Category Archives: R.I.P

R.I.P. Benny’s (1924-2017)

Over the past couple of years, we have lost several ’80s icons. But, this one hits a lot more closer to home to me – literally. Benny’s, a Rhode Island institution, is closing its doors for good, by the end of the year, at all 31 of it’s locations. Today, the East Providence store is closing for the last time.

Benny’s sold everything from car parts, to electronics, to yardwork items, to sporting goods, and so much more. With 31 stores around the “Biggest Little State in the Union”, Benny’s was very convenient if you needed something in a pinch. If a garage told me that I needed new windshield wipers, and that they could install them for the price of a second mortgage, and the blood of your first born, I was happy to tell them to go take a hike. Then I would head over to Benny’s, buy my own windshield wipers for a decent price, and install them myself.

The family owned business is closing for a couple of reasons – the family’s desire to retire, and the direction that the retail business is headed.

My love of Benny’s began in the late ’70s/early ’80s. I would go there every year, just before baseball season, to go and pick out a new baseball glove. It brought me great joy, and for me, it was way better than buying clothes at the beginning of every school year.
There was also this memorable commercial from the ’80s:

To this day, whenever I go into a store and need help, and there is no one in sight, I say “Helllllooooo.” just like the guy in that commercial.

Also, in the ’80s, Rhode Island began an ad campaign called the “Biggest Little State in the Union”, which I referenced earlier. It had a very catchy song that sticks in your head. Recently, Benny’s brought that campaign back:

Benny’s you will be missed. Now, when you’re in Rhode Island, if you stop and ask for directions (I’m assuming your GPS is broken), we can say, go down this street, and take a left at the corner where Benny’s used to be.

If you’re from Southern New England, what are your memories of this store. If you are outside the area, do you have any iconic local stores that have closed?

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Quotes of the Day: Weird Science and Rain Man

Weird Science

Lisa: This is a nuclear missile!

Chet: I didn’t think it was a whale’s dick, honey!


Rain Man

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[Raymond blows their ruse to get into a farmhouse to watch The People’s Court]

Charlie: That’s it. You blew it. You don’t get to see your program. Finished.

Raymond: One minute to Wapner.

Charlie: Yes, one minute to Wapner. I had you in there, Ray! You were in there! The defendant, the plaintiff, you had it all. They are in there making legal history. *Legal history!*

 

R.I.P. Bill Paxton and Judge Wapner

 

Episode 10: ’80s Crushes

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It’s time for another 80s League event! This month, the 80s League, which consists of 80s Reboot Overdrive, Rediscover the ’80s, Weegiemidget, and Killer Kitsch. As part of this crossover event, Return to the ’80s is dedicating a full episode on the topic instead of only a segment. Joining Robert and Paul is Marissa, a true lover of the greatest decade ever!

Not only do we talk about our celebrity crushes, but we talk about our real life crushes. We also have our regular segments of Play This, Not That, Remember That Song, and ’80s Trivia.

Also, I should mention that as I am fairly new at podcasting, I am still working out some of the technical kinks. So I apologize for some of the minor sound issues that occur this episode. Future episodes should be much better. I hope it’s not distracting. We had a lot of fun recording this, and I think you will have fun listening. And feel free to join in on the conversation by emailing us at returnto80s@gmail.com, and tell us about your 80s crushes, or love story.

Opening

– Welcome Marissa to the show

– New Def Leppard DVD/CD called And There Will Be a Next Time (unless it’s in Providence, apparently)
– New Night Ranger album – March 24 – Don’t Let Up
– Two Super Bowl Commercials with ‘80s music ties:

Wendy’s – “Cold as Ice”

Kia – Holding Out for a Hero

R.I.P.

– Mary Tyler Moore
– John Wetton
– Richard Hatch
– Sorry Al Jarreau. First, Paul didn’t know he died. Then our tribute to him somehow turns into a retrospective look at the career of Curtis “Booger” Armstrong.

Play This, Not That – Air Supply

Instead of playing “Lost in Love”

Play “I Can Wait Forever”

Remember That Song

Last Song:
You play tricks on my mind, you’re everywhere, but you’re so hard to find
You’re not warm, you’re sentimental

“Urgent” by Foreigner

Winner: Peter

New Song: I know what you’re thinking / Cause I’ve been there myself / I’ve been kicked so many times / I don’t know nothing else / Still I noticed your urgency / I recognized the flair / That you got from chasing all those East coast dares

80s Trivia

Last Question:
What screen siren appeared in Stripes, Blade Runner, No Way Out and Wall Street?

