80s Songs Included In Fireworks Montages

I decided this week to join the League of Extraordinary Bloggers via the CoolandCollected.Com website. (special thanks to ShezCrafti for the referral!) I get blog post ideas all the time and save them for future use, but sometimes it hard to decide which to choose and write about next. So, I thought I'd draw some inspiration from other bloggers who are writing about the same general topics. I'm looking forward to connecting with some new people through the LEB and will be sharing links to other sites as well!

80s Songs Included In Fireworks Montages

This week's League topic is Patriotic pop culture. What movie, TV show, comic book, etc. makes you want to stand up and salute Old Glory? I thought since music is my favorite topic, I'd come up with a list of the 80s songs that always seem to get played while watching fireworks. (In no particular order)

Bruce Springsteen "Born In The USA" (1984)

Springsteen's anthem about Vietnam vets being mistreated upon their return to the USA has probably been one of the most misused songs in patriotic settings. Most of us remember the blowback that President Reagan took for praising Springsteen's music as "a message of hope" in one of his campaign speeches. Now, I think the majority of people get the song's message. Personally, I didn't truly get it until a college history class in 98 when my professor broke the lyrics down for us. It's an amazing song but I've still heard it played in more recent years during Fireworks displays. It usually gets a reaction from the beer-wielding rednecks at the fireworks show, causing them to stand up from their lawn chair in the back of their pickup truck and let out a "WOOOOOOOO!"

James Brown "Living In America" (1985)

The "Godfather of Soul" exploded onto the scene of Rocky IV, like an M80 to toilet water. Used as Apollo Creed's entrance music in the film, it left his opponent Ivan Drago and his Russian crew pretty much speechless during the performance. It's my favorite JB song and really enjoy hearing that once a year during the fireworks show. But, it still kinda leaves me on edge when the song is over, bracing for that fatal Drago punch.

Neil Diamond "America" (1981)  

We always went to a fireworks show where you turned on the local radio station to hear the soundtrack to the show. I've always associated this song with those type of shows I watched as a kid. It was a very popular song, more so for my parents than me, but is still a great patriotic song nonetheless. Immigration in the early 20th century has always been a big part of American history and apparently is communicated best with wide v-neck shirts, large collars and as many sequins as you can handle. 

John Cougar Mellancamp "R.O.C.K. In the U.S.A." (1986)   

Here's another song that I always enjoyed during fireworks shows and still hear now and again on classic rock stations. It almost didn't make onto JCM's Scarecrow album, mainly because he thought it was too upbeat compared to the other tracks. Lucky for him he included it because it became a #2 hit, only behind Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus." (Guess alot of people wanted to "rock" in '86.) Most people in the recording industry are liberal, but JCM put aside his views and allowed republican nominee George H.W. Bush to use it during his first Presidential campaign.
Lee Greenwood "God Bless the USA" (1984)

For me, this song just never seems to age. I've seen it used in countless fireworks shows over the years, growing up in the kid in the north and throughout the last several years living in the south. I feel like it's the one song, other than our traditional anthems, that just makes us swells with patriotism. I associated most with the first time I saw the laser light show at Stone Mountain, GA about 15 years ago. The show projected those "lakes of Minnesota" and "hills of Tennessee" and got plenty of cheers. I believe they still play the segment during the shows today. I found a similar laser show on Youtube that captures alot of what I remember.

Check out these patriotic posts:

Branded in the 80s feels patriotic during the first few minutes of G.I. Joe: The Movie 
Infinite Hollywood remembers "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan as a true pop culture patriot
Adamotomy thinks Bomb Pops are "the bomb"


Misheard 80s Lyrics: "Honest, I see you."

The Go-Go's topped the music charts in 1981 with their debut album "Beauty and The Beat." It remains the only album written and performed entirely by women to top the charts. I've heard many interpretations of their debut single "Our Lips Our Sealed." The most memorable has been the lyrics that my wife sings "Honest, I See You." Sounds like a pretty truthful lyric, right? I could possibly hear that being said during a game of hide and seek. But these other misheard lyrics from AmIRight.Com would probably not work to well in that game.

Alex the Seal
All licks are free
All of Cecile
Arm in tuxedo
How does that feel? 
Honest appeal 



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The 80s Arcade: Operation Wolf

In the wake of mid 80s action movies like Rambo: First Blood Part 2 and Commando, arcades followed suit with some pretty cool shoot 'em up type video games to feed our need for carnage. The development of the light gun into games, such as the Nintendo zapper gun, broaden the possibilities for scrolling and gallery shooting games. Taito's Operation Wolf stormed its way into arcades in 1987 to great reception from both critics and gamers alike. Winning several awards and spawning three sequels, Operation Wolf definitely has that "initials quality" about it and a game I could pour quarters into and never tire of the game play.

