)
> Top 10 Songs of The Police (July 23rd issue 08)
> Top 20 Music Videos from the 80s (July 27th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> 100th Issue includes Sneak Peek at #100 ranks on 3 BIG 80’s Lists (August 1st issue 08)
> Top 10 Songs of Talking Heads (August 3rd issue 08)
> Summer Olympics Highlights from 1980, 1984 & 1988 (August 8th issue 08)
> Awesome 80’s Collage (August 10th issue 08)
> Top 50 Old School Rap/Hip Hop Songs (August 17th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Top 18 Madonna Songs from the 80’s (August 22nd issue 08)
> Top 15 ‘Singing’ Scenes from 80’s Movies (August 27th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Top 15 ‘Dancing' Scenes from 80's Movies (August 29th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Top 16 Michael Jackson Songs from the 80's (August 31st issue 08)
> Favorite Candy from When I Grew Up in the 80's (September 7th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Cracked.com Top Ten ‘80s Robots (September 18th issue 08)
> Top 13 Favorite Female 80's TV Characters (September 21st issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Top 15 Hottest Female 80's TV Characters (September 27th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> The 1982 Milwaukee Brewers (October 3rd issue 08)
> Top 10 Chevy Chase Movies (October 8th issue 08)
> Top 70 Songs with One-Word Titles from the 80's (October 12th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Kirk Gibson's Magical Moment in 1988 World Series (October 15th issue 08)
> Child of the 80's Tribute - Part 1 (October 18th issue 08)
> Child of the 80's Tribute - Part 2 (October 25th issue 08)
> Child of the 80's Tribute - Part 3 (October 28th issue 08)
> Child of the 80's Tribute - Part 4 (October 31st issue 08)
> Top 10 Duran Duran Songs from the 80s (November 1st issue 08)
> 80's Halloween Costumes (November 2nd issue 08)
> The Last Dragon is one of my guilty pleasures (November 8th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> El DeBarge going to Prison + Top 5 DeBarge Songs (November 11th issue 08)
> Journey's iTunes Milestone + Top 10 Journey Songs (November 15th issue 08)
> Calvin Klein Jeans Ad starring Brooke Shields 1980 (November 19th issue 08)
> Barry Manilow releases The Greatest Songs of the Eighties album (November 23rd issue 08)
> "Rickrolling" Internet Prank Still Rolling (November 25th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Tribute to Planes, Trains & Automobiles (November 26th issue 08)
> WKRP in Cincinnati on air for real (December 1st issue 08)
> Remakes of The Karate Kid, Fame, Arthur & Romancing the Stone in the works (December 2nd issue 08)
> Boy George Sentenced to Prison + Culture Club Top 7 Songs List (December 5th issue 08)
> Beverly Hills Cop 4 reaction + Top 10 Lines from Original Beverly Hills Cop (December 7th issue 08)
> Child Stars of the 80s who grew up to have successful careers as adults (December 10th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Female Child Stars of the 80s who grew up to be HOT adults (December 14th issue 08) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band Aid 1984 (December 17th issue 08)
> Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special 1988 (December 21st issue 08)
> National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 1989 (December 24th issue 08)
> Bon Jovi Top Grossing Tour of 2008 + Top 10 Songs from the 80s (December 26th issue 08)
> Peg Rolled Jeans Trend Coming Back? and other 80s Fashion (January 3rd issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Seagram's Golden Wine Cooler Commercials starring Bruce Willis (January 4th issue 09)
> Super Mario Bros. no longer top selling video game of all time (January 7th issue 09)
> Family Ties Episodes Available For Free Online (January 8th issue 09)
> Patrick Swayze Battling Cancer & His Top 5 Movies from the 80s (January 11th issue 09)
> Where Are They Now? Some 80s Actresses (January 14th issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Back to the Future "Huey Paradox" (January 25th issue 09)
> Top 10 Van Halen Songs of the 80s (January 26th issue 09)
> Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster 1986 (January 28th issue 09)
> Top 20 Phil Collins & Genesis Songs of the 80s (January 30th issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Joe Montana Super Bowl Hero of the 80s (February 1st issue 09)
> Valentine's Cards with an 80s Theme (February 5th issue 09)
> Rick Astley Musical + More Rick Rolling Fun (February 6th issue 09)
> William Atherton - Best Movie Jerk of the 80s (February 8th issue 09)*POPULAR CHOICE*
> Ebay auction for 867-5309 phone number (February 11th issue 09)
> Belinda Carlisle & The Go-Go's Top 10 Songs of the 80s (February 15th issue 09)
> The Blue Man Group a Fan of the 80s? (February 18th issue 09)
> Pet Shop Boys win Award + Top 5 Songs (February 20th issue 09)
> 2nd Annual Old School 80s Movie Awards (February 22nd issue 09)
> "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" (February 24th issue 09)
> Men at Work death threat story & Top 6 Songs (February 28th issue 09)
> Barbie doll Celebrates 50th Birthday (March 2nd issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Tone Loc (March 3rd issue 09)
> Preview Review: WarGames Trailer (March 5th issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Edie Brickell & Neneh Cherry (March 10th issue 09)
> Top 25 Inspirational Speeches from 80s Movies (March 13th issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Preview Review: Say Anything... Trailer (March 15th issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Dead or Alive (the band, not the song) (March 18th issue 09)
> March Madness & NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Champs of the 80s (March 21st issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Flashback Videos: Ric Ocasek & Chaka Khan (March 23rd issue 09)
> Spandau Ballet Reunion is Officially ‘True' (March 27th issue 09)
> Top 20 Montage Scenes from 80s Movies (March 29th issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Preview Review: I'm Gonna Git You Sucka Trailer (April 2nd issue 09)
> Flashback Video: Eddie Murphy "Party All the Time" (April 5th issue 09)
> Wrestlemania in the 80s (April 6th issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Julian Lennon & Biz Markie (April 8th issue 09)
> Run-DMC inducted into Hall of Fame & Top 15 Songs of the 80s (April 10th issue 09)
> Top 10 Bullies from 80s Movies (April 15th issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Preview Review: Strange Brew & Spaceballs Trailers (April 18th issue 09)
> Flashback Video: Eric Carmen "Make Me Lose Control" (April 19th issue 09)
> Preview Review: The Goonies Trailer (April 24th issue 09)
> Top 30 Most Heartbreaking Songs of the 80s (April 26th issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Flashback Videos: Don Henley (April 29th issue 09)
> Preview Review: Wall Street Trailer (1987) + News about Sequel (May 2nd issue 09)
> Top 10 Songs from the 80s with the word "UP" in the Title (May 3rd issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> "Be a Pepper" Dr. Pepper Commercial Campaign (May 8th issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Steve Winwood (May 12th issue 09)
