High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shady's Eighties Greaties Part 1



 It occurred to me recently 

 that I've been neglecting 

 the 1980s, conveniently 

 forgetting that I have a 

 few younger followers 

 (baby Dell rats) who were raised on 80s 

 rock, new wave and pop.  I hope to correct 

 that injustice with a four part series called 

 Eighties Greaties

In this series as in others my intention is to present artists, recordings and videos that you might not have even thought about in a while along with a few that might be new to you.

 Experience Eighties Greaties! 

Let's begin our Eighties Greaties salute by flashing back
to the start of the previous decade.


With its bright neon pink color and new age design the 1970 Kama Sutra record label resembled a psychedelic poster.

A Kama Sutra single by a band called the Jaggerz ushered in the "me" decade with a song about a Shallow Hal prototype called "The Rapper." Strange but true: Western Pennsylvania native Donnie Iris and I went to different schools together (dated, obscure reference to the title of the Jaggerz' second album). Iris wrote the group's big hit "The Rapper" which began a three month chart run at the end of January 1970 and wound up in the top 5. "The Rapper" was sitting pretty, positioned on the chart at #2 with a bullet; but despite its momentum the Jaggerz' record was denied the coveted #1 spot by Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and three other meteoric singles that leapfrogged over it in
a single week: "Let it Be" by the Beatles, "Instant Karma
(We All Shine On)" by John Lennon (recording as John Ono Lennon), and "ABC" by a hot new Motown group called the Jackson 5.

"The Rapper" - Jaggerz (March 1970, 
highest chart position #2) 


The Jaggerz were never able to repeat the success of "The Rapper" and joined the ranks of one hit wonders. After a stint with Wild Cherry, Donnie Iris went solo just in time to join the MTV revolution. Donnie's first solo album Back on the Streets spawned the hit "Ah! Leah!" and the accompanying video is a classic nerd meets beauty scenario.

"Ah! Leah!" - Donnie Iris (February 1981, 
highest chart position #29) 

With his act billed as Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, Donnie cranked out his second album, King Cool, another collection of yummy, radio friendly pop rock candy nuggets.

"Love is Like a Rock" - Donnie Iris 
and the Cruisers (August 1981, highest 
chart position #9) 

The Donnie Iris power pop factory reached peak production during the early 80s. In his trademark eyeglasses, Iris was the Buddy Holly of the MTV generation. Donnie's next album Fortune 410 was named after the brand of specs he wore and yielded the MTV hit "Do You Compute?"

"Do You Compute?" - Donnie Iris 
and the Cruisers (June 1983, highest 
chart position #64) 


"(I Can't) Breakaway" was the only American hit for Big Pig,
a seven member pop/rock band from Melbourne, Australia. "Breakaway," an edgy club dance record with an alternative, experimental feel, features an incendiary performance by
lead vocalist Sherine Abeyratne combined with feverish tribal chanting and relentless pounding of the drums, all seemingly aimed at summoning King Kong from his lair to meet his new bride, Fay Wray. The bizarre conceptual video that you are about to view was broadcast on MTV and on NBC's Friday Night Videos. The rad soundtrack and intense, sometimes nightmarish images put me into sensory overload every time
I watch it!

"Breakaway" - Big Pig (April 1988, 
highest chart position #60 Billboard, 
#55 Cash Box) 


As half of the duo Loggins and Messina, Washington state's Kenny Loggins cracked the top 5 in 1972 with "Your Mama Don't Dance." In 1984, as a solo artist, Kenny reached the #1 spot with the title song from the hit movie Footloose.

Kenny Loggins recorded two other movie themes that I like even more. Who can forget the lethal laugh combination of Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and his fur covered nemesis, the mischievous dancing gopher in the wildly popular comedy Caddyshack?

"I'm Alright" - Kenny Loggins (October 1980, 
highest chart position #7 Billboard Hot 100
#4 Cash Box, from Caddyshack soundtrack) 

Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt and Meg Ryan were all at or near the peak of their respective careers in 1986 when they appeared in the testosterone injected action/romance flick
Top Gun which revolved around macho young men training to be jet fighter pilots. Kenny Loggins just missed another chart topper with the movie's theme "Danger Zone."

