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"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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ep. 22: Mr. Monk Meets Marv & Rindy!





...guitar player Marv Ross and his wife Rindy Ross,
founders and only current members of the original
lineup of the 80s Pacific NW band Quarterflash...


I know what happened.

Somewhere along the line, I'm thinking the 1990s, style replaced substance, singers turned into zingers, and we lost something. We lost a lot. I think women of the 80s were much prettier than today's women, and female singers of the 80s were more talented. As proof, Shady and I bring you one of our favorite 80s ladies, Rindy Ross, the lead singer and sax player of the Portland, Oregon, rock band Quarterflash. Here's Shady with more.

Quarterflash was born in 1980
when two popular Oregon bands,
Seafood Mama and Pilot, merged.

Recording as Seafood Mama, the band
released the single "Harden My Heart"
and Portland radio stations played
the record in heavy rotation.

The following year the band rerecorded the
song and changed its name to Quarterflash.
The idea for the name came from a book
with an Australian slang description of
new immigrants as "a quarter flash,
three quarters foolish."

A rock band fronted by a beautiful female
sax player (Rindy Ross) was a novelty and
helped get Quarterflash noticed. The band's
popularity grew and, in the fall of 1981, they
released their self-titled debut album. The
revised version of "Harden My Heart" was
released as a single from the album and
it became the biggest hit of the band's
career - a million seller that reached
#3 on the pop chart and #1 on the
Hot Mainstream Rock survey.

"Harden My Heart" - Quarterflash
(Jan. 1982, highest chart position
#3 Hot 100/#1 Hot Mainstream Rock,
from Oct. 1981 album Quarterflash)

So... what makes a great artist?

One way to separate the real deal from
the posers is to remove the artist from
the controlled studio environment and
find out how well they do live on stage
without the safety net of do-overs and
the luxury of being able to lip sync
 the songs. As you will see and hear
in this clip from a 1982 concert in
Tulsa, Rindy Ross and her cohorts
passed that test with flying colors.
To the delight of the frenzied
crowd... they killed it!

"Find Another Fool," the second single
released from the band's debut album
Quarterflash, cracked the top 20.

"Find Another Fool" - Quarterflash
(Feb./Mar. 1982, highest chart pos.
#16 Hot 100/#12 Hot Mainstream Rock,
from Oct. 1981 album Quarterflash)

In the summer of '83 "Take Me To Heart,"
released from the second Quarterflash
album Take Another Picture, became
their second highest charting single.

"Take Me To Heart" - Quarterflash
(July/Aug. 1983, highest chart pos.
#14 Hot 100/#6 Hot Mainstream Rock,
from 1983 album Take Another Picture)

Now here's Rindy and company performing
that same song on American Bandstand.

"Take Me To Heart" - Quarterflash
(1984 perf. on American Bandstand)

In 1985 Quarterflash returned to Bandstand
promoting their latest single "Talk To Me."

"Talk To Me" - Quarterflash
(Nov. 1985, highest chart pos.
#83 Hot 100, from 1985
album Back Into Blue)

Quarterflash disbanded in 1985 but reunited
in 1990 and, in the years since, have released
three more albums. In the 2010s the band,
with new members joining Marv and
Rindy in the lineup, were still
playing live gigs.

Earlier, I offered proof that Rindy Ross
and Quarterflash were the real deal.

You saw and heard evidence of it in their
live performances of the 80s. An even
tougher test is the test of time. As their
members age, some bands overstay
their welcome and turn into tired,
maudlin, Vegas-style lounge acts.

Not so with Quarterflash! Let's FF 30 years
and experience the sheer joy of a recent
Quarterflash performance. As you will
see and hear, Rindy's still got it. Her
wailin' sax never sounded better and
her vocals still have that same fire,
that same feeling and passion that
made her great all those years ago
when she and the band were just
starting out.  Watch and listen
as the lady nails her signature
song on a live TV program!

