Multifarious Man Podcast 24: You Gotta Have Faith (Show Notes)

On this episode, I am talking about my favorite songs from the 1987-1988 school year.  Not only was this my first year of high school (my sophomore year, in fact) but I was away from home for the first time at something akin to a boarding school in New Canaan, Connecticut.

How to Listen:

Reading, Watching, and Listening to:

  • 11/22/63 – Stephen King
  • Daredevil (Season 2) – Netflix
  • This is What the Truth Feels Like – Gwen Stefani

Turning Point

1987 was a strange year for me.  It started off with unexpected sorrow, when a close friend died in a motorcycle accident.  I was barely 13, and in the final semester fo my senior year for middle school. Until that point, the only funerals I had every been to were those of older relatives and elderly members of the church.  Nothing had ever hit so close to home.  On the afternoon of that late winder funeral, I found myself on a Metro North train platform in the Bronx, bound for New Canaan, Connecticut.  I was on my way to visit and interview for a spot in the ABC program to attend New Canaan High School in the fall of that same year.  I remember not wanting not to leave that day as we mourned the loss of a friend that I considered my big brother.  My parents left the decision to me as to whether I would keep my commitment and go on the scheduled visit, or request a future date. I didn’t know if I was running away from something or running to something back then–what 13 year old boy is that introspective any way–but I chose to take the train ride.  Seven months later I was moving into a boarding house, sharing a room with two other young men from NYC as we prepared to begin our sophmore year of high school.  It also happened to be my first year of high school thanks to an accelerated Junior High School program.  My prized possession were a JVC dual cassette, boom box, with a 3-band graphic equalizer and detachable wired speakers.  This was the backdrop of a musical journey that would dramatically expand my horizons.
Madonna’s True Blue, and George Michael’s Faith were the two albums that I owned.  The former, I made cassette copy from the vinyl LP and the latter I owned the album on cassette.  Beyond that I had a collection of “pause mix”cassettes that I recorded from the daily countdowns on 107.5 WBLS and 98.7 KISS FM.  Before the school year was over, I would be introduced to INXS, U2, Whitesnake and a host of other rock and pop acts outside of the realm of rap, R&B and urban contemporary.  Today’s list of songs are veritable cornucopia of the Billboard Top 100 hits from 1987 and 1988.

Lean on Me – Club Nouveau

My cousin called one of the local radio stations in New York and had this song to our fallen friend.  I still tear up whenever I hear this song.

Need You Tonight – INXS 

I heard this for the first time in the dressing room in the Theater Department and New Canaan High while waiting for my old man makeup.  I was Uncle Smelicue in the Fall production of Dark of the Moon.  This song still gets me hype.  Before this Prince, Elvis, and the Beatles were the extent of my exposure to rock music.

Manic Monday – The Bangles

One of our two live-in tutors at the ABC house, owned this album on CD and he would let me listen to it.  Most people would point to Walk Like and Egqyptian as their favorite from the A Different Light album but not me.  Turns out the song was written by Prince under the pseudonym Christopher

Here I Go Again – Whitesnake

Two Words: Tawny Kitaen. If you were a teenaged boy and you ever saw the video, you know what I mean.

Mony Mony – Billy Idol

They played this song over and over at a party during a Mock UN trip that I attended.  If you were a teenager when this song was out, then you know the provocative “call and response” chant that you shouted when this song was played.  “HEY! HEY WHAT? (This show is not explicit so I won’t say the rest)

The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson

During the time I lived in New Canaan, the President/CEO of Pepsi Cola and his family lived there.  He donated tickets for us to see the Michael Jackson Bad Tour at Madison Square Garden.  This is still my favorite concert experience of all time.  The model from the video for this song walked out on stage when they performed it live.

I Want to Be Your Man – Zapp & Roger Troutman

Me and few of the other guys were invited to an party at an all girls school in Greenwich, Connecticut.  I had my first real slow dance to this song with a really cute girl from the Bronx.

(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

This was a hit song from the hit soundtrack from the movie Dirty Dancing.  A movie that no one would admit they saw but everyone seemed to know the songs and quote the movie.

La Isla Bonita – Madonna

I loved all the songs from Madonna’s True Blue album, and because I had made a cassette copy of the vinyl album, I listened to all of the songs in order over and over again.  La Isla Bonita may have been my favorite because it so happened to be the one I could play on my Casio keyboard.  It was really cool and had drum pads.

