Each holiday season, I do special issues recalling memorable Christmas songs, television specials, commercials and movies from the 80s. I've already shared an issue this year on a Christmas song and a holiday commercial. Next up will be a Christmas movie that came out in the 80s. Over the last three years, I have published holiday move issues on National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Scrooged and A Christmas Story. I haven't done many of these lately, but this will be the 35th official issue of my 80s Movie Trailer of the Week which I call "Preview Review." Since this is a special holiday issue, I will include the usual "Check this out" and "Quote of the day" sections at the end, though normally Preview Review issues do not.
The last three years, I have featured Christmas movies that I truly adore. This year, I will cover a film that I have never been particularly fond of personally, but it surely qualifies as an 80s Christmas movie. 1985's Santa Claus: The Movie had the makings to become a holiday classic, but clearly missed the mark. The film was produced by Alexander and Ilya Salkind who had brought us the Superman franchise. It starred David Huddleston as the big man "Santa Claus" himself, Judy Cornwall as "Mrs. Claus", Dudley Moore as an elf named "Patch", Burgess Meredith as the eldest elf and John Lithgow as the evil "B.Z.". The first half of the film explores the whole Santa Claus origin story, but then the second half focuses on "Patch" the elf who almost ruins Christmas after getting taken advantage of by a greedy toy manufacturer who wants to corner the market and eliminate Santa. Here is the original trailer for Santa Claus: The Movie...
The film has its moments, but just never has resonated with me the way many other holiday classics have. It does have some highlights which include the special effects reindeer flying scenes. I read that these were created in a similar way to the flying scenes in the Superman movies. Another highlight is the presence of Dudley Moore and John Lithgow. Moore had always been the top choice to play the lead Elf in the movie, Ilya Salkind having remembered a scene in Arthur in which Liza Minnelli's character asks Moore if he is Santa's Little Helper. Several actors were considered for the part of the evil B.Z. (including Harrison Ford, Burt Reynolds, Dustin Hoffman and Johnny Carson), but Lithgow was settled on after Salkind watched Terms of Endearment and realized that he had a Grinch-type look to him. I would also consider there to be a couple musical highlights. The most obvious was Sheena Easton's version of "It's Christmas (All Over the World)", but also worth noting is the use of Kajagoogoo's "Shouldn't Do That". The film's soundtrack was composed and conducted by Henry Mancini which is solid in its own right as well. Here's the video for "It's Christmas (All Over the World)" by Sheena Easton which includes footage from the film...
Santa Claus: The Movie received mostly negative reviews and had a relatively lackluster performance at the U.S. box office. It was released on November 25, 1985 and only grossed $23.7 million (with an opening weekend of only $5.6 million) in the U.S. despite a production budget estimated in the $30-$50 million range. And you certainly don't see it played on U.S. television much even during this holiday season. Maybe a lesser-known cable channel needs to run a 24-hour marathon of Santa Claus: The Movie to get it a little more attention. (Hey, Biography Channel or Animal Planet, that idea is free for the taking!)
As I have done in each of my Christmas Movie issues, I wanted to highlight some of the film's dialogue. I would certainly not put any of this up against my other cherished 80s Christmas classics, but here still is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 FAVORITE LINES FROM SANTA CLAUS: THE MOVIE:
10. "Oh, yeah, well know this: time travels with you. The night of the world is a passage of endless night for you, until your mission is done."
9. "The world's a nice enough place, isn't it? They send such nice letters from there, it must be!"
8. "Oh, that's fantastic! How do you make your face so red so fast?"
7. "What are you doing here? I'm pitchin' a no-hitter for the Yankees, what's it look like? But it's Christmas Eve! Don't you know what that means? Yeah, it means you're out of a job until next year, you and the rest of the winos. Don't you know who I am? Sure, you're a nut. I'm Santa Claus. Right, and I'm the tooth fairy."
6. "If this catches on, we can come out with a liquid version: puce juice."
5. "The retailers are pulling our toys off the shelves so fast you'd think they're disease carriers."
4. "A sequel. That's it. We'll bring it out on March 25, and we'll call it... Christmas 2!"
3. "Stop giving me all these short sentences and making me go uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh like some kind of godamn moron!"
2. "You're a dummy stupid-headed stink-faced creep who made the kids hate the best guy ever."
