Blast from the past in cartoon form

I know I’m not the only person who perks up when I hear a theme from my childhood.  I know it.  I can still hear a lot of them in my head at random and inconvenient times.  I’m an 80s kid so I had some of the best themes ever.  These classic little gems are more than likely gonna stick in my mind til I hit the grave.  You  know what though, I’m ok with that.

I just discovered that WB has released Swat Kats on DVD.  This is the most exciting news I’ve heard since they put all the Harry Potter movies in one set.  Swat Kats though not 80s was one of the most fantastic themes I’ve ever heard.  And that show had not one theme, but two.  Both are great, but I am partial to the second one.  They both have slamming guitars on both of them.  But the second one felt more ‘rock’ I guess you could say.  And for me I think it fit the show a bit better.  Cause the show was edgy and so is that theme.

I recently got Smurfs on DVD.  NO!!! Not that atrocious, insulting, bastardized Hollywood byproduct.  I prefer my classic Smurfs that were hand drawn and lived in a hand drawn world.  I am of the firm belief that theme was better without words.  They have one where it is purely instrumental and had that little part with Gargamel talking over it at some point.  Then they came up with an opening that had actual lyrics.  The lyrics though happy and cheery and fit in the smurfy world, it just didn’t do it for me.  Let’s keep it simple.

One thing I’m a very VERY angry about is the fact that I will never have Muppet Babies on a disc set to call my own.  Why?? Because someone, somewhere who is already richer than the law allows is a greedy bastard.  Remember all those movie cuts that the show had interlaced with it to make it more awesome and move the story along.  Yeah, if we ever got it on DVD those would be left out.  And that would kill the pacing of the show.  It isn’t freaking fair at all.  Loved the show and the theme.  One of the cutest theme songs ever written next to the Backyardigans.  I still will bust out and sing that one.  It’s so catchy and awesome.  Search your feelings.  You know it to be true.

While it was on before and during my childhood, then revived as I was entering adulthood.  I have a soft spot in my heart for the theme music to Jonny Quest.  That music is what adventure sounds like.  To me that is up there with Indiana Jones.  I may be mistaken but wasn’t there about 4 versions of that show?  They all had the basic same theme, just arranged differently.  I remember the classic, there were two different versions that came on in the early 90s.  And then the revival with all the CG.  It’s the two in the middle where my mind is messing up.  The sucky part is I can find no evidence that they existed.  Only my memory which I admit can be a touch unreliable.  But I’m sure I didn’t make those up.  Maybe they were tv movies or something.  I just don’t know.

Nostalgic trips down memory lane are always awesome.  I have so many fond memories of myself as a kid sitting in front of the tv and getting lost in adventure.  And it wasn’t all mindless.  People who said that tv rotted your brain back in the day can bite me.  I turned out just fine.  I weep for the kids these days and what they have to watch.  But I know there were some things I watched that my parents said the same thing.  So the cycle continues.

A rose by another name wears glass shoes

So I was lounging around yesterday on my one day off this week and I decided out of the blue that I wanted to watch “The Slipper and the Rose”.  I haven’t seen that movie in so long.  It is a fantastic musical representation of the “Cinderella” story.  It has freaking Richard Chamberlain in it as the freaking prince!  I remember when I first saw him in it and he was singing for crying out loud.  And it weirded me out because I saw him in “Towering Inferno” and I had learned to hate him.  So to see him as a sensible prince was kind of a brain buster.

So he was one reason why this movie fascinates me, the other was that it has brilliantly written musical numbers.  After watching it again, I discovered that they were done by the Sherman Brothers.  No wonder I love and remembered these songs after all these years.  The Sherman Brothers are musical geniuses.  In all the movies in which they’ve written songs for there is not one song of theirs I don’t like.  And I learned the sad news that Robert Sherman died earlier this month on 3/6/12.  His brilliant music will live in my heart for the rest of my life, may he rest in peace.

