INSTANT KARMA at Nashville Rock N Pod 3!

by Curtis Lanclos

“Instant Karma!” was a song released by John Lennon in February 1970. The philosophy perpetuated by Lennon and Ono in this classic track is the idea that the causality of one’s actions is immediate rather than borne out over a lifetime. While this song refers more to a more immediate concept of accountability for your actions (i.e. “what comes around, goes around”), I have definitely come to learn over the years that this works in the positive realm as well.  In other words, if you have a friendly and generous heart, ultimately people will be friendly and generous to you (and it’s not necessarily the receivers of your kindness who will be the reciprocators).

While people criticize prosperity preachers for abusing this apparent spiritual principle seemingly for their own gain, the Lord Jesus Christ did in fact say “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38, NIV). I have rarely (if ever) experienced an INSTANT dose of positive karma (or giving and receiving), but my son and I DID this past weekend!

My son Christian and I have the same birthday, August 13 (today, as of the posting of this blog post). Since he and I both are fans of rock music, as a part of our birthday celebration together I decided to take him to the third annual celebration of the Nashville RockNPod Expo this past weekend! primary-Nashville-Rock-n-Pod-Expo-1500952637-400x161This is a wonderful event described on the website as “a unique annual event bringing together rock fans, artists, podcasters, and vendors for events that celebrate the past, promote the present, and look to the future. Rock is NOT dead and ROCKNPOD is an annual reminder of that!” This gathering is hosted by Chris Czynszak and Aaron Camaro of the very popular weekly podcast Decibel Geek.

Michael, Michael and Robin

One of this year’s musical guests at RockNPod was Michael Sweet of the Christian Heavy Metal band Stryper. At the pre-party for the expo on Friday night, Sweet performed two songs with Thee Rock N’ Roll Residency: Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” and Stryper’s “Soldiers Under Command.” It was incredible, to say the least!

Christian and I had the opportunity to have a very friendly chat with Sweet for a few minutes at the expo on Saturday. I told him about my friends Michael & Robin Legat from LA who, along with their friends Christina Willis and Eileen Faulk, dressed up as Stryper for one of the theme nights on the Spring 2018 voyage of The 80s Cruise. I showed him a photograph of their group costume, and it brought a huge smile to his face!

stryper3
Michael Sweet reacts to Michael & Robin Legat, Christina Willis and Eileen Faulk as STRYPER! (click on photo for larger image)

After snapping the picture of Sweet holding the photo, I had him sign it so I could send it to Michael and Robin as a unique memento of their awesome creativity. This amazing couple attends The 80s Cruise every year, and they ALWAYS have the best costumes for the theme nights!

Pontificating Podcasters

Since I am a big fan of podcasts (as I indicated in a previous blog post), one of the self-indulging things about this expo was meeting hosts of my favorite rock music commentary podcasts like…

kissroom
Christian and me with (from left) Anthony Porter, Matt Porter and Ken Mills (of Podkisst/The KISS Room)!
growinuprock1
Christian and me with Sonny “Hollywood” Pooni and Steven Michael of the Growin’ Up Rock Podcast!

As we conversed with the Growin’ Up Rock guys, I mentioned the fact that Christian plays the bass and is becoming quite good at it, but is not in a band as of yet. Sonny mentioned that his son is a guitar player in a band out west, and he really encouraged Christian to keep it up and be aware of opportunities which may arise. He likes nothing better than to see the next generation carry the torch and to keep rock and roll alive, and took a special interest in letting Christian know he can do that in a big way! This laid the foundation for what was about to happen…

“Raffle Rousing”

One of the fun things about this event is the end-of-the-day (5pm) charity raffles. With a luck of the draw, you can leave with some great items like swag, t-shirts or even a guitar for a mere $5 or $10 raffle ticket.  I entered three raffles…

  • KISS Fan Pack (Swag)
  • Michael Sweet Fan Pack (autographed photos, CDs, etc.)
  • Acoustic Guitar signed by the members of Tesla

rocknpodguitar15 minutes before the raffle drawings began, Christian took an interest in another item up for raffle: a Kramer Nite V Electric Guitar! He asked if I could enter that raffle as well. I went to the table and asked if I could do so, but the young ladies overseeing the giveaways informed me I had missed the cutoff time. They needed time to get everything on stage and ready to go, and another entry would slow things down. I was a little bummed I couldn’t try and get him this amazing guitar, but I was looking forward to the other drawings. Hey, it’s all for a good cause, right?