"Harden My Heart" - Quarterflash
(2011 perf. on live TV show)

Quarterflash songs can be found on
the soundtracks of two hit movies, 
Ron Howard's Night Shift and
Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Mr. Monk... back to you.

I was just thinking, Shady. Why can't today's young female singers be more like Rindy Ross?

Modern pop idols need to clean up their act!

There's too much of that newfangled...
what do the kids call it?...hippety-hopping,
too many wardrobe malfunctions, too much
twerking and wrecking ball riding going on...
and don't get me started on that disgusting
donut licking incident! I just can't take it
anymore! Natalie... where are my pills?

C'mon, Mr. Monk. let's get you home.

It's time to put you down for your nap.
You'll be happy to know that I washed
and ironed your favorite blankie.


  1. That’s real talent right there— an amazing band! I remember Harden My Heart. It is one of the best rock songs of the 80s— but I didn’t remember their name— and I didn’t know she was the sax player for the band as well as lead singer. All of their songs are great! You are right. Rindy had it back then and she's still got it— the voice and her sax playing. I am happy to know they are back together and performing.

    Monk is right— we lost something somewhere along the way. Quarterflash reminds us what we lost— how great bands and music were in the 80’s. Thank you for bringing us their best!

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thanks for being the early bird as I present my salute to the outstanding 80s band Quarterflash.

      I am delighted to know that you like Quarterflash as much as I do and that you appreciate the enormously talented musician and vocalist Rindy Ross. She's the real deal in my book. She reminds us of other great 80s ladies like Pat Benatar and Joan Jett. I have often referred to the Eighties as the last great decade for music and a lot of other things, and these recordings and live performances by Quarterflash help explain why. Clearly Rindy had the Tulsa audience in the palm of her hand even before she blew them away with a rousing performance of her signature song "Harden My Heart," a song I never get tired of hearing. Quarterflash kept the quality high on their other singles as well.

      It was an eye-and-ear-popping thrill to witness that live 2011 performance by Quarterflash and to realize that they still have the sound, the feeling, the fire and the passion that made them great all those years ago. The worst thing a band can do is overstay their welcome on the stage and run their hits into the ground karaoke style so that we never want to hear them again. Clearly Quarterflash is light years way from allowing that to happen.

      Thanks again, Kathryn, for checking in and checking out Marv & Rindy. I'm so glad you like what you saw and heard.
      Have a great day!

  2. Tom,

    I have to agree with you and Mrs. Shady. Women from the 80s were prettier and were better singers. Most of yesterday's artists male and female purrform better live than today's entertainers. Take away the studio magic as you put it and most of bands/artists today are mediocre at best to nothing special at all. I forgot about Quarterflash but what surprised me to learn is the female lead also played the sax that made their tracks so special. Even more than 30 years later, Rindy still does a bang up good job. I really appreciated the reminder of this hot sounding 80s band! Mr. Monk is right today's female mewsicians need to clean up their acts. Thanks for sharing more great mewsic, my friend and have an awesome day!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thank you very much for being here for my tribute to Marv & Mindy, the founding members of the 80s band Quarterflash.

      I'm delighted to know that your eyes and ears match mine and that you recognize the greatness of this band, in particular the multi-talented Rindy Ross. She was one of the leading ladies of rock in the early 80s and today, in the 2010s, she is proving that she and her band still have what it takes to rock with the best of them. I predicted that you would agree with Monk (and me) that women were prettier in the 80s and, by and large, artists had more genuine talent and showmanship and didn't need to rely on hi-tech machines to make them sound good.

      Thanks again for joining the fun, dear friend Cathy, and enjoy the rest of your week!

    2. Tom,

      Many apologizes for not visiting again last week but as I indicated our life is in a bit of turmoil and frankly I'm not sure when we'll see the end of this mess with our son. All I can do is ask others is to pray, pray, pray!

