'80s Flashbacks: Only Slightly Less Annoying Than 'Nam Ones
MTV's target demographic probably doesn't believe that the "music" network actually once showed music videos. For those who have regaled teenagers with "Why, back in my day, Laura Branigan was so sexy, she made Beyoncé look like Condi Rice!" tales, you'll finally have visual evidence to prove your point. Starting Monday at midnight, VH1 Classic will celebrate MTV's 25th anniversary by re-airing the pioneering net's first 24 hours of programming, starting with, as everyone who's ever played Trivial Pursuit knows, The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star." Since the network was basically scrambling for anything to show early on, expect to see lots of Pat Benatar ("You Better Run" was the second vid ever aired), REO Speedwagon and Rod Stewart, as well as of-the-era gems like Blotto's "I Want to Be a Lifeguard." VH1 Classic has also capitalized on the '80s craze by recently releasing (in conjunction with Sony BMG's Legacy label) a series of "We Are the '80s" CDs, with single-disc salutes to The Bangles, Loverboy, Eddie Money, Scandal, Bow Wow Wow, Rick Springfield and A Flock of Seagulls. The discs contain rarities, B-sides, unreleased material, album tracks and "hits." In other words, mostly rarities, B-sides, unreleased material and album tracks. Springfield, Money, Scandal and Loverboy are even touring together this summer to promote the releases. Take a good look Nickelback, Hoobastank, Creed and 3 Doors Down — this is right where you'll be in 25 years.
The Middle East: PR Paradise for Old Rockers?
Though it surely ranks No. 1 on the list of countries to flee right now, Lebanon would seem to be the very last place anyone would actually want to go into these days.
If you believe some recent news items, that isn't stopping some vintage Rock gods from making runs to the border for what are either acts of audacious bravery or death-defying efforts to get their names in the papers. Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, who last made headlines dodging eggs (not missiles) on the Ozzfest stage last summer, didn't actually go to Beirut, but he reportedly did fly a 757 (yes, he's a pilot too) to Cyprus recently to pick up 200 Brits who fled the war-torn Lebanese capital. In surely unrelated news, Dickinson's 3-DVD Anthology is in stores now! Just kidding, Bruce — we only hope that you brought Eddie along for in-flight entertainment. Meanwhile, seems people in Lebanon aren't too nervous to rock out to "Smoke on the Water." Deep Purple will reportedly go ahead with their show at a festival in Baalbeck, Lebanon, this Thursday, if the fest itself goes on as planned ... and there is still a Baalbeck.
Quayle Still Loves Bush
If you've been wondering "What ever happened to Dan Quayle, America's 44th Vice President?," well, you need to get out more. Maybe read a book? Clip your toenails? The inconsequential former veep (who is now chairman of a global investment company and does other things former politicos with no practical purpose do) is apparently a John Mellencamp fan. Well, he used to be. Quayle — who, in good news for him, now appears to be the second dumbest person to serve in a Bush administration — showed his remarkably thin skin by walking out of a Mellencamp concert in Lake Tahoe recently. Quayle's feathers were ruffled when the former Johnny Cougar introduced a song by saying, "This next one is for all the poor people who've been ignored by the current administration." Danny Boy is apparently a budding music critic as well. He said, through a publicist, that it wasn't just the dedication that had him looking for the exits: "Well, I think Mellencamp's performance was not very good to begin with, and the comment put it over the top." To make matters worse, he insisted in his statement that the concert was in Lake "Taho."