Now on to the music itself.  I remembered most of the songs.  One that I was happy I could sing along with was “What a Comforting Thing to Know”.  That was the song that the prince sings about how as a kid he was brought to the royal crypt and shown where he was gonna be buried when he died.  It’s both hilarious and morbid.  I think without the musical number this probably would have scarred me for life.  What a depressing thing for a small child to think about.

The song “Protocoligorically Correct” was one that I remember for both the song and the dance number.  I don’t know what it was about old men dressed in Renaissance era clothing doing the can can that I found amusing, but it did and does.  This song was sang by Michael Hordern as the king.  This was about figuring out a way to essentially prevent war on his country, by having a party to find a bride for the prince.  But since the women would be princesses from different kingdoms, they had to figure out ways to keep the ones that truly hated each other as far from one another as possible.  Since apparently the fastest way to prevent war is not to insult neighboring countries royalty.

“Suddenly It Happens” is the stories dreams come true song.  I love Gemma Craven’s singing voice.  It’s truly inspiring to listen to her sing her heart out in this one.  I love the part that Annette Crosbie as the fairy godmother(who is the most hilarious and interesting character in the movie) sings at the beginning.  Same lyrics, but Craven really brings the emotion to it.  Though I did find the mice turning into pseudo humans and then into horses kind of odd and disturbing.  The rest of the scene though is really awesome.

One more song that I remembered from childhood mostly because it pissed me off was the song “Position and Positioning”.  This song talks about the different statuses and stations that these people lived by.  If you were a maid, you were a maid forever.  If you were a cook, you did it forever.  If you were anything below ‘nobility’ you stayed there.  Forever!  Even as a kid I found this concept disturbing and maddening.  What if I didn’t want to be a maid or a cook anymore?  I’d just be screwed.  And I found it so unfair.  Glad I don’t live in such a horrible society.

A lot of the love songs I remembered but not to the extent of these ones mentioned here.  I remember the ball scene where they danced and then sang their duet and wishing I was a pretty princess with a prince waiting for me somewhere.  Alas I’m a grownup now.  I’m not a princess and princes don’t exist where I come from.  But there is that part of me that still loves a good fairy tale.  That part of me compels me to read romance novels for the fix.  But this movie is so special for me.  It’s such a well done retelling of a classic story.  Fit for anyone that has a love for that sort of thing.

I am the dancing queen even at 33

So I started my new job today and it was a blast.  It’s in a water park! How can it not be?  Only thing that sucked is the heat, but I’ll get used to that.  Anyway, hanging out near one of the attractions I hear disco music playing.  I don’t care what anyone says, disco is still awesome.  I hear some of the greats.  Gloria Gaynor, the Village People, Michael Jackson, and the Bee Gees.  Great stuff.

Then it came one.  The song of the disco era.  Abba and the “Dancing Queen”.  Shut up!  It’s one of the greatest songs ever put on record.  So like I always do when I get caught up in the music, I started dancing to it.  Normally, I’d just do a few quick moves and compose myself, but I just danced for whole thing.  The people in the lines got a kick out of it.  I’m supposed to be friendly and engaging on this job so breaking out into random dance seemed like the thing to do.  It worked out I suppose.

I was tempted to sing to, but I know not to press my luck.  But it’s so hard once they get to the “you are the dancing queen, young and sweet only seventeen” part.  I don’t know anyone who isn’t tempted to sing that part.  I think it’s more the harmony of the singers than the actual words.  I got one big burly guy to do it though.  That was awesome!  His kids looked so embarrassed and that was even more awesome.

I actually heard a remake of this song by a young group of kids.  I can’t even say that remade.  It was a copy.  They changed nothing.  Not the music, the way the song was sang, nothing.  So I’m asking myself why did they bother.  The original would have sufficed.  But oh well.  Can’t blame them for trying, whoever they were.

Now that I’m home and typing this up, I have this huge urge to watch “Saturday Night Fever”.