Answer: Sean Young

Winner: Jim Vilk

New Question: What brokerage firm’s name, when mentioned in TV ads, silenced entire rooms of people?

Main Topic – ’80s Crushes

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– Crossover Event, featuring the following blogs/podcasts
80s Reboot Overdrive
Rediscover the ’80s
Weegiemidget
Killer Kitsch

– Listener Feedback
– Personal Stories
Marissa’s numerous crushes and obsession with swimmers
Robert meets his future wife in high school on a bus to a football game
Paul tells the story of his high school girlfriend and their serendipitous meeting 28 years later

– The gang talk about their celebrity crushes
Rick Springfield (Marissa)
Olivia Newton-John (Robert)
Catherine Bach (Paul)
John Taylor (Marissa)
Elisabeth Shue (Robert)
Erin Gray (Paul)
Richard Gere (Marissa)
Susanna Hoffs (Robert)
Alyssa Milano (Paul)
Mickey Rourke (Marissa)
Christie Brinkley (Robert)
Debbie Gibson (Paul)

Episode 8: Year in Review – 1980

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This podcast episode should be more upbeat than the last episode. But, it doesn’t start that way. We recorded this podcast the same night we recorded the Alan Thicke/George Michael/Carrie Fisher tribute. Immediately after we finished recording the tribute, we got the news that Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher’s mother, had just died. But, I think we recovered nicely. Since 2016 was such a crappy year for most of us, Robert and I decided to go back to happier times, and take a look back at the year 1980. We count down the top 10 songs from that year. And in between, we take a look at the top movies, television shows, toys, and news items.
So, if you want to escape for a little while, sit back, relax, and Return to 1980.



Opening

– R.I.P. Debbie Reynolds

Play This, Not That

John Waite
Instead of This (“Missing You”)

Play That (“Change”)

Remember That Song

Last Song: “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour –
Neon lights, a Nobel Prize / When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies / You don’t have to follow me / Only you can set me free

Great job Kurt Torster!!!

’80s Trivia

Question: What colors were on the original Rubik’s cube?

Main Topic – 1980

10. “The Rose” by Bette Midler

9. “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” by Billy Joel

Top 10 movies of 1980
10. The Blues Brothers
9. The Blue Lagoon
8. Smokey and the Bandit II
7. Coal Miner’s Daughter
6. Private Benjamin
5. Any Which Way You Can
4. Airplane! Paramount
3. Stir Crazy
2. 9 to 5
1. The Empire Strikes Back

 

8. “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc.
7. “Coming Up” by Paul McCartney

Top 10 Television Shows
10 Little House on the Prairie
8. Three’s Company
House Calls
7. Alice
6. The Jeffersons
5. The Love Boat
4. M*A*S*H
3. 60 Minutes
2. The Dukes of Hazzard
1. Dallas

Long Distance Dedication from Realweegiemidge at https://weegiemidget.wordpress.com/

6. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen
5. “Do That To Me One More Time” by Captain and Tennille

Popular Toys in 1980
2XL – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnAhaZ5vlg8
Big Trak – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6V-tuOf3dE
Tuneyville Choo Choo – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvKbokD99Do
Candi Color ‘n’ Curl – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYDSuxRSlwA
The Empire Strikes Back collection – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8Z9b_UN9ds

Long Distance Dedication II from Rob ‘The Snyderman’ Snyder

4. “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson
3. “Magic” by Olivia Newton-John

Books released
William Golding, Rites of Passage
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

Sports
Super Bowl
Pittsburgh d. La Rams (31-19)

World Series
Philadelphia Phillies d. Kansas City (4-2)

NBA Championship
LA Lakers d. Philadelphia 76ers (4-2)

Stanley Cup
NY Islanders d. Philadelphia (4-2)

Wimbledon
Women: Evonne Cawley d. C. Evert Lloyd (6-1 7-6)
Men: Bjorn Borg d. J. McEnroe (1-6 7-5 6-3 6-7 8-6)

Events of 1980
Miracle on Ice – (February 22) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYscemhnf88
Mount St. Helens (May 18)
Release of Pac-Man arcade game
CNN becomes the first 24hrs News Station
U.S. Boycotts Moscow Summer Olympics
Ronald Reagan elected president (11/4)
Who Shot JR?
John Lennon killed by Mark David Chapman (12/8)

2. “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd
1. “Call Me” by Blondie


Come find us at:
https://returntothe80s.wordpress.com/
Find Return to the ’80s on Facebook
Twitter – @returntothe80s
Email: returnto80s@gmail.com

Episode 7: Remembering Alan Thicke, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher

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2016 was a notoriously brutal year as we have lost several entertainment icons of the ’80s. Unfortunately, the year ended with a flurry. Alan Thicke suddenly passed away on December 13. We were planning on doing a segment on him for the next podcast. The day before our planned recording, we received the news that George Michael died. So, we decided to do an episode on both stars. Then the following day, Carrie Fisher died. Now, what we have here is a tribute to 3 awesome entertainers. I should also note that moments after we finished recording this, we received news that Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher’s mother, had died. So, let’s Return to the ’80s and relive some happier times and memories. And please send us your thoughts about these stars in the comments below or you can email us at Returnto80s@gmail.com.