> Preview Review: Ferris Bueller's Day Off Trailer (1987) + Fight Club Theory (May 17th issue 09)
> Preview Review: Field of Dreams Trailer (1989) (May 28th issue 09)
> Flashback Video: Al B. Sure! (May 31st issue 09)
> 63rd Annual Tony Awards have an 80s Connection (June 6th issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Simply Red (June 8th issue 09)
> Upcoming A-Team Movie to be released in 2010 (June 10th issue 09)
> Preview Review: The Blues Brothers Trailer (1980) (June 14th issue 09)
> Top 15 Worst Dads from 80s Movies & TV (June 20th issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Fleetwood Mac (June 24th issue 09)
> Preview Review: Better Off Dead Trailer (1985) (June 28th issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Blondie (July 1st issue 09)
> Michael Jackson 1984 Pepsi Commercial with Alfonso Ribeiro (July 3rd issue 09)
> Most #1 Singles Coming from Same Album (July 5th issue 09)
> Preview Review: Footloose (1984) (July 8th issue 09)
> Flashback Video: ‘Rock On' by Michael Damian (July 11th issue 09)
> Top 25 Songs from the 80s with Girl Names in Title (July 12th issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Flashback Videos: Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam (July 17th issue 09)
> Preview Review: Enter the Ninja (1981) & Revenge of the Ninja (1983) (July 21st issue 09)
> Edie McClurg (July 23rd issue 09)
> Rickey Henderson inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame (July 26th issue 09)
> Preview Review: Big (1988) (July 29th issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Def Leppard (August 1st issue 09)
> Preview Review: Coming to America (1988) (August 3rd issue 09)
> Top 10 John Hughes 80s Movies (August 6th issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Flashback Videos: Joe Jackson "Steppin' Out" (August 11th issue 09)
> Suzanne Vega "Surviving the Hits" (August 12th issue 09)
> Goodbye John Hughes Part 2 (August 16th issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Flashback Videos: The Clash "Rock the Casbah" (August 21st issue 09)
> Preview Review: Police Academy (1984) (August 24th issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: ABC "When Smokey Sings" (August 28th issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Whitney Houston "Greatest Love of All" (September 2nd issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Labor Day ‘Work' Themed (September 7th issue 09)
> Preview Review: Football issue - All The Right Moves (1983) & Wildcats (1986) (September 12th issue 09)
> Top 20 Songs from the 80s with Sax Solos (September 18th issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Preview Review: Disney issue - Tron (1982) & The Little Mermaid (1989) (September 27th issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Poison (September 30th issue 09)
> Flashback Videos: Def Jam's Beastie Boys & LL Cool J (October 4th issue 09)
> Elisabeth Shue (October 6th issue 09)
> Flashback Video: Daryl Hall "Dreamtime" (October 11th issue 09)
> John Oates & J-Stache (October 15th issue 09)
> Top 15 Hall & Oates Songs (October 18th issue 09)
> Preview Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) (October 21st issue 09)
> Garfield's Halloween Adventure (October 25th issue 09)
> "A Nightmare on My Street" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince (October 29th issue 09)
> Earthquake World Series in 1989 (November 1st issue 09)
> Top 10 Bryan Adams Songs from the 80s (November 5th issue 09) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Flashback Videos: Kim Wilde (November 18th issue 09)
> Preview Review: The Lost Boys (1987) (November 20th issue 09)
> Preview Review: Teen Wolf (1985) (November 25th issue 09)
> Preview Review: Scrooged (1988) (December 8th issue 09)
> Holiday TV Special: A Very Brady Christmas (1988) (December 12th issue 09)
> Folgers Holiday Commercial (December 19th issue 09)
> A Very Special Christmas album (1987) (December 23rd issue 09)
> Flashback Video: "Another Day in Paradise" by Phil Collins (December 30th issue 09)
> Preview Review: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) (January 3rd issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "Let's Dance" by David Bowie (January 8th issue 10)
> Preview Review: Can't Buy Me Love (1987) (January 16th issue 10)
> Flashback Videos: The Motels (January 20th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "Major Tom (I'm Coming Home)" by Peter Schilling (January 28th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "Life In A Northern Town" by The Dream Academy (February 5th issue 10)
> "We Are the World" Original & 25th Anniversary Versions (February 13th issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Preview Review: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) (February 21st issue 10)
> Top 10 Howard Jones Songs (February 23rd issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "Wouldn't It Be Good" by Nik Kershaw (March 1st issue 10)
> 3rd Annual Old School 80s Movie Awards (March 7th issue 10)
> R.I.P. Corey Haim (March 10th issue 10)
> Flashback Videos: Eddie Money (March 21st issue 10)
> Preview Review: Vision Quest (1985) (March 22nd issue 10)
> Cadbury Creme Egg Commercials (March 28th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman (March 30th issue 10)
> Disney's Captain EO starring Michael Jackson (April 7th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves (April 10th issue 10)
> Top 15 Songs About Money from the 80s (April 15th issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Flashback Videos: Paul Carrack (April 22nd issue 10)
> Giorgio Moroder (April 26th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "The Other Woman" by Ray Parker Jr. (May 1st issue 10)
> Cereal Commercials: A Walk Down the 80s Cereal Aisle (May 8th issue 10)
> Top 10 U2 Songs from the 80s (May 10th issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Preview Review: Romancing the Stone (1984) (May 14th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "Electric Blue" by Icehouse (May 22nd issue 10)
> Preview Review: Rocky III (1982) & Rocky IV (1985) (May 25th issue 10)
> R.I.P. Gary Coleman (May 28th issue 10)
> "Go Ahead, Make My Day" from 1983's Sudden Impact (May 31st issue 10)
> June 5, 1989 - Iconic "Tank Man" moment in China (June 5th issue 10)
> Flashback Videos: Naked Eyes (June 9th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "Dancing in the Dark" by Bruce Springsteen (June 15th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "Perfect Way" by Scritti Politti (June 22nd issue 10)
> Preview Review: Vacation (1983), Summer Rental (1985) & The Great Outdoors (1988) (June 27th issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Mike Tyson was the Baddest Man on the Planet (June 30th issue 10)
> NBA's "Larry Bird Exception" (July 2nd issue 10)
> Della Reese as "Vera" in Harlem Nights (1989) (July 6th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "Alone" by Heart (July 11th issue 10)
> Preview Review: Brewster's Millions (1985) (July 14th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes (July 20th issue 10)
> George Brett "Pine Tar Incident" July 24, 1983 (July 24th issue 10)