      DH and I often talk about how the women were prettier and softer in general in the 80s. The women, as well as the men were by far more talented than these upcoming pop stars of today who like you pointed out rely on technology to cover their impurrfections or outrageous behavior/dress to take their audience by storm. Wouldn't it be awesome to roll the hand of time back to relive this era? Thanks for being such a good friend with your regular visits to my little niche in Blogosphere or the occasional email. Have a good day, dear Tom! :)

    3. Hi, Cathy!

      Your "friendship credit" is good here. You and I are a shining example of how two people on opposite sides of the aisle can maintain a great friendship. We do it by downplaying our differences, sharing interests and beliefs we have in common, and by always treating each other with courtesy and respect. :)

      I don't want to pry into your son's problems, but if you ever feel the need to discuss them with someone who cares and can perhaps help in some way, then please feel free to email me. Whatever's going on, I will keep praying for a positive outcome.

      Thank you again for your visits to my space. Your comments, including the follow-ups, are consistently conversational, satisfying, entertaining and educational. Your commitment to me and the high quality of your communications here on SDMM are the reasons why I feel motivated to reciprocate and give you extra effort in return.

      I hope you can have a good week, dear friend, if not a great one. God bless!

  3. I agree with for the most part the Ladies and Bands were so much better
    Love that Monk came out to help you.

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Hi, Gayle!

      How are you and thehamish, dear friend? I'm happy to see you back here again. Thanks for coming!

      I hope you enjoyed the music of Quarterflash and, in particular, the singing and sax playing of Rindy Ross, one of the great ladies of the rockin' Eighties. I'm pleased to know you enjoyed another guest host appearance on SDMM by the one and only Adrian Monk. :)

      Stay safe and well and come see me again soon, dear friend Gayle!

  4. My wife still has a 45 of the Seafood Mama version. Guess it would be a collector's edition now.
    The couple aged well. Can't say that about many in the music industry.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for dropping in, good buddy!

      Wow, if that 45 is in near mint condition, then I'll bet it's worth a pretty penny. It's cool that your wife owns that 45 and is apparently a record collector. In the 1970s, I belonged to a record collector's club. There were 50-some members and only one of them was a woman. I was told at the time that 45 rpm record collecting is a male dominated hobby, that most women simply aren't interested in collecting 45s. Albums - yes, for some reason, but not singles.

      You're right. I have had to cringe many times when a tired old artist, group or band performs one of their hits of the past and tarnishes my memory of it. I'm very excited to know that Quarterflash is still rockin' with the best of them.

      Thanks for contributing to the discussion, good buddy Alex, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  5. Hi, Shady,

    At first I was going to say, "I have never heard of Quarterflash"! But, alas, I have heard "Harden My Heart," I just never knew who performed the song. I like that song a lot!

    I also really like Quarterflash's style. You're right - beauty from previous decades are a bit more to my liking than what is considered "beautiful" today. However, beauty is all in the eye of the beholder!

    Have a great Wednesday, dear friend!

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thank you very much for popping in to experience Quarterflash, dear friend!

      Yessum, the band's name might not be on the tip of everyone's tongue, but most people remember and love their biggest hit "Harden My Heart." I'm happy to learn that you are one of them. I loved "H.M.H." when it was on the chart in the early 80s and I still love it now. It is one of the few recordings that always seems fresh to my ears and I never get tired of hearing it. I suppose that helps define a "classic."

      Thank you again for making time for a visit and comment, dear friend JM. I'm glad you liked the show. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  6. I love, love, love Adrian Monk. It's an amazing series that keeps you guessing and laughing and sometimes crying too.

    1. Hi, Luxie!

      Thank you for joining the fun, dear friend!

      I'm delighted to learn that you watch the Monk TV series in the Philippines and love love love Mr. Monk. Adrian has been a guest on SDMM more times than I can count. I also highly recommend Wings, Tony Shalhoub's earlier series of the 90s, in which he played cab driver Antonio Scarpacci.

      I hope you enjoyed the musical guests in today's post. Thanks again for coming, dear friend Lux!

    2. I think I like that it's also based on Sherlock Holmes like Elementary. I love series like these. Now I'm so addicted to Sherlock and I'm on the last season.

      Musical is also great here. Always enjoyable to visit your blog.

