Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Please Don't Read This Blog!

HA! Caught you! You know you wanted to read this blog.  But isn't that always the way it is? It is an inert desire in us to do the opposite of what is either suggested, advised or popular.  Hence this blog.

Now I know you have a favorite 80s song and YOU know you have a favorite 80s song.  I honestly believe that you sincerely want to tell me or someone or everyone,  I don't think it's a totally unreasonable request.  You have favorites and you know it! Tell Me!!!!

Okay now that I am calmer ;) I actually have a reason why I want to know. As some of you may know I am working on my very first album.  Its a long time coming and perhaps I may be past my prime as far as being a rock star, but I'm not aiming for rock star status. I am aiming for "I want to make an album" status.  I think I'm headed in the right direction.

With the love of the 80s as my guide I really feel sincerely that I should do an album of nothing but 80s covers. Ten songs that personified the 80s for everyone.  I want it felt the world over, and I want the input of all of my followers everywhere, young and old, black or white, rich or not so rich, butcher, baker, candlestick maker.  I will leave no stone un-turned.  I will go out into the REAL world if I have to.  And that's scary enough, so have mercy people!

So here is my pitch: You tell me what your favorite 80s song is and why.  I will go through the hundreds of responses (here that? hundreds!) and pick my favorites and when it comes time to do the acknowledgements on my album I will include the names of those that contributed, but showcase the ones that I picked.  Sound fair?

Oh did I mention that I was actually going to sing these songs? Yeah! that's the fun part about making an album that you and your friends like, they pick the songs and you sing them, kind of like playing Russian roulette karaoke. (I'm not the only one that's ever played that am I?)

So let's get out that vinyl, those cassettes and dust off those CD's and submit your answers today! I would like to get started working on this by the beginning of next year! Leave a comment, shoot me a DM but hurry, time's a wasting.

If you have any questions at all, please review the above statement. I will be posting songs that I have worked on in the past on YouTube here within the next few weeks so that you can hear what I sound like.  Hurry and get your answers in and you might get a free album!  How's that for a carrot!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

An Interview with Winston Marche

Well everyone, here is the interview I promised you all.  Winston Marche of none other than The Selecter.  I really enjoyed this interview and Winston submitted some great pics, so without further ado..Here is:

20 Questions with 80sMusicGirl: Winston Marche

1.  Where are you from originally Winston?

Even though I was born in London, my parents are from Jamaica. However, my surname suggests there may be more to this story :-).

2.  Do you have any brothers or sisters?

I have three brothers and two sisters.. I am the youngest of the boys.

3.   Have you always wanted to be a musician?

Even though I was very good at sport(soccer/tennis), music always had the edge for me.

4.  Did your parents have a musical background?

Mum said she used to sing a little in a choir, but other than that the answers a no.

5. How did you get your start in show business?

At the age of 5 yrs I started doing TV commercials and some clothes modelling too. By then I had already started to play instruments and eventually started playing them in the church we attended.  It was this situation that made my start in the music business quite easy, as I was approached on a regular basis to play for various projects.

6. So were your brothers and sisters musical as well?

I think most of my brothers and sisters tried an instrument in one way or other(I remember my eldest brother having a real good go at the saxophone), but there was never any intention of them taking it too seriously. However, they all did their time in various choirs.

7.  What was the name of the first band you recorded with?

Trying to remember the first band I recorded with is proving to be a little tricky, because as soon as I could play well enough there were lots of projects that need playing on… I think it may have been someone that lived just down the road from me. However, the name escapes me right now. I do remember that I’d alway think it sounded better listening back to a recording, than when I originally played it.

8.  Have you recorded any solo albums?

I have recorded enough material for a few solo albums(chuckle),
but have never got round to releasing them due to other commitments.