"Danger Zone" - Kenny Loggins (July 1986, 
highest chart position #2, from Top Gun 


Calling Elizabeth "E.G." Daily multitalented would be an understatement. The beautiful Los Angeles native is a movie and television actress, voice actress, singer, songwriter and musician (proficient on guitar, harmonica, keyboards and percussion instruments). I remember her in the role of Loryn in the 1983 Nicholas Cage teen romance movie Valley Girl. Elizabeth was the voice star of Babe: Pig in the City and the voice of Buttercup in the animated feature The Powerpuff Girls Movie.

My favorite memory of E.G. Daily is the MTV video produced for her #1 ranked club/dance single "Say it, Say it." The clip features Elizabeth and other actors performing a brilliant parody of the 1962 Stanley Kubrick film Lolita. Check it out. This guy does James Mason better than James Mason does James Mason!

"Say it, Say it" - E.G. Daily (1986, highest 
chart position #70 Billboard Hot 100
#1 Hot Dance/Club Play) 

[Humbert decides to rent the room]

Charlotte: What was the decisive 
factor? Uh, my garden?

Humbert: I think it was your 
cherry pies!

 Stay tuned! Parts 2, 3 and 4 

 of Shady's Eighties Greaties 

 are coming your way soon! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Oh, I remember Big Pig and Breakaway- but did not think it was that long ago! Ditto for E.G. Daily and Say It Sat It. Wow! those were the days!

    It doesn't get much better than Kenny Loggins. He is smooth and talented. I'll never forget riding over 50 miles on the back of a motorcycle driven by a boyfriend through some mountains in New Mexico to see Footloose and loving that song. Happy MOnday!

  2. Hey, Shelly! I'm so happy to know that you remember Big Pig's radical video for "Breakaway." The images were rather disturbing for their time but they enhanced the powerful vocals. That E.G. Daily video is an MTV classic, an example of the creativity and high budget production that went into 80s videos, many of which were made by high profile film directors. I'm glad I stirred some exciting memories for you, dear friend Shelly. Have a most excellent week!

  3. Well my buddy here it is on a dark monday morning and I find myself wondering where I was in the 80's since I didn't know any of the artists except for knowing the name Kenny Loggins. I hope you have some more up your sleeve that I will remember that made me happy during those years. However, that tune Say it, say it was quite entertaining with scenery that was very nice and even had a story that was fun to follow all the way to the end. I guess my music tastes traveled down an entirely different road. Have a terrific week.

  4. Odie - Ha! I had a feeling you might like the garden scenery in that spoof of the movie Lolita! Whoever put that together did a terrific job. It's one of my favorite videos of MTV's golden years. There are three volumes of Eighties Greaties yet to come, good buddy, so stick around and maybe I'll post a few that are more familiar to you. Have a great day up Carolina way and please pamper those pooches!

  5. I have been taking a short lunch break from a day of gardening and came to enjoy my end of meal cup of coffee while catching up on some blog reading. The weather today is perfect for the garden, so I'm making the most of it. We had a gale all weekend, which had forced a change of plans.
    I don't recall having heard any of these 80's songs, Tom. I must have been too busy raising babies at that time :)
    I assume your Thanksgiving weekend guests have left, now? I do hope you all had a memorable time together!
    Enjoy your week!

  6. Hi, Desiree! I saw what you wrote on Thisisme's blog about your dismal weather. I'm sorry your weekend was a wash out but glad the storm's over and you're back outside in your garden where you belong. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving, thank you, and yes, I'm once again inhabiting an empty nest. Although you never heard any of these songs I hope you found one or two that you liked or at least learned a little something from your visit. Thank you very much for coming by, dear friend Desiree, and have a safe and happy week!

  7. I meant to say the movie Caddyshack, not Footloose (although I enjoyed that movie, too!)

  8. Shelly - AOK! I'm alright, nobody worry 'bout me! Both are great movie themes but thanks anyway for the follow-up. It means a lot to me that you check back for my replies. That's great blogging and a great friend!

  9. Hello Tom! I'm finally able to crank up the volume and work my way backwards on your postings! Whaatttt??? I jumped into the decade of 'raising babies' as Des so eloquently put it. More like the decade of chaos and swimming upstream in heavy waters! I did of course recognize The Rapper and everyone's fav Kenny Loggins. In between not so much.
    Now I'm thankful I can play it backwards...kind of like we did the Beatles, lol and catch up on your Hit Parade!
    Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

  10. Sush - Hello, dear friend! It's great to see you again and happy belated T-giving to you as well! Yes, you arrived back here just in time for a rare visit to the 80s. You know what they say: if you remember the 80s, you weren't there! (LOL) I realize that you, Desiree, and several other readers were busy raising families during the 80s. I was in the unique position of being a bachelor, hitting the clubs and working at an MTV station. That's why I have so many fond (yet somewhat hazy) memories of this particular decade. Thank you very much, dear Sush, for catching up on what's been going on here at SDM&M. Please come back soon!

  11. Hi dear friend Tom. I'm bringing up the rear again, it would seem! Oh dear! As I'm typing this, I'm listening to The Rapper, and, although I have never heard of it before, I am really enjoying it! Although I see the date was 1970, I felt that it had a real sound of the 60s about it, although you might not agree. I was going to say that Odie would be happy with this post today, and the lovely ladies near the end!!! I loved Caddyshack. We had it on video and would watch it over and over. It was so funny at the time, especially that little gopher! Strangely enough, I don't remember that tune from it at all! You are naughty, I saw from Kristina's blog, that it was your birthday last Sunday. You kept that quiet! Wishing you a very belated happy birthday my friend. See, if I had known, I would have come along and jumped out of your birthday cake and sang happy birthday to you!!

  12. Thisisme - Well, if you're going to jump out of a cake and everything then you can be sure that I'll remind you and remind you and remind you next year! (LOL) Yes, I agree that "The Rapper" was somewhat of a throwback to the mid 60s. I enjoy it's clean, uncluttered production. That actor in "Say It" executed a brilliant portrayal of James Mason in Lolita, didn't you think? Yes, that Caddyshack gopher was a breakout character and his antics in eluding capture and destruction at the hands of Bill Murray was one of the many delightful aspects of that comedy. Thank you ever so much for coming across the pond to visit, dear Thisisme, and have a wonderful day and week!

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. There was a young rat from the Dell
    Who regaled us with prose most swell:
    Of music giants of lore,
    Rock, soul, Doo-wop and more.
    May Shady always cast his spell.

  15. I remember when TOP GUN was a big hit on VHS casettes:-)

  16. Cindy - There once was a man from Nantucket... (LOL) Hello there, dear friend! You're waxing poetic today, aren't you? (I wish I could see what you wrote and then deleted. A naughty limerick perhaps?) Regardless, that was such a nice thing for you to write. It was very creative and it is very much appreciated. I hope all's well in your world and I thank you very much for coming by to experience the 1980s with me! Have a splendid week ahead, dear friend Cindy!

    Wanilianna - VHS cassettes? They must have been before my time! (LOL) Yes, I remember that format very well. Some of the most frustrating moments of my life occurred when a tape got jammed in my playback deck and then twisted, tangled up, stretched, torn and ruined as I tried to free it. I went through 47 copies of Fast Times at Ridgemont High before it was finally released on DVD! (LOL) Thank you for coming all the way here from Poland, dear friend Wanilianna, and have a pleasant evening!

  17. I'm afraid I missed a lot of songs in the 70s and 80s raising kids and being a square. :) I liked Donnie Iris very much, especially Ah! Leah! and Do You Compute. I notice a girl in one of the videos wearing culottes. My girls loved wearing those.

    I also enjoyed Big Pig's song for dancing. Fantastic. The one song I did recognize was 'Danger Zone'. A silly movie, but an exciting one! I can't believe I've never watched Caddyshack, but I haven't! I think I missed out. It was good to learn some new songs today, some I would certainly have bought back in the day. May your week be full of sunshine and smiles.

  18. WHAT....WAIT....I missed your birthday????? Why you little Rascal! Happy Belated Birthday and wishes for many more!

    Sheesh! and Hugs~

  19. The 80s, now you're talkin! I am not ashmaed to say is my favourite decade of music. Although it did have some terrible stuff, it is where most of my favourite bands originated or had their best material; The Smiths, REM, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Talking Heads, Pixies. I even love the cheesy stuff!

    Thanks for your lovely comment by the way!Hope you are well my friend!

    Emma x

  20. I am so glad I stopped by again before I head off to enjoy a long bath. I think I overdid things in the garden :( Anyway, I too, feel very sorry you had not let us know it was your birthday! We would all have rushed over to give you hugs, drink a toast to your health and enjoy a slice of the cake Diane would have made. She's a great virtual cake baker! May I join everyone else in wishing you a Belated Very Happy Birthday and, most importantly, a truly wonderful year ahead! Big hug xo

  21. Belle - I'm glad you mentioned and liked Jaggerz alumnus Donnie Iris because his music and videos are so indicative of the 80s. I certainly remember the girls wearing culottes back then. How about Anthony Edwards appearing in Top Gun nearly a decade before he became known to millions as Dr. Mark Greene on the hit NBC doctor drama ER? Thank you very much for coming by, dear friend Belle, and may you also have a week filled with sunshine and smiles!

    Sush - Hello again! Please don't feel badly, dear friend. I didn't make any formal announcement of my birthday here on the blog. It just leaked out so how were you to know? You can always be the first to wish me a happy b-day on November 20th next year when I turn the big THREE-OH! (LOL) Thanks so much for caring, sweet Sush!

    Emma - I'm always in great spirits when you come calling! I thought you might recognize one or two of these. Gosh, with the response I'm getting I'm tempted to make every post about the 80s from now on! (LOL) I love all of these recordings or I wouldn't have posted them but I am particularly fond of the conceptual video for Big Pig and the hysterical vignette produced for E.G. Daily's club hit "Say It." We played that doggone clip a dozen times a day at my MTV station and audiences loved it. Thank you very much for coming to see me, my dear Irish friend. Have a fine evening, Emma!

    TDD (That Darned Desiree) - Hello again, dear friend! Well my goodness everybody's making such a fuss about missing my birthday that I'll be sure to devote a 10-part blog series to it next year. I certainly don't want to miss Diane (known to me as Thisisme) baking a virtual cake and then jumping out of it, award winning legs and all! Desiree, you are just the greatest. Thank you the for well wishes. I loved seeing your dogs the other day and I think the world of you as a human being. Thanks for stopping back in and now off to bed you go for some beauty sleep, okay? God bless!

  22. oh the 80s were a good least what I remember of them which isnt too much since I was a wee babe. I still enjoyed the flashback although I was hoping for a little Debbie Gibson :) As a newborn baby Dell Rat I must request a 90s playlist!

  23. Yep, it's me again, jus' when you thought you'd had enough of my nonsense for one day! :~D I did want you to know when I posted my so-called "limerick" this a.m., I had already read, listened to and made notes on this post. I love these "Eighties Greaties", a time I shared this music with my daughter and took her to concerts. That just has to be Kim Cattrall (Sex & The City) in the "Ah Leah" video with Donnie Iris. Some of his music I didn't recall. I liked the song "Breakaway" and you weren't kiddin' about the "sensory overload" in the video. ☺ Loved "Danger Zone" and the movie "Top Gun". Really liked, "Say It, Say It", too, especially the video parody of "Lolita". It was great! I need to see this movie, don't know how it escaped me.

    Thank you, Tom, I really enjoyed the music and videos this morning.

  24. Amber Blue Bird - I realize you were just a wee lass in the 80s, a teeny tiny tot. I can relate because I was just entering my teens at the time! (LOL) Debbie Gibson and Tiffany were also big video stars at my station. Debbie's "Only in My Dreams" and Tiff's cover of the Tommy James hit "I Think We're Alone Now" both burned up the request lines. Thank you for stopping by, baby dell rat Amber. It's past your bed time, young lady, so I bid you "nighty-night" and a wonderful week ahead!