> Tiffany vs. Debbie Gibson in Promo for Syfy Movie (July 25th issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Preview Review: Rad (1986) (July 28th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: The 2nd Video Ever Played on MTV (August 2nd issue 10)
> 2 Great Songs connected to Rosanna Arquette (August 8th issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Preview Review: Friday the 13th (1980) (August 13th issue 10)
> Flashback Videos: Kool & The Gang (August 16th issue 10)
> Rehearsal Footage for original The Karate Kid (August 21st issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Preview Review: D.C. Cab (1983) (August 29th issue 10)
> "State of Shock" & Unreleased 80s Duets between Michael Jackson & Freddie Mercury (September 5th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "When I See You Smile" by Bad English (September 7th issue 10)
> Preview Review: Adventures in Babysitting (1987) (September 10th issue 10)
> Flashback Video: "(Keep Feeling) Fascination" by The Human League (September 18th issue 10)
> Top 10 Favorite & Disappointing 80s Movie Sequels (September 23rd issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Interview with Deon Estus from Wham! and more (October 2nd issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Interview with Joyce Hyser from Just One of the Guys (October 12th issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Interview with Mark King from Level 42 (October 22nd issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Flashback Videos: Adam Ant (November 3rd issue 10)
> Benny Mardones had a 2-time One-Hit Wonder with "Into the Night" (November 9th issue 10)
> Interview with Alan Frew from Glass Tiger (November 12th issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Flashback Video: "I Know There's Something Going On" by Frida (November 15th issue 10)
> Interview with Billy Vera (November 19th issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Interview with Gabe Jarret from Real Genius (November 28th issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Flashback Video: "Last Christmas" by Wham! (December 5th issue 10)
> Interview with Gary "Mudbone" Cooper (from Sly Fox) (December 8th issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Interview with Family Ties creator Gary David Goldberg (December 12th issue 10) *POPULAR CHOICE*
> Christmas Commercial: Hershey's Kisses Christmas Bells (December 16th issue 10)
> Christmas TV Special: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (December 17th issue 10)
> Interview with Keith Coogan from Adventures in Babysitting & more (December 21st issue 10)
> Christmas Preview Review: A Christmas Story (1983) (December 23rd issue 10)
> Interview with Richard Page of Mr. Mister (December 29th issue 10)
> Interview with Doug Barr from The Fall Guy (January 3rd issue 11)
> Interview with Jack Hues of Wang Chung (January 7th issue 11)
> Interview with director Martha Coolidge (January 13th issue 11)
> Interview with Marcus Thompson from Timex Social Club (January 17th issue 11)
> Interview with director Alan Metter (January 23rd issue 11)
> Interview with Taco Ockerse (January 27th issue 11) > Interview with pat mAcdonald from Timbuk3 (January 31st issue 11)
> Interview with Conrad Dunn ("Psycho" in Stripes) (February 6th issue 11)
> Interview with Michael Floreale & Clive Farrington from When In Rome (February 9th issue 11)
> Interview with Eric Bazilian from The Hooters (February 13th issue 11)
> Interview with Jimi Jamison from Survivor (February 18th issue 11)
> Interview with Curt Smith from Tears for Fears (February 24th issue 11)
> Interview with Carol Decker from T'Pau (March 1st issue 11)
> Interview with Haviland Morris from Sixteen Candles (March 4th issue 11)
> Interview with Andy McCluskey from OMD (March 10th issue 11)
> Interview with Gloria Loring of "Friends and Lovers" (March 16th issue 11)
> Interview with Allison Smith from Kate & Allie (March 21st issue 11)
> Interview with Paul Young (March 27th issue 11)
> Interview with Downtown Julie Brown (April 6th issue 11)
> Interview with George Merrill & Shannon Rubicam of Boys Meets Girl (April 12th issue 11)
> Interview with Ted Koplar (who brought Voltron to American TV) (April 23rd issue 11)
> Interview with John Wetton of supergroup Asia (May 1st issue 11)
> Interview with Marv Ross from Quarterflash (May 13th issue 11)
> Interview with actress Catherine Mary Stewart (May 20th issue 11)
> Interview with Nick Richards from Boys Don't Cry (May 28th issue 11)
> Interview with Jerry Buckner of "Pac-Man Fever" (June 4th issue 11)
> Interview with John Smith & Valerie Day of Nu Shooz (June 22nd issue 11)
> Interview with Scott Schwartz from The Toy & A Christmas Story (July 9th issue 11)
> Top 20 Scenes from 80s Movies featuring a Bathtub or Shower (July 15th issue 11)
> Interview with David Sterry of Real Life (July 23rd issue 11)
> Interview with Steve Lynch from Autograph (August 13th issue 11)
> Top 20 Sidekick Characters from 80s Movies (August 26th issue 11)
> Interview with Nick Beggs of Kajagoogoo (September 4th issue 11)
> Interview with David Frank of The System (September 10th issue 11)
> Top 40 Cover Songs of the 80s (September 23rd issue 11)
> Interview with Stephen Geyer co-writer of "Believe It Or Not" (October 16th issue 11)
> Interview with Michael Winslow from Police Academy (November 2nd issue 11)
> Top 30 Songs of the 80s with Numbers in the Title (November 11th issue 11)
> Interview with Steve Kipner co-writer of "Physical" & more (November 30th issue 11)
> Christmas Flashback Video: "2000 Miles" by The Pretenders (December 5th issue 11)
> Christmas Commercial: E.T. game for Atari 2600 (December 13th issue 11)
> Christmas Preview Review: Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) (December 22nd issue 11)
> Interview with director Ron Shelton (January 20th issue 12)
> Interview with Michelle Visage from Seduction (January 29th issue 12)
> Flashback Video: "Sweet Child o' Mine" by Guns N' Roses (February 5th issue 12)
> R.I.P. Whitney Houston & Her Top 10 Songs of the 80s (February 12th issue 12)
> Top 80 Songs of the 80s with the word "LOVE" in the Title (February 17th issue 12)
> Interview with Chris Butler of The Waitresses (February 24th issue 12)
> Interview with songwriter Billy Steinberg (March 10th issue 12)
> Nike Commercial uses "Revolution" by The Beatles to sell shoes (March 18th issue 12)
> Preview Review: Heaven's Gate (1980) The Biggest Bomb of the 80s (March 28th issue 12)
> Interview with Trevor Steel of The Escape Club (April 6th issue 12)
> The Mystery of Al Capone's Vault television special (April 21st issue 12)
> Interview with John Kapelos from The Breakfast Club & more (May 3rd issue 12)
> Interview with Michael O'Keefe from Caddyshack & more (May 20th issue 12)
> Interview with Katrina Leskanich from Katrina and the Waves (May 25th issue 12)
> Favorite Space Aliens from 80s Movies & Television (June 8th issue 12)
> Interview with Gioia Bruno from Exposé (June 23rd issue 12)
> Interview with songwriter Albert Hammond (July 15th issue 12)
> Interview with JoJo McDuffie of the Mary Jane Girls (August 3rd issue 12)
> Interview with Michael Des Barres (August 10th issue 12)
