Aug 31, 2022

They Say The Sky's The Limit...

Michael Jackson (1987)
Thirty five years ago today, The King of Pop released his seventh studio album to the world.  Most artists are lucky to record a single album that sells two million copies.  Bad sold 2.25 million in its first week in the United States alone, and would go on to sell an absolutely batshit crazy 35 million copies worldwide.  Only ten other albums have sold more copies across the world, one of which is Michael Jackson's Thriller which tops the list.

This album was released when I was seven years old and just about every kid I knew at the time had it, or had an older brother or sister that did.  I used to play it and dance around in my room like a nut, hoping that no one would bust in the room to see what all the noise was about.

The poster turned out to be right when it said it's not over yet.  Bad would go on to to have five singles that reached #1, which set a record that still stands to this day (Katy Perry matched the accomplishment in 2010, but none have surpassed it).  As much as I loved the title track when I was a kid, my favorite song is this one:

They just don't make 'em like this anymore.

Aug 30, 2022

It's Only A Movie

The Last House On The Left
American International Pictures (1972)
One of the most disturbing horror movies ever made was released fifty years ago today.  I watched The Last House On The Left once when I was a teenager.  While I respect its place in horror history and the fact that it launched the career of Wes Craven, I'm not a fan of this movie and I don't care to see it a second time.  No disrespect intended towards those who enjoyed it, but I have my limits and this film crosses them.

Aug 29, 2022

Gone Phishin'

Phish Food
Ben & Jerry's (2022)
The iconic Ben & Jerry flavor that was inspired by Phish was first sold in stores in 1997.  At the time, I was 17 years old and working as a front end cashier at Wal-Mart.  I saw it for the first time when one of my customers had it in their grocery order and I blurted out "holy shit, Phish has an ice cream!".  Thankfully, my manager wasn't around to hear it, and I picked up a pint of my own at the end of my shift.  I weighed about 160 pounds at the time, and I'm not blaming Phish Food for the weight I've put on in the years since, but at least some of this belly was built by its gooey marshmallow swirls.

Ben & Jerry's partnered with artist Jim Pollock to create a special 25th anniversary package for this delicious flavor.  He has collaborated with Phish for many years to create artwork inspired by the band and its music.  You can see some of his work on Instagram and at the Bottleneck Art Gallery.

If you love chocolate, you really can't do too much better than Phish Food.  It's made with a chocolate ice cream base with marshmallow and caramel swirls, and there are dozens of little fudge fish hiding throughout the carton.

You've got to admire the commitment to the bit here.  Any other ice cream maker would have thrown in some chunks of chocolate that are roughly fish-shaped, but Ben & Jerry's goes the extra mile.  Not only do their fudge fish have dorsal, ventral and tail fins, but they're articulated with eyes, scales and a little smiley face.  That's a hell of a lot of detail for a piece of chocolate that most people don't ever really get to see... unless they're some middle aged weird-o that dug a fish out of the carton, rinsed it off, and let it dry on the kitchen table to take photos of it for his blog... but what kind of nerd would do a thing like that?

Aug 28, 2022

Eight Movies In Three Days

Patreon Screening: August 2022
ActionFest Night OneThe Warriors / Hard Times / The Driver
ActionFest Night TwoCommando / Ninja III: The Domination / Kickboxer
Mahoning Drive-In Theater - Lehighton, PA

Over the past three nights, we got to see a total of eight movies that were made across a span of four decades at the Mahoning Drive-In Theater.    The first two movies were a double feature that was shown on Thursday night at the screening for Patreon members.  The only thing I'm going to say about these films is that one was from the 1950's, the other was from the 1960's, and we enjoyed them both.  I promise that I'm not trying to be a jerk about it, but the folks who run this place bend over backwards to give incredible experiences, so the least I can do is honor their wishes that the titles of their secret features remain a secret.  However, I definitely want to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible dessert that Val made for us.

The Karloff Krumble was a hot dessert made from peaches, pistachios, ginger and cardamom which was served hot and topped with whipped cream, and it was outstanding!  Even when I do go back on my diet, I'm going to have to make an exception for Val's desserts at the Patreon screenings.

Thursday night's double feature also marked the end of the road for my trusty drive-in chair.  I had been hoping that it would hold together until the end of the season and had patched it up with a few cheap fixes to keep it functional over the past month, but one of the metal rods snapped during the second movie and that was all she wrote.  I've got a new chair on order, but until it arrives, my nights at the Mahoning will be spent on a big beanbag chair and a pile of blankets.

Friday was the start of Action Fest, which is something that I really hope becomes an annual event at the Mahoning.  It seemed to sell pretty well, but I can't say for sure because I didn't do a whole lot of walking around or socializing at this event.  I woke up on Friday morning with what I think is a head cold, but you can never be too sure these days, so I thought it best to stay by the car and keep my distance from other people.

The first night of ActionFest at the Mahoning is a triple feature of the first three films to have been written and directed by Walter Hill.  The night began with his third film, The Warriors (1979), which went on to become a cult classic and is one of my favorite movies of all time.  This was followed by Hill's directorial debut, Hard Times (1975) and his second film, The Driver (1978).

There were two cast members from The Warriors on the lot to meet fans, sign autographs and take photos: David Harris, who played Cochise, and Terry Michos, who played Vermin.  I didn't have a chance to meet them (just in case this is something other than a head cold), but they gave an awesome introduction to their movie and it's pretty awesome to be able to watch The Warriors along with two of the actual Warriors on the lot.

There's something special about The Warriors that I have a hard time describing.  It gives me the same feelings that I get from a post-apocalyptic story, like Children Of Men.  I've found myself imagining that it takes place in New York City in the early days of the infertility crisis from that movie.  The timelines don't match up (The Warriors is set in the late 70's and the last recorded birth in Children Of Men was in 2009), but both movies give me the same feeling that everyone in the story knows that they're standing on the brink of a complete collapse, and although they haven't given up trying to carve out a piece of happiness, they know that their lives probably aren't going to have a happy ending.

This was my first time seeing Hard Times, and it absolutely blew me away.  The story takes place during the Great Depression and stars Charles Bronson as a middle-aged man named Chaney who finds that he can make money in street fights that are organized by gamblers.  He hooks up with a shady two-bit hustler named Speed, brilliantly played by James Coburn, who acts as Cheney's manager and sets up opportunities for him to fight.

This movie is right up there with The Night Of The Hunter and Blow Out as one of my favorite movies that I saw for the first time at the Mahoning Drive-In Theater.  It's not a complicated story and there's no big plot twist or deeper meaning that I'm aware of, but it tells its story in a way that draws you into this world.  I highly recommend it.

The last movie of a triple feature on a Friday night at the Mahoning can be a challenge.  I woke up at 5:30 am for work on Friday, and I only had about five hours sleep after coming home from Thursday night's Patreon screening.  The start time for The Driver was just a couple of minutes before 1:00 am, so I had been awake for 19 and a half hours when this movie began.  On top of that, I'm not feeling well, so it's a miracle that I managed to stay awake throughout the entire film.

I've gotten better at adapting my sleep schedule on the weekends to the Mahoning, but there are still occasions that I'll drift off to sleep.  If it was a cold or rainy night and we had to stay in the car, I probably would have dozed off, but I had enough caffeine in my system to carry me over to catch my second wind.  However, I can't pretend that I'm as attentive for the third feature as I am