Hi everyone – been a while since my last post. Hey, life happens! I had to put this on the back burner for a while but thanks for all the kind words! Fear not, I’m back!! Been working on the look of the page so this you may see changes for the next little while. Plenty more to come but for now, check out this awesome cover from Hall and Oats from the “Live From Darryl’s House” web series featuring the Canadian electro-pop duo Chromeo. As always – Keep It Retro !
Sad news today from the world of professional “real” wrestling. Randy “Macho Man” Savage died tragically after suffering a heart attack while driving his SUV in Tampa, Florida. His wife, who was in the car with him, only suffered minor injuries.
Randall Mario Poffo held twenty championship titles during his professional career and along with Hulk Hogan was one of the primary drivers behind the success of the WWF and bringing professional wrestling to the mainstream.
He brought a unique style to the ring along with his raspy voice and trademark “Ohhhh yeaaah” and took full advantage of the marketing machine that was the WWF (now the WWE) and became one of their biggest stars. In typical wrestling form, he shifted side many times during his career going from bad guy to good guy making and breaking various alliances along the way and was “managed” for most of his career by his wife Elizabeth Ann “Miss Elizabeth” Hulette who died of a drug overdose in 2003.
Wherever you stand on the subject of whether wrestling is real, you can’t deny the incredible fitness required to survive in the ring and the punishment a body must endure. He was an athlete and he reinvented himself many times and always managed to climb back on top both in the ring and out. His greatest match without a doubt was in Wrestlemania III with Ricky Steamboat in what arguably the best match in wrestling history.
Back when the world of personal computing was young, Commodore computers pretty much were the ones to beat. The company offered a pretty compelling argument, if you’re going to spend money on a gaming platform, why not spend it on an actual computer that played awesome (for the time) video games instead.
With the success of the company’s entry level personal computer, the VIC 20, Commodore released their next generation platform the C64 in 1982. This 8-bit wonder machine offered an unheard of 64K standard memory, standard audio and video that was better than IBM and Apple’s offerings, all for a mere $595 which was far less expensive than anything comparable. It game with a built in RF modulator which allowed you to connect it to a TV and came built in with the Basic programming language on startup. Nothing could come close to that at the time.
Commodore Data Cassette
The machine’s success came in part from Commodore’s decision to offer it through regular retail outlets, department stores and toy retailers as well as regular electronic stores. This coupled with the availability of over 10,000 titles helped push the total number of units sold to almost 17 million worldwide making it the best selling personal computer model of all time according to the Guiness Book of World Records.
Despite its success and the release of newer and more powerful models, Commodore struggled and went bankrupt in 1994. As with most things these days, old is new again.
Commodore USA has bought the rights and will be releasing a modernized version of the C64 featuring modern guts including a dual core 1.8Ghz Atom processor, Nvidia video chipset, up to 4GB of ram, memory readers, USB ports, HDMI outputs and built in WiFi. The price ? Just like 1982 starting at just $595. I’m not sure what that really says about technology when you think about it. I have more computing power in my toaster than the original C64 and it only cost me $20. Having said that, I can’t play any games with it.
Pre-orders have been strong and or many nostalgic users it will surely be a hit. The company plans to revive the VIC and Amiga lines as well which could take this whole retro thing to a whole new level. Rather than having gadgets that look modern and high tech, it will be far hipper to have a clunky looking thing that kicks technical butt. I’m sure Motorola is watching this with eager anticipation.
In less than twelve hours, Prince William takes his bride Catherine Middleton and walk her down the aisle of history. I wish Will & Kate many things – first of all happiness and healthy children. Secondly, exactly the opposite of what William’s parents had – a loveless marriage, and finally I wish them peace and serenity. That will be a tough one.
When William’s mother Lady Diana Spencer was introduced to the world, it spawned a new industry featuring unscrupulous photographers who did whatever they could to get a money shot of Diana during every facet of her life. Although the paparazzi existed before Diana was around, it was her emergence that took the scummy profession to a whole new low.
She wasn’t able to lead any sort of normal life and raising her children was impossible without the ever probing lenses of the air breathing pinheads that were ultimately responsible for her untimely death. Make no mistake, the paparazzi and our insatiable thirst for celebrity gawking was the cause of her death in a tunnel in Paris one fateful night. The paparazzi who were chasing her on motorcycles took some pictures of the crashed vehicle and then called for help.