TV Time: Growing Pains

Remember when we had television shows that the whole family could watch together?  It’s slowly starting to fade from my memory unfortunately.  Tv shows of the past were awesome. They were great for families and they had awesome theme songs.  Today I’m reminiscing on Growing Pains.  I loved Growing Pains when I was a kid.  It was funny, it was touching, it was thought provoking, it was relatable(yes, I know this isn’t a word, deal with it).

I haven’t seen the show in years, but I remember all the characters, that Leonardo DiCaprio was in it and most importantly, to this blog at least, the theme music.  I can still remember that song word for word.  And while I have the worlds worst singing voice, I will burst into singing it at random and sometimes at the most awkward of times.  I only get the occasional weird looks.  Some people actually get it, which makes me smile.

Show me that smile again, Don’t waste another minute on your crying, We’re nowhere near the end, The best is ready to begin, As long as we got each other, We got the world spinning right in our hand, Baby you and me, We gotta be, The luckiest dreamers who never quit dreaming, As long as we keep on giving, We can take anything that comes our way, Baby rain or shine all the time, We got each other, Sharing the laughter and love

It is such a happy song of a united love.  I don’t know who it is they got to sing this song, but mad kudos to them because they make song.  There is the version where the guy is singing by himself which is good.  But when they added the woman for the harmony it wormed its way into my heart where it now still lives.  There is also this version that kind of sounds like a slow barber shop a cappella type style that I really hated.  To me it was so morose and depressing.  I’ll take the upbeat versions thank you.

Here I am, years later and full grown adult and I still love this.  This show brings me back to simpler times.  They weren’t so simple to me then, but I’ve got the benefit of hindsight now.  I can always look back and remember the times I sat around with my whole family and watched this and sang the song.  Thanks mom for teaching me the correct words for it.  I really had it good.  Can we get more shows with awesome themes like this again please?

Partying all the time thanks to Eddie Murphy

I love following pop culture blogs.  It’s interesting to see the things they talk about.  Unless it’s about reality television and its stars.  That immediately loses my attention.  But there are some blogs, like one I read today that has gems every now and again.

Reading one of my regular ones had a throwback song post today and the song was Eddie Murphy’s “Party All The Time”.  I hit the floor laughing.  I haven’t heard that song in years.  I’m surprised that A. people remember it, B. people actually HAVE it, and C. That Eddie hasn’t had all traces of the song wiped off the face of the earth.

The song is not good by any stretch of the imagination.  Yet it wasn’t godawful.  It has a place in my heart as one of the most hilarious and unnecessary pieces of music to ever be penned. It gives me a case of the gigglesnorts every time I hear it.  Why, Eddie?  Why?  You had to know this is something you had no business doing.

The best part is the fact that Rick James was involved in both the song AND was in the video.  Rick James, bitch!  Who is probably in the afterlife laughing his ass off because he pulled the biggest practical joke on one of the funniest comedians at the time.  This had to have been before the drugs got too bad.  Cocaine may be a hell of a drug, but no person strung out on that stuff could possibly pull off something so devious intentionally.

The video.  There are no words.  It’s just…To me, it’s the perfect representation of art imitating life imitating art.  Professional music studio techs chilling out in a studio with Rick James and his groupies, letting a person rock the mic that has no business being there, but they’re just there for the check or possibly in on the aforementioned joke.  It’s pretty bland though.  It’s so dated you can tell it’s from the 80s because of the clothes and the hair.  Eddie’s lip syncing is hilarity in and of itself.  But other than that the video isn’t that spectacular.

I have to say though, I do have a soft spot for this song.  I’d probably sing it in public just to see who’d get it and give me funny looks.  That would be pretty nifty.  If you never heard it before, listen to it.  You might like it.  You might be horrified.  But understand, for those of us that came up with it, this is musical Stockholm Syndrome at it’s most epic.

Layla. You got me by the ear.

