Bookended by Cats was named after Milo and Otis. They are the short, orange, and furry brothers who, upon entering our lives in 2003, often bookended us on our couch. And who are we? We're a geek couple living in PA. We love music, movies, TV, comics, books, and comic cons. And, from time to time, we'll share our thoughts on these nerdy things.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Friday 80s Flashback for May 10, 2024

[Still Twisted] -- Once again, my inner (glam) metalhead comes to the fore. This week, it's for Stay Hungry, Twisted Sister's third studio album which was released 40 years ago today. Even if you know nothing else of Twisted Sister, you probably know "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock," the first two singles off this album, both of which became the band's signature tunes. These two tracks remain staples of 1980s hair metal. "We're Not Gonna Take It" peaked at #21 and #7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and US Mainstream Rock charts respectively, while "I Wanna Rock" languished near the bottom of both charts (#68 on US Billboard Hot 100 and #35 on US Mainstream Rock). Those songs, and their music videos, helped propel Stay Hungry to Platinum sales, and a spot at #15 on the US Billboard 200, making it Twisted Sister's most commercially successful album. 

At the time, "We're Not Gonna Take It" was considered controversial and it was targeted by the PMRC in their crusade against violent and sexual lyrical content. The PMRC's efforts in the 1980s led to Twisted Sister's vocalist,, to appear at a PMRC senate hearing. And, yes, that was the same hearing at which Frank Zappa appeared. Both Zappa and Snider spoke out against censoring rock lyrics, and made the PMRC look like absolute fools.

The notorious reputation of "We're Not Gonna Take It" has diminished over time, leading Dee Snider to claim that it "...has become almost a folk song, but the message has gotten lost" (via rock107.com). And when right wingers really didn't get the message, Dee had to spell it out for them.

Still, at this point in 1984, Twisted Sister had finally achieved fame and acclaim, and their album was blasting from radios and cassette players for most of the year. 

FlashbackStay Hungry (May 10, 1984)




And that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

I'll see you in seven!

Friday, May 3, 2024

Friday 80s Flashback for May 3, 2024


[Goodbye Dad - Redux] -- I am taking another break from revisiting albums that turn 40 in 2024. This week is the 11th anniversary of my father's death. And, just as it did 11 years ago, May 3 falls on a Friday. So, I will pull the same three tracks I shared on that day, as well as two additional songs. They are the songs I picked to work through, and continue to work through, that sense of loss. If you care to join me, read and hear more below.


Flashback #1"My body bruised, she's got me with | Nothing to win and | Nothing left to lose."

First up, we have U2's "With or Without You" from their 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. It is one of the band's most recognizable songs. It can be interpreted either as a love song or about spiritual need. Or, perhaps, surrendering to love or spiritual faith. Therefore, just as I did back in 2013, I dedicate it to both my mother and my father.




Flashback #2"You don't have to put up a fight."

OK. It's another U2 song, and it's not even from the 80s. However, "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own" (from their 2004 album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb) is simply perfect for today. So many people traveled with me, and supported me, on the journey during which I lost my father. I could not make it on my own, and I did not have to. 




Flashback #3"If you're lost, you can look, and you will find me."

Sure, Cyndi Lauper made "Time After Time" famous, but I think Tuck & Patti recorded the greatest version of this song. You can find it on Tears of Joy, the acoustic duo's 1988 debut album. 



Flashback #4Instrumental

"Last Train Home" is an instrumental by guitarist and composer Pat Metheny. It was first recorded by the Pat Metheny Group on their 1987 album, Still Life (Talking). My father is responsible for me being a fan of Pat Metheny. And because this track really has the sound and feel of a moving train, and my late father loved trains, I can imagine it is part of the soundtrack that played him on to his next home after his terrestrial life. 




Flashback #5"It's hard living life on this memory-go-round."

Sure, you might laugh that I'm ending this Flashback with a song by Night Ranger, but is there any better line about losing a loved one than "memory-go-round"? Well, there might be, but I can't think of it right now. "Goodbye" can be found on 7 Wishes (1985).




And that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the Prophet or Madman archives or via Bookended's 80s Flashback tag. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

I'll see you in seven!