To make a long story short, I didn’t win any of the three raffles I entered. However, something totally amazing and unexpected happened next. The drawing for the Nite V finally took place and Sonny “Hollywood” Pooni was the winner! After he went up to claim his prize, he walked right up to Christian on his way back to his seat and handed the guitar to him!! My jaw dropped, as did my son’s!

Christian said, “Wait…. WHAT???”

Sonny responded something to the effect of, “I am not a musician. My son is, and he already has 10 guitars! You take it.”

kramer
Christian with Sonny “Hollywood” Pooni and his new Kramer Nite V Electric Guitar!

Christian and I were in shock! The very guitar which we couldn’t try to win was the one we won! I posted the photos above on my Facebook profile and gave a brief summary of that which had occurred.  Robin Legat (one of the Stryper cosplayers from earlier in the story) responded to the post and said…

“It’s all those good karma points you earned by getting our Stryper photo signed!”

I’m not sure if that one act of seemingly insignificant (to me) kindness had anything to do with what occurred, but I know it meant the world to Michael and Robin. Before she even said anything about our unexpected blessing, I was already contemplating how random acts of kindness do indeed come back to you if you make it a lifestyle to practice them.

And hey, you might even be on the receiving end of some (positive) INSTANT KARMA on occasion! Be kind to everyone, and share the RETRO love my friends!

P.S. Be sure and check out the podcasts I mentioned in this post. If you are a fan of classic hard rock and heavy metal music, you will enjoy them immensely! All of these hosts are wonderful folk!

Tawny in the Sand – Bachelor Party turns 35!

by Curtis Lanclos

Today (June 29, 2019) marks the 35th Anniversary of the release of Bachelor Party starring Tom Hanks and Tawny Kitaen. This 1984 film follows the life of Catholic school bus driver Rick Gassko (Hanks) and his announcement to his testosterone-heavy party animal friends of his engagement to Debbie (Kitaen). His debaucherous friends insist on giving him a bachelor party on the eve of his wedding, and much of the film is dedicated to whether or not he can resist the temptation to be unfaithful to his fiancée. A gratuitous amount of slapstick humor ensues; and although this film isn’t anywhere near Academy Award material, it has become a cult classic among many of us who grew up in the 1980s. To this very day, my High School friend Richard and I exchange many memorable quotes to one another from this film via text and social media!

Fast forward back to modern day. For the past couple of years I have been involved with a wonderful RETRO event called 80s in the Sand. This is a week-long event wherein middle-aged folk like myself congregate together at the Breathless Spa and Resort in Punta Cana, DR to enjoy “everything ’80s!” Original MTV VJs join in on the fun, as do several recording artists and actors from our favorite decade. November 3-10, 2018 marked the second edition of this event, and one of the actresses scheduled to appear was none other than Tawny Kitaen, aka Rick Gassko’s fiancée in Bachelor Party!

Around the middle of 2018, some discussions were brewing on the 80s in the Sand Facebook Group about ’80s movie/TV costume ideas for the theme nights for the upcoming event in November. My friend Vip from Chicago (whom I met at the 2017 event) joined the conversation and he had a gripe or two. Specifically, since he is of Indian descent, he was lamenting the fact there are not many notable characters in ’80s films who are from India. In fact, the only characters which came to mind were Gandhi and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (from The Simpsons).

I chimed in and said, “What about that funny pimp from Bachelor Party? He was an Indian! And he had a henchman named ‘Milt’ whom I could portray!”

Vip agreed and we started to respectively put our costumes together. Others in the Facebook group caught wind of this, and under the leadership of wonderful veteran “Sanders” Jennifer and Shirley, it was decided that on “Club Night” at 80s in the Sand 2018, a large handful of us would portray the a majority of the cast of Bachelor Party!

Not long after 80s in the Sand 2018 began, Ms. Kitaen and the staff photographer Kelley Sweet learned of our plan. So, it was decided we would all do a photo shoot together! Here are some of the photos from that memorable night (all photos by Kelley Sweet Photography)…

Vip as “The Pimp”and Curtis (of RetroZest) as “Milt”

“The Donkey”

“Cole” and “Disguised Hooker Debbie”

“Belly Dancer,” “Nick,” “Tim,” and “Asian Hotel Client”

“Tennis Rick and Debbie” and “Disguised Hooker Debbie”

“Dr. Tina Gassko”

The Entire Group with Tawny!

