Showing posts with label 1982. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1982. Show all posts

Monday, July 14, 2014

The car fell off the concrete blocks

This episode of a long-lost local Baton Rouge game show may or may not tell you all you need to know about my Louisiana hometown.

I was a student at LSU when this episode of We Play Baton Rouge ran on Channel 2 in 1982. Though I am loathe to endorse the consumption of illegal narcotics, it is my understanding that this vehicle for WBRZ weatherman Pat Shingleton (who's still there) was best experienced stoned out of your ever-lovin' gourd.

I mean, at the beginning of the show, Contestant No. 1 bumps into his "car" on the set -- and it falls off the concrete blocks. Then, after the first commercial break, the contestants have managed to switch places. And coming back from a break toward the end of the show, Pat thanks announcer Gary King . . . who hasn't said a word.

Imagine how funny that stuff might've been back in the day if you'd been ingesting substances known to cause normal people to laugh at a bag of Doritos.

Now, the object of the game was to "navigate" local streets to arrive -- wait for it -- at the Highland Road studios of Channel 2. Unfortunately, Baton Rouge isn't known for its efficient street-grid layout . . . or much of a street grid at all.

This ultimately led to the demise of We Play Baton Rouge, which apparently was canceled by WBRZ because most of the contestants kept getting caught in traffic on Perkins Road. Which happens a lot to cars in Baton Rouge when you add tires and subtract concrete blocks.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Plaquemine ferry, then and now

Here's how Louisianians rolled on the river -- the mighty Mississippi between Plaquemine Point on the east bank and the town of Plaquemine on the west -- back in 1982 on the ferryboat.

Here's how we did it a couple of weeks ago.

Back in 1982.

Today, in 2011.Things change, but not always by that much.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Your Daily '80s: Sic semper (Argentine) tyrannis

The spring of 1982: Britannia rules the waves . . . and, once more, the Falkland Islands.

In Argentina, things weren't going so well. Thus always to tyrants, Gen. Galtieri.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Your Daily '80s: Me, myself and I yi yi

In 1982, Charlene wanted to take a very short, very annoying journey to herself. Because she'd never been there.

You think she would have made it there after the original release of "I've Never Been to Me" in 1977, but she didn't. So there she was again five bloody years later, vowing she'd really make it this time. You go, girl.

No, really. Go.

Frankly, I think she started out there and never left.
Oh, goody.

OF COURSE, having been to himself in 1981, Billy Idol could serve as Charlene's guide to that particular destination.

While they're doing some trip planning, you can go to the comments on SongMeanings and watch people argue over whether or not "Dancing With Myself" is about playing with oneself. Which would be a whole other kind of futility.

Wasting your time debating that, I mean. Or reading about debating that.

Or, yeah, for that matter, that.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Your Daily '80s: I know that dude!

In 1982, at Ridgemont High School, it wasn't for nothing that surfer dude Jeff Spicoli lived his life inside a cloud of cannabis smoke.

No, what you don't realize is that the dude had "second sight." Like, the dude could, like, see the future, man. He could see us today, bro.

And stoned just seemed like a rational response to that knowledge at the time.

OK, I love this clip, dude. So sue me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Your Daily '80s: Square Pegs

Before there was Sex in the City, there was virginal and geeky at Weemawee High.

Square Pegs, and it premieres Sept. 27. And yes, that's Sarah Jessica Parker.

Welcome back to 1982. It's a totally different head. Totally.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Your Daily '80s: Wanna go to London

Skinny ties are back in, I hear.

Good. I have some.

That's reason enough, on this edition of
Your Daily '80s, to revisit local music in 1982. That local music would be the U.S. Times, a New Wave band that was in the forefront of hip in Baton Rouge, by God, Louisiana.

Well, at least as far as we LSU students were concerned at the time.

But if you want to know the truth, I think the Times -- as the band was known before it adopted the "U.S." as part of its name -- remains pretty hip today, even though now they're just a footnote in the history of a middling town's "college bands."

THE TITLE TRACK from the band's "Wanna Go to London" album pretty much sums up a time and a place . . . and the music we loved. We just as soon would have loaded up a trunk and flown to London town -- skinny ties, rock 'n' roll stars.

Heck, in 1982, I actually sent my resumé and clips to an English newspaper. Unfortunately for me, the economy was crappy all over, and the editor politely informed me he didn't have jobs for British reporters, much less ones from --
What was the name of that place in the colonies again?

STILL, dreaming was as cheap as air-mail postage.

I wan, I wan, I wan, I wanna go to London,

Go to London, England. . . .

(NOTE: Contains a single F-bomb, not overly noticeable.)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Your Daily '80s: (Radio) Anarchy in the U.K.

Bloody hell!

Pirate radio in the U.K.! Didn't the blokes in the Home Office take care of that in the late 1960s?

After all, it's 1982 now.

WELL, according to this documentary on Channel 4, I reckon not. I guess rock 'n' roll -- and pirate jocks -- are here to stay.

