Random Memories from a Generation Xer

Man, I am getting old….

  • Parachute Pants and Jelly Shoes
  • Orange Crush (Broncos ’77!)
  • Dilly Bars
  • Casa Bonita
  • Wearing Two Izods
  • Elitches (before it was downtown)
  • My First Car (1976 Chevette – wrecked it two weeks later)
  • Love Boat & Fantasy Island every Saturday Night!
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Fat Albert
  • TV before Remotes
  • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
  • The Amazing VCR
  • Buckingham Square Mall
  • Musicland
  • Smoking Allowed in Theaters
  • Smoking Allowed on Planes
  • Smoking my First and  Last Cigarette in the Same Week
  • Dynamite Magazine
  • Orange Julius
  • Ocean Pacific shorts
  • Pancakes for Dinner
  • Shaun Cassidy
  • Grease
  • CB Radios
  • BJ and the Bear
  • 45s
  • K-Tel Records
  • Miles Kimball

RIP: Country Kwencher


It has come to my attention that Boone’s Farm Country Kwencher is no longer produced.  In fact, I couldn’t even find a picture of the bottle to accompany my eulogy.  I say this is sacrilege!  Yes, yes – they have about 25 other lame flavors, but everyone knows Country Kwencher was the best one!  Do you know how many bottles of Country Kwencher I downed in college?  I mean, it was fairly sophisticated for my college repertoire – after all it was “wine.”

I remember sitting around someone’s first apartment, opening each bottle with a special ritual we only used for Boone’s Farm products.  We would twist the cap slowly and count out loud as a group how many twists until it came off.  If it was 7 or more, you had a “good” bottle – anything less and it was a “bad” bottle.  A bad bottle was a relative term, since really all of them were bad.  We were just looking for an excuse to “celebrate” a little more if it was a “good” bottle.  

Anyway, I was sad to learn that the Country Kwencher is no more.  You can have all your Mellon Balls, Strawberry Hills and Mountain Berries – but you will never be as good as the Kwencher.

RIP Country Kwencher.  We hardly knew ye.

Et Tu Morrissey?


I’ve been meaning to get to this for awhile, but what up with the NFL using the Morrissey song “Every Day is Like Sunday?”  Do these people not read lyrics to songs before they use them?  It’s about being so depressed you want to die by nuclear bomb, for God’s sake!  That’s almost as bad as Wendy’s using Violent Femme’s Blister in the Sun (about masturbation) to sell some sort of cheeseburger last year.  

And, Moz – how could you sell out to the NFL of all companies?  What’s next, “You’re the One for Me Fatty” for Jenny Craig?  “”Interesting Drug” for Zyrtec?  “November Spawned a Monster” for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Sale?  “Ouija Board, Ouija Board” for… well, you get the picture.

Et tu, Morrissey… et tu?

John Lennon Gone for 28 Years


It’s hard to believe that if John Lennon had not been murdered 28 years ago, he would be 68 years old now.  I was only 12 years old when he was killed, and, like most people, I found out while my family and I were watching Monday Night Football on TV.  I didn’t really know too much about The Beatles then although I did know who they were from the albums my mom and dad had in the house.  My mother especially was devistated (she was only 33 then) and I remember her crying for days afterward.

It’s ironic that years later I became even a bigger fan of The Beatles than my parents.  Lennon’s words and thoughts are more relevant today than ever.  The world is definitely not a better place without him.  

Rest in Peace, John.

Mark Ronson vs. The Smiths

Click here to see the video – no embedding allowed.

It seems there was a bit of a controversy over the Mark Ronson-produced/Daniel Meriweather version of The Smiths, Stop Me if You Think You’ve Heard This One Before, one of my favorite Smiths songs.  Ronson, producer of that funk-hop sound from the likes of Amy Winehouse and Lilly Allen, released an album last year of remakes ranging from Coldplay to The Jam.  After he chose Stop Me as the lead single from the album, he got death threats from angry Smiths fans for treading on sacred ground – namely one of the last Marr/Morrissey collaborations.  Death threats from Smiths fans?  Now, that’s not very Morrissey-like, now is it?