When I first saw this film 35 years ago, I never dreamed I would ever meet Tawny Kitaen; much less recreate a character from one of her movies and have my photo taken with her! This is the kind of thing 80s in the Sand does for those of us who cherish the ’80s!

Incidentally, Ms. Kitaen will be returning for 80s in the Sand 2019 (November 2-9, 2019). Why don’t you come down to Punta Cana and meet her along with many other performers from the greatest decade ever? It’ll be a week you’ll never forget!

Read my summary of the very first 80s in the Sand (2017) HERE!

Top 7 Billy Joel Songs for His 70th Birthday

by Curtis Lanclos

Today, May 9, 2019, is the 70th Birthday of a man who contributed so much to the musical landscape of the ’70s, ’80s and even the ’90s. William Martin Joel was born in 1949 the Bronx and grew up on Long Island. He dropped out of high school with dreams of putting his skills as a pianist, songwriter and singer to use to make music which would become so memorable to the masses.

After a modest release of his first album Cold Spring Harbor in 1971 by a virtually unknown label, someone at Columbia Records took notice of Joel and offered him his first big record deal. The result was his second album Piano Man in 1973. From there, the sky was the limit as he released a total of 33 Top 40 hits over the next couple of decades. He also caught the attention of a popular fashion model, to whom he was married for 9 years.

With this being Billy Joel’s 70th Birthday, a top 7 list of his best songs is in order; one for each decade of his life. I realize limiting the list to 7 means omitting a great deal of amazing music, and my list is certainly subjective. However, the goal is to honor this now 70-year-old man and the catalog of music he has shared with us.


#7 – “Piano Man”

The title track from Joel’s 2nd album quickly also became his nickname. Not surprisingly, the song is based on his real life experiences working as a piano player at bar from 1972 – 1973. The chorus really sums up what we want out of all musicians: “Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody, and you’ve got us feelin’ alright.” Or, as a woman seated behind me at a recent Chicago/Earth, Wind & Fire concert yelled out during the show, “Take me back!” Music immediately takes us back to where we were when we first heard it. Joel better than anyone understands this. A musician who knows what he or she is doing has an amazing ability to give people an escape and make them “feel alright” (like they did when they “wore a younger man’s clothes”).

#6 – “The Longest Time”

During the ’70s, there was a great deal of nostalgia related to the 1950s. The 1973 movie American Graffiti and the TV show Happy Days (as well as it’s spinoffs) were the precursors of this resurgence of what was perceived as “the good ol’ days.” This trend  continued into the ’80s, most notably with Marty McFly traveling back to 1955 to meet his parents as teenagers in 1985’s Back to the Future.  Joel is a huge fan of music from the ’50s, so he penned a catchy doo-wop single which appeared on his 1983 LP An Innocent Man. “The Longest Time” reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart.

#5 – “She’s Always a Woman”

Looking back on this hit single from his 1977 album The Stranger, I’m sure Mr. Joel might be more of a cynic now than he was when he wrote this song; after all, he is on his 4th marriage. “She’s Always a Woman” is an endearing love ballad in which the singer falls in love with everything about his mate; including her peculiar habits and flaws. He wrote this song for his first wife Elizabeth Weber who was also his manager.

#4 – “Just the Way You Are”

Never underestimate the power of a saxophone solo. Grammy award-winning jazz performer Phil Woods lends his “saxy” skills to Joel’s lead single (released in September 1977) from The Stranger, “Just the Way You Are.” This song was so popular it was covered by several artists; most notably Harry Connick, Jr., Barry White and Diana Krall. It was also written for first wife Elizabeth Weber. After their divorce in 1982, Joel rarely performed the song live until year 2000 or so because it was too painful for him. Enter the next phase of his love life….

#3 – “Uptown Girl”

On the heels of his divorce from Weber, Joel released his 9th studio album, An Innocent Man in 1983. He was dating supermodel Elle Macpherson at the time, and he began to write a song for her. “Uptown Girl” is the classic “she’s out of my league” song about a downtown working-class man who will stop at nothing to get a certain high-class girl, who not surprisingly lives uptown. Upon its release, the song became more about model Christie Brinkley, who starred in the music video for the song. She also became Joel’s 2nd wife on March 23, 1985. Although their marriage ended in August 1994, they remained friends and continued to amicably co-parent their one daughter, Alexa Ray Joel.