1. "Well, you know the old saying: Heaven helps those who help their elf."
Certainly not a must-watch classic in my opinion, but it was made in the 80s so it certainly cannot be all bad! If I do not get another chance, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2012.
That'll put a wrap on this holiday issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks as always for reading. If you are interested in reading any of my other 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. 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 Fan Page where I ask you to then click on "LIKE". You can also follow @OldSchool80s on Twitter by clicking on the FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER LOGO also in the upper right hand column. This will take you the page and you can just click on the box that says "Follow". I am sending daily 80s tweets, so sign up to get those. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.
Check this out: A friend just shared this picture and I loved it because it holds so true for me personally. I just finished off a roll of wrapping paper last night and right away started to have a duel of my own with an imaginary Darth Vader...
Quote of the day: "Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself..." -Norman Wesley Brooks (from "Let Every Day Be Christmas" 1976)
This time of year, I do special issues recalling my most memorable holiday songs, television specials, commercials and movies from the 80s. I've already shared an issue this year on a song. Commercials are also legitimate pop culture contributors with Christmas commercials especially so. Past holiday commercial issues include Hershey's Kisses Christmas Bells and Folgers "Peter Comes Home". This year's holiday commercial is on the E.T. video game for Atari 2600 which may or may not hit home for some since it only ran that one season. It certainly is not as iconic as the last two holiday commercials I covered.
Back in 1982, there were at least two things most kids my age loved... the film E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and the Atari 2600 video game system. So an E.T. game for the Atari 2600 seems like it would be a natural and its coming was indeed highly anticipated after Atari had acquired the rights to create it. To say the result was disappointing would be a severe understatement. In fact, the commercials for the game might be the best thing to come out of this surprising debacle.
E.T. (the film) was released in theaters in early June of 1982 and became the biggest blockbuster to date remaining the top box office grossing movie for six straight weeks and holding either the #1 or #2 spot until January. A video game based on this epic film seems like a no-brainer. Warner Communications (Atari's parent company) completed negotiations with Steven Spielberg and Universal Pictures to acquire the license to produce a video game based on E.T. on July 27th. Howard Scott Warshaw was then commissioned to develop the game, but was given a deadline of September 1st (just five weeks!) in order to meet the production schedule necessary to get it on the market for Christmas. Due to time limitations, Atari decided to skip audience testing for the product which was a necessary but still unwise decision. As one would expect, anticipation for the game was extremely high and it was one of the most sought-after Christmas gifts that season. What resulted is considered to be one of the worst video games ever released as well as one of the biggest commercial failures in video game history.
More on that in a little bit. To help create demand for this video game release, television commercials were created capitalizing on the beloved character from the film. I remember seeing them quite often during that December of 1982 and, though the game did not make my personal list to Santa, it did leave an impression. In case you never saw them or need your memory refreshed, here are two of the commercials for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600...
With commercials like those, what kid wouldn't want that game? Kids were waiting to eat the game up like it were Reese's Pieces. Sales of the game were initially successful as one would expect, but not nearly to anticipated levels. The game eventually sold 1.5 million copies, but it is reported that between 2.5 and 3.5 million cartridges went unsold. Critics and players alike panned the poor quality game as a disappointment in nearly every aspect. Despite decent sales figures, the quantity of unsold merchandise coupled with the expensive movie license and the large amount of returns made E.T. a financial failure for Atari. It was reported that Atari earned $25 million in sales, but netted a loss of $100 million in the end.
Piling on to this epic failure, E.T. (the game) is blamed as one of the causes of the entire U.S. video game industry crash which began in 1983. Industry revenues that had peaked at around $3.2 billion in 1983 fell to around $100 million by 1985. The game led Atari to report a $536 million loss in 1983 and led to the company being divided and sold in 1984. It certainly cannot all be blamed on this one game, but it surely was a catalyst. As we know, the video game industry was reborn a couple years later with the introduction of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
What happened to all of those unsold copies of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600??? The rumor (and possible urban legend) is that they were buried in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico. In September of 1983, it was reported that between 10 and 20 semi-trailer truckloads of Atari boxes were crushed, encased in cement and buried there. It is speculated that several million of the unsold copies of E.T. were part of this mass burial. This has never been completely verified, but seems reasonable since the game cartridges had to go somewhere. It's not the typical happy story you associate with the holidays, but an interesting side story nonetheless. And it is another chapter of wonderful 80s pop culture history.
