Starting Five

1. Goin’ to a Fogo, Everybody

If you have between $875 to $2,875 burning a hole through your pocket, I highly recommend a night’s stay at the Fogo Island Inn on Fogo Island, which is just north of Newfoundland, which is just northeast of everything in North America.

If you don’t, I hope you take a few minutes to read about the innkeeper, Zita Cobb. She’s quite a lady. Thanks!

2. Tucker, The Man and His Dream


Given that tease, (—->) I could not wait to dive into Ross Tucker’s column on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. And then came the first two sentences: “Roger Goodell has done an excellent job as commissioner of the NFL. I’m aware that’s not the popular opinion right now.”

Does anyone see a discrepancy here?

I actually agree with many of Tucker’s points, it’s just that as a Princeton alum, you’d hope he had more mastery of the meaning of “objective.”

By the way, I uploaded that tweet from my camera phone. The previous shot on the phone was of Mirk, my housemate. Here he is earlier today in repose from the Medium Happy World Headquarters, i.e., “The Chaise.”


3. Infamous Jameis

What now?

Really like what my friend and former colleague, Dan Wolken, had to say about the situation. As much as Winston lets down Seminole fans here, the administration at Enable U. is just as sorry. And I like that Dan had the temerity (!) to note Jameis’ “phony humility and contrived smile.” (I’m assuming that’s Dan’s objective evaluation).

I can only speak for myself here, obviously, but short of the alleged sexual assault, the other misdemeanors are not what bother me about Jameis. It’s the shine job he does on all of us whenever he’s being interviewed. The words simply do not match the acts.

4. From A’s to Zzzzz’s

Billy Beane and Johnny Ramone because, of course.

Have I blogged about the Oakland A’s yet this week? Yes? No? Anyway, the A’s hostthe Texas Rangers this afternoon. If the Athletics lose, it will give them a worse record than the Rangers, the American League’s worst team, since having traded Yoennis A. Cespedes For the Rest Of Us on July 31 (17-28 versus 17-27).

The A’s, who had the best record in baseball at the time of the trade (66-41) are now 83-68 and only two games up on the second wild-card spot. They’ve lost two in a row at the Coliseum to Texas in the past two nights. I blame Beane Ball. Also, I blame the name

5. 1984: The Year in Tunes

When college marching bands are still playing your tune 30 years later, you know you’ve written a hit.

Love that Rolling Stone put out a list of the 100 Top Hits of 1984 and declared it “Pop’s Greatest Year.” I was both a high school senior and a college freshman that year, and your’e about as exposed to music as one ever gets at that stage of life. I always knew, even then, how lucky I was to be constantly bombarded with so many great tunes. And notice, as you tear through the list, how varied the styles are as well.

That said, I’m not sure that 1984 trumps 1966, a year that gave us “God Only Knows” (the greatest pop song of all time?), “Summer in the City”, “California Dreamin'”, “Paperback Writer”, “The Sound of Silence”, “Good Vibrations”, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”, “Cherish” and “Last Train to Clarksville”, and, as they say on the infomercials, “much, much more.”

I’m going to attempt to pick 10 songs from Rolling Stone’s 1984 list that I feel truly had the most impact in the year (and that I didn’t hate, because if you peruse that list, I’m sorry, you can say [say, say] that there are some TRULY crappy songs). Not making my list of 10 songs because it wasn’t so impactful, and yet one song from one band that I love as much as any from that era, is “Head Over Heels” by the Go-Go’s (so, yes, if you’ve been following, today we’ve gone from Fogo to the Go-Go’s). The album “Vacation” was seen by the critics at the time as a drop-off from “Beauty and the Beat”, but I think both are incredibly strong.

Herewith, the 10 Best and Most Emblematic Pop Tunes of 1984, as culled by a white boy from Phoenix:

10. “Panama”, Van Halen

“Jump” got more air-play, but this is the tune that made you turn up the stereo and hope that no red lights were in your future for the next three minutes.

9. “Missing You”, John Waite

Your girlfriend had a huge crush on him. And there was nothing you could do about it. Don’t even try changing the station.

8. “99 Luftballoons”, Nena

Mutually assured destruction has never again been so danceable

7. “Feel For You”, Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan? Chaka Khan? The epitome of a song whose first 45 seconds you love, then you may change the station.

6. “Here Comes The Rain Again”, Eurythmics

Just a perfect pop song.

5. “Sister Christian”, Night Ranger

“You’re motoring/What’s your price for flight?” The best power ballad of this, or many, years. Although I always preferred “When You Close Your Eyes” from this album.