    3. I'm happy to know you also enjoyed my musical offerings, dear friend Lux!

      Thanks again for dropping by and have a super week!

  7. Wow...Mr. Monk! He's one of my favorite guys. I was saddened when his show ended.

    What a way to make someone's day! I, too, did not know who Quarterflash is! But, I knew some of their music. When I heard "Harden My Heart", my heart sank! I just always loved that song, and she is great! I also didn't know she played the Sax, and the whole band is great! The live performance was killer, and "Find Another Fool" was also a great one.

    This is a very good, and sound group-checked out the drummer's arms, lol! Rindy does so good on that Sax, and, yes that had to be a crowd pleaser. And, all vocals are spine chilling-spot on in tone and energy.

    Shady, I just can't say enough how impressive and enjoyable this post is-leave it to you. I'm sorry I'm late, but, I'm glad I came by.

    Scootie is on Spring break from school this week, and I'm having to share computer time with him, ugh! He has a table, but a larger screen is more exciting-tell me about it.

    This post is a real treat, and enjoyable surprise. Super job with you and Mr. Monk! Have a wonderful rest of the week! See you next time! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      I am very happy to see you, dear friend! Thank you so much for breaking away from your little spring breaker long enough to savor the sights and sounds of Quarterflash with me. Aren't they terrific?

      There can't be many rock bands, then or now, that have a beautiful female lead singer who also plays the sax as a prominent featured part in their recordings. I'm thrilled to know you remember their signature song and liked their other tunes along with their live performances.

      I am always delighted when you enjoy yourself here, dear Suzanne. Spoiler alert: I predict that you won't be quite as thrilled with my April 1 post. :)

      I am also pleased to know that you are a fan of Mr. Monk. Monk makes frequent appearances here on SDMM as guest host, to help me introduce artists, and to make observations and drive home points I am trying to make.

      I hope Scootie is enjoying spring break and that the two of you have nice weather this week to get outdoors, tend the garden and take part in other fun activities.

      Thank you again for joining the fun, dear friend Suzanne. Please take good care of yourself and Scootie and I'll be chatting with you again soon!

  8. Harden my Heart was a true classic from the 80's. A very distinct song with the sax playing. I was a huge fan of them in the 80's. I had no idea they were still playing and the does still sound so good. Great flashback to when i was a total 80's girl. I still listen to my 80's everyday on Iheart radio.

    1. Hi, Holliwood N. Vine!

      How are you, dear friend? Thanks so much for dropping in!

      I am happy to know that your ears match mine on "Harden My Heart" and on the sounds of the Eighties in general. A tremendous amount of great music was produced during that decade and our featured band Quarterflash made some significant contributions. They didn't exactly phone-in that live performance in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They killed!

      I'm pleased to know this post triggered some happy memories of your years as an 80s girl, dear friend Holli. Thanks again for coming over to check out the post. Iheart you and I hope to see you back here again soon. Take care!

  9. Hi Shady!

    I've enjoyed Quarterflash forever but had never seen them before today - thanks for the video treats!

    Monk was always a hoot with his endearing little quirks! He made some great points here today, but I wish he'd 'Talk to me' about why such entertaining talent as Quarterflash - and his show as well, seemed to fizzle like a campfire in a downpour. I'd gather the kindling if it would bring them all back ;-)
    Terrific post, my friend - thanks!

    1. Hi again, dear diedre!

      Thank you very much for doing double duty this week and returning for my tribute to Quarterflash, a band that Monk and Shady (and apparently diedre) all think is one of the most underrated of the 80s or any other decade. Quarterflash was and still is a straightforward, no-nonsense kind of band. On stage they don't dress as mythical characters or space cadets. They don't spit blood or spray fire from their mouths. They don't destroy their instruments after the performance. Teenage Shady was in a short-lived garage band. We thought it would be cool to destroy our instruments BEFORE the performance.