Your Daily '80s: Election '82

Just in time for Ronald Reagan's first midterm election in 1982, the economy was about as bad as it had been since the Great Depression.

We wouldn't see an economy that bad again until . . . now.

Funny -- isn't it? -- that Reagan
(the real Reagan and not the mythologized one) probably would be derided as a RINO by the tea-party crowd today, and the Democrats have become a party that can't hold a lead. Ever.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Your Daily '80s: Shakin' over Shirley

Welcome back to 1982.

In May of this year, Shakin' Stevens took this little ditty, "Shirley," to No. 6 on the British charts.

But for me, the original of "Shirley" hits a little closer to home.

WELCOME to 1959 -- two years before I arrived on the scene -- in my hometown, Baton Rouge, La. Then, "Shirley" was a little somethin' put to hot wax by John Fred and the Playboys.

ABOUT NINE YEARS later, John Fred and His Playboy Band had a No. 1 hit with another little something you might remember.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Your Daily '80s: The day the music died

May 10, 1982. Noon.

WABC -- Musicradio 77 in New York and one of the biggest Top-40 radio stations ever -- became Talkradio 77. Decades on, radio fans refer to that day as "The day the music died."

At 12:01 p.m., May 10, 1982, there was only one Top-40 AM station standing in New York, 66 WNBC. Top-40 held on there for a time, but then WNBC evolved into more of a talk station with bits of music here and there.

And then, in 1988. . . .

After 66 years on the air,
WNBC was no more.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Your Daily '80s: Berzerkeley!

Look at your calendar. It seems to have reverted to Nov. 20, 1982.

And if you can read this -- congratulations. Your computer, and the Internet, have managed to stay somewhere in the 21st century. You will be able to watch the wildest finish in the history of college football, and the unlikeliest end to one chapter of one of history's most intense gridiron rivalries.

Joe Starkey has the play-by-play for the Cal radio network. The Stanford band has the . . . well, just watch.

Starkey: Awesome, flow of emotion back and forth, great football. Well, this is some show I'll tell you. And now the Bears in a seemingly impossible situation. They have only one time-out left. They pretty well have to run it back... to save the game and boy, talk about a heartbreaking way to lose....But what a great way to win if you are a Stanford fan. 8 seconds to go, 35 yard kick by Harmon. [Nauseating Stanford fans and band heard in the background.] It'll go right up there with Langford's kick in '74, which was further of course...a 50-yarder at the buzzer.

The Bears' problem is...that although the kick-off will now come from the 25 yard line, it's unlikely that Ford can get the ball and get out of bounds far enough upfield to set up one try at the field goal. What a recovery by Stanford; you have to give them all sorts of credit. 4th and 17 at their own 13 yd. line, and it beats staring at them in the face, and they saved it. They pulled it out. What a show.

Alright here we go with the kick-off. Harmon will probably try to squib it and he does. Ball comes loose and the Bears have to get out of bounds. Rogers along the sideline, another one...they're still in deep trouble at midfield, they tried to do a couple of....the ball is still loose as they get it to Rogers. They get it back to the 30, they're down to the 20...Oh the band is out on the field!! He's gonna go into the endzone!!! He got into the endzone!! [voice quite hoarse at this point] Will it count? The Bears have scored [CANNON GOES OFF] but the bands are out on the field.

There were flags all over the place. Wait and see what happens; we don't know who won the game. There are flags on the field. We have to see whether or not the flags are against Stanford or Cal. The Bears may have made some illegal laterals. It could be that it won't count. The Bears, believe it or not, took it all the way into the endzone. If the penalty is against Stanford, California would win the game. If it is not, the game is over and Stanford has won. We've heard no decision yet. Everybody is milling around on the [crowd and Joe getting very, very loud now] FIELD!!! AND THE BEARS!!! THE BEARS HAVE WON!!! THE BEARS HAVE WON!!! Oh my God, the most amazing, sensational, traumatic, heart rending... exciting thrilling finish in the history of college football! California has won...the Big Game...over Stanford. Oh excuse me for my voice, but I have never, never seen anything like it in the history of I have ever seen any game in my life! The Bears have won it! There will be no extra point! Hold it right here, don't anybody go away....[crowd roaring wildly]

After just about everybody on the kick-off team handled the ball, Kevin Moen finally did it. And he ran through 15 members of the Stanford band, nobody tackled him. The Fool!....Glenn Shapiro, our statistician, has just held up a card and it says the truth. The Stanford band just cost their team that ball game. The Stanford band ran out on the field, it left all the defenders in an impossible situation to get to the Bears carrying the ball. They couldn't tackle 'em. The band, in effect, served as extra blockers, the official had no choice but to let the play go as was. The Bears have scored on the kick-off, brought it all the way back. At least 5 men handled the ball on one lateral after another. I thought Rogers was dead at one point. He got rid of the ball [CANNON GOES OFF, CROWD GOES WILD] I believe it was Kevin Moen that Jan said that scored the winning touchdown as the kick-off came from the 25 yard line. This place is like it has never been ever. Stanford can't believe it.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Your Daily '80s: High school radio, 1982

Do you remember rock 'n' roll radio?

