Quick Hits: February 19

  • Stranger Things 4 FINALLY has a release date, or rather, two release dates. The season will be split into two parts; volume one will be released on May 27, volume two on July 1. The Duffer brothers have also confirmed that season five will be the final season. POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT: there has been internet chatter since the beginning of the show, but especially after season three, that time travel might end up being a plot point on the show, and this season four tagline – “Every ending has a beginning” – has me thinking it’s a strong possibility. We already know Eleven can travel through space using her powers, so it’s conceivable she could travel through time as well.
  • The trailer for Showtime’s The First Lady has arrived. Should we just hand out the Emmys now?
  • A fun fact I learned while researching my post about Ivan Reitman: back in the early ’80s, there was a Batman project in development that would have been directed by Reitman and starred Bill Murray as Batman, David Niven as Alfred Pennyworth, William Holden as Commissioner Gordon, and – wait for it – David Bowie as Joker. Niven and Holden died before the project got off the ground and the script never came together for Reitman, so he left the project and was replaced by Gremlins director Joe Dante. The film never got made, obviously, but hoo boy would this have been an interesting flick. When Tim Burton was casting 1989’s Batman, Bowie was again in consideration for the Joker role (as were John Lithgow, Tim Curry, Ray Liotta and James Woods); Jack Nicholson ended up with the part on the studio’s insistence.
  • On this day in 1995, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee got married on a beach in Cancun after a whirlwind four-day romance. The cemeromy was recreated for Hulu’s Pam & Tommy.
  • Bon Scott, then lead singer for AC/DC, died on this day in 1980. In 1979, AC/DC released Highway to Hell, their first album to hit the US top 100; the band was on the verge of a commercial breakthrough. While in London visiting friends, Scott died from acute alcohol poisoning at the age of thirty-three. The remaining members contemplated disbanding but ultimately decided to go on with a new lead singer (Brian Johnson). Back in Black, released later in 1980 and dedicated to Scott, became one of the ten-best-selling albums of all time.
  • The Yes Album, the third album by English prog-rock group Yes, was released on this day in 1971. It was the first album to feature Steve Howe, whose guitar work would become instrumental to the band’s evolving sound. At the time of the album’s release, Yes was on the verge of being dropped by Atlantic Records due to the commercial failure of their first two albums. Fortunately for the band, The Yes Album was a critical AND commercial success, reaching #4 on the UK album chart and #40 in the US. The album features one of the band’s most enduring songs, “I’ve Seen All Good People”, the first part of which – “Your Move” – became the band’s first US top-forty single.
  • William “Smokey” Robinson Jr. is celebrating his birthday today. Robinson got his nickname from his favorite uncle, Claude, who called him “Smokey Joe”; by the time he was twelve, he had dropped the Joe and no one called him anything but Smokey. Just seventeen when he met Berry Gordy in 1957, Robinson and his group, the Miracles, were one of the most successful Motown acts; they recorded sixteen top-twenty singles, seven top-tens and one number-one, “The Tears of a Clown”. Robinson left the group in 1972, embarking on a solo career that yielded catchy singles like “Cruisin'” and “Being with You”. He has one of the best falsetto voices of all time; his voice has inspired songs by other musicians, among them “Pure Smokey” by George Harrison and “When Smokey Sings” by ABC. In 1987, Robinson was inducted into the sophomore class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (sans the Miracles, an oversight that was corrected in 2012) along with artists like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Bill Haley, B.B. King and Roy Orbison.
  • Also born on this day, in 1957, was Austrian musician Falco. Born Johann Hölze in Vienna, Falco became the first German-speaking artist to have a US #1 single with 1985’s “Rock Me Amadeus” (the previous record-holder was Nena, whose “99 Luftballons” peaked at #2 in 1983). Sadly, Falco died from injuries he sustained in an auto accident on February 6, 1998. He was just forty years old.
Goddess bless the eighties!

One thought on “Quick Hits: February 19

  1. Boy howdy, is that a late 70’s jeans and belt combo there on Mr Scott! I can imagine all those mentioned being The Joker, and to be honest, Jack was a mistake on the part of the studio, so much potential for greatness with the others instead of just camp. God, Tim Curry? (Not that he wasn’t camp as Frank, but did it so well) I might actually have seen that movie.

    The First Lady-damn, that looks good.

    Liked by 2 people

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