#2 – “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”

The first time I ever heard of Hackensack, NJ was when I saw 1978’s Superman: The Movie. It was the hometown of Lex Luthor’s secretary Miss Tessmacher, and coincidentally it was where one of the nuclear missiles (which Luthor hijacked) was headed. In my estimation, Billy Joel is the only man who could get away with referencing Hackensack in a song and make it a hit as well; he had built a reputation through his music with the lower and middle-class folk of New York and New Jersey. “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” from 1977’s The Stranger is a piece about blue-collar workers working long hours to “keep up appearances,” and the singer’s disgust with it all.

#1 – “My Life”

Similar to Frank Sinatra’s famous line “I did it my way,” Mr. Joel sang “I don’t care what you say anymore this is my life, go ahead with your own life leave me alone.” The song “My Life” from his 1978 album 52nd Street is a plea to the listener not to allow others to live your life for you; all of us have people in our lives who are full of good advice for everyone except themselves, and sometimes they need to be put in their place. Two members of Chicago (Donnie Dacus and Peter Cetera) provide great background vocals, and the song also features a catchy keyboard riff. It was used as the theme song for the ABC TV series Bosom Buddies (which premiered in 1980) starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari; although it was a cover version with a different singer, it added much longevity to the song, until the show’s cancellation in 1982.


And there you have it! Feel free to comment below and share your favorite songs and memories about this music icon, the great Billy Joel! Also, please like us on Facebook!

Bumblebee’s More Subtle ’80s References?

by Curtis Lanclos

I am not a huge fan of the Transformers movie franchise. The special effects are top notch; but as is the case with the Jurassic Park film family, each movie appeared to be an exercise in essentially the same story being retold.

When it was announced a prequel movie focusing on the Bumblebee character would be produced, I was moderately interested because I heard it would be set in 1987 (when the actual Transformer toy line was at the height of its success). When Bumblebee was released (on December 21, 2018), I still didn’t rush out to see it.  In fact, I waited almost 2 months.

Finally I saw Bumblebee with my 14-year-old son 3 days ago, and surprisingly both of us LOVED it. For me, the ’80s music cues by Howard Jones, Bon Jovi, the Smiths, Duran Duran, etc. made it an amazing retro experience. Additionally, there were clever references to ’80s movies like The Breakfast Club

However, from my perspective I can’t help but think there were two additional and ever-so-subtle references to my favorite decade in this movie. When the filmmakers were casting it, they enlisted two actors whose characters resemble two ’80s movie characters at similar ages 30-something years ago. Oddly enough, both of the ’80s actors potentially being channeled were co-stars in two different John Cusack films.

hailee

First, there was the leading actress Hailee Steinfeld, who played protagonist Charlie Watson. It was about halfway through the movie I realized she reminded me quite a bit of the Corey Flood character in 1989’s Say Anything…, portrayed by Lili Taylor. In other photographs I found of Steinfeld (not associated with this movie), she really doesn’t resemble Taylor at all; but within the confines of Bumblebee, her character’s appearance and mannerisms clearly emulate (in my estimation, anyway) those of Lloyd Dobler’s best friend.

Incidentally, today (February 20, 2019) is Lili Taylor’s 52nd birthday!

drucker

The other resemblance I detected was in Charlie’s younger brother Otis, played by Jason Drucker. Every time I saw him onscreen, I kept hearing “I want my TWO DOLLARS!” in my head. The paperboy who made that line famous was Johnny Gasparini, played by Demian Slade in the 1985 movie Better Off Dead. Minus the perm, I thought Drucker was a bit of a dead ringer for Slade (although he does look a bit like a young Frankie Muniz as well).

Again, I’m not sure if all of this was intentional, or if it’s just my interpretation. I’ve found nothing in the press or otherwise which confirms or denies it. One thing is certain, however; Bumblebee is an excellent film, and if you grew up in the ’80s like me, you’ll enjoy the retro feel if nothing else.

RetroZest’s Top 5 List of RETRO Podcasts

by Curtis Lanclos

For a few years now, I have been an avid podcast listener. You can find a podcast for just about any subject. Since I am such a fan of all things RETRO, nothing makes me happier than being able to listen to like-minded people pontificate about music, movies, TV shows and pop culture of the ’70s and ’80s. It sure beats listening to morning radio shows or talk radio.