> Interview with Paul Fishman from Re-Flex (September 8th issue 12)
> Interview with Lonette McKee from Brewster's Millions & more (September 16th issue 12)
> Interview with songwriter/musician Martin Page (September 23rd issue 12)
> Interview with Debbie Pollack from Sixteen Candles (October 7th issue 12)
> Interview with producer Rupert Hine (October 19th issue 12)
> Interview with Jack Epps, Jr. screenwriter of Top Gun & more (November 6th issue 12)
> The Twinkie's role in 80s Movies (November 17th issue 12)
> Interview with Debbie Gibson (November 23rd issue 12)
> Interview with Jackie Burch, Casting Director for many 80s Films (December 4th issue 12)
> Interview with Jim Vallance (songwriting partner of Byran Adams) (December 9th issue 12)
> Christmas Flashback Video: "Reggae Christmas" by Byran Adams + "Christmas Time" (December 12th issue 12)
> Interview with songwriter Allee Willis (December 15th issue 12)
> Christmas Commercials: Polaroid Instant Camera (December 19th issue 12)
> Christmas Special: Ziggy's Gift (December 22nd issue 12)
> Steven Spielberg and George Lucas: classy & creative record breakers (December 30th issue 12)
> Interview with Ione Skye, ‘Diane Court' in Say Anything... (January 11th issue 13)
> Interview with Chris Difford from Squeeze (January 18th issue 13)
> Interview with Dean Pitchford, songwriter/screenwriter for Footloose & much more (January 25th issue 13)
> Interview with Marilyn Martin of "Separate Lives" duet & more (February 2nd issue 13)
> Interview with Gy Waldron, creator of The Dukes of Hazzard (February 9th issue 13)
> Top 30 Cars & Trucks from 80s Movies & TV (February 16th issue 13)
> Flashback Video: "99 Luftballons" by Nena with Translation Chart (February 22nd issue 13)
> McDonald's introduces McNuggets, McRib & McDLT in the 80s (March 2nd issue 13)
Last Updated 3/2/2013
|Back to the 80s: Top 60 Best Songs From 80s Movies - Kickin' it Old School
|03.08.08 (7:24 pm) 
I have had several articles that have alluded to the important role music can play in movies. There is nothing better than the perfect song playing at that perfect moment in a movie. Music can help tell a story sometimes without you even knowing it is doing so and music can create or intensify emotions unlike almost anything else in the world. Music can be very powerful. In the 80s, many songs gained tremendous popularity after appearing in movies. Sometimes the songs ultimately became more popular than the movies they were in. I decided to put together a Top 10 list of the best songs to appear in 80s movies, but the list was so long and impressive that I decided to give you 60 songs instead.
So here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 BEST SONGS FEATURED IN 80s MOVIES (+ bonus 50):
60. "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. from Ghostbusters (1984) – link to video
59. "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins from Top Gun (1986)
58. "Fight the Power" by Public Enemy from Do the Right Thing (1989)
57. "The Heat is On" by Glenn Frey from Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
56. "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin from Top Gun (1986)
55. "Let's Hear it For the Boy" by Deniece Williams from Footloose (1984)
54. "Heaven In Your Eyes" by Loverboy from Top Gun (1986)
53. "Bit By Bit" by Stephanie Mills from Fletch (1985)
52. "Twist of Fate" by Olivia Newton-John from Two of a Kind (1983)
51. "The Boys Are Back In Town" by The Bus Boys from 48 Hrs (1982) - link to video - Cover of Thin Lizzy song also appears in Ghostbusters and at the beginning of Eddie Murphy Delirious.
50. "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" by The Blues Brothers from The Blues Brothers (1980) - link to video
49. "Burning Down the House" by Talking Heads from Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
48. "Holiday Road" by Lindsey Buckingham from National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) - link to video
47. "Stay Gold" by Stevie Wonder from The Outsiders (1983) - link to video
46. "Breakin'...There's No Stopping Us" by Ollie & Jerry from Breakin' (1984) - link to video
45. "Old Time Rock and Roll" by Bob Seger from Risky Business (1983) – link to video
44. "After All" by Cher & Peter Cetera from Chances Are (1989) - link to video of song playing
43. "The Secret of My Success" by Night Ranger from The Secret of My Success (1987) - link to video
42. "This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)" by The Talking Heads from Wall Street (1987) - link to video - Here is also a link to my Best Talking Heads Songs list.
41. "Weird Science" by Oingo Boingo from Weird Science (1985) - link to video
40. "Maniac" by Michael Sembello from Flashdance (1983) – link to video
39. "Who's Johnny?" by El DeBarge from Short Circuit (1986) - link to video
38. "Arthur's Theme (The Best That You Can Do)" by Christopher Cross from Arthur (1981) - link to video
37. "Together In Electric Dreams" by Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder from Electric Dreams (1984) - link to video
36. "We Don't Need Another Hero" by Tina Turner from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) – link to video
35. "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins from Footloose (1984) – link to video
34. "On the Dark Side" by John Cafferty from Eddie and the Cruisers (1983) – link to video
33. "Cruel Summer" by Bananarama from The Karate Kid (1984) - link to video
32. "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship from Mannequin (1987) – link to video
31. "Up Where We Belong" by Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes from An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) – link to video - Also ranks on my very popular Top Duets of the 80s list
30. "Melt With You" by Modern English from Valley Girl (1983) – link to video
29. "Sweet Freedom" by Michael McDonald from Running Scared (1986) – link to video
28. "In The Air Tonight" by Phil Collins from Risky Business (1983) - link to video
27. "Jungle Love" by The Time from Purple Rain (1984) – link to my 100th issue which previewed "Jungle Love" as #100 on my Best Songs of the 80s list.
26. "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince from Purple Rain (1984) - If we were judging entire soundtracks, you would have a hard time ranking any higher than Purple Rain. When you consider other songs like "When Doves Cry," "I Would Die 4 U," "Baby I'm A Star" and "Purple Rain" you know why. Any of those could have been on this list, but "Let's Go Crazy" is my favorite.
25. "It's In the Way That You Use It" by Eric Clapton from The Color of Money (1986) - link to video
24. "Hazy Shade of Winter" by The Bangles from Less Than Zero (1987) - link to video
23. "If You Were Here" by The Thompson Twins from Sixteen Candles (1984) - link to video
22. "The Goonies R Good Enough" by Cyndi Lauper from The Goonies (1985) – link to video
21. "Ain't Nobdy" by Rufus & Chaka Khan from Breakin' (1984) - link to video
20. "Rhythm of the Night" by DeBarge from The Last Dragon (1985) - link to video - Here is a link to another issue which discusses the remake of The Last Dragon and how that movie is a guilty pleasure of mine. Here is another link to my Top DeBarge Songs list too.