9.  How did you become involved with The Selecter?

Many years ago…about 1991…. I went into a studio to record with a band. When I finished the recordings. The producer, who was also a bass player, asked me if I was available to do some other sessions. I said yes, and was invited down to another studio to play on some music for TV commercials. Whilst being there, the producer of that session asked me if I’d be available to play on an album he was planning to do with a reformed band called The Selecter. The album never happened at the time, but I did the live shows… And the rest, they say, is history!!

10.  Did you find it difficult to adjust to touring lifestyle?

Whilst on tour you become like a big family because you really are living together. Also you have to be aware and respect each others space. So I’d say growing up in a big family has suitably prepared me for all of this.

11.  You used the term "reformed" when speaking of The Selecter. I noticed that also in Wikipedia. Explain that please.

The original band probably wasn't together much longer than a year and a half…dating back from the late seventies.
In the early nineties, Pauline Black and Neol Davis were invited to do some songs on stage with Bad Manners. It went so well it led them, plus a couple of the members from Bad Manners(Nick Welsh and Martin Stewart), to reform the Selecter. After a while Neol left to pursue other avenues, as Pauline continued to do the shows. After a few years Gaps Hendrickson rejoined the band for a period of time.

12.  When The English Beat split and reformed, there was a version with Dave Wakeling  that played in the US and a  version with Ranking Roger, that played in the UK, is that what happened with The Selecter?

As far as I know, Neol went on to pursue an instrumental version of the Selecter for a while. So I suppose there was plenty of space for both outfits to operate in the same territory.

13.  Have you ever participated in any of the 80s Festivals that are popular in Europe now?

I've probably done most festivals one way or another… Glastonbury being one of the most recognised

14.  Just because I can ask, what is your favorite 80s tune ;)

Whenever I’m asked about my favourite song, the answer’s usually met with surprise. I’m a musician and I like dancing, so I like lots of music for different reasons. However, I always point out "Forget Me Nots” by Patrice Rushen as a standout song for me. I think it had to do with the time and where I was in my ability to play. The simplicity and just where listening to it seemed to take me. Of course it must have had an affect on others too…as it went on to be used by George Michael and on the soundtrack for Men In Black…amongst others.

15.  Who were your musical influences growing up?

Drums wasn't the first instrument I picked up, I actually started playing organ. So as well as listening to the organist in the church I attended as a child, I like listening to people like Billy Preston, Richard Tee. I was a Steve Gadd and Billy Cobham fan from a very young age. I liked listening to people like Jaco Pastorious, Louis Johnson and Marcus Miller too. I thought Chaka Khan had an absolutely amazing voice along with Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. When I eventually got on to drums, I felt I found ways of incorporating elements of these artists that had influenced me from a young age.

16.  There have been many speculations, but where exactly did Ska music originate?My parents are from Jamaica, and for a lifetime my belief was ska was a precursor to  reggae and rock steady.
Born in Jamaica in about the 1950’s, ska had elements of rhythm and blues, calypso and jazz.

17.  With a specific genre like Ska, there are so many revivals that have culminated in the past decades. Do you feel that this evolution has deluded the purity of Ska as a whole?

I think it would be a little unfair of me to generalise about what the more recent bands have and are bringing to the table. I think ska will always have its place set in stone. There are those bands that will stay true to the original. I also think there are some that have adjusted for modern times, which will bring in a whole new audience, but also have the ability to educate them where this music has come from… And dare I say it.. I think in all genres you’ll have a few bands that don’t quite understand the roots of the music they are trying to produce

18.  Do you think that it is more difficult to break into the music industry now than when you first did?

The whole thing about the music industry depends on what you’d like to get out of it.  For example… If your goal is to make great music, there is nothing stopping you other than maybe limitations with your ability to produce what you feel inside.  However, if your goals are to be rich and famous, I’d say yes, it is a bit more difficult now, as there are probably far more people that have an attempt at doing it. Also I think its harder now to maintain a position if you do get there.