Faith – George Michael

From the opening organ chords that called back to Wham’s Freedom transitioning to the frantic acoustic guitar strumming, you knew you were in for something different.  The title  song to George Michael’s solo debut grabbed you by the throat and didn’t let go until you had listened to a wonderful mix of rock, dance, and R&B.  This album, with it’s string of hit singles commanded the Pop and R&B charts for more than a year.  It stayed in one of the dual cassettes of my boom box and I literally listened to it every day when I was living in New Canaan.

During the past week, two icons from my formative years passed away.  Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor from the groundbreaking Hip Hop group A Tribe Called Quest and comedian/actor Gary Shandling.  Both were talented men that shared their unique gifts with the world.  One provided the soundtrack of my high school and college years, the other made me laugh until my sides hurt.  Both were wordsmiths that understood the power of language.  They will both be missed.  My condolences go out to the family, friends, and fans.

Coming up on the Multifarious Man Podcast Episode 24

What do you remember about the 1987-88 school year?  For me it was a transformative year.  Not only was it my first year of high school (my sophomore year, in fact), but I was away from home for the first time staying at something akin to a boarding house while I attended New Canaan High School.  In this episode I will take you on a journey  through the top songs of 1987 and 1988 as I tell the story of the first time I experienced the world through my own eyes, without the protective prism of my parents.  So have a little faith, walk where the streets have no name, because here I go again on my own.

Multifarious Man Podcast 23: Scooby Doo, Where Are You! (Show Notes)

On today’s show, I am talking about my favorite animated television series and movies of all time.  There are no limitations to the eras or animation types that are being included.  So expect to hear about animation from the early days of Walt Disney’s hand drawn cartoons up to today’s CGI from Dreamworks or Pixar.  Based on the title of this episode, you can probably guess at least one of my favorites.  As usual, expect to find some classics and unexpected gems.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

How to listen:

Reading, Watching, and Listening to:
 
  • All Debts, Public and Private – by Chad Sanborn
  • The Americans – FX Network
  • Bosch – Amazon Prime
  • BLACKsummers’night – Maxwell
Animated TV and Movies
 
  • Scooby Doo, Where Are You! (Original series 1969)
    • I was not a fan of the New Scooby Doo Movies (Sandy Duncan, Batman, Harlem Globetrotters)
  • The Incredibles (Feature Film 2004
  • Transformers: The Movie (1986)
  • Woody Woodpecker (Original 1940)
  • Created by Walter Lantz
    • I prefer the shorts from 1950-1954 voiced by Grace Stafford
  • Looney Toons  (1930)
    • Created by Warner Bros. to compete with Disney
    • Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, etc.
    • Mel Blanc
  • Tiny Toon Adventures (1990-1995)
    • Kid versions of cartoons attending Acme University where they are taught by Bugs Bunny and crew
    • Babs and Buster Bunny
  • Animaniacs (1993-1998)
    • The Warner Bros. and the Warner Sister (Yafo, Wacko, and Dot)
  • Transformers: Beastwars
  • Gargoyle (1994-1997)
    • Gargoyles transported from medieval Scotland to modern day New York
    • Complex story/character arcs and melodrama
    • Shakespearean themes
  • All-Start-Laff-A-Lypmics (1977-1979)
    • Hanna-Barbara cartoon characters in Olympic / Battle of the Network Stars like events
    • Scooby Doobies / Yogi Yahooeys / The Really Rottens
  •  Defenders of the Earth (1986-87)
    • Flash Gordon, The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician vs. Ming the Merciless
    • Supported by their children
  • Bionic Six (1987-1989)
    • In the near future, a scientist implants bionic technology in his family (wife, natural and adopted kids) to save them after an alien spacecraft triggers an avalanche during a ski vacation in the Himalayas.
    • Each team member had unique powers/enhancements
  • Robotech (1982-84 in Japan. USA 1985)
    • Three separate series in Japan and adapted for US audience creating a multi-generational shared universe story
    • One of the first anime televised in the US that attempted to include most of the complexity and drama of the original Japanese source material
    • Serialized. Season long story arcs and character development.
      • The First Robotech War (The Macross Saga)
        • Rick Hunter
      • The Second Robotech War (The Masters)
        • Dana Sterling
      • The Third Robotech War (The New Generation)
        • Scott Bernard
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)
  • The Legend of Korra (2012-2014)
    • 70 Years after Avatar
  • Star Wars Clone Wars (Movie and Series)
  • Star Wars Rebels
  • Voltron: Defender of the Universe
  • JEM
  • Chip and Dales Rescue Rangers
  • Tailspin
  • Duck Tales
  • Darkwing Duck

Multifarious Man Podcast 22: Must See TV – Cult Classics Part 2 (Show Notes)

On the last episode I talked about Cult Classic films from the ’70s and ’80s.  On today’s show I am covering the Cult Classic TV shows from the same decades.  Now you should note that to qualify, these shows had to have first run or new episodes during the ’70s and ’80s.