Frankly, I think the Ronson song is fantastic, but then again, I love the Amy Winehouse sound, too.  I have been a rabid Smiths fan for going on 23 years now, and I don’t see why someone else can’t interpret what is a great song in their own way.  The music is still the music, no matter how it sounds.  The notes are still there and the lyrics haven’t changed.  (Well, only slightly, only slightly…)

You be the judge – above is the Ronson version – below the original Smiths version.  Both videos suck, BTW (although I like the nod to the Morrissey version with the bikers) and I’ll still take Morrissey over Daniel Merriweather – even now!


My Awesome Record Collection of the 80s



My first record was a 45 (look it up) of Oscar the Grouch singing “I Love Trash.”  I don’t remember where that record came from, but I do remember begging my parents to play it over and over again on their cool console hi-fi when they were more into Lynyrd Skynyrd.  I know it used to drive them crazy, and one day my dad “accidently” stepped on my Oscar the Grouch record and that was the end of that.  But, it started my lifetime love of music.

When I was about 8 I got a little plastic portable record player and played my Disney records such as The Jungle Book, Lady and the Tramp and Gilbert & Sullivan.  Being an only child, these records kept me occupied for hours and out of my parents’ hair, which was a win-win for everybody.  

Then, when I was about 11, I asked for a real stereo for Christmas, which I think my parents finally bought me because it came with a headphone jack.  This was when my true music stylings came to life.  I now saved my allowance for records now instead of candy.  And what a wonderful record collection I amassed over the years.  Wonderfully horrible!  The Fonz singing? Check.  Anne Murray covering the Monkees? Check.  Xanadu Soundtrack?  Check.  One Hit Wonders of the 80s?  Check! Check!  Check!

Unfortunately, my parents took it upon themselves to throw away all my records after I moved to Chicago after college.  No, they didn’t ask me first, but if you knew my parents, you would understand.  But, thanks to the magic of the internet, I can still stare at my favorite album covers and even download some of the songs on my iPhone.  Somehow it’s just not the same. 

I’ve decided to pay homage to my favorites by posting them here for all to see.  And, believe it or not, and it turns out my mother-in-law had a copy of the 45 of “I Love Trash” in her basement!  She gave it to me last year, so all is right with the world again. 

Morrissey Concert Tonight

viva la moz

Yep – he’s back. And this time he’s playing at the Auditorium Theater, which means actual seats. This has never happened to me before – every time I see him it’s GA and I’m too lazy to show up hours ahead of time to get up close. We got second row aisle! So, not only am I going to be the closest I have ever been, but I can sneak out and get rum and diets without bothering anyone. Should be the perfect show!

I Guess I am Officially Old…

Are you officially old when they start using “cool” music from your teen years to sell you crap on TV? Lately I’ve noticed a few commercials where the music was from my high school or college days. One, is a JC Penny ad using “Only You” from Yaz – one of my favorite songs to this day. Here is a link to it:

Click here

Another, even more disturbing one, was Wendy’s using “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes to sell double bacon mushroom cheeseburgers! Isn’t that a song about masturbation? I wish I could meet the ad exec that sold this one to Wendy’s. They must have no idea what this song really is… did anyone at Wendy’s bother to read the lyric sheet?

Ritz crackers is also using “I’ll Stop the World and Melt with You” by Modern English, which frankly would be better for bacon double cheeseburgers since I don’t understand the tie in with a cracker. Even in the ad they didn’t melt anything on top of it – just a lot of swirling chicken salad and stuff.

The other one I saw last night was for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups but I can’t find it online anywhere, and I forgot to write the song down, but it was enough to make me notice and feel ancient. Now I know how the baby boomers must feel when they see Dennis Hopper shilling Ameriprise Investments while “Gimme Some Lovin'” booms in the background.

There’s something kind of depressing about it, isn’t there?

Ferris Bueller – My Favorite Scene

I love the 80s. This scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is special for a couple of reasons. The music in this scene was written by The Smiths, Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (Gotta Love Morrissey with his song titles.) And, since I live in Chicago, I love the Art Institute. And, like all things I seem to love, Family Guy spoofed it. Seth MacFarlane must be the same age as me.