Remembering Davy Jones

Davy Jones dies and where did I hear the news? CNN? Yahoo?

Nope.

Ralph Macchio.


Yes, thanks to the wonders of Twitter, Ralph Macchio was the first to inform me that the Monkees had lost their leader. A big fan of the Monkees and the Karate Kid when I was younger, I never in a thousand years would have dreamed that these two worlds would one day collide in this way.

That being said, I'm quite tempted to put on Season One of the Monkees while my kids nap this afternoon and spend a few hours reliving their antics. But I have something else in mind.

As much as I always loved the Monkees, the name Davy Jones by itself brings to mind something completely different (pardon the subtitles).


Aside from the episode when the dads got drunk to teach Nicole a lesson, this was easily the high point of My Two Dads.

Bless you, Davy.You're free.

Teen Beat: January 1988

Teen Beat's January 1988 issue was one of the last few that I owned as a kid.

   
How about a handwritten stat sheet from Corey Feldman? How about the Teen Beat Times previewing Teen Wolf Too and insinuating in the title that the movie isn't much to be excited about?

 
A new show called Full House!?! Sweet. And Corey and Corey swarmed by a bunch of girls -- one of which is eating Corey Haim's ear.

 
Celebrating ten years for Menudo with Chad Allen and Mackenzie Astin pointing at each other. And, oh, there's Ricky Vaughn before he was Ricky Vaughn.

 
Either Courtney Cox looked old when she was younger or she just doesn't age like Dick Clark use have the ability to do. And Alyssa Milano, what the hell are you wearing around your neck!?!

 
Of course, my favorite feature in this issue is this one...

 

Now What!

Of the four albums I'm most looking forward to this spring, I have three in hand.

Now don't get me wrong. Tommy Womack's new album, Now What, is absolutely terrific from start to finish. Seriously. But rather than review the album as most bloggers would, here are my top five lyrics from Now What.


Some I like. Others I simply relate to.
"Life takes up a whole lot of my time." 
"Politics bore me. Let's not bring it up at all. You're either preaching to the choir or talking to the wall." 
"I see a lot of Jesus. I bump into him all over town. But I'll fall asleep in church if there's room enough to lay down." 
"I've paid a lot of sober people's dues." 
"Let's think about flowers and wine. Everything will be just fine. We could go at any time. You just don't know."
Get your Tommy fix at tommywomack.net or at reverbnation.com/tommywomack.

A Gutless Turd of a Sequel

The new question thrown out there for Cool and Collected's League of Extraordinary Bloggers:
The 80's and 90's were filled with kids and teens in the movies. Which movie would you like to see a sequel made in 2012 with the original cast members, who have aged the same as you and me?
Ladies and gentlemen. I'm about to shock to world.

Much to the surprise of all FASTE readers, I am not going to pick Ferris Bueller's Day Off. As awesome as a modern day Ferris Bueller sequel would be, any chance of such a film was squashed with the recent Honda commercial.

Well then, surely I'm going to go with the Karate Kid. Nope. Jaden Smith ruined that one (although Hillary Swank did a good job ruining that series of movies several years earlier). The only way I'd be up for a new Karate Kid movie of any kind is if it was something like this:


Or maybe this: [a pretty crappy song but an awesome video with some great cameos including several cast members from the Karate Kid]


There's also the obvious choice for anyone currently in their 30s -- The Goonies (no offense to anyone in the League who does go the Goonies route). What child of the 80's wouldn't love to see Mikey and the gang back together again for another adventure!

With several potential sequels that would be nothing short of awesome, I narrowed it down to one -- The Breakfast Club.


Think about the possibilities here. The most obvious is the class-reunion-based plot but the real story would be what the Breakfast Club has been up to for the past three decades. All in their mid-forties by now, what has become of the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess, and the criminal?

Of the main cast, Principal Vernon would be the only absence from the film as he passed away back in 2006. Apparently he messed with the bull and got the horns. But the former students themselves would all be there.

Would we learn about Brian's successful business and his wife and six kids? Possibly Andrew's mediocre college wrestling career cut short by injury? Maybe Bender's meth habit?