      A. It got very expensive to continue on with the project.

      B. Audiences turned away in droves and the band flopped. :)

      So, if you are asking why Quarterflash wasn't more successful, then it might be, as Monk suggested, that they were overshadowed by bands that played harder and heavier styles of music and by flashier acts that relied on gimmicks, style over substance.

      As for the Monk TV series, it had a good long run during most of the 2000s but, even so, I was also sorry to see it come to an end. Tony Shalhoub might have done too good a job portraying Monk and became typecast as a result, because TV audiences have not fully embraced his subsequent characters. Tony has appeared in several movies in recent years and one of my favorites is Pain & Gain, a hilarious dark comedy based on actual events. I highly recommend it.

      Thank you again for your friendship and support, dear diedre. You're the best. Please take good care of yourself and I hope to see you again soon!

  10. As per norm, I did not know their name so thank you for educating me but I know Harden My Heart and the other song with the mannequins....I can't recall the title because I am writing this here..sorry:) this makes me smile with the 80's hair and fashion and how they look now. She has a strong voice which needs nothing else to distract you and one can see how strong it is when you see her live. Many now, need dancers surrounding them with snakes and's a shame really. The lyrics are so much better too because I am thinking of that Rihanna song I hate"work, work, work, work, work". Rihanna sounds like Burgess Meredith as the penguin in Batman. Love to learn more about the band and that they have reunited.

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      I am very happy to see you, dear friend! Thank you very much for coming down for this week's Quarterflash concert here on SDMM.

      Yessum, the band has a rather unusual name and that fact alone might have hindered them along the way, but no one can deny their outstanding musicianship, Rindy's powerful pipes and her sweet, humble, respectful disposition. As you and Monk pointed out, it's a combination you don't find very often nowadays with modern divas relying on whistles & bells and smoke & mirrors to look and sound good.

      I'm delighted to know you appreciated these Quarterflash offerings and that their music, hair styles and fashions made you smile and remember the good old days.

      I hope you are having a super weekend. Thanks again for dropping by, dear friend Birgit, and enjoy the rest of it and the week ahead!

  11. Now that's clearly what's lacking in today's young stars...they're all flash and wardrobe and the real talent gets hidden. I've always loved "Harden My Heart". Not so familiar with the other tunes but enjoyed hearing them here. The real fun was seeing the band 30yrs later and realizing that the talent is still there! Way to go play a mean Sax girl! Plus I do love the Oregon, Portland part! Have a happy Spring tomorrow Shady!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Welcome welcome welcome, dear friend!
      It looks like you and I were reading and commenting on each other's posts at exactly the same time! Thank you very much for coming to see and hear Quarterflash!

      I'm delighted to learn that your eyes and ears match mine on this fine Oregon, Portand, band. :) Yessum, they haven't lost any of their energy and pizzazz. Their live 2011 TV performance was just as exciting as their performances of the 80s. That's very impressive to me because I have seen too many old acts that don't know when to get off the stage. These guys and a girl still rock with the best of them.

      Thank you again for making time for a visit at the end of your weekend (and the end of your winter) and happy spring 2017 to you as well, dear friend YaYa!

  12. Another blast from the past! I loved hearing the early v. the later Rindy and group! You're right. She still got that zing.

    As I age--gracefully, I hope--I look back to days when performers spoke to the youthful me. There were so many. Now as I approach my dotage, I find few new ones that I can relate to, but when I do, I'm rejuvenated. There's life in these here bone still.

    1. Hi, Cheryl!

      Thank you very much for dropping in to sample the sounds of yesteryear with my featured act Quarterflash. I'm happy to know you agree that they had the right stuff then and now.

      Dear friend, you are vastly underestimating yourself. How can you claim to be approaching your dotage when you are still challenging yourself with activities like extreme white water rafting and skydiving, not to mention your growing list of accomplishments as a writer and author? I'd say that in your case old age is light years away because, clearly, you are still living life to the fullest.

      Thanks again for coming by and listening to the tuneage. My next two music posts will present you with new challenges as I offer more modern sounds including some that will Shirley assault your senses. :)

      Have a great week, dear friend C-Lee!


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