That's all for this holiday issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks as always for reading. If you are interested in reading any of my other 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. 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 Fan Page where I ask you to then click on "LIKE". Even if you are not a Facebook member yet, please consider joining and registering as a fan at that page. You can also follow @OldSchool80s on Twitter by clicking on the FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER LOGO also in the upper right hand column. This will take you the page and you can just click on the box that says "Follow". I am sending daily 80s tweets, so sign up to get those. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.
Check this out: It seems that everywhere you look nowadays people have their noses to their smart phones either texting, reading email, playing games or watching videos. This Christmas card seems fitting and not all that farfetched. It made me chuckle, so thought I would share it here...
Quote of the day: "And he puzzled and puzzled 'til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?" -Dr. Seuss from How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Each December, I do special issues remembering my most memorable holiday songs, television specials, commercials and movies from the 80s. This year I am going to start with my holiday issue on a Christmas song. Last year's holiday song issue was on Wham!'s "Last Christmas" and the two years prior were on the first A Very Special Christmas album from 1987 and "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band-Aid respectively. I highly recommend you go back and enjoy those holiday classics again. This year, I have not posted as many "Flashback Videos" issues because of all of the interviews I have been privileged to do, but that is what this will be. Since this is a special holiday issue, I will include the usual "Check this out" and "Quote of the day" sections at the end, though normally Flashback Video issues do not.
For this issue I am going to highlight a song which is not a traditional Christmas song and is not necessarily even a specifically Christmas song at all for that matter. It does mention Christmas in the lyrics and seems to be even more poignant during the holidays, but it is a song that I can listen to any time of year. In fact, I would even consider it one of my favorite songs. The song I am celebrating is "2000 Miles" by The Pretenders.
The single was released in November of 1983 and would later be included on the band's 1984 album Learning to Crawl. It was the first single and album by the new Pretenders line-up reconstituted after the deaths of Pete Farndon and James Honeyman-Scott. New members Robbie McIntosh and Malcolm Foster joined Chrissie Hynde and Martin Chambers to fill out the quartet.
In June of 1982, The Pretenders held a band meeting which resulted in the dismissal of Farndon due to his drug use [he'd die in April of 1983 drowning in a bathtub due to passing out after a heroin overdose]. Ironically, just two days after Farndon was kicked out of the group, Honeyman-Scott was found dead of heart failure caused by cocaine intolerance at just the age of 25. Many interpret the lyrics of "2000 Miles" to refer to a long-distance longing by two forlorn lovers who are forced to be apart and especially miss each other over the holidays. That is somewhat accurate, but it is reported that the song which was written by Hynde is really about missing Honeyman-Scott, her deceased band mate and friend. This month's Flashback Video is "2000 Miles" by The Pretenders...
Anybody who has ever missed anybody can likely identify with this song (though the video is admittedly a little odd). This song always seems to get my emotions stirring. Maybe it is Chrissie Hynde's wonderfully haunting vocal. Maybe it is the simple melody or unassuming lyrics. Here are the lyrics to "2000 Miles" by The Pretenders...
He's gone two thousand miles It's very far The snow is falling down Gets colder day by day I miss you
The children will sing He'll be back at Christmastime
In these frozen and silent nights Sometimes in a dream you appear Outside under the purple sky Diamonds in the snow sparkle Our hearts were singing It felt like Christmastime
Two thousand miles Is very far through the snow I'll think of you Wherever you go He's gone two thousand miles It's very far The snow is falling down Gets colder day by day I miss you
I can hear people singing It must be Christmastime I hear people singing It must be Christmastime
Maybe it is a combination of all those ingredients and more. Whatever the reason, I just know that I love this song and especially so over the holidays. The single never officially charted in the U.S. back then, but it did reach #15 in the UK. The Pretenders would later record another of my beloved holiday hymns when their version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" was included on the 1987 charity album A Very Special Christmas. I love that holiday classic no matter who sings it, but The Pretenders' version is one of my favorites probably for many of the same reasons I love "2000 Miles". And, knowing me, it certainly doesn't hurt that they are both from the great decade of the 80s.