I am a huge fan of John J. Rambo and have been since I was a kid (probably why this game appealed to me so much.) Operation Wolf probably could have been titled "Operation Rambo," because there were many similarities to First Blood Part 2. The beginning of OW featured a soldier strapping on his boots and attaching gear like knives and grenades ala Rambo, and then lock-n-loading his uzi machine gun. The operation? To rescue hostages inside a concentration camp and... BLOW STUFF UP including tanks, helicopters and anyone pointing a gun in your general direction!

Operation Wolf had two main elements that put it in a league of its own among shooting games. The first was the gun and controls. Just something about having that uzi in your hands that made me feel like Hannibal shooting out the back of the A-Team van at the bad guys. Force feedback in the controls made it feel like real recoil when firing. Plus, a grenade launcher! A little red button on the side of the gun allowed players to launch grenades at the jeeps, choppers, and boats that annoyed you. Without unlimited ammo, clips and grenades had to be found within the game to keep from being eliminated by the enemy.

The second element that held Operation Wolf above the rest was a story line throughout the game. It was one of the first shooter type games to feature one. There were six stages you had to defeat in order to rescue the hostages: Communication Setup, Jungle, Village, Powder Magazine, Concentration Camp, and Airport. Upon completing each stage, the story advanced as if you were in a real special operations mission. Critics agreed the Operation Wolf held a higher standard at the arcade and it received several Golden Joystick awards including Best Overall 8-Bit Game. As far as sales, it ranked 2nd behind Robocop, which outsold every game for about a year stretch.

Operation Wolf would become one of the most ported games to consoles and computers of all time. Ironically, only the NES and Sega Master System supported light gun play to give it the true arcade feel at home. In 1988, Operation Thunderbolt hit arcades as a sequel. Crash magazine would vote it the best graphics of the year. The story line was also loosely based on the real events of a 1976 American hostage rescue mission in Uganda. The 2nd sequel, Operation Wolf 3, was released in 1994 and had considerable changes to the first two games. It featured side-by-side action to play with a friend, but used unlimited ammo opposed to earlier games. A pump slide was also used to fire grenades instead of a red button. The final sequel, Operation Tiger, was released in 1998 and continued the side-by-side two player action. However, it reverted back to the traditional style of play with limited ammo and accessories. The original game has also been featured in classic Taito compilation games on modern day consoles like Xbox and PS2.

Now, who's ready to blow some stuff up? Well, if wanna have a go at the Nintendo version of Operation Wolf, click here!

Thanks as always to and Wikipedia.


Nintendo Zapper In Famous Movie Scenes

If the Nintendo zapper was the weapon of choice...

The magic of Photoshop and other image altering programs have opened 80s minds everywhere to a "What If..." world. Sometimes forgotten in the history of Nintendo is the zapper gun. Used for games like Duck Hunt, Hogan's Alley and Operation Wolf, the zapper gun was first released in 1985 as an accessory with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console. About 18 games were designed to be compatible the gun during its lifetime. Notably, it was one of the weapons used by Kevin in the cartoon series Captain N: The Game Master.

Now, with image altering software and crazed 80s brains (such as mine), the Nintendo Zapper has been brought back to life in a new way. NullPoint84 on Flickr has inserted the zapper into famous iconic movie scenes including Star Wars (now we know why Guido missed,) James Bond, and Pulp Fiction. You might have seen some of these Photoshopped masterpieces already on sites like Buzz Feed and FunnyOrDie. But since I just stumbled onto them recently, I figured it was worth passing along. Enjoy the Nintendo zapper in famous movie scenes!

Star Wars

Boondock Saints
Pulp Fiction
The Goonies
The creator of these takes requests. I think I'd like to see Robocop with zapper gun at his side. What are some other movie scenes that a Nintendo zapper would be a fun substitute? Leave a comment with your suggestion!


"Rock of Ages" Debuts This Week

Rock of Ages hits theaters 6/15/2012

Music from the 1980s will come to life again this week in the new musical Rock of Ages. Based on the Broadway musical, the film features 80s rock hits from bands like Def Leppard, Foreigner, Journey, Poison, REO Speedwagon, Twisted Sister, Pat Benatar, Guns N' Roses and more. An all-star cast will take us back 25 years to the time of big hair, big egos, and big cell phones. Some familiar faces have emerged at the Hollywood premiere this past weekend to do interviews on the "black" carpet and show their support for this era of music.

The story is set in 1987 as small town girl Sherrie and city boy Drew, meet on the Sunset Strip while pursuing their Hollywood dreams. A romance ensues while working for a local bar and also pursuing rock n' roll careers.

The cast includes Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta- Jones, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, with Alec Baldwin and Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx. Word has it that Cruise took voice lessons and sang 5 hours each day in preparation for the role.

The movie held its Hollywood premiere this past weekend with my favorite MTV veejay Martha Quinn conducting interviews at the black carpet. (Yes, it was black instead of red in honor of rock n' roll.) She held a fun interview with Tom Cruise talking about the music from the movie and the appreciation of the 80s era bands have had for the way he performed the role. The movie soundtrack is available now and features 20 tracks performed by the cast. It includes a few tracks that "mashup" some of the rock hits including "We Built This City / We're Not Gonna Take It" and "Juke Box Hero / I Love Rock 'n' Roll."

To be honest, my jury is still out on how good the movie will be. The cast does have a good mix of actors and singers and I've heard it does have some good comedic value. I'll be watching it mainly for the music and to see if this group can pull off some those notes that the 80s rockers did back in the day. I'm anxious to hear if you 80s fans will be seeing it opening weekend and also how it will do on Rotten Tomatoes. (I'll be traveling so I won't get a chance to see it until the following week.) Also can't wait to hear if my friends Tank & Fogs will stamp it or flush it on the Title Pending Movie Podcast. Rock on!

Thanks to Rock of Ages official website and Martha Quinn for content. Also take a listen to the latest hilarious Title Pending Movie Podcast here or on iTunes.


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Rock Music Toys at


Misheard 80s Lyrics: "Carry A Laser..."

Mister Mister "Kyrie"

It was years before I determined what exactly was being sung in "Kyrie." The best interpretation I heard was "Carry a laser down the road that I must travel." I remember looking up the lyrics on the internet when I was in college and going "huh?" Here are a few more interpretations from AmIRight.Com:

Can you even listen down the road...
Carrie Ann lays along the road...
Carry a raisin down the road...
Kill me a lizard down the road...

The lyrics of the song are actually "Kyrie Eleison" which is Greek for "Lord, have mercy." So, it appears that Mr. Mister could have intended the song to be a prayer. Think about that as you watch the video to their #1 hit from 1986.


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80s Toons: "Captain N: The Game Master"

In 1983, ABC had a two year run with a cartoon based on a number of arcade games. Saturday Supercade would feature individual cartoon episodes of beloved game characters like Q*Bert, Frogger, Donkey Kong & Mario, and Pitfall Harry. Five years after it ended in 1989, video games characters would unite again. This time, heroes and villains from the world of Nintendo would be featured on one show, fighting for power of Videoland. Unlikely teenage hero Kevin Keene (and his dog Duke) would lead the team of heroes as Captain N: The Game Master!

The first appearance of Captain N was in Nintendo Power magazine, created by Randy Studdard as "Captain Nintendo." Soon after, Nintendo sought out DiC Entertainment to produce a cartoon show. Very little was kept from the original story in the magazine and according to Wikipedia, no compensation was given to the creator. In the new show, Kevin Keene and his dog are transported in a warp zone through his television to Videoland amidst a war against the Palace of Power. Armed with a NES controller on his belt and a zapper gun, Kevin fulfills an ancient prophecy to lead a team of heroes to rescue King Charles who has been imprisoned in Mirror World.

The evil team is led by the power hungry and verbally abusing Mother Brain from the floating fortress of Metroid. Her henchmen include the muscle of King Hippo (Mike Tyson's Punch-Out) who could use some spare brain cells and quite frankly a double E cup bra and the equally incompetent Eggplant Wizard (Kid Icarus) who typically takes the "Starscream" approach in trying to come up with his own plans apart from Mother Brain. Other recurring villains throughout the series would include The Count (Castlevania,) Donkey Kong, Dragonlord (Dragon Warrior,) Ganon (Legend of Zelda,) and Malkil (Wizards and Warriors.)

Beside Kevin and his dog Duke, the heroes of the show consisted of vampire hunter Simon Belmont (Castlevania,) the mega-robot Mega Man, flying archer Pit aka Kid Icarus, and Princess Lana who is the acting ruler of Videoland. Other characters featured throughout the series included Link and Princess Zelda (Legend of Zelda,) King Charles and Prince Lyle of the royal Videoland family and Mega Girl. As the travel from one game world to another, others also assisted the heroes. In Season 2, King Charles sends Gameboy to help Captain N with his materializing and computer capabilities. 

Captain N would last for three seasons and 34 total episodes before being cancelled. The third season suffered as NBC made budget cutbacks, resulting in lower quality animation and removing characters from the show to avoid paying royalties. In all, Wikipedia cites elements of 29 different Nintendo video games being used in the show. Super Mario Brothers did not have a big role in the show because of its own show around the same time. In fact, Captain N eventually became part of a half hour show with Super Mario World during its final run. Shout Factory released a large portion of the original episodes to a DVD set in 2007. 

Most people who remember the show will probably agree it wasn't that great and mainly a ploy to sell more Nintendo games. It wasn't really a favorite of mine and found Mother Brain and Kid Icarus characters quite obnoxious. But the show remains part of my youth and I revere it with the video games it represented, many which I enjoyed. The easiest way to rediscover Captain N: The Game Master is on YouTube. Check out the playlist below with the complete series!

The complete series on DVD is also available on Amazon.


MTV The First Ten Years (1981-91)


In 1991, MTV released this video montage of the great iconic moments in music video history. It commemorated the 10 year anniversary of the music channel being on the air. If this doesn't make you miss watching MTV, nothing will! Thanks to Youtuber alcyon2sp for posting!


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