I really would like to host my own RETRO podcast at some point, but there are so many good ones already available. Finding a format which is informative and educational without it being an outright copy of something  currently online is a challenge.

For the time being, I thought I would share with you a list of my favorite nostalgic podcasts. If you’re not already a loyal listener, give them a try! I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll enjoy.


#5 – ‘80s All Over
https://www.80sallover.com/podcast/

In this podcast, Scott Weinberg and Drew McWeeny review every major film of the ’80s, one month at a time. You’ll be shocked to find out exactly how many films were released each month; many of them forgotten B-movies or absolute stinkers! The podcast is a little fast-paced, but it is enjoyable nonetheless.

#4 – New Wave Flashback
http://wbnh1051.podbean.com/category/new-wave-flashback/
https://www.facebook.com/NWFlashback/

I had the pleasure of meeting John Britton and his lovely wife Nancy at 80s in the Sand in 2017. Our friendship was sparked by our mutual admiration for the Canadian prog rock band RUSH. Within the past month or so, John began co-hosting an hour long show called New Wave Flashback with Tiffany Lewis on WBNH-LP 105.1 in Bedford, NY. It focuses on all music from the original New Wave era. They try to play a few  familiar and recognizable songs along with some you may have never heard before. You’ll be amazed at how much new wave music you MISSED in the ’80s; I sure am! The show is available for download or streaming as a podcast; thus it made this list.

#3 – Forgotten TV
http://www.forgotten.tv/
https://www.facebook.com/forgottentv/

Chris Cooling does a huge amount of research on classic TV shows. He shares his findings on the Forgotten TV podcast. Each episode is dedicated to a particular show or genre of show (or made for TV movie) from a particular time period (from the ’70s or ’80s, usually). Cooling shares a lot of trivia and excruciating detail in each offering, so it’s a smorgasbord of information. As you peruse through the list of podcast episodes, I’m sure at least once you’ll think to yourself, “Wow, I had forgotten about THAT show!”  That’s the idea.

#2 – The Retroist
https://www.retroist.com/

Garry Vander Voort is the host of this podcast. The format is somewhat similar to Forgotten TV, but the subject matter is not limited to classic television shows. Anything RETRO is up for grabs; movies, video games, pop culture, etc. If the host is talking about a classic TV show, there will be a segment with Meta Girl wherein she shares her top 5 episodes of that show with very brief descriptions. Due to the multiple choices of subject matter available on this podcast, you will likely find yourself on a certain level of nerdy kinship with Vander Voort in at least one or two areas.

#1 – Stuck in the ’80s
http://www.sit80s.com/
https://www.facebook.com/stuckinthe80spodcast/

My number one pick had to be reserved for Stuck in the ’80s. Steve Spears started SIT80s in July 2005 as a 10-minute-long podcast. At the time, Spears was a web editor for the Tampa Bay Times, the largest daily newspaper in Florida. Brad Williams, aka “Brad in LA” or “B-Rad,” joined the podcast as co-host at the end of 2012. This podcast is devoted to the movies, music and pop culture of the 1980s. Each weekly episode tackles new topics and includes the infamous “Seggies,” where listeners can win swag by answering music and movie-related challenges. Over the years, a variety of co-hosts and correspondents have contributed regularly to Stuck in the ’80s; including Jen with one N, Just Drew, and the aforementioned Chris Cooling from Forgotten TV.

I had the privilege of meeting Steve and Brad as a result of the 2017 voyage of The ’80s Cruise. They were hosting Big ’80s Trivia on that annual trip, as they do each year. I am proud to call them my friends. While one might suspect nepotism is involved in the the deciding factor behind their ranking, this simply isn’t the case. Of all the podcasts I have mentioned, I enjoy the format of SIT80s the most. Steve and Brad keep it funny and entertaining, yet informative.


So there you have it! If you ever happen to correspond with any of these podcast hosts, please tell them Curtis at RetroZest sent you!  Happy listening!

The Quintessential Pink Floyd Song

by Curtis Lanclos

One might think the word “quintessential” refers to something the shark hunter in the 1975 movie Jaws considers to be an absolute necessity on his boat; but the dictionary defines the word as “representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class.” In the world of music, a song that is quintessential typically defines the performing band.