19.  Do you think Television has been saturated with shows such as American Idol and The Voice?

I've never been a fan of those singer/music competition TV shows. I have never thought of music as a competition… I really believe everyone can bring something to the table…just a matter of finding what it is.   I think if there was only one of those shows it’d still be too many for me.

20. What is your advice for young musicians that are just starting out?

I’m not sure I qualify for giving out advice to musicians just starting out, as I’m sure many of us want different things. However, I would say its important to do it because you have a real passion for it, first and foremost. There could be lots of ups and downs, especially when you start out, and its being armed with the love for music that can pull you through

Well that's it everyone, what a great interview! Tune in next time, Ciao for Now!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Love Me Don't?

So there I was, sitting in my bed, doing the recuperating thing and I started to think about how busy my day had been, what with doctor appointments and the like, so I launched off into Hard Days Night by The Beatles. It just so happens that I wasn't the only one in the room at the time. My cat Noah was as well. He promptly left.

Do I offend? I asked after him. Now I know he loves classical music, you know the greats Bach, Beethoven and Brahms and he digs 80s music.  And before you even think it!, he adores my singing...:)

But I wondered what was his beef with the Fab Four...

I pride myself on few things..music lover and cat lover being two of the few.  I'm still learning about cats and oddly enough music also.  I never actually knew that cats liked music, but apparently there have been studies to prove that you can use music as therapy for cats that have certain neurological diseases such as FHS. Now I'm not saying that Noah has any diagnosed disease, but he has been known to suffer from Idontgiveadamnitus and ohyesineedanothernap syndrome*.  Some times music helps to facilitate these varied instances in Noah's day to day goings on and usually it's classical masterpieces.

Say now for instance, we are listening to Schubert and he is sound asleep. I'm literally right next to him at the computer desk typing away and he is sound asleep.  Bless his heart.

How do I know he digs 80s Music?  The day that I was listening to @True80sRadio and tweeting it to Twitter, he was in my lap most of the time.  At some point I would start to sing along with one of the tracks and he would look up at me and rub his head on my face.  I don't know about you but that was all the evidence I needed.  Any one have any other speculations please forward them to me in triplicate on embossed paper sealed with wax from a candle made by monks in the Himalaya's.  I'll wait ;)

But last night was different. He had been laying out side of the bedroom door and when he finally decided to come in, I had already launched off into Hard Day's Night.  I had finished the first verse and turned to smile had him and all I saw was the tip of his tail as he was leaving.  Imagine how stymied I was! I thought everyone loved The Beatles, or at least tolerated them for musical posterity's sake.

But cats are independent and strong willed and if they could speak you would hear what ever they felt like saying, when ever they felt like saying it.  Now wouldn't that be like living with a big bowl of hell flavored ice cream! I probably shouldn't sound so harsh, I'm sure they would have nice things to say too. (right?)

But I digress.

I thought I might conduct an experiment, so I am going to now go to the YouTube channel and pull up Hard Day's Night and see what he does.  Wish me luck :)  Okay, muting the television and here we go....

He's lying with his head upside down covering one ear. Hmm.  I need more stimuli.  I wonder if I change the song if that would help.  Playing Ticket to Ride.  Hasn't moved a muscle.  Interesting.  Okay going to give it one more song and then I'm throwing in the towel...

I played two more songs, just so I can get a clear idea of what he liked or didn't like. Love Me Do and I Wanna Hold Your Hand. He still has not moved.  That's a cat for you.  Profess something unusual about him to the world and he proves you wrong every time!

Okay so.  What have we learned today?  Cats are groovy, strong willed independent creatures with mythical like powers and minds of their own.  Classical music is groovy to some cats.  The Beatles are groovy, but we knew that and well 80s music is just groovy period.  There now, lesson over for today, Class dismissed!