19. "Burning Heart" by Survivor from Rocky IV (1985) - link to video
18. "Meet Me Half Way" by Kenny Loggins from Over the Top (1987) - link to video
17. "Love Touch" by Rod Stewart from Legal Eagles (1986) – link to video
16. "Almost Paradise" by Ann Wilson & Mike Reno from Footloose (1984) - link to video - Also ranks on my very popular Top Duets of the 80s list
15. "Nobody's Fool" by Kenny Loggins from Caddyshack II (1988) - link to video - As much as I love the original Caddyshack, this sequel is quite horrible, but this song is still high quality.
14. "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo from Back to School (1986) - link to video
13. "If You Leave" by Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (O.M.D.) from Pretty in Pink (1986) – link to video
12. "Crazy For You" by Madonna from Vision Quest (1985) – link to video - Also appears on my Top Madonna Songs of the 80s list.
11. "True" by Spandau Ballet from Sixteen Candles (1984) - link to video
10. "The Glory of Love" by Peter Cetera from The Karate Kid Part II (1986) - link to video – This song was Cetera’s first solo hit reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 1986 not too long after the movie was released. An interesting bit of trivia is that this song was originally written for the movie Rocky IV, but when passed on for that film it was picked up for the Karate Kid sequel.
9. "Kiss" by Prince & The Revolution from Under the Cherry Moon (1986) – Most of the songs from this movie came from the Prince album titled Parade. This song won the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1986. I have always considered this unique song one of my favorites and Rolling Stone included it in their Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It will also appear in the 90s movie Pretty Woman and the 2006 movie Happy Feet.
8. "I'm Alright" by Kenny Loggins from Caddyshack (1980) - link to video (of beginning of film featuring song) – This song only hit #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, but is definitely recognized synonymously with this movie which is one of the funniest of all time. When the little gopher popped out of the ground and shimmied to this tune, it became an instant classic. This is one of five Kenny Loggins songs to make this Top 50! His songs “Footloose” and “Danger Zone” are probably much more widely recognized, but I still rank this one higher on my list.
7. "Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & the News from Back to the Future (1985) – link to video - This song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 1985. It is featured at the beginning of the movie as Michael J. Fox’s character “Marty McFly” is seen skateboarding when he is late for school. It is also the song played at Marty’s band audition. Huey Lewis himself actually played one of the judges and stands up to deliver the ironic critique, “just too darn loud.” The soundtrack also included “Back in Time” another song by Huey Lewis & the News.
6. "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)" by John Parr from St. Elmo's Fire (1985) - link to video – This song would supplant “Power of Love” and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September of 1985. The song was written by David Foster, but not originally for this film. It was inspired by a Canadian athlete who was paralyzed and traveling the world in his wheelchair to raise awareness. The “wheels in motion” do not refer to the wheels on the jeep owned by Demi Moore’s character in the movie, but actually the wheels on a wheelchair.
5. "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" by Phil Collins from Against All Odds (1984) – link to video – A prime example of a song that is so much better than the movie it appeared in, this song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1984 (bumping “Footloose” out) and stayed there for 3 weeks. It is reported that Collins wrote the song a few years earlier for his first wife who had left him. It would win the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 1985.
4. "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor from Rocky III (1982) – link to video – This song was written at the request of Sylvester Stallone specifically for this movie. The phrase was used by the “Apollo Creed” character to describe what “Rocky” was missing when he lost his title. The song became hugely popular and was also featured in the very beginning of Rocky IV in 1985. It hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July of 1982 and stayed there for 6 weeks in a row. This is the second song from Survivor on this list and both are from Rocky films.
3. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears from Real Genius (1985) – link to video - A special extended edit of this song is featured during the ending credits and in the final scene of the movie as popcorn has overflowed from the house of “Prof. Jerry Hathaway” and “Lazlo” drives off with his prizes. It was originally released on the Songs from the Big Chair album making it one of only three songs in the top 10 not to be first released on the movie soundtrack. It hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June of 1985 and held that spot for two weeks. It is not so much known for its appearance in this movie, but qualifies for this list because of it.
2. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds from The Breakfast Club (1985) - link to video – Clearly one of the essential defining songs of the decade, this song is featured as the gang leaves the Saturday detention and head their separate ways. Judd Nelson’s character throws his fist into the air as it fades to black and this great song continues through the ending credits. This song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 1985. It was written by Keith Forsey who also wrote another popular 80s movie song called “Flashdance… What a Feeling.” It was originally offered to Billy Idol and Brian Ferry as well as Chrissy Hynde who recommended Jim Kerr’s (her husband at the time) band, Simple Minds. The song would end up becoming Simple Minds' most recognized song, especially in the US.
1. "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel from Say Anything (1989) - link to video – Here is a prime example of when a song plays such an important role in a film. This song blares from the boom box held above the head of “Lloyd Dobler” at a key moment in the movie. The song had not been chosen yet when they filmed this scene, so a song by the group Fishbone is actually being played during filming and would later be dubbed over with “In Your Eyes.” This song was originally released on Peter Gabriel’s 1986 album So but, though it had some success at that time, really achieved popularity several years later after appearing in this great movie by Cameron Crowe. It is reported that Crowe originally commissioned The Smithereens to write the song used at this crucial moment in the film, but their song “A Girl Like You” was ultimately rejected in favor of “In Your Eyes” and would later be released on their 1989 album titled 11. This song was an obvious choice to top this list.
That will wrap up another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks as always for reading. If you are interested in reading more of my 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. If you are interested in reading more of my Top 10 lists, please click there for a summary. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the Google Search Box at the top of the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin' it, PLEASE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK LOGO in the upper right hand column. This will take you to the new Fan Page where I ask you to then click on "Become a Fan". Even if you are not a Facebook member yet, please consider joining and registering as a fan at that page. You can also follow Old School 80s on Twitter by clicking on the FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER logo also in the upper right hand column. This will take you to the page and you can just click on the box that says "Follow." I am sending out daily tweets on the 80s, so be sure to catch those. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.
Quite a list and that is just for one decade. Please be sure to note that there is a link to a video after over 40 of the songs (almost all of them!). Kenny Loggins seems to be the king of 80s movie music hits with five songs on the list (though I only ranked one in my Top 10). Any songs you feel are missing??? Plenty of room for debate, but this is how I see it based mostly on the impact these songs had back then, but also how they still fare today. If there are any songs you do not remember or recognize, I encourage you to find them and give them a listen. These songs bring back many memories from that great decade. If you liked this list, I also published a similar list for 90s movies and you can click on that link for that. Two of my favorite passions collide... movies and music. What could be better?
Check this out: Tears for Fears had a song ranked highly on the list above. I came across this video for another song of theirs, "Head Over Heels," which has the lyrics changed to coordinate with what happens in the video. I quite like the original song, but this literal version for the video is entertaining and humorous as well. Here is the link to the video, so you can watch it for yourself. Hope you enjoy.