Sitting in a planetarium at Fernbank Science Center on a Friday night in 1982 or so, I had the pleasure of watching a laser show set to classic rock music with my Pebblebrook High School Science Club group (led by my favorite science teacher, Coach Joe Cheak). A song in the show by the prog rock band Pink Floyd really caught my attention that evening. “One of These Days” is the first song on the 1971 LP Meddle, and it is instrumental (with the exception of the augmented “one of these days I’m going to cut you into little pieces” line in the middle). I had a vague familiarity with Pink Floyd, mainly because just three years earlier, “Another Brick on the Wall part II” was a hit single. Additionally, I had heard Dark Side of the Moon played on my RPG buddy Craig Hanson’s stereo during an all night Dungeons & Dragons campaign at his house. However, after hearing the much more psychedelic side of early Floyd in that laser show, I decided I must find this instrumental song and add it to my collection.

Soon thereafter, I went to Turtle’s Records and Tapes in Mableton, GA and purchased the Meddle LP. I was so pleased to have this song in my repertoire. Although I was repeating the pattern of obtaining an entire studio album for just one song (since there was no iTunes in those days), something very interesting happened when I decided to listen to the entire record and eventually flip it to side 2. I was transported to the ethereal 23:31 experience that is the song Echoes. In my estimation, its deep lyrical passages, both gentle and blistering guitar riffs, sound effects, and brilliant improvisation defines the very essence of Pink Floyd. Not surprisingly, this quickly became my favorite Floyd song, and it remains in the #1 slot to this day.

If you’ve never listened to this gem, I encourage you to check out the studio version here…

Take it a step further and listen to an incredible live version performed by the band in Pompeii…

Finally, David Gilmour and the late Rick Wright performed a largely modernized version (with an incredible guitar solo) on one of the former’s recent solo tours…

 

Spoofing James Bond in Super 8

by Curtis Lanclos

Ever since I was a wee lad I have been a lover of the James Bond film franchise. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, I used to sit almost directly in front of our Zenith TV set to watch whichever 007 flick was gracing the airwaves via the iconic ABC Sunday Night at the Movies.  Chief among my memories were the Sean Connery films You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever.

The first in the series which I actually viewed in the theater was 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, featuring the late Roger Moore as 007. In retrospect, this was Moore’s finest performance as Bond and it was also one of the best films in the series as a whole; mainly because it had a believable villain, a plausible macguffin (the Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator or A.T.A.C.) and, unlike 1979’s Moonraker, it didn’t rely too heavily on gadgets provided by Q (the British Secret Service’s quartermaster). Seeing Bond on the big screen for the first time was an amazing experience, and it really wet my appetite to make an espionage film of my own.

As fate would have it, in the fall of that same year, my parents provided me with a Minolta Super 8mm Film Camera. After using it to produce several out of focus stop-motion animation films and the like, I started to become rather proficient with this camera. In the spring of 1984, I was finally ready to make my own James Bond spoof film.

minolta
My Minolta Super 8 Camera

I somehow suckered my high school friends Mark Ingram, Ken Thompson and Scott Hammond to participate with me in this nerdy exercise. The film was originally named Intrigue (at the suggestion of my cousin Jeff Burke). The film starred me as “The Agent” of course, and the very simple plot centered around the briefcase I was carrying (and an unnamed evil organization’s desire to obtain it). The beginning and end titles were created with my Commodore 64 computer, and there was no sound. For the car chase scene we filmed, I drove my AMC Gremlin and Mark drove his sister’s Chevy Camaro.

Sadly, the movie was never really brought to a satisfying conclusion; after my high school graduation, the other “actors” and I essentially went our separate ways and never finished it. Additionally, once I obtained a home video camera later that year, my career as a Super 8 Filmmaker was pretty much shelved. After all, NTSC video is a much friendlier format which didn’t require film processing at the local K-Mart.

However, in 2007 I had the film transferred to video by Home Movie Depot, and used Adobe Premiere to add a soundtrack with music and sound effects. I renamed the movie Shaken and Stirred, a variated homage to the way 007 orders his signature vodka martini (“shaken, not stirred”), and it was uploaded to YouTube. Here is the finished product…

Shaken & Stirred – James Bond Spoof – YouTube

Although this isn’t a big budget feature, it brings back many pleasant memories. The Members Only jacket, Izod shirt, Bass deck shoes and “wings” hairstyle are all immortalized as a reminder of the very “tubular” ’80s pop culture. Will “The Agent” return as promised in the end credits? Time will tell, so stay tuned.