It wasn’t Gordon Gano who was the problem: it was me. I was listening with a ghostly eighteen year old ex-boyfriend at my shoulder, and behind him, a chorus of snarling early eighties NME journalists, all ready to jeer, because even if I like the Violent Femmes, I’ll like them in the wrong way. JK Rowling takes up ramalbumclub's challenge of listening to a well known album for the the first time and then writing about it: Violent Femmes from 1983. [more inside]
HBO put an incredible amount of work into creating its 1983 opening sequence - A.V. Club article by Joe Blevins; documentary by Scott Morris [YouTube, 10 min.]
In 1981, NPR affiliate station KUSC hatched a bold plan to adapt George Lucas’ Star Wars for radio. Easily the most visual film of the last decade, Star Wars as a listening experience seemed like an unlikely idea, but Lucas sold them the rights to adapt the hit movie for one dollar, and opened the Lucasfilm vaults to the show’s producers: Star Wars sound effects would be available to them in their raw form, along with every note of John Williams’ music. The cast was a mixture of original Star Wars cast members, Hollywood veterans, and future TV and movie stars still in the early stages of their careers. Novelist Brian Daley and Director John Madden then turned the first three films into "movies to watch with your eyes closed." [more inside]
ICBM is a game that allows you to take on the role of a Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander. Set in November 1983, during the Able Archer war games, it aims to accurately simulate shifts at a bunker beneath Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. [more inside]
How Quincy M.E. Changed American Law and Saved Lives discusses the serendipitous way that a young man's need for medication for Tourette's syndrome came to the attention of a family member of actor Jack Klugman and resulted in the Orphan Drug Act of 1983. (main article by MeFi's own Garius) [more inside]
Isaac Asimov's Foundation: The little idea that became science fiction's biggest series [SPOILERS] (io9)
On the planet Terminus, a group of academics struggles to survive as the Galactic Empire crumbles. With no weapons, all they can rely on are the predictions of a dead genius named Hari Seldon. That's right — it's time to discuss Isaac Asimov's Foundation![more inside]
Welcome to Foundation Week, a Blogging the Hugos special event. In 1983, Isaac Asimov won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for Foundation's Edge, in which he revisited his groundbreaking Foundation mythos for the first time in over thirty years. Because the Foundation series is such classic, quintessential, and beloved science fiction — the original stories won their own unique Hugo for Best All-Time Series in 1966, and influenced artists from Douglas Adams to George Lucas — Josh Wimmer and Alasdair Wilkins will be discussing each of the seven books between today and Sunday. We begin with Foundation, published in 1951.
Dave Holmes (yes that Dave Holmes) re-vists the hit songs and music videos of July 1983
John Cleese: "I remember at a party I met these chaps from Viacom, who said they were working on a new Fawlty Towers. My ears pricked up at the sound of cash registers and said, 'That's wonderful, are you going to change anything?'. They said, 'Well we have changed one thing, we've written Basil out'. And that's absolutely true, they took Basil and Sybil's lines and gave them all to Bea Arthur." The resulting effort was a 1983 ABC series called Amanda’s By the Sea which could charitably be described as a fiasco. [more inside]
As the sun sinks slowly into Mayfair and the stars come out over Centre Point, the funster’s thoughts turn inexorably towards the bright lights and rundown neon of that square half-mile known as Soho, sin city nestling like a soiled Kleenex in the bosom of our great metropolis Soho 1983: A Girl's Guide To Peep Shows, Topless Bars & Nude Encounters
For 30 years, an ex-con drifter from Saskatchewan named Dennis Melvyn Howe has eluded police in connection with the abduction, rape and murder of a 9 year old Toronto girl. In 2008, an Idaho man named Robert James Miller wrote two long, bizarre posts on the forum at unsolvedcanada.ca. He claimed to have identified Howe and turned him in after seeing a 1998 episode of America's Most Wanted. The FBI is now investigating the possibility that Miller himself is Dennis Melvyn Howe. [more inside]
The mid 1980's marked the zenith of popularity for Erno Rubik's amazing cube (previously on the blue). But how magic was it? To find out, Ruby-Spears Productions gave the toy a face, legs and some clever, albeit grammatically incorrect dialogue, and in 1983 Rubik the Amazing Cube was born! [more inside]
1983: The Brink of Apocalypse -- In 1983 the NATO war exercise Able Archer almost started a nuclear war. Unknown to NATO, just a few months earlier a false alarm had already put the Soviet leadership on edge, and the exercise triggered preparations for a counter attack in the Soviet military. Only a few double agents on each side may have saved the world from nuclear armageddon. [more inside]
In 1982, Steve Wozniak sank a lot of his own money into creating the US Festivals -- the first large concerts to celebrate the merging of music, technology (and money). For the second (and final) US Festival in 1983, Van Halen was given 1.5 million dollars, up front, to headline the 1983 US Festival. What did they give back to their fans? Well, about eighty-four seconds into their first song, David Lee Roth screamed, "I forgot the f@¢₭n' words!" Along with a swipe at the Clash, the set that followed remains evar a drunken classic of testosterone-fueled pop metal campiness. About 3:20 into this clip, DLR launches into his epic fail version of "God Bless the Child" -- 'nuff said.
Groundviews has posted a collection of writing about the July 1983 and 1958 riots in Sri Lanka. [more inside]
Nona Hendryx (wiki) founding member of Labelle went on to a solo career that included working with The Talking Heads, Material, and Laurie Anderson. Her album Nona (produced by Laswell) featured the club hit Transformation which still sounds 20 years ahead of its time even though it was recorded in 1983. Here she is rocking the house live at the Apollo with Why Should I Cry and making your spirit soar with Winds of Change [warning: one or more of these videos may contain a keytar]
Those of us who were born in the 1970's have a number of indelibly permanent shared experiences. Relive a few of them with 3 hours of MTV from 1983. [more inside]
Mister Rogers asks a kid how to play Donkey Kong. Later in the clip, Keith David shows up and demonstrates how the buttons in an arcade machine work. [Via.]
1983 Fleer Project As of 8/25/07: 364 of the 660 cards autographed (55%).