Here's a little of how it went at North High School in Torrance, Calif. Or, we can put it this way . . .
Rock'n, rock'n'roll radio Let's go
Rock'n, rock'n'roll radio Let's go
Rock'n, rock'n'roll radio Let's go
Rock'n, rock'n'roll radio Let's go . . .

. . . to the wonderful world of 1982 at KNHS.

SADLY, KNHS left the airwaves in 1991. About all that survives of the voice of Torrance's North High -- at least that survives in cyberspace -- is this video. And the cache of a now-deleted history of the station on the school's entry on Wikipedia:
KNHS, was an FCC licensed FM radio station transmitting on 89.7 MHz, serving the Torrance, California area with a variety music format. KNHS was first licensed in the mid to late 1950s and ceased when a short-sighted TUSD allowed the station license to expire in 1991. The station originally broadcast with only one Watt and did not transmit with its full licensed power until 1972 when its studios and transmitter were moved to the second floor of the Industrial Arts building according to the High School newspaper The North Wind.

There was no professional management for the station and students of North High School ran the station, therefore the programming, educational value and financial earnings potential of the station was never realized. There was no engineer for the station except for a contract engineer who was only called on when something was known to be wrong.

In 1967, Mr. McKenzie managed KNHS activities, to include the broadcast operations, setting up and running the audio system for plays, and calling play-by-play for Saxon football games, sometimes even broadcasting from remote locations (other high schools). KNHS also had speakers at various parts of the campus, including the "quad," cafeteria, and other areas. During breaks and lunches, the speakers were turned on to let students hear the station. A "landmark" is the tower with the two omni-directional "halo" antennas at the top. The tower originally was above the old broadcast area by the cafeteria (a sound booth, the operations booth with a Gates audio console and Ampex tape recorders, and a music storage room). The theme song for basketball games was “Sweet Georgia Brown.” When KNHS moved in to the (then) new 2-story industrial arts building (with the auto repair area on the first floor), the antenna tower was also moved to the roof of the industrial arts building. Mr. Fields took over for Mr. McKenzie around the time KNHS moved to the industrial arts building. KNHS conducted monthly tests by turning on the transmitter and letting it stabilize, then a monitoring company was called to measure the frequency to comply with FCC regulations.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The river and me, 1982

When you're a poor college student, the Mississippi River and a ferryboat can be an excellent -- and free -- way to kill some time on a summer weekend.

What you see here is the result of some productive time-killing one afternoon in, I am pretty sure, 1982. All I needed was to load myself and my secondhand Canon TX into my secondhand 1976 Chevy Vega (don't get me started) and drive down to the ferry landing on Plaquemine Point, south of Baton Rouge.

I'm relatively sure I was aiming to get some feature photos for The Summer Reveille at LSU. I was editorial assistant that summer semester of '82, my photojournalism class a couple of semesters before was still fresh in my mind . . . and it was a great way to kill time.


I honestly can't remember whether any of these photos got into the paper. I absolutely do know I hadn't taken a good look at those negatives for 28 years, not until I scanned them just now.

AND THE PERSON who left a comment yesterday on this post asking for more old Baton Rouge photos on the blog? Here you go.

More will follow.

For the record, I love this shot (left) of crewmen on the ferry's bridge scoping out a fine specimen of a female passenger. (What the hell do you think I was doing at the time?)

I, however, had a 35-millimeter camera and the excuse of taking feature photos for the LSU student newspaper.

That camera. I bought it the year before from City Pawn Shop downtown on Riverside Mall, which we all still called Third Street -- and which it officially is once again -- and I carried it just about everywhere.

What funded the purchase were the proceeds from the first freelance story I ever sold -- to the local paper. It was a history piece about the life and death decades earlier of Baton Rouge's first educational radio station, WLSU.

The story ran over two editions of the State-Times' and Morning Advocate's Friday entertainment magazine, Fun. I got $100, and then I got that camera.

I still have it today, and I still use it when I get a wild hair to shoot with actual film.

ANYWAY, what you see here -- untouched for almost three decades -- is a day in the life of the Plaquemine ferry, which ran and still runs between St. Gabriel on the east side of Iberville Parish and Plaquemine on the west. Look. It even has a Twitter feed.

Back in the day, I remember that election results from the eastern half of Iberville always came in last because you had to wait on the ferryboat.

TO TELL you the truth, more people should have to wait on the ferryboat -- even if you don't have a river to get across. You can't get in a hurry on a ferry; it comes when it comes, and you get to the other side when you get to the other side.

Ferryboats get you out of your aluminum-and-steel cocoon. They make it hard not to meet your neighbor . . . at least if you're both going the same way. And they put you in touch with the grandeur of nature.

In the case of the Plaquemine ferry, that would be the mighty, mile-wide Mississippi River.

The Plaquemine ferry: It was a damn fine way to kill a Saturday afternoon.

Bet it still is, too.