    Cindy - My goodness, I'm getting a double dose of just about everybody! I'll never get enough of your nonsense so please don't hesitate to visit 10, 20, 50 times a day! (LOL) I examined that "Ah Leah!" video and the girl could be Kim Cattrall. However, she also looks a lot like Mrs. Gene "The Tongue" Simmons, Shannon Tweed. I looked it up in my Funkin' Wagnalls and discovered that Shannon was a Playboy Playmate in 1981 when that video was made. Rock stars then and now often mined Playboy for models to use in their videos. I could be wrong but my guess is that it's either Shannon or some other Playmate of the month. If you like Peter Sellers and James Mason you really must see the original Lolita. It's a classic. Thank you for coming back around, dear Cindy. Your friendship means everything to me! Have a great evening in K-ville!

  25. I love 80s music. This made my night happier :)

  26. Ashton - Mission accomplished! If you can leave SDM&M happier than you were when you logged on, then a win-win has been achieved and that makes me happy, too. Thank you very much for taking time to experience Eighties Greaties with me. Three more volumes are on the way in the weeks to come so stay close, dear friend Ashton!

  27. Hi, Tom!

    I looked over the songs on this latest blog, and I know The Jaggerz and Kenny Loggins. Everything else in between is strange to me, and I will listen to them as soon as I can. I read all of your comments and all the Dell Rats' and Dell Ratettes' as well, and definitely know that I have some visual as well as audio treats in store for me. Glad the word got around about your 26th birthday, Youngster. Was at New Kensington campus of PSU (near Pittsburgh) so the Jaggerz received very heavy play there. I am curious to learn more about Donny Iris and will return to this blog.

    Your buddy,

  28. Hi, Ron! Yessir, I hope you come back when you have time and watch and listen to these Donnie Iris, Big Pig and E.G. Daily videos. Maybe you can help Cindy and me to i.d. the girl in Donnie's "Ah! Leah!." Cindy thinks it's Kim Cattrall of Sex in the City. I thought it might be Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed, but now I'm thinking it might be another playmate by the name of Lillian Muller who modeled in Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" video and in Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy." See what you think. Trust me, you also do not want to miss the E.G. Daily clip. Doesn't anybody remember her in Valley Girl, the 1983 romantic comedy that starred Nick Cage and Deborah Foreman? C'mon, help me out here, buddy. Can I get a witness? Thanks a lot for coming by, Ron, and I look forward to hearing from you again soon!

  29. I did miss some of the early 80's music back then, but managed to catch up during the late 80's and early 90's. Actually, there were quite a few movies during the 80's with the great soundtracks, especially Kenny Loggins! 'Footloose' is still a favorite of mine, and his music was very danceable. Yeah, 'The Rapper'...I thought it to be a cool song-and, it was very popular. During the early 80's I lived in the cable, thus, no MTV. Got a job working in town and the boss got a TV so he could watch the stock market. And, while the cat's away-I found MTV! And I do remember seeing Donnie Iris, a strange guy, but good tunes. E.G. Daily was a beautiful girl, and I recognized her voice...seems like there may have been a song of hers in a movie too. Oh, the 80's movies. I think that was the beginning of older hit songs being used in our commercials today! Instead of dramatic orchestras, some good rock tune may sell a car! Haha! A wonderfully, enlightening-makes-you-hum post, Shady! Covering some pretty awesome territory. Have a pleasant evening.

  30. Hi, Susan! I'm sorry you missed the start of the MTV Revolution in the early 80s but glad you declared "I want my MTV" and found a way to get it. The early 80s was an exciting time for me. I loved the music of the period and was fascinated by music videos because many displayed the art and craftsmanship of noted film directors. As a wannabe director I carefully studied the techniques used in the making of videos and soon found myself producing and directing videos of my own as part of my new job at a television station modeled after MTV. I agree with you that the 80s had more than its share of movies with hit soundtracks. Flashdance (1983) also comes to mind. Thank you very much for checking out my Eighties Greaties, dear Susan. It's back to the 60s in tomorrow's post so please stick around. Have a great day, my friend!


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