*The aforementioned fake diseases is by no means listed to make light of  FHS in any way.  If you believe that your cat has FHS or feline hyperesthesia syndrome please seek the medical advice of a veterinarian immediately. Not only will you save your cat's life but you will make his life that much more tolerable. Here is the link that explains it all: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_resources/HyperesthesiaSyndrome.cfm?gclid=CjkKEQjwrLSdBRDYvIL0soO4vo0BEiQABALkqUOf4_E45jylM7RrtbCwOvSN7lvK0Q_Pd16sHwEnlYTw_wcB

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"I've Never Been Closer"

Yes, that is the first line in the song Temptation by Heaven 17.  And it describes my mood at the moment. I've honestly never been as close to being obsessed as I am at this point in time with another band besides my top 5 favorite bands of all time.

Truthfully I don't even think Heaven 17 was in my top ten, but they were in my top 20.  But for some reason this week, has been nothing but Heaven 17 on my mind.  If I ever decide to do a cover album of them, Heaven 17 On My Mind will be the title.  But I digress.

It all started when I was on YouTube this past week looking for the video for Sunset Now. That song speaks to me in magical ways that I cannot explain and I wanted to see how it was portrayed on film, and if it was exactly as they were singing about it.  But to my chagrin, the video is not available in my country. Damn My Eyes!

So I thought, WHY?!!! I must admit, I was a bit perturbed.  So I decided to do a search on the internet, thinking that you know, there were other places that might have it.  HA! Not! but in my search I discovered many interesting and wonderful things about them, so I decided to share other videos that they had on YouTube.  The first one I found was a PlusNet advertisement, featuring Heaven 17 because PlusNet was a local company in Yorkshire and everyone knows that Yorkshire was famous for Heaven 17 and pudding.  I'm paraphrasing of course, but you get the idea.  The next video I found was a lovely rendition of Party Fears Two by The Associates sung by Glenn Gregory.  It brought tears to my eyes.

The next day I found a podcast by some lovely gents Brian and Simon who are Sodajerker and their podcast is called Sodajerker on Songwriting, and they had a very informative Episode 37 interviewing none other than Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware of Heaven 17.  Wow! what a delight that was.  I highly recommend their show, you can find it on www.sodajerker.com.  You can download the show from their onto your android smart phone or on your Apple product.  Great stuff!  And they are very kind also, because I know how pesty I can be when I want to know something, and they have the patience of Job, or some other really famous person who has a lot of patience.  (Dr. Who maybe? not sure)

So today I like to think was my shining moment when I searched the internet for album covers for all of the albums that Heaven 17 has done over the years and posted them into Instagram and Twitter for #ThrowbackThursday.  I felt it was the least I could do to show them how much I appreciate all of their major contributions to the music industry and to the 80s in general.

The gentlemen of Heaven 17 have an amazing and colorful history and you should check it out on their website at www.heaven17.com, lots of media, discography and photos galore. That's providing you really don't know a whole lot about them and you have been recently shot with the arrow of undying love for a band that you knew about but only slightly.  (moi)

 Have a wonderful day, don't forget to check out the a fore mentioned  websites, pod-casts and musically wonderful items.  This is 80sMusicGirl, ciao for now!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Interview with Matt Backer of ABC

Below is my first ever interview with anyone! The interviewee, world renowned guitarist and band member of the amazing group ABC! I had a lot of fun putting this together and I would like to thank Tammy Brackett with Moonstruck Promotions for setting up the interview and putting it all together! I hope you all enjoy it!

Matt Backer Black and White by Julian Lennon

Hello Matt Backer, My name is Rose Fullerton, aka 80sMusicGirl and let
me start off by saying what a fantastic opportunity this is
to interview you and give the fans more insight into your world

80sMusicGirl: Tell me a little bit about yourself, where were you born? 

Do you have brother and sisters?

Matt: I was born in New Orleans, and I'm a spoiled
only brat.


80sMusicGirl: What was the first musical instrument you ever played and at what age? 

Matt: I was always obsessed with guitar. There's a photograph of me aged about five putting a guitar into the paws of my Snoopy doll.