4. “Take On Me”, A-Ha

This year was the peak of MTV, and no song ever made a better video.

3. “When Doves Cry”, Prince

The best damn opening guitar riff of the ’80s, or at least until Slash came along. It’s debatable.

2. “Boys of Summer”, Don Henley

Going away to college, leaving the first girlfriend you ever had…this was my first requiem.

1. “Borderline”, Madonna

“Like a Virgin” came later in the year and would eclipse this, but this is the tune that made us all fall for The Material Girl

*Note: No song got more air-play in Phoenix the first four months of 1984 than Def Leppard’s “Photograph”, but it was actually released in 1983. Likewise, “Thriller” was still all over the air waves in ’84 but the album was released a year earlier.

Remote Patrol

No. 5 Auburn at No. 20 Kansas State

ESPN 7:30 p.m.

Nick at Night: Marshall leads the Tigers onto what is not the loveliest village on the plains

The Tigers last traveled west of the Mississippi for a regular season out-of-conference game in 2002, when they lost at USC. And yet the War Eagle! kids, slight favorites, have covered in 13 consecutive games. They’ll take Manhattan…?


7 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Being within shouting (limping?) distance of JW’s age, I too can sing along with about 95% of the songs on Rolling Stone’s list (and picture all the videos, apropos to the era). One personal opinion: neck and neck with “Missing You” on the doleful, heartbroken teenage playlist is “Drive”, by The Cars.

    And if the term “baller” existed in 1984, it would have been retired in honor of Billy Joel, who got his supermodel girlfriend Christie Brinkley to star in the video for “Uptown Girl,” a song he had actually written about his former supermodel girlfriend, Elle MacPherson.

  2. I once told Andy Staples that I didn’t know much music pre-1999, and he felt sympathy for me.

    Anyhow, as an avid reader of this blog, I have not once read anything that has dealt with music in the masonic age (I kid!). Hopefully some other younger readers can relate with me.

    Darnit, JW, where’s Miley Cyrus at?

  3. John Elway’s son was just given Probation in a domestic assault case. He is not an NFL player, but the son of one. He is not black, did not grow up in the South or in an economically disadvantaged environment (quite the opposite). Will he lose his job (if he has one)? Will SAS discuss? Will anyone tweet/blog/comment on this “most disgusting/heinous/despicable/appalling, etc” crime?

    Who should get more condemnation – men who grow up in wrenchingly poor environments, surrounded by & experiencing physical violence (as punishment or component of argument) on a weekly if not daily basis or a guy who grew up in veritable luxury, where the only violence seen was on football fields?

    If the legal system treats these offenders the same, shouldn’t the public?

    I don’t know the answers, I’m just asking questions. I do know that personal VIOLENCE can not be instantaneously eradicated just by portions of the country screaming & waving their arms in ignorance, whose interest goes on to the next “big topic” as soon as they realize this problem is deeply rooted & as difficult to expunge as thistles in a field.

  4. I love when Susie B. comments on topics I did not even write about that day (and I did tweet about Elway’s son, but as you said, he is not an NFL player).

    • Well, domestic violence has been a topic here (‘there & everywhere’ – I listened to Revolver in the 80s, does that count?) the past week & I just read about the Elway case yesterday. I see a connection between the selected hysteria over a few NFL cases & this one. You do not?

      And to keep going on a connected tangent – I read an article last night (I think from Yahoo-sports but might have been ESPN) that discussed Peterson & that his “skewed” concept of manliness is the core of his “child abuse”. Unlike most of the “domestic violence” pieces I’ve read the past week, this one at least wasn’t filled totally with shrieking condemnation & demands that AD/Rice be “thrown out of the NFL forevah!”. However, the author writes as if the problem is solely that of men. It is not. Violence in these families & communities usually include ALL.

      And to be clear – I do not mean to appear as if I do not want violent offenders punished. Hardly. I just abhor hysterical, panicky, scapegoating rushes to judgment. It is MOB MENTALITY, which has never led to lasting change. Maybe I’m wrong & the public WON’T drop this “hot topic” when they are bored & move on to their next cause (bounties, bullying, ‘Redskins’, etc). I want to see REAL change happen – not just by pro athletes but in all of America. And at the very least, these people need to EDUCATE themselves about what happens EVERY DAMN DAY in this country/world.

      BTW, anyone calling for the Denver DA to be fired?

  5. In the middle of Think Like a Freak and they explain that the reason Van Halen asked for the removal of all brown M&Ms was not bc EVH was a prick but he wanted to make sure the venue management read the rider to the fullest.

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