How to listen:

Reading, Watching, Listening to:
  • Off Armageddon’s Reef – David Weber
  • Blindspot – NBC
  • Dig in Deep – Bonnie Raitt (cover of Need You Tonight by INXS)

Cult Classis TV Shows

  • The White Shadow (1978 – 1981) A white former professional basketball player takes a job as the basketball coach at a tough, mixed-race school in Los Angeles
  • Sigmund and the Sea Monters (1973-1975)
  • Shazam! (1974-1977) A young boy, able to transform into a superhero Captain Marvel, travels the country in a Winnebago fighting evil. (Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, Mercury)
  • Land of the Lost (1974-1977) A family is thrown back in time and must survive a dinosaur dominated land.  Sleestaks.  Cha-Ka
  • 3-2-1 Contact (1980 – 1992) A children’s show explaining various principles of science and their applications.  The Bloodhound Gang
  • The Great Space Coaster (1981-1986) A children’s program that featured three friends that loved to make music.  Cartoons and Musical Numbers.  Gary Gnu
  • Space 1999 (1975-1977) The crew of Moonbase Alpha must struggle to survive when a massive explosion throws the Moon from orbit into deep space. Martin Landau.  Alien woman that can change into any living creature
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1981) A 20th Century astronaut is revived out of 500 years of suspende animation to become the greatest hero of a future Earth
  • BJ and the Bear (1978-1981) A trucker and his pet monkey travel the highways of America, getting into various adventures and misadventures along the way
  • Defenders of the Earth (1986-1988) Four of the greatest comic strip characters join forces to battle Ming the Merciless – Flash Gordon, The Phanton, Lothar and Mandrake the Magician
  • Small Wonder (1985-1989) Father Ted Lawson create a robot, Vicki
  • Voyagers! (1982-1983) A member of a league of time travelers and a boy travel through the time repairing errors in world history.
  • Wildside (1985) Five weapons specialists/cowboys, fight crime in the town of Wildside, CA.  Howard E. Rollins Jr., Meg Ryan
  • Outlaws (1986) Five outlaws from 1886 travel to the year 1996 to fight for justice.

 

 

Multifarious Man Podcast 21: Be Kind, Rewind (Show Notes)

Episode 21:  On today’s episode, which is my first official two-parter, I am going to talk about cult classic movies from the ’70’s and ’80’s.

How to listen:

How to support the show:

Today’s podcast it brought to you  by audible.com – get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial

Reading, watching, listening to:

  • Half a War (Shattered Sea #3) by Joe Abercrombie
  • The 100 (Season #3) – CW
  • Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrisett

Cult Film Classics

  • Big Trouble In Little China (1986, Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall)
  • Escape From New York (1981, Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef
  • The Pirate Movie (1982, Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins)
  • The Poseidon Adventure (1972, Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine)
  • The Towering Inferno (1974, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen)
  • C.H.U.D. – Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers (1984, John Heard, Daniel Stern)
  • Rad (1986, Bart Conner, Lori Loughlin)
  • Gymkata (1985, Kurt Thomas)
  • Gotcha! (1985, Anthony Edwards, Linda Fiorentino)
  • No Retreat, No Surrender (1986, Kurt McKinney and Jean-Claude Van Damme )
  • The Best of the Best (1989, James Earl Jones, Eric Roberts, Chris Penn)
  • Streets of Fire (1984, Michael Pare’, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Willem Dafoe)
  • Red Dawn (1984, Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey)
  • Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985, Fred Ward, Joel Grey, Wilford Brimley)
  • The Cannonball Run (1981, Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise)
  • American Ninja  (1985, Michael Dudikoff, Steve James)
  • The Last Dragon (1985, Taimak, Vanity)
  • Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984 Turbo and Ozone)
  • Real Genius (1985, Val Kilmer)
  • The Ice Pirates (1984, Robert Urich, Ron Perlman)
  • Johnny Dangerously (1984, Michael Keaton, Joe Piscopo, Marilu Henner)