Be sure to check out some of the responses from other League bloggers. A full list of participating blogs can be found over at Cool and Collected.

Alex Gets the Business

A few weeks ago when I was flipping through the pages of the January 1987 issue of Teen Beat, I found a mention of a Family Ties book from around that same time -- Alex Gets the Business. I was definitely curious so after quick (and cheap) purchase on Amazon, a copy of this book was on my doorstep two days later.

 
It's been a while since I've watched Family Ties but that was a show that I tuned in to constantly as a kid -- both original runs and in years of syndication. Having seen every episode at least a time or two, I am fairly certain that the claim on the cover is legit -- "An original all-new story based on the hit TV series!"

So what we have here is essentially an unaired "episode" of Family Ties. Let me summarize through convenient bullet points:
  • Alex admires his economics professor.
  • Alex gets into prestigious business fraternity.
  • Girl, Nan, likes Alex because he is in said fraternity.
  • Econ professor and his friend (Marcie) visit the Keatons for dinner.
  • Marcie is opening a new hair salon and is looking for investors.
  • Alex empties his savings to invest in her business.
  • Business is booming as Alex, Mallory, and Jennifer all work at the salon.
  • Alex discovers that the salon is being supplied with stolen goods.
  • Marcie is consciously buying these discounted goods to increase profits.
  • Alex is shocked that some people are willing to sacrifice ethics for profit.
  • Meanwhile, Alex lies to his family and girlfriend, Ellen, and goes on a date with Nan.
  • Alex gets caught but is miraculously forgiven by Ellen.
Yeah. That's pretty much it. Worth the few bucks I paid for it. But I wouldn't get too excited about the "Photos Inside" advertised on the cover. This is the extent of it...

 

Teen Beat: September 1987

The September 1987 Teen Beat hits you with the typical mugs on the cover. You'd think that if it hadn't sunk in my head by this point that this was not a magazine for a junior high boy, the pink cover would have been a dead giveaway. Not so much.

The pin-ups were your usuals, as well. It's still odd to think that several of these teen celebrities are no longer with us. I often wonder, about River Phoenix especially, what would have become of these stars.

   
A page of stats on Kirk Cameron -- honestly, the reason that I read Cather in the Rye for the first time. And check out that floppy disc in the top left corner...

Also a sweet Adventures in Babysitting contest...

 
There's a shot of the future Michael Bluth as a guest on Hollywood Squares and even more ridiculous, a picture of Adam Horowitz (Beastie Boy Ad-Rock) on a date with Molly Ringwald...

 
How about a hat signed by the cast of one of the best movies to come from the 80's?!?

 
And I couldn't go through this issue without noting the preview of Lost Boys...

 
Man, oh, man. Sometimes I wish I was 11 years old again.

Here's to you, Kid.

There aren't enough good guys in sports anymore. At a time when most athletes are focused on big contracts and self-recognition, I long for the days of baseball that I grew up watching. As a kid, there were certain players that I looked up to and admired for their talent and their love of the game. One of those players was Gary Carter.

Gary Carter was one of the top catchers in the game at a time that my world revolved around baseball. He was on countless baseball cards in my collection, his image graced the cover of my 1982 Topps Sticker Album, and he taught me about proper fielding techniques as a guest on the Baseball Bunch.

 
On and off the field, Gary was a class act.

Today it was announced that Gary Carter died at the age of 57 after a battle with brain cancer. The same type of cancer that took Dan Quisenberry at the age of 45. The same type that took Tug McGraw at 59. The same type that took my mother when she was 58.

Here's to you, Kid.

Thank You, Breakfast Deities

The cereal gods have smiled upon me twice this week.

As though the arrival of the excellent Great American Cereal Book was not enough, a stroll down the cereal aisle at the grocery store today yielded one of my greatest discoveries since Chocolate Cap'n Crunch.

According to my wife, it tastes like a "healthy version of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch."

C'mon, wife. Let's be serious. Everyone knows that nothing compares to Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch.

But Peanut Butter Cheerios? Pretty, pretty, pretty...pretty good.

Make-Believe Money

Wow! Only the second assignment from Cool and Collected's "League of Extraordinary Bloggers" and my wheels are really turning! This week's topic:
You have an unlimited budget and space is not a problem. What piece of Hollywood memorabilia would you want?
I would want something one-of-a-kind so I wouldn't choose the General Lee. They're a dime a dozen.

I would want something real so I wouldn't choose a fully operational hover board.

I would want to avoid remodeling my home so I wouldn't choose Ferris Bueller's bedroom.

I would also want to avoid a lawsuit and/or a restraining order so I wouldn't choose Amy Smart.

I would want something simple and dear to my heart...

One-of-a-kind. Real. Simple. Dear to my heart. With these qualifiers in mind, there's no doubt. I'd be the proud owner of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Trolley.

Seriously.

For anyone who knows me or has ever visited my other blog, you know that my appreciation for Fred Rogers runs deep. Many childhood hours were spent watching PBS broadcasts of Sesame Street, 3-2-1 Contact, Electric Company, and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. As a child, I enjoyed the show but as an adult, a parent, and an educator, I appreciate its message.

Of all the props and set pieces from the Neighborhood (most of which I had the great pleasure of seeing first hand last year), the one item most iconic and representative of Fred Rogers and his message is the Neighborhood Trolley. What better piece to spend my unlimited budget on!

There has never been another children's television program quite like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood -- one that focuses less on academia and more on connecting with children on a personal level, teaching them that they are special just as they are. Once you shed the insecurity that suggests that it's not cool to like Mister Rogers, I would bet you'll find that he has touched your life, too.

Be sure to check out some of the responses from other League bloggers. A full list of participating blogs can be found over at Cool and Collected.

FASTE Notes

1. In the five days since I drew the comparison between Poison Ivy and my favorite comfort food, I've eaten crackers and milk six times.

2. My Mister Rogers fascination scored a point this week as I tracked down a sixth of the seven figures from the 1977 Neighborhood of Make-Believe playset that may or may not have been mass produced.

Welcome to the party, X the Owl. Only Lady Elaine Fairchilde remains.

3. I saw this commercial on TV the other night. I'm pretty sure it was made for me.

4. Lots of great music coming out in the next several weeks.

   
Farmer Jason's Nature Jams made my kids' week this week. Tommy Womack's Now What later this month with Todd Snider's Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables to follow in early March. Later in March, Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now from Justin Townes Earle.

5. Have you been paying attention to the NBA this week?

Finally a good week to be a Knicks fan. Eat it, Kobe.

6. Having read Cool and Collected from the shadows for quite some time, the opportunity was recently presented for other bloggers with a passion for pop culture topics to come together and write on a common weekly topic. Enter the League of Extraordinary Bloggers!
Such a cool idea and such fun to read the posts of other bloggers!

7. Since this blog has started picking up some steam over the past several weeks/months, I've been asked a number of times about the title -- Flashlights are Something to Eat. If you're curious about the less-than-exciting story behind FASTE, check out the About page.

Teen Beat: January 1987

The January 1987 Teen Beat featured the usual faces on the cover and the regular spread of pin-ups throughout. Seriously. How did I not realize that this magazine was intended for girls?

   
The Teen Beat Times reports that Ralph Macchio is ready for a break and that Howard the Duck is a crappy movie. It also mentions a Family Ties book featuring a story never used for an episode. Hello, Amazon? One copy of Alex Gets the Business, please.
 
Ke Huy Quan (Data from The Goonies) and Scott Grimes (Scott Grimes) had a page all their own to plug their new sitcom Together We Stand. Fads and Fashions takes a look at a digital timer that can be used while you talk on the phone! Yeah, right. What's next, a phone you can use in the car?

 
I was Monkees crazy around this time and the page shown below is one that I remember looking at over and over again. Having watched syndicated episodes of The Monkees regularly throughout the previous summer, I was fascinated to see a picture of these "young" guys as adults.

 
I got a good laugh out of this next feature..."Chris Elliott: Late Night Hunk!"

Really?!?!

 
Are we talking about the same Chris Elliott here?

And who could ignore an interview with a young Chris(tian) Slater?