You gotta love classic rock and oldies radio stations.  If it wasn’t for those a whole bunch of songs would completely escape me forever.  A lot of songs I hear hit me in my musical guts.  But the ones that hit me hard enough to make me want to pick up a musical instrument are exciting.  So once again my car ride radio experience gifts me with excitement as they played Eric Clapton’s “Layla” performed by Derek and the Dominos.

The music in that song is fierce.  The guitar, the drums, the bass, the piano, everything makes me want to run out to my nearest music supply store and drop money on equipment.  But then it would take me another 10-20 years to save up for lessons to learn to play them all.  It’s one of my goals in life anyway, but not all at once.  I’m not that crazy.  If I was rich, it’d be different.

The song is great.  From what I read on it, it’s considered one of the greatest songs of all time.  What is it about songs dealing with unrequited love that we all love so much.  It’s a short song itself, but it’s still pretty nifty.  But the track is long showcasing more the music in the song.  Which is what I like most about it.

The music for me is the driving force behind why I like it.  That first few chords from the guitar and then the electric kicks in and the first time I heard it I looked at my radio and said to it, ‘yes, I will listen to you, whoever you are’.  As I listened to it and that impassioned “Layla” got me in the gut.  Then the hard guitars died away and you get this beautiful piano.  It such a sad piano.  At least I think so.  I get kinda teary eyed at that part.  It’s like I can feel the longing the song was trying to convey.  Powerful stuff.

I had no idea who the artist was, so I didn’t get to hear it often, but I never forgot that initial feeling the first time I heard it.  But oh, when I did learn the artist and the name of the song.  Love people.  So much love.  I played the heck out of it.  I still do at times and it makes my heart sing each time.  Eventually, I’ll start looking into some other of his songs.  So many songs and so little time.

Are we really all just dust in the wind

So, these updates are starting to come a bit later and later.  Why?  Life is starting to get really really busy.  I have 2 jobs which take up a lot of time and really disturbs my sleeping schedule.  I started going to church which aside from the actual service has people and activities that go along with that.  And I just may be going back to school.  Things are about to get crazier.

I could make a concentrated effort to pre-write all my posts, but I can only do that sometimes.  My post are thought of spur of the moment for the most part.  Planning them out is not something I’m sure I can do on a consistent basis.  The alternative is later post like this one.  But hey, my blog promise was Tuesday/Thursday.  Not Tue/Thur. at such and such appointed time.  And having said that I feel so much better. 🙂

All this crazy business actually made my mind turn to a song I hadn’t heard in a while.  “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas has been on my mind as of late.  I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that life is starting to show signs of progress and purpose.  For anyone who hasn’t heard the song, it starts off like this

I close my eyes only for a moment and the moments gone, All my dreams pass before my eyes a curiosity. Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind.

A truer line has never before been sung.  I think of all the times I sat around and watched the world go by.  Having no desire to be a participant in life whatsoever.  Letting time get away from me.  Wasted time.  I’ll never get it back.  Those days spent with my eyes closed, dreaming of things I always wanted, but couldn’t be bothered with getting up and trying to make them happen.  Watching them pass before my eyes because I thought they were impossible.

All those thoughts and dreams could very well be dust in the wind, if I was dead.  But I ain’t dead yet!  I still got time and I’ve got the power.  All those days spent just watching my dream life pass through my mind is going to be made a reality.  I’m going to be what I want, do what I want and get what I want. Last point of the song is this.

Don’t hang on nothing last forever but the earth and sky, It slips away and all your money won’t another minute buy

Of course I want to have lots of money, lots of nice things.  Who doesn’t?  But at the end of the day, the end of it all, it doesn’t matter.  What I do with all that stuff to help others and the world does.  I want to have something to show for my life.  Most of all I want to be remembered.  People don’t remember things you had in life, they remember your deeds.  They remember who you are as a person.  I don’t want to leave this life and there be nothing to be said about me.  Good things, bad things, indifferent, whatever.  But nothing.  That to me is the saddest legacy one can leave behind.