I Love Rock & Roll

1980 was the first time in my life that I knew it was A YEAR.  My first grade teacher, Miss Mikkelson, was talking about John Lennon, who had died that year.  We sang a few Beatles songs and that was that.  This was how I came to know THE 80’s, first hand.

Luckily, that was quickly forgotten and I started absorbing music from my parent’s album collection and the radio.  I would sneak my headphones on after I went to bed on Sunday nights to listen to American Top 40 [because the top 10 were played after my bedtime, and I just couldn’t let go of who would be number one: Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical”? “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits? “Every Breath You Take” by The Police? Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean?” I distinctly remember praying to God “Please, let ‘We Are the World’ reach number 1!” and it did.


I had a little boom-box cassette player/radio that I brought with me everywhere.  I had piles of junky mix tapes recording everything I heard from WLOL 99.5 or KDWB 101.7 and I quickly adopted a Casey Kasum impersonation worthy of my 5thgrade class.  I found a few of these cassettes recently; they are exactly what you remember boom-box mix tapes to be like: you race to press RECORD and PLAY simultaneously when hear the song intro as the DJ is talking over EVERYTHING and then at the last second Darrel Hall starts singing “Maneater” or “Out of Touch”.  Then you try to time the ending just right, but the DJ talks over the outro and while you try to get the complete song, they fade right into something awful like “Wake Me Up Before you Go-Go” or “Shout” and your beautiful song fade is ruined.  But you had someone talking about the weather or traffic anyway, so there was really no perfect radio mix-tape, was there?

Die Hard

Last night we were lucky enough to get tickets to “ A Very Die Hard Christmas” [the musical] at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater, and let me tell you, it is worth seeing.  It’s a hilarous spoof on the movie, Die Hard, with songs, puppetry, some choice ad-libbing, and loads of 80’s Christmas songs.  I counted 7, yes 7 songs that are featured in this years’ Garage Band Xmas Concert #11: Totally 80’s Xmas.  I was floored! It was like they had stolen our set list as their soundtrack.

This got me more excited for the show than I already was, because now I knew that these songs were well-known, and it wasn’t just a guessing game as to how much 80’s Christmas music people are actually familiar with [and perhaps just my childhood ear-worm memories.]

Garage Band Xmas

This year, the GBX11 show is expanding to two venues:

Saturday, December 7, 7pm at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4100 Lyndale Ave S, Mpls.


Sunday, December 8, 4pm at The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, 3010 Minnehaha Ave, Mpls.

We are blessed to be able to enjoy making music with each other and not take ourselves [or the 80’s decade] TOO seriously.  This year we have jingle bells for the kids to help us during a song, a set list matching trivia game, electronic drums, an amazing synthesizer keyboardist, Jon Schmig, and the usual loads of holiday cookies and treats.

If you are interested in bringing store-bought or home-made cookies and treats you could let us know by clicking a signup box HERE, but mostly we want your cheering and singing with these totally-cheesy, gag-me-with-a-twinkie 1980’s Christmas and holiday songs.

Sadly, only one of these songs made it to #1 [in the UK only].  The answer to that will be in the trivia portion of the show, but, at least we can put on our red shoes and dance the blues while enjoying the glory of love even if for just one more night.