Alan Thicke (3/1/47-12/13/16)

Of course we know Alan Thicke as Jason Seaver on Growing Pains. However, he was also a songwriter for many shows, including Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.

The multi-talented Thicke also hosted the game show Animal Crack-Ups, and also wrote and performed the theme song. Here is an opening segment of that show:


George Michael (6/25/63-12/25/16)

George Michael had a very successful career as both a member of Wham! and as a solo artist. Some of his highlights we cover are”

Wake me up Before You Go-Go
Careless Whisper
Last Christmas
One More Try

The day following George Michael’s death, this special tribute was made at a soccer match:

George Michael also had a great sense of humor. Here he is on the first ever, Carpool Karaoke with James Cordon:


Carrie Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016)

Of course we know Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia from the Star Wars movies. She also starred as Meg Ryan’s best friend in When Harry Met Sally and played Tom Hanks’ wife in The ‘Burbs.

She was also a successful writer, publishing Postcards from the Edge in 1987, and just recently published The Princess Diarist.

There are a couple of interviews with Carrie Fisher on Late Night with David Letterman. The first part is from May 30, 1983, promoting Return of the Jedi. The second is from August 27, 1987, promoting her new book Postcards from the Edge.


Come find us at:
https://returntothe80s.wordpress.com/
Find Return to the ’80s on Facebook
Twitter – @returntothe80s
Email: returnto80s@gmail.com

We’ll Be Right Back – Clips of Alan Thicke, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher

Hi Everybody, After all the devastating news over the past week, Robert and I have been preparing a special podcast episode. The regular Remember That Song and Quote of the Day segments will be back in 2017. In the meantime, here are a few videos of a happier time. Enjoy.

Although he was mainly known as Jason Seaver in Growing Pains, Alan Thicke also starred in this show, Animal Crack-Ups, which aired while he was still on Growing Pains. Not only did Thicke host this show, he wrote and sang the theme song. Here is the opening segment of an episode:


I’m sure all of you have been listening to a lot of Wham! and George Michael songs lately. Here is something a little different. James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke is enormously popular these days. As it so happens, George Michael appeared in the very first Carpool Karaoke. This is from Comic Relief in the U.K. in 2011. At the time, James Corden was best known as Smithy from Gavin and Stacey.
This scene begins with “Smithy” receiving a call from Lenny Henry at Comic Relief who asks him to head to BBC Television Centre to help record a charity single. For U.S. readers who may not know, Lenny Henry is a legendary comic in the U.K. Of course Corden is hilarious. But, this clip really shows George Michael’s sense of humor. ’80s fans may possibly recognize the songs that get played here…


Last but not least, here are a couple of appearances by Carrie Fisher on Late Night. These interviews are from:

May 30, 1983: promoting “Return of the Jedi”
August 27, 1987: promoting her new book “Postcards from the Edge”

Her interviews are always funny and honest (to say the least).

R.I.P. Alan Thicke (March 1, 1947 – December 13, 2016)

2016 has been absolutely brutal! I know that every year major celebrities, we grew up with, die. But, it seems like there have been an excessive amount of huge names that we lost this year. Alan Thicke is now the latest. Sadly, he passed away yesterday. What makes this even worse is that he suffered a heart attack while playing hockey with his 19 year old son Carter, and died at the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. He was 69.

Obviously, we all know Alan Thicke from his role as Jason Seaver in the awesome family sitcom, Growing Pains. He was an awesome dad. He was funny and cool, but could still be strict. He was a great role model, and Alan Thicke really made this character shine. My earliest memory of him was in the second episode of the series when he went to a Bruce Springsteen concert with his son Mike (Kirk Cameron). Coming out of the concert, they were stopped by a television reporter who asked if they were father and son, and Jason embarrassed Mike by giving him a noogie on live TV.

Starring in Growing Pains was not his only television credit at the time. The multi-talented Thicke was also a TV theme song composer, along with his then-wife Gloria Loring. The songs he composed were iconic. He composed the themes for Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life.