Quote of the day: "What we see depends mainly on what we look for." -John Lubbock
|American Idol Powerful Influence - Kickin' it Old School
|03.06.08 (10:21 pm) 
I made my daily trip into iTunes and noticed something that impressed me. Over on the right side of the main page there is a list of the Top Songs downloaded that week from iTunes which is a headquarters for music downloads. On this list on Wednesday (3/5/08) and still there as I write this now ranked #2 is the song "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley. This is a great song and one of my personal favorites, but this version of this song was released back in 1994- 14 years ago.
Now this list is usually filled with the latest released and hottest radio hits and it is very rare to see a song show up that is this old. Why would the late Jeff Buckley's cover of the 1985 song originally released by Leonard Cohen suddenly show up on the iTunes Top Songs list??? Two words... American Idol.
Idol contestant Jason Castro performed the song on Tuesday night (3/4/08) and here is a link to a video of that performance. Castro seems to be one of the fan favorites in Season 7's competition thus far. After the performance, the judges applauded the effort and specifically mentioned how much they loved the version by Jeff Buckley. The judges acknowledgement combined with Castro choosing a song many viewers (especially the younger viewers) might never have heard before directly led to this song's immediate boost in popularity. That is pretty powerful influence (and I love when an "old school" song can return to prominence). Incidentally, the current #4 song on that list is "No Air" by Jordin Sparks who was the winner of Idol Season 6.
Another excellent example of this powerful influence happened back in Season 5. Katharine McPhee, who eventually would finish in second place, performed a little known song called "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" by K.T. Tunstall. At the time, this song ranked #79 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, but immediately jumped all the way up to #23 the following week. The song ultimately raised a couple more spots to #20 on this chart and its popularity is directly related to McPhee's Idol performance. Here is a link to her performance of this song at that Season's finale. K.T. Tunstall owes McPhee and American Idol a debt of gratitude.
Those are less obvious examples of the American Idol influence. The show is a true cultural phenomenon and gets between 25-30 million viewers to tune in to every show. There is no other regular television series ever that gets near the number or consistency of audience. American Idol has also created some legitimate stars as well. Kelly Clarkson was the winner of Season 1 and her three albums have combined to sell 9.5 million copies. Her second album Breakaway was released at the end of 2004 and went 6 times platinum by itself. Carrie Underwood was the winner of Season 4 and has become a country music superstar with her two albums selling a combined 8.2 million copies. Her debut album Some Hearts went 7 times platinum. Chris Daughtry only finished 4th in Season 5, but he has gone on to great success with his band's debut album Daughtry already selling 3.8 million copies. Clay Aiken finished in second place back in Season 2, but his three albums have combined to sell 4.7 million copies. Those four artists alone have collectively sold 26.2 million albums over just the past 5 years. Even William Hung, who was rejected during the Season 3 auditions after a horrible rendition of "She Bangs," has gone on to some relative success selling over 300,000 copies of his albums.
I realize I am not providing breaking news with the fact that American Idol has become a cultural phenomenon with tremendous musical influence. I guess I just wanted to point out that it is one thing to generate pop stars that can sell millions of albums, but to me it might be even more impressive when you can take a song that is 23 years old and a version of it released 14 years ago and make it hot again. It might be even more remarkable when you can take a song and move it 50 spots on the Billboard Charts in one week just by performing it on your show. Each season continues to discover incredible talent and celebrate that skill and uniqueness on a weekly basis. It is a machine and, lucky for us, it does not look to be slowing down any time soon.
That will wrap up this issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading and please subscribe or come back often. In my constant search for great sources of pop culture information, I came across a great blog from the makers of Pop Culture Madness. Please check it out when you have the chance and let them know that Old School sent you. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Here is some more interesting trivia. As in the past, I have not checked all of these to be fact, but I am assuming them to be true...
>No piece of paper can be folded in half more than seven times.
>Mosquito repellents don't repel. They hide you. The spray blocks the mosquito's sensors so they don't know you're there.
>Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.
>Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are fifty years of age or older.
>The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley's gum.
>The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache.
>Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.
>The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.
>The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer.
>Marilyn Monroe had six toes.
>Pearls melt in vinegar.
>It is possible to lead a cow upstairs, but not downstairs.
>A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.
>The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.
>Richard Millhouse Nixon was the first US president whose name contains
all the letters from the word "criminal."
>The second was William Jefferson Clinton.
>Turtles can breathe through their butts.
>Butterflies taste with their feet.
>Elephants are the only animals that can't jump.
>Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
>It's physically impossible for you to lick your elbow.
>The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.
>A snail can sleep for three years.
>No word in the English language rhymes with "MONTH."
>An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
>"Go." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
>Almost everyone who reads this trivia will try to lick their elbow.
Quote of the day: "No student ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him (or her); it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction." -Charles Kendall Adams
Download this: "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley - Mentioned above as performed by Jason Castro, this version appeared on the 1994 album titled Grace. The original appeared on the 1985 Leonard Cohen album titled Various Positions.
|Brett Favre & Top 10 Quarterbacks of My Generation
|03.05.08 (11:16 pm) 
The news became official yesterday and hit me like a ton of bricks. Brett Favre will no longer be the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. After flirting with decision after the past few seasons, Favre surprisingly decided to announce his retirement bringing to an end a 17 year career that was nothing short of simply amazing. I can't say enough about the greatness of Brett Favre, but here is a link to a video that aired back on Thanksgiving which I feel puts it into perspective nicely.
Favre was actually coming off of one of the best seasons in his illustrious career finishing second in the voting for NFL MVP. That is what probably makes this decision more unexpected as well as the fact that the Packers are poised to make a run at the NFC title again this season. I think Packers GM Ted Thompson put it well when he said, "The uniqueness of Brett Favre, his personality, charisma and love of the game- undoubtedly will leave him as one of the enduring figures in NFL history."
In my very biased opinion, he is the greatest quarterback (and greatest football players) to play the game in my generation. Back in my January 8th issue, I gave you my Top 10 Wide Receivers of my generation. I thought it only fitting on this occasion to give you a similar list for the Quarterback position. For the purposes of this list, I will use the years from 1980 to the present as my basis. This leaves all time greats like Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, Roger Staubach, Otto Graham, Sammy Baugh, Fran Tarkenton and even Terry Bradshaw off of this list. So without further ado, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 GREATEST NFL QUARTERBACKS (1980-present):
Honorable Mention. Troy Aikman and Jim Kelly - Both players were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and deservingly so for what they helped their teams accomplish. Combined they appeared in 7 Super Bowls with Aikman winning all 3 of his appearances and Kelly losing all 4 of his. The reason they do not make my Top 10 is that I feel that their success was more a function of the team around them than their quarterback skill. Don't get me wrong, both were outstanding leaders and still fantastic QBs and were crucial contributors to their teams' ultimate success. I admire both of their accomplishments very much, but they just fall short of making this particular list and that is why I wanted to at least give them honorable mention.
10. Randall Cunningham (1985-2001) - He played most of the meaningful portion of his career for the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings. Though he never enjoyed nearly the team success that Aikman or Kelly did, I feel that Cunningham revolutionized the quarterback position by proving that they can also be a weapon running the ball. Retired as the all time leading rusher from the QB position with 4,928 yards and 35 touchdowns. He lead the 2nd highest scoring offense in history (1st until New England topped them this year) when the 1998 Vikings scored 556 points with Cunningham under center. He not only opened doors for African Americans to play the quarterback position, but also opened the door for less traditional and more athletic types to play the position.
9. Dan Fouts (1973-1987) - Though he played a good portion of his career before 1980, some of his most prolific seasons came after that. Fouts led the NFL in passing yards for four consecutive seasons 1979-1983 and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Fouts was the leader of the San Diego Chargers and one of my favorite offensive teams of all time. He never played in a Super Bowl, but made it to the AFC Championship game twice. At the time, he was just the third quarterback ever to eclipse 40,000 passing yards in his career and the first ever to throw for 4000 yards in back to back seasons. He passed for 254 touchdowns in his career and Fouts is just one of seven QBs ever to throw 30 touchdowns in back to back seasons.
8. Warren Moon (1984-2000) - Moon played the majority of his 17 year NFL career with the Houston Oilers, but prior to that he won 5 consecutive Grey Cup titles playing for Edmonton in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Combining his NFL and CFL results, Moon's statistics are almost unbelievable completing 5,357 passes for 70,553 yards and 435 touchdowns (with over 49,000 yards and 291 touchdowns coming from the NFL portion). He unfortunately never won a Super Bowl, but was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Along with Cunningham, he also played a big role in opening up opportunities for African Americans to play the quarterback position.
7. John Elway (1983-1998) - Many people would rank Elway much higher on the list, but I am one who feels he is a little overrated. Playing his entire career for the Denver Broncos, he is second (to Favre) with 148 career victories. Elway appeared in five Super Bowls and won two consecutive in the last two seasons of his career. He carried his teams to the Super Bowls in the late 80s, but I felt the opposite to be true in his final seasons when an outstanding offensive line, Terrell Davis at running back and an attacking defense allowed Elway to go out on top. He had an excellent career and is a deserving member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but just gets a little too much credit as fas as I am concerned.
6. Steve Young (1985-1999) - Young began his career in the USFL, then with Tampa Bay before moving to San Francisco to be the understudy to Joe Montana. He did not even become the starting QB for the 49ers until 1991, but then he never looked back. He has three Super Bowl rings, but only one was earned as the starting quarterback in 1994. That year he was also named the Super Bowl MVP after throwing a record 6 touchdowns in the game. Young is a two time NFL MVP and has the highest career passer rating for all QBs with at least 1500 pass attempts. His career rushing yards (4,239) are second most by a QB only to Randall Cunningham. He did have the incredible luxury of throwing to Jerry Rice, the greatest wide receiver to ever play. Concussions seemed to cut Young's career short, but he was still deservingly inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
5. Dan Marino (1983-1999) - He played his entire career for the Miami Dolphins and owned many of the career passing records until Favre broke them all. In 1984, he would have one of the greatest seasons in history by a quarterback -5084 yards and 48 touchdowns- win the NFL MVP award and lead his team to the Super Bowl, though they lost. This would be the only Super Bowl appearance in Marino's career because the Dolphins were never able to surround him with enough talent and defense to get there again. He did lead the Dolphins to 147 victories in his career which is 3rd all time behind Elway and Favre. Marino's career statistics are mind blowing with 4,967 completions for 61,361 yards and 420 touchdowns. Another obvious member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, if he would have won at least one championship, he would definitely be up in my top 3.
4. Peyton Manning (1998-present) - It might be a little soon to rank Manning this high after just 10 seasons all with the Colts, but what he has accomplished in that amount of time cannot be denied. He holds the record for most seasons in a career with 4000 or more passing yards (8) and most consecutive seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes (10). His 160 consecutive games started is the most to open a career at the QB position, though he ranks well behind Favre for the overall record. He does have a Super Bowl championship and will always be in the running to win another title. He already has 306 touchdown passes and nearly 42,000 career passing yards while leading the Colts to 105 wins. He held the record for most touchdowns in a season (49) until Tom Brady broke that record this past year. Manning is a sure fire first ballot hall of famer when he retires, but I don't expect that to be for many more seasons.
3. Tom Brady (2000-present) - Brady has only played 8 seasons, but has already took the New England Patriots to three Super Bowl titles with almost a fourth won this past year. He led his team to a perfect 16-0 record while winning the NFL MVP award this season while also tossing 50 touchdowns to break the single season record. He has already won 86 regular season games with the Patriots with an additional 14 post season wins as well. His overall numbers might not be quite as prolific as some of the guys ranked lower, but he has many seasons ahead of him and the 3 Super Bowl rings are a major boost. If he wins a couple more, Brady could be considered the best ever.
2. Joe Montana (1979-1994) - Montana is best known for his years with the San Francisco 49ers where he spent 14 seasons and won a remarkable 4 Super Bowl titles. He was a 2 time NFL MVP (1989 & 1990) and 3 time Super Bowl MVP and obviously now a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His career totals of 40,551 passing yards and 273 touchdowns are impressive, but it was his leadership qualities and clutch performances under pressure that really made Montana special. He, like Steve Young after him, had the spectacular Jerry Rice to throw the ball to. Unfortunately, he had to finish the last two seasons of his career with another team (Kansas City) because the 49ers wanted to make the switch to Young. Regardless, Montana is commonly considered the best quarterback of this or possibly any generation.
1. Brett Favre (1991-2007) - Favre is the only 3 time NFL MVP and has appeared in two Super Bowls winning one in 1996. He started every single game since becoming the Packers quarterback in 1992 for an incredible NFL record 253 games in a row (275 if you include the playoffs). He holds all of the major career passing records including yards (61,655) and touchdowns (442), though his gunslinger style of play also caused him to get the career record for interceptions thrown (288). He also holds the record for most career victories for a QB with 160, but what I find to be even more impressive is that during his 16 seasons with the Packers his team had the best winning percentage of any team in the league during that time (160-93). His performance in the Monday Night Football game (December 22, 2003) the day after his father passed away, throwing for 399 yards and 4 touchdowns on the way to a 41-7 victory, is one of the best sports moments in my memory. Probably the most admirable quality that Favre displayed was how he played football with pure joy almost like a little kid would and reminding us that after all it is still a game. In five years, he will be a first ballot hall of famer without a doubt.
There is my top 10, so let me know what you think. This topic is debated often and there are no clear cut criteria to judge the players on, but this is the way I see it. There is a website called "Cold Hard Football Facts" which claims to be able to objectively rank these players. I admit my bias, but I still feel Favre has earned his spot at the top of my list. He is beloved by most football fans, not just Packers fans. He will be sorely missed and, as much as he is loved by fans, he will be appreciated even more after he is gone.
That's going to wrap up this issue of Kickin' it Old School. This was my 50th article since we started. Yeah! Thanks as always for reading and please click on the Archive buttons in the upper left hand column to make sure you have not missed a single issue. We will be getting back to some 80s topics very soon, so check back for that soon. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Here is a link to a Brett Favre tribute video set to the Green Day song also recommended below.
Quote of the day: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases, it will never pass into nothingness." -John Keats
Download this: "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day
|When TV Shows are Coming Back After Strike - Kickin' it Old School
|03.03.08 (9:23 pm) 
Back in my January 24th issue, I discussed how the final season of one my favorite shows, Scrubs, was hanging in the balance due to the writers' strike. I saw a couple interesting addendums to this topic and thought I would share them with you.
First, according to the Hollywood Reporter, there was report just recently released which estimated that the 3-month long writers' strike cost the city of Lost Angeles and its surrounding areas about $2.5 billion. That number is pretty staggering, so let me repeat it... $2.5 billion (with a B). This figure was due to lost wages from canceled TV shows and postponed movies, support services such as limousine drivers, catering and florists, general tourism and the canceled Golden Globes ceremony. The viewers were punished by not getting to watch new episodes of their favorite shows, but that number puts some of the other surrounding economic effects into perspective. That was just for three months, so imagine if it would have lasted any longer. I am not saying that the writers did not have a just cause to fight for, but just pointing out some of the consequences.
Next, back to the specific topic of Scrubs, I read that there may be another season (8th) for this fantastic sitcom. This, according to an article of Reuters, would mean an additional 18 episodes, but it may find its way onto the ABC network (rather than NBC where it currently airs). In a strange arrangement, Scrubs is actually produced by ABC Studios even though the show has been aired on rival NBC since it began back in 2001. When NBC was wavering on whether to pick up the show for its 7th season, ABC was ready to make the move at that point, but NBC still owns the right of first refusal and decided to give the show one more season. With the writers' strike taking its toll, it appears that the 7th season will only end up being 12 episodes long instead of the 18 episodes that were intended. Many of those involved as well as fans feel that is no way for this quirky sitcom to end. It sounds as if there have been many options considered for the end of the show including one special episode finale or releasing the remaining episodes directly to DVD, but it seems as if ABC has different plans for Scrubs. The problem for ABC is that NBC still should own the right of first refusal, but the good news is that regardless of how it proceeds it looks as if Scrubs will get to go out on its own terms. I hope they take advantage of the opportunity to put together an amazingly funny final season that makes us all proud. There were 5 new unaired episodes completed prior to the strike and NBC plans to begin airing those starting April 10th. That would put the show at 11 episodes for this season and I guess we will have to wait and see how the rest plays out.
I am sure many of you are like me and wondering when your favorite shows will begin to air new episodes again. I did a little research through TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly to compile this list for you. Please check your local listings to confirm these dates and if there are any other shows that I do not list, please let me know and I will try to find out that information for you.
Back to You (Fox) - already began airing new episodes
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - new episodes come back March 17th
Bones (Fox) - new episodes come back April 14th
Boston Legal (ABC) - new episodes come back April 7th
Brothers & Sisters (ABC) - new episodes come back April 20th
Chuck (NBC) - no new episodes until Fall
The Closer (TNT) - expected to kick off 4th season this Summer
Cold Case (CBS) - new episodes come back March 30th
Criminal Minds (CBS) - new episodes come back April 2nd
CSI (CBS) - new episodes come back April 3rd
CSI: Miami (CBS) - new episodes come back March 24th
CSI: NY (CBS) - new episodes come back April 2nd
Desperate Housewives (ABC) - new episodes come back April 13th
ER (NBC) - new episodes come back April 10th
Friday Night Lights (NBC) - no new episodes until Fall
Grey's Anatomy (ABC) - new episodes come back April 24th
Heroes (NBC) - no new episodes until Fall
House (Fox) - new episodes come back April 28th
How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - new episodes come back March 17th
Law & Order (NBC) - new episodes come back April 23rd
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) - new episodes come back April 15th
Lost (ABC) - new episodes already began airing, but short break planned mid-March
My Name Is Earl (NBC) - new episodes come back April 3rd
NCIS (CBS) - new episodes come back April 8th
Numb3rs (CBS) - new episodes come back April 4th
The Office (NBC) - new episodes come back April 10th
One Tree Hill (CW) - currently airing pre-strike episodes through March 18th, with new episodes starting again April 14th
Prison Break (Fox) - season ended and not renewed for Fall yet
Private Practice (ABC) - no new episodes until Fall
Psych (USA) - new episodes will begin again this Summer
Pushing Daisies (ABC) - no new episodes until Fall
Rules of Engagement (CBS) - new episodes come back April 14th
Samantha Who? (ABC) - new episodes come back April 7th
Saturday Night Live (NBC) - new episodes have already began airing
Scrubs (NBC) - as said above, pre-strike episodes will begin airing April 10th, but then future is still unknown
Smallville (CW) - currently airing pre-strike episodes, with new episodes starting again April 17th
South Park (Comedy Central) - new episodes come back March 12th
‘Til Death (Fox) - final pre-strike episode scheduled to air March 25th, with new episodes starting again April 16th
30 Rock (NBC) - new episodes come back April 10th
24 (Fox) - season 7 postponed until January 2009
Two and a Half Men (CBS) - new episodes come back March 17th
Ugly Betty (ABC) - new episodes come back April 24th
Without a Trace (CBS) - new episodes come back April 3rd
That should get you up to speed with most of the shows. Not affected by the strike, American Idol is off to a good start already and provides some of the best entertainment until these shows start airing new episodes over the coming weeks. The Writers Guild and Directors Guild were both able to eventually agree to deals, but the Screen Actors Guild is next up and if you thought the writers' strike caused a commotion, just imagine what damage a much higher profile actors' strike could do. If the 3-month writers' strike cost L.A. $2.5 billion and viewers months and months of original programming, then what could an actor's strike cost? I hope they all learn from the past 3-4 months and we do not ever have to find that out.
That does it for another issue of Kickin' it. Thanks so much for reading and please be sure to click on the Archive buttons in the upper left hand column to make sure you have not missed any previous issues. Have a great week. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Have you ever heard someone singing a song, but totally butchering the lyrics? Have you ever heard a song on the radio and you were not quite sure exactly what they said? There is an official website for misheard song lyrics and a book titled "Hold Me Closer Tony Danza & Other Misheard Lyrics." I have the book and it is a lot of fun, but the website can be fun as well. Go check it out. I plan on doing an article at one point pointing out some of my all-time favorites.
Quote of the day: "If there's a way to do it better... find it." -Thomas Edison
Download this: "Throwing It All Away" by Genesis - From their hugely successful 1986 album Invisible Touch
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