A bit late on the first one but the recent “inclement weather” (thanks Paul McC) warnings this past week spurred my memories of Snow Jam which happened on January 12, 1982 (25 years ago, wow.) Not 1981 like the jackasses on WSB were spewing the other evening. I was working as a custodian at an elementary school as my after school job and always took longer to clean my side than my buddy Don Bobeng did his. That day I finished before he did. It began snowing hard after I got to work and when we both finished we sat and worked on a Playboy jigsaw puzzle he had gotten as a gag gift at the recent Christmas (this is known as getting your hours in.) That day, many Atlantans left their cars parked wherever as they had no hopes of getting home in what turned into about 6 inches of the white stuff. I only had to drive about a mile and a half so I was lucky. What sucked most was that 1/12/82 was the day we were finally scheduled to get cable and had to wait another week before I could begin wasting my time watching OMD videos on MTV…….
Three years ago today (1/21/04) I had quintuple bypass surgery. So good, so far and continued thanks to all who supported me through donations, prayers, and anything else anyone did to help me out. If you need to go to the hospital, Saint Joseph’s in Atlanta is our hospital of recommendation.
Right now Atlantans (and music lovers) can send out positive vibes (to get into new agey shit) to Chris Swartz, a local musician and former Perimeter Records leader who was hurt rather severely in an automobile accident this past Wednesday. Chris is in ICU in Gwinnett Medical Center with multiple broken ribs, a broken pelvis and other nasty type stuff. He should be able to see visitors in a few days and I’ll update his condition around then.
I’ve listened to the first two Pretenders albums this week in their posh revamped versions (3rd Sunday of the month hint) and was again reminded how amazing they were at one point. Pretenders II was panned in many circles but I’m now thinking I like it better than the debut. Songs like “English Roses” and the Kinks’ cover “I Go To Sleep” were not my favorites at the time but there’s a certain beauty that outshines the raw attitude of the first album. And I’m still not sure why “Day After Day” didn’t become a hit single. Hard to believe that less than a year afterÂ the release of Pretenders II that the band would beÂ no more because of drug usage (Pete Farndon’s firing and James Honeyman Scott’s OD). The two albums hold other significance for me as my dad bought me the debut (at Zayre’s on Buford Highway, kids) for my 16th birthday just before his body started undergoing the ravages of cancer that would take his life 14 months later.Â I remember buying the EP with the two UK only singles when the Norcross Chapter III opened (March 1981) along with the DEV-O Live EP but I was more often concerned with his health and wasn’t as ardently listening to stuff at that time.Â Pretenders II came out after his passing but was one of the albums (along with Ian Hunter’s “Short Back N Sides” and David Johansen’s “Here Comes The Night”) that help me get on with my life in that fall of 1981. Listen tonight and see why.
By the way, James Honeyman Scott could have only been the name of either a) a British rock star or b) a pro wrestler.
One other thing (besides the old Atlanta Chiefs indoor soccerÂ games on Channel 17) that I tried to get my mind off my dad’s illness at the time was episodes of the Tush show on TBS. Clips from those shows (which featured musical guests like the Vapors, Dobie Gray, Roseanne Cash and the Brains, amongst others) are on Bill’s site at www.billtush.com . There are several clips on the main clips site as well as three in a blog of his from last December. The show featured the talents of Jan Hooks (future SNL’er and Designing Women) who I had a massive crush on as well as Bonnie & Terry Turner (who later wrote/developed Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Wayne’s World, Third Rock From The Sun, That 70’s Show and, of course, That 80’sÂ Show). Jan did a particularly skewed imitation of Tammy Faye Bakker which you can see a bit of in the Testimony clip in the December 7th 2006 Man About Town blog. There’s also bits from the mid-70s when Bill did news programming in the overnight hours at TBS, with a “News Chicken” ad satirizing WXIA’s DaveÂ Michaels’ “News Hawk” ad campaign. And I think one of the Tush show clips even has a Lou Evans homage (the undertakers’ “Bye Friends” seems enough like “Bye Folks” to make me think such.) On the site, Bill says he’s going to try to eventually get the old shows released so maybe if enough folks contact him…….Â