He also composed game show theme songs, such as The Wizard of Odds (on which he also sang) The Joker’s Wild, the original theme to Wheel of Fortune, and several others.

He also wrote the song and appeared in the television show, Animal Crack-Ups from 1987-1989.

Thicke co-hosted the Walt Disney World Very Merry Christmas Parade (now the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade) with Joan Lunden from 1983 to 1990, when he was succeeded by Regis Philbin.

Over the years he has guested on several shows. Most recently, he had a guest spot on the new smash hit show, This Is Us.

Alan Thicke seemed like a class act, and all-around good guy.He will be sorely missed.

Episode 6: Action/Adventure TV Theme Songs

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We are back with a new episode of the Return to the ’80s podcast!!
In this episode, Robert and Paul welcome guest host Jim Vilk (@JimVilk). Do you get frustrated when you are listening to a radio station that plays ’80s music, and they always play the same song over and over for a particular artist, when you know they have other great music? Well, Return to the ’80s has a brand new segment called ‘Listen to This, Not That.’ First up…Rick Springfield.

Also, 2016 continues to wreak havoc on us, as we have 3 deaths to talk about this week.

There is a brand new Remember That Song, as well as ’80s Trivia. Then we talk about the awesome, upcoming ’80s Crossover event. This month, several ’80s blogs and podcasts will be discussing our favorite ’80s Christmas presents. Jim, Robert, and Paul talk about our favorite presents that we either received, gave, or wanted but never got.
Finally, we get into our main topic – ’80s Action/Adventure Television Theme Songs.

Return to the ’80s is now on iTunes, Stitcher, and anywhere else you can download podcasts. So please subscribe and leave us a rating and review. You can email us at returnto80s@gmail.com.


Opening

– Introducing guest Jim Vilk (@JimVilk)

– Return to the ’80s is now on iTunes, Stitcher, and anywhere else you get your podcasts from.

Listen to This, Not That

Listen to This

Not That

Deaths of the Week

Margaret Whitton (November 30, 1949 – December 4, 2016)

John Glenn (July 18,1921 – December 8, 2016)

 

 

Joseph Mascolo aka. Stefano DiMera (March 13, 1929 – December 8, 2016)

Remember That Song

Last song
Here we stand / Worlds apart, hearts broken in two / Sleepless nights / Losing ground, I’m reaching for you

“Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) by Journey

Winner: Kurt Torster

New Song
Neon lights, a Nobel Prize / When a mirror speaks, the reflection lies / You don’t have to follow me / Only you can set me free

If you know the answer, email us at returnto80s@gmail.com, and enter Remember That Song in the subject line.

80s Trivia

Last Question
What color did the ghosts have to be for Pac Man to eat them?

Answer: Blue

Winner: Kurt Torster

New Question: What colors were on the original Rubik’s cube?

If you know the answer, email us at returnto80s@gmail.com, and enter Trivia in the subject line.

80s Crossover Event – Christmas Gifts

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80’s Reboot Overdrive is hosting another ’80s Crossover Event. This time, we are talking about our favorite Christmas gifts. It can be a gift that was given, received, or most wanted and not received. Participants include the following:
80s Reboot Overdrive (@80sReboot)
Rediscover the 80s (@RD80s)
Realweegiemidget (@realweegiemidge)
Killer Kitsch (@killer_kitsch)

Main Topic – Action/Adventure Theme Songs

The Fall Guy (Jim)

The Dukes of Hazzard (Robert)

Hardcastle and McCormick (Paul)
Seasons 1 and 3 (“Drive”)
Season 2 (“Back to Back”)

Magnum P.I. (All)
Alternate theme
Main theme

Simon & Simon (Jim)
Alternate opening

Main opening

Closing credits (with lyrics)

CHiPs (Robert)

Voyagers! (Paul)

The A-Team (All)

Matt Houston (Jim)

Call to Glory (Robert)

The Greatest American Hero (Paul)

Miami Vice (All)


Next Episode: Year in Review/Top 10 Songs of 1980

Come find us at:
https://returntothe80s.wordpress.com/
Find Return to the ’80s on Facebook
Twitter – @returntothe80s
Email: returnto80s@gmail.com

Episode 5: Slippery When Wet

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We are back with a new episode of the Return to the ’80s podcast! After having technical difficulties, and losing a great episode about Ghostbusters (which we will have to revisit), we came back strong with some Slippery When Wet! Bon Jovi has recently released a new album, This House is Not For Sale, which was a #1 selling album. With this year being the 30th anniversary of the iconic ‘Slippery’ album, we decided to Return to 1986, and revisit it. And we are taking a guest with us on this trip – Scott from 80s Mixtape Autoreverse and 80’s Reboot Overdrive. So come check us out, and listen to our take on this classic album.


