Sunday, July 02, 2006

All Hail the Internet Gods

I love doing research for my stories. It's a great excuse to burn hours getting nothing done and pretend that it's work.

A story I'm working on is set around 1978 to 1980. Music plays a small role, but I had to be certain what dates Oingo Boingo and AC/DC had songs out. This set up a great debate with the SO. I moved constantly while growing up, and songs have strong geographic links in my memory. He spent his entire life in one place and the years meld together, something he will not admit. It truly irked him that I was right almost every time about the years Saturday Night Fever, Blondie, and the Police charted. In retaliation, he followed me around the hovel serenading me with every song he knows I hate down to the core of my being.

The Pina Colada Song. *urp*
Undercover Angel. *hurk*
Anything by Foreigner. *spew*
Air Supply. Leo Sayer. Hall and Oats. Captain and Tenille. Starland Vocal Band.
At that point, my ears were bleeding.

Call me a rock snob, but... Well, I am a rock snob, if that's synonymous with having taste. The SO had the gall to throw STYX in my face, until I reminded him that he gave me the album. Besides, he was a bigger fan than I ever was. (I believe that "preachy and pretentious" was my summation of their work post Grand Illusion.)

For my story, I also needed a band that got a lot of hype in People Magazine, and featured truly wretched lyrics, canned music, and over-produced vocals. I needed a band that was Bay City Rollers bad. Alas, according to Wikipedia, Bay City Rollers were much too early for my story. That lead to a great conversation with the SO about crappy one hit wonders. We spent hours on the internet finding top 100 lists from the right years, singing the songs, and debating which band came closest to my needs. We've just about settled on Jessie's Girl by Rick Springfield. I know, I know. Rick Springfield is no Bay City Rollers. But who is? Maybe Christopher Cross....


75 Pounds Lost said...

Hey--what about Cheap Trick? ABBA? Or...Billy Joel came on the scene in 1980 big with "Glass Houses."

I'm enjoying your blog, which I found through Clean Sheets.

Anonymous said...

Jessie's Girl didn't chart until August of 1981.

Kathleen Bradean said...

Don't think less of me but...

While I'm not an ABBA fan, they had talent and did what they did very well. (Fernando is a guilty pleasure song for me)

Billy Joel has some good songs. "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" come to mind. Still not a fan of his, but he doesn't deserve to be lumped in the same category as Bay City Rollers.

Jessie's Girl did come out a little too late. And Rick Springfield wasn't quite bad enough.

Damn. I may have to slip a year up or down the scale to widen my search.