Her death stunned the world and made her more popular than ever before. The whole world mourned for the lonely Princess and over time we learned more and more about the nightmare that was her life in the royal spotlight. Details of her loveless marriage and Charles’ ongoing relationship with his long time mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles served to only make Diana more loved by the people and make it virtually impossible for Charles and Camilla to continue their relationship after Diana’s death.
It took the two young Prince’s intervention and acceptance of Camilla in their father’s life to finally take the pressure off the old man that would be King. On a side note, Diana’s worst picture ever taken would be about a thousand times better than Camilla’s best picture. Just sayin’………
Didn’t mean this post to be such a downer but I’m serious when I say that I hope the young couple are able to have a good life with many private moments. As a tribute to both Will and Kate and the groom’s mother who sadly won’t see her son marry, here are some videos with some royal inspiration.
So the long weekend was great but as usual Monday came way too fast and was way to tough to bare. Hence the video of the day for a dreary, rainy Monday is a classic by Happy Mondays, “Step On”. It was either that or “I Don’t Like Mondays” but that would have been waaaay to obvious a selection.
Happy Mondays formed in Salford, greater Manchester in 1980 and were a struggling band until being discovered at a battle of the bands at the legendary Hacienda nightclub. They evolved and worked with various producers and in time became a staple on the rave scene.
“Step On” was released in 1990 off their Pills n’ Thrills and Bellyaches album and reached number 5 on the UK charts and number 9 on the U.S. modern rock charts. It cheered me up – hope it does the same for you.
Sampling in music has been going on for decades and even before the digital age, mashups existed though they were called edits or Mega-Mixes. One of the most famous series was the Bits & Pieces mixes where the master tapes were created by literally cutting and splicing tape recorded pieces of music samples together until a new mix was created. It was tedious work and took forever.
Enter the digital age. In this iPod world, all you need is smartphone to get basic tools to create a decent mix of a popular song. Invest in better and proper equipment you can create something even more special. If the guys tweaking the knobs happen to be legendary DJ Armand Van Helden and Kanye West’s DJ A-Trak, then you’ve got something kinda special.
Armand and A-Track hooked up and created Ducksauce and have put up some pretty choice club cuts in recent years. One of my favorites is Barbera Streisand that features Boney M’s classic “Gotta Go Home”.
Check it out and see if you can listen to it only once.
Hey there Retrofans ! Sorry for the temporary hiatus but fear not, we’re back with more of the posts you love so please ease up on the love/hate mail. I hear you, I miss you too, it’s not you – it’s me. I’m glad we settled that.
Feel free to drop me line if you have any suggestions or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sadly, one of the few remaining classic leading men in cinema passed today. Tony Curtis died of cardiac arrest in Nevada at the age of 85. He left behind a huge body of work of over 100 films, TV credits and his collection of art work.
Tony was born Bernard Schwartz and did time in the navy before embarking on an acting career. He did his time in many forgettable films including some light comedy before landing some serious roles that got the attention of the critics and led to academy award nominations for best actor in The Defiant Ones.
He married his first wife, Vivian Leigh in 1951 and had two children one of them being actress Jamie Lee Curtis. They were a true Hollywood power couple and lasted 11 years before divorcing. He remarried but had some pretty lousy luck going through six wives in total and five divorces.
Tony battled through some hardships including addictions to drugs and alcohol but in the end found peace with his last wife and a new found love in art. He gained respect in the art circles with some of his paintings going for as much as $25,000. His cool factor was never at risk and he always managed to remain relevant.
I first became aware of him growing up in the 70s watching Saturday morning cartoons as guest star Stoney Curtis on the Flintstones. When I went through my Marilyn phase I watched him in drag on Some Like It Hot and later grew to respect him more with his role in classics like Spartacus and The Defiant Ones but he’ll always be Stoney to me.
Here’s the second installment of a glimpse into famous celebrities early start in show business thanks to the retro miracle of VCRs. When you’re first starting out, any role you land to try and pay the bills is a good one.
In our first installment we featured the McDLT commercial with Jason Alexander. Here he is again in another commercial with Bruce Willis for Levis’s Jeans.
Before suffering Growing Pains or sinking on the Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio was just a cute kid who liked to chew gum and listen to really big boom boxes.
The late Farrah Fawcett was one of the most beautiful women on television. Before her big break on Charlie’s Angels, Farrah took really good care of her most second famous attribute besides her hair, her teeth.