That's all for this holiday issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks as always for reading. If you are interested in reading any of my other 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. If you want to see the past issues of Flashback Videos, just type that into the Google Search Box at the top of the right hand column and it should give you a list of all of them. 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 our page where I ask you to then click on "LIKE". You can also follow @OldSchool80s on Twitter by clicking on the FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER LOGO also in the upper right hand column. This will take you the page and you can just click on the box that says "Follow". I am sending daily 80s tweets, so sign up to get those. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.
Check this out: This time of year, it is not uncommon to exhibit amazing displays of holiday spirit in the form of Christmas lights on the outside of your home. Do you have a neighbor that goes a little overboard? Do you lack the energy or resources to create your own car-stopping display? Well, here is an idea which does not appear to be altogether original, but would still make me chuckle if I drove by and saw it. I present to you: exterior illumination for the lazy and/or uninspired...
Quote of the day: "It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air." -W. T. Ellis
As I say each time, I am so enjoying that interviews continue to be a legitimate part of this little blog of mine! When the opportunity presents itself to ask a few questions to someone who contributed to the awesomeness of the 80s, I will continue to share those answers with you right here. Again, lucky for me (and hopefully you), I do get to share a little more awesomeness with you.
This time that awesomeness is Steve Kipner. He was a performing musician himself in the 60s and 70s, but really is best known for the songs he has written and produced for other artists. His songwriting career really started in the 80s and skyrocketed after he co-wrote the 1981 smash single "Physical" which was performed by Olivia Newton-John. He went on to co-write other hit songs for Newton-John as well as the band Chicago among others in the decade. He achieved great success in the 80s, but Kipner has gone on to even greater continued worldwide success to this day. You will find out more about those outstanding 80s hits as well as a little about some of the impressive songwriting credits he's added in more recent years as we get on to some selections from my interview with Steve Kipner...
Q: When and how did you get your own start in the music industry? How did your father's work aid those efforts?
Steve: My first band was called The Board of Musical Appreciation Ltd [at the age of 15]. It was later shortened by the record company that signed us to just Steve & the Board. None of us in the band wanted the name Steve in there but they insisted. My father [Nat Kipner] started the label - Spin Records in Sydney, Australia with the Bee Gees, who I'd known since I was 11 years old in Brisbane, becoming one of the first signings. I moved to Sydney with my band members and we had the luxury of a lot of time in a little two track studio resulting in an album- not many Australian bands at the time got to release albums because studio time was hard to get or to have paid for. My father definitely gave us an advantage there.
Kipner was born in the U.S. (Cincinnati, Ohio), but moved to Australia at the age of one. He spent all of his formative years down under before moving to London, England at the age of 19 and then back to California six years later in 1974.
Q: Please discuss any of your personal musical influences and who molded and/or inspired the artist you have become.
Steve: Even though I was and still am a total Beatles fan, the first song on the radio that blew my socks off was "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks . I couldn't believe how exciting it was and from that time on all I wanted to do was music.
Q: When and how did you end up developing a second career of writing songs for other artists to perform?
Steve: It was when I was recording my solo album [Knock the Walls Down in 1979] that my producer [Jay Graydon] said he needed a week off so he could record a singer from Italy called Alan Sorrenti. He felt a bit guilty to put my project on hold so suggested I write the four songs with this Italian guy. I did and the album and single went straight to #1 in Italy. It was the first time I understood I could actually make a living from other people singing my songs.
Kipner has gone on to help create songs for so many artists including Chicago, Heart, Janet Jackson, Huey Lewis & the News, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, Joe Cocker, Wilson Phillips, Cheap Trick, Dolly Parton, George Benson, The Temptations, Rod Stewart, Christina Aguilera, Natasha Bedingfield, 98 Degrees, LFO, Kelly Rowland, Dream, The Script and, of course, Olivia Newton-John.
Q: You co-wrote the huge 1981 hit single "Physical" with Terry Shaddick. What is the back story about how that song was conceived and written? What inspired it? How long did it take to write? Did you write with a male or female in mind to sing lead vocals?
Steve: Terry is from England but we became friends in Los Angeles. We wrote a few love songs then one day we decided to write one about the "physical" side of love, not the romantic side. It was basically done in a couple days. We imagined a male singer like Rod Stewart singing it, but as you know, that would not be the case.
Kipner confirmed to me that the story of how "Physical" ended up being recorded by Olivia Newton-John is true. Kipner's manager, Roger Davies, was working for Lee Kramer at the time, who managed Olivia Newton-John. Kipner played Davies the demo which was then titled "Let's Get Physical" at his office. By pure luck, Lee Kramer was in the next room and heard the song. Kramer thought it would be a way to promote another one of his clients (Mr. Universe) by having him appear with Olivia on her album cover. They shortened the title to just "Physical" and it was released as a single in September of 1981. It would hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on November 21st and spent an impressive ten straight weeks at the top. It was a worldwide hit reaching #1 in four other countries and the top 10 in four more. It was certainly one of the biggest songs of the entire 80s decade and here's the video for "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John...
Q: Did you have any feeling that "Physical" was going to be something special? What were your feelings when you heard the final recording of your song by Newton-John? Could you have ever anticipated the reaction this single would get?
Steve: I did feel it could be a hit, but Olivia was worried the lyrics were too suggestive and insisted on releasing a video about exercising, to make people think it was about getting fit (and not sex) before the single was played on the air.
The plan seemed to work evidenced by the single's chart success, but also that headbands became a fashion trend even outside of the gym. I'll admit that when it came out, I was too young to recognize the song was about anything more than exercising. But lines like "Let me hear your body talk" and "There's nothing left to talk about, unless it's horizontally" make it pretty obvious. The song is completely tame by today's standards, but back then it did raise some eyebrows and was even banned in some places.
Q: How about those sexually suggestive lyrics? Did you take that into consideration at all when you wrote the song? What were your feelings about the controversy?
Steve: I like a bit on controversy, it makes people listen a little closer, "Genie in a Bottle" [a hit song Kipner also co-wrote many years later] also benefited from controversy.
Q: What changed for you personally after the huge success of "Physical"?
Q: What are your feelings regarding "Physical" today over 30 years later?
Steve: Not sure I'd still be able to write and produce records today if it wasn't for that song.
Q: You then teamed with Newton-John again when you co-wrote the 1983 hit "Twist of Fate" for the film Two of a Kind. Did you write this song specifically for her and this film? Was it your connection on "Physical" that brought you together again?
Steve: I've known Olivia since we were kids in Australia. We're still great friends today. "Twist of Fate" was written especially for her as well as "Heart Attack", another single I co-wrote that was #2 on the Billboard charts for four weeks.
"Heart Attack" was released as a single in 1982 off of her Olivia's Greatest Hits Vol. 2 album. Then they struck again with "Twist of Fate" which was released in 1983 and would reach #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January of 1984. Kipner co-wrote the song with Peter Becket which was featured on the soundtrack for the film Two of a Kind which starred Newton-John and John Travolta. Here is a video for "Twist of Fate" by Olivia Newton-John as it appeared in the film...
Q: The following year, you co-wrote the 1984 hit song "Hard Habit To Break" for Chicago. Please take us back to when you wrote the song. Did you write this song specifically for Chicago? Any interesting facts or memories you can let us in on from creating this hit?
Steve: I had a song written when [producer] David Foster's engineer told me they still needed a hit ballad for Chicago, so John Lewis Parker and myself rearranged the demo to sound more like Chicago and additionally wrote a bridge that didn't exist in the original demo. We even hired a sax player to give the impression of horns. David Foster called me and said they needed an extra verse so I told him I'd get on it soon. He said no, that they were actually in the studio and they had already sung it but needed that new verse immediately. My wife actually came up with the "two people together but living alone" line as I was rushing to get it finished.
Adding to that story, I read that Kipner and his wife were on vacation at a mountain resort when Foster called. The manager knocked on the door during a blizzard with an urgent message to call David Foster. There was no phone in the cabin, so they drove in the blizzard, calling Foster back from a phone booth at a 7-11 store. They then sat in the car, urgently trying to write the fourth verse while Chicago was waiting for the lyrics back at the studio.
"Hard Habit To Break" would be released in July of 1984 as a single from the Chicago 17 album. The single, featuring outstanding lead vocals by both Peter Cetera and Bill Champlin, reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Here is the video for "Hard Habit To Break" by Chicago...