Opening

– We meet Scott from 80s Mixtape Autoreverse and 80’s Reboot Overdrive.

“Rock & Roll” Hall of Fame Voting

– Journey is in the lead, followed by ELO, Yes, and the Cars
– Vote now at https://www.rockhall.com/vote
– We are non-partial here. Vote for whichever artist you’d like. As long as it’s Journey.

Death of the Week (Non-Fidel Castro Edition)

R.I.P. Florence Henderson (February 14, 1934 – November 24, 2016)

Remember That Song

Last Song: “Let’s Go All the Way” by Sly Fox

Great job Jim (@JimVilk)!!!

Working in a factory eight days a week
Try to make dollar, damn what a beat
Cartoon capers happen in reality
Rich man, poor man, living in fantasy

New Song
Here we stand / Worlds apart, hearts broken in two / Sleepless nights / Losing ground, I’m reaching for you

If you know the answer, email us at returnto80s@gmail.com and put Remember That Song in the subject line to submit your answer.

’80s Trivia

Last Question: Which 2 songs in the U.S., that were sung in German, were #1 and #2 songs.
Answer: “99 Luftbalons” by Nena and “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco

Again, great job Jim (@JimVilk)!!!

New Question
What color did the ghosts have to be for Pac Man to eat them?

Write in to returnto80s@gmail.com and put Trivia in the subject line to submit your answer.


Main Topic: Slippery When Wet

Side one
1. “Let It Rock

2. “You Give Love a Bad Name

– Original version? Bonnie Tyler – “If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)”

3. “Livin’ on a Prayer

4. “Social Disease

5. “Wanted Dead or Alive

Side two
6. “Raise Your Hands

– Also used in Spaceballs

7. “Without Love

8. “I’d Die for You

9. “Never Say Goodbye

10. “Wild in the Streets

Bonus Song
Edge of a Broken Heart


Wrap Up

Visit Scott on Twitter at @80sAutoreverse and @80sReboot
Facebook: 80s Mixtape Autoreverse

And come find us at:
https://returntothe80s.wordpress.com/
Find Return to the ’80s on Facebook
Twitter – @returntothe80s
Email: returnto80s@gmail.com

R.I.P. Gene Wilder: June 11, 1933 – August 29, 2016

This horrible year continues as the grim reaper keeps taking stars that we grew up with. This time, we lost Gene Wilder. Of course, most people know him from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). I never got into that movie, although I loved the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

However, Gene Wilder played a huge part in my early teen years, which coincided with the introduction of cable TV. When we first got cable TV, we had all the movie channels. If I wasn’t glued to MTV, I was watching commercial-free, uncut movies on HBO and Showtime. For me, Gene Wilder was a fixture on my TV set, as the Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor movie, Silver Streak (1976) played all the time. And I watched it and loved it every time. Of course, there was also Stir Crazy (1980), also starring Wilder and Pryor. They were such a great team. I loved both of them, and they had great chemistry.

I was too young to watch Saturday Night Live when the original cast was on. So, my introduction to original cast member, Gilda Radner, was in the 1982 movie Hanky Panky. That was another Gene Wilder movie that was in heavy rotation. I’m pretty sure that at the time that this movie was on HBO, the only movies they showed were Hanky Panky, Rocky III, Victory, and Six Pack. Gene Wilder and Gilda grew closer to each other during the filming of Hanky Panky, and would go on to get married. Sadly, Gilda Radner developed cancer, and died on May 20, 1989. Wilder then went on to promote cancer awareness and treatment, helping found the Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Detection Center in Los Angeles and co-founding Gilda’s Club, a support group to raise awareness of cancer that began in New York City and now has branches throughout the country.

I don’t remember Wilder’s movie The Woman in Red too well, but I do know I saw it. The last movie I remember seeing him in was another Wilder/Pryor joint – See No Evil, Hear No Evil, which was also great. I didn’t see his Mel Brooks movies (The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles) until later on.

Although Gene Wilder hadn’t been in any movies for a very long time, this one still hurts. Another thing that hits home with me is that he died from complications from Alzheimer’s. I lost my grandmother to that horrible disease, and less than a month ago, I lost my uncle/godfather to it as well.

OK 2016, we surrender! Please don’t take anybody else!

Here are the trailers to a few of my favorite Gene Wilder movies:

Silver Streak

Stir Crazy

And here is a scene from Hanky Panky: