In 1982 I graduated from high school. Ronald Reagan was President of the United States. As a young adult I was pretty certain that the world I was about to step into stood a pretty decent chance of being annihilated by nuclear war. It was also possible that we could simply find ourselves in the middle of a pretty intense war with Russia. We had a cowboy for president, and he was not to be messed with! It also didn't help matters that the US government began requiring young men to sign up for Selective Service. Supposedly there were no ifs, ands or buts about the matter. I understood it to be a law that when you turned 18 you had no choice but to register your name for a possible draft! As it turned out, there was a choice, a moral choice, and many of my friends never filled out the paperwork. I, on the other hand, had learned that if you didn't sign up you would not be eligible in any way for Financial Aid for college. I caved to the blackmail, went down to the post office, and I filled out the Selective Service card because I was definitely filling out the application for Financial Aid.
My request for financial aid for college was turned down. As far as the Selective Service went, I was hoping that if I ever received the "Call Up" that my poor vision, or at least my wimpy demeanor, would exclude me from any sort of service. Of course, I hoped I would never have to find out what the inside of a Draft Office looked like.
One of the conditions of Selective Service was that you had to re-register every time you changed residences. Since I wasn't going to receive any Financial Aid from the government, I decided that my commitment to re-register every time I moved was over. The interesting thing about that decision was that for the next few years, every time I moved, and as you can imagine at that age it was quite a few times, I would receive a postcard from Ronald Reagan reminding me that I needed to re-register! He always seemed to know where I was so I never found the need to follow through.
To the young men and women who voluntarily sign-up for military service I urge you to read all of the fine print, question the promises the government may make to you, and most of all keep your head low.
Before Mountain would kick out their huge hit "Mississippi Queen,"Leslie Weinstein aka Leslie West played lead guitar in this great Long Island garage band, The Vagrants. The Vagrants made a go of it with their cover of Otis Redding's "Respect" only to be out-shined by Aretha Franklin's cover of the same song a couple of months later.
This video for The Vagrants' "Oh Those Eyes" may be from the beach film "Disk-o-Tek Holiday." It's definitely a sweet little piece of rock and roll history...
The ever resourceful Minutemen figured out how to get President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, to star in their music video for the tune "This Ain't No Picnic." I'm not sure what President Reagan would have thought of the work, but I know that there is no way he couldn't have admired the album the song came from. The Minutemen's "Double Nickels on the Dime" certainly qualifies as one of the top albums of the 1980's, if not of all time.
...and here's Ronald Reagan learning how to identify a Japanese Zero. Seems familiar, right?
Let's ignore They Might Be Giants' message and get this party started again! I've had several weeks of distractions - pure examples of life really getting in the way of one of my true distractions, Modern Neon Sound. My biggest distraction has been that I had to move out of my home due to a fairly major renovation. I do have my computer, but I live in a shopping mall, AND I also have a pool! So, I will attempt to figure out how to schedule work, renovation meetings, appliance shopping, sitting by the pool and blog time as I complete my summer away from home.
But don't, don't, don't let's start I've got a weak heart and I don't get around how you get around.
Here's They Might Be Giants' "Don't Let's Start" from their 1986 debut, self-titled album. My favorite part of the video is the quirky dancing and singing at the base of the ghostly remains of the New York World's Fair. I bet with a little research we'd find a ton of music videos that were filmed at the same spot, but I'm sure none as much fun. Let me know if you can think of any.