80sMusicGirl: Who do you think was the biggest influence in your life musically?  Teacher? Parent? 

Matt: All of the above. I remember being about fourteen and
my father (who worked for an oil company and didn't play an instrument)
heard me learning whatever licks I was working on and asked me how many
songs I'd written that day. That caused me to re-think lots of things

 80sMusicGirl: Did you always want to be a musician? 

Matt: Yep!

80sMusicGirl: When was your first solo gig? 

Matt: In seventh grade

Matt Backer and Martin Fry old band pic and new

80sMusicGirl: So tell me, being from the US, How did you come to be in the band ABC?

Matt: In late '99 I had just returned from a world tour with Julian Lennon. A
friend of mine asked if I would mind depping for the guitarist at a
corporate show. I'm still there. Guess I'm not a very good dep !

 80sMusicGirl:  Were you involved in any of the songwriting?

Matt: No, although Martin and I have written some songs that have yet to be

 80sMusicGirl: How did it feel to hear ABC on the radio for the first time?

Matt: I was in college, a jazz snob. I heard "Poison Arrow", heard the
production, lyrics, arrangement, and thought "I will allow this into my
ivory tower"...

 80sMusicGirl: Bands tour a lot, how did you adjust to so much traveling?

Matt: Sleep whenever possible!

80sMusicGirl: Of all the 80s bands that came out during that time, 
do you think ABC was in a category by themselves?

Matt: Yes. The orchestration, production (remember - pre MIDI - no
sequencers, so everything on "Lexicon" was played) - but a lot of the
post punk bands were doing their own thing in their own ways. People
get called "New Romantic" or "Synth Pop" or whatever in hindsight to
provide a handy marketing term.

80sMusicGirl: I was reading an article in other day in Guitar Player magazine and was surprised to find how many different types of guitars one musician can own.  Do you have a collection of guitars and if so, which one is your favorite :)

Matt: That's a tough one! It's like having to choose your favourite child.
Not counting mandolins, basses and ukes I have 22 (I think!) guitars. A
lot of them have specific roles and sounds - nylon, 12 string electric,
12 string acoustic, baritone, etc. But I have a marvellous 1963
Fender Strata-caster electric and 1946 Gibson LG-1 acoustic which is fab.

Matt Backer playing Gold Top Les Paul with Nick Heyward Band

80sMusicGirl: You have gigged with some pretty awesome musicians,  any humorous stories you would like to share? 

 Matt: I hope Belinda Carlisle doesn't mind me mentioning the time she fell backwards over the bass player's monitor. She's a yoga expert, however, so she bounced back immediately! 

80sMusicGirl: You write and perform songs for kids, how did you get involved with that?
Matt:  By having two of my own! 

80sMusicGirl: What tips do you have for young musicians/singers/songwriters out there?

Matt: Two things I stole from Robert Redford, which may seem
contradictory, but aren't. Trust your instincts and never forget it's a business.

Matt Backer and Julian Lennon 2013

80sMusicGirl: Thank you very much Matt for taking the time out to answers my
questions.  I wish you all the best

 Matt: You too, Rose!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Halloween Playlist

People love holidays. Let's face it, we make a big to do about everything during the preparation, we spend more money, we eat more, drink more and party til our socks fall off. And why shouldn't we? we deserve it right? we work hard for our money! (cue Donna Summer)

Halloween has been no exception.  It has been one of the best "candy driven" holidays for years.  I wonder who decided that kids loved candy so much, that they would dress up in the most outlandish outfits and parade from door to door to get free candy! Don't get me wrong, I did it.  Hell, I would still do it if it was frowned upon by society.  After a certain age, wandering the streets for candy when your an adult just looks kind of sad, and yes even a bit twisted.

I have a tendency to go to the dark side during the holidays, and Halloween is my jumping off point.  I like my candy corn, my days somber and my music a bit on the Alternative/Gothic side.  Here are some of my favorite 80s tunes to listen to during this most auspicious occasion.