Q: What were your feelings when you heard the final recording of your song by Chicago? What are your feelings regarding "Hard Habit To Break" today over 27 years later?
Steve: Proud of the song and still I think it's a great record.
Q: You co-wrote another hit with Chicago with 1987's "If She Would Have Been Faithful". Again, any interesting facts or memories you can let us in on from creating this one? What inspired the lyrics?
Steve: That is the only song I've ever taken from real life, thanking an old girlfriend for dumping me because otherwise I would never have met my wife.
"If She Would Have Been Faithful" was released in March of 1987 as a single from Chicago 18. Kipner co-wrote it with Randy Goodrum and the single was produced again by David Foster. It reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year. Here is a video for a live performance of "If She Would Have Been Faithful" by Chicago...
Q: Is it difficult as a song-writer to relinquish your song to another artist who will undoubtedly take liberties and/or put their own spin on your work?
Steve: That's the reason I started producing on my songs. I wanted to insure the finished record still sounded like the demo the record companies wanted. All the hits I've had since the 90s I've been involved with the production.
Q: What do you remember best about the decade of 80s music?
Steve: My songwriting career really got started in the 80s but to be truthful I've been lucky to survive and have #1 hits around the world for a lot of decades. So I don't reminisce too much about the past. I'm really only concerned with the future.
Q: After over four decades in the business, from your perspective, how has the music industry changed over that time? And how do you see the future?
Steve: Everything changes. Adapt or die.
Q: I am a big fan of David Frank who I know you co-wrote songs with including "Genie In a Bottle". What can you tell us about Frank and your experiences working with him?
Steve: He is a good friend, neighbor, an excellent musician and producer... and a great guy.
Among other hits, Kipner co-wrote and co-produced Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle" with Frank which would be one of the biggest hits of 1999 holding the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the entire month of August (5 weeks). The song won them an Ivor Novello Award for International Hit of the Year.
Q: Please tell us a little about where else your music career has taken you since the 80s.
Steve: I have a joint venture with Sony records called Phonogenic and we have some amazing artists.
Two of the most recognizable artists on Phonogenic are Natasha Bedingfield and The Script. Kipner co-wrote "Breakeven" by The Script which was originally released in the UK in 2008 and the U.S. in September of 2009. The multi-platinum selling single peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Still going strong, "Breakeven" just earned the BMI London Robert S. Musel Award for Song of the Year in October of this year. Kipner also co-wrote the song "Live Like We're Dying" which was the 2009 debut single for American Idol Season 8 winner Kris Allen. The single, which was originally recorded by The Script, was certified platinum and peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2010.
Q: What else can we expect from Steve Kipner in the future?
Steve: Watch this space [which he clarified to mean that no one knows about the future and we have to wait and see what happens].
I'd be willing to bet that writing and producing more hit singles is in his future! I am grateful that Steve took some time to answer my questions so I could share them with you here. Please be sure to visit his official website to find out more and stay up to date with everything he is doing now. I want to take this opportunity to again thank Steve Kipner for his wonderful contributions to 80s pop culture especially through his songwriting and, even more, for going back to the 80s with us here for a little while as well.
That'll do it for another special issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks as always for reading and hope you are enjoying the interviews as much as I am. If you want a summary of all of my Back to the 80s Interviews posted thus far, please click on that link. Be sure you haven't missed any of them. If you are interested in reading any of my other 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. 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 Fan Page where I ask you to then click on the "Like" button. Even if you are not a Facebook member yet, please consider joining and registering as a fan at that page. You can also follow @OldSchool80s on Twitter by clicking on the FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER LOGO also in the upper right hand column. This will take you the page and you can just click on the box that says "Follow". I am sending daily 80s tweets, so sign up to get those. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.
Check this out: Love this art brought to my attention by boingboing.net. This is by DrFaustusAU and reimagines Ghostbusters as a cover to a Dr. Seuss book. If you follow the link, you will find a little Seuss-inspired rhyme by the artist: "There goes Gozer! Gozer goes quick! Ignore Walter Peck, as the man has no..." I also liked the take I read at the boingboing.net site by someone going by the name benher: "I do not like your slippery slime, I do not like the way you rhyme! Do you take me for a fool? There is no Dana, only Zuul!" Good stuff.
Quote of the day: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German poet & novelist)
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