Halloween by Kirsty Maccoll
Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo
The Ghost in You by Psychedelic Furs
Bela Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus
Cities in Dust by Siouxie and the Banshees
Monster Mash by Bobby "Boris" Pickett (remix done in the 80s)
Pictures of You by The Cure
Zombie-fied by Alien Sex Fiend
Desire by Gene Loves Jezebel
Seven Hail Marys-Flesh for Lulu

Just a small list for now, running purely on memory, but that's what I will be and have been listening to for the last 24 days. 

What about you? How do you musically celebrate Halloween?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Johnny Hates Jazz, Then and Now

The very first line of Shattered Dreams is "So much for your promises"  It has to be one of the best lines in a song that I had heard up until then.  It still is.  It's raw its sarcastic its hurtful and desperate.  But hey,  that's what happens when you find out you've been played for a fool right?  Right.

And that's how JHJ rolls, every song they release was just as amazing as the last.  From Shattered Dreams to Cracking Up, it creeps into your mind and heart and body until you are just moving uncontrollably to the beat of the music.

And then it stopped.  Clark left to pursue a solo career and a new voice was heard (Phillip Thornalley) but even that couldn't keep the momentum going and all that was left was the memories made by the music that was created.

My grandma used to tell me that "Time heals all wounds"  I wasn't sure what that meant because I was like 10 when she told me, but eventually I put two and two together.  I guess the "Jazz" guys must have done the same thing because they decided to reform in 2009.  I'm sure even then, there were plans to create a new album full of fresh ideas, new passions, new pains, new beginnings.

It wasn't until I had heard an interview with Clark Datchler and Mike Nocito on @rcremebrulee that just those thoughts were becoming a reality.  I was astonished and very excited to hear that one of my favorite bands was working on a new album.  I told anyone and everyone that I could about it any time I would bring up the subject of 80s bands and music "you know JHJ has a new album coming out" and they would say.."oh wow, really?"  And I would smile knowing, as you do.

But these things can't be rushed, especially if they are to be perfection.  Which is exactly what their new album is..

Flash forward, 25 years later...

THE very first song on the album..Magnetized, is one of the most heartfelt tunes I had heard in a while.  The music is unmistakeable JHJ no doubt about that.  The voice of Clark Datchler, sounds virtually amazing.  I honestly thought for a minute that Clark was inside my head because that is how I completely and totally feel about our world that we live in  "I can see it in your eyes, your a spirit I recognize, feelings I can not explain, I don't even know your name" to the chorus-- "Do we only live to die, or is it that our hearts are Magnetized and our worlds collide for a reason"

I knew that very moment, I had to have it, I didn't care what other songs were on the album, I needed to have that song.  And slowly but surely, other songs were released as Magnetized was on Jango Radio, Nevermore and Release You..each one more touching and heart warming as the one before.

I thought to myself, that there was no possible way that the entire album could be this awesome, I mean lets face it, we've heard the "reunion" albums right? one maybe two good songs on it and the rest is filler, hell there's new bands coming out with albums like that now..but that's a rant for another blog.

I received the download on Monday the 6th of May and holy moly I was blown away! Every song on the album is fantastic.  Every song.  

I know what you're thinking "Rose, you are a fan, of course you are going to think all the songs are good" well that's what fans are supposed to do right?

Any way all of that aside, Magnetized, great album from a fabulous group of guys that are just wonderful musicians. Best of all? they know who their fans are and love and appreciate them.

Sorry Martin, @mcmaenza I know I said you should blog this but I couldn't help it.  You would done a better job I think, but my enthusiasm got in the way. 

So that's it for me today, thanks to @ErikaPinel who sparked the thoughts that gave me the motivation to finally get this out in print, I hope that in some way it helps JHJ moving forward into Tour mode and eventually coming to Seattle where I can see them live.

Another one of Grandma's sayings? "Good things come to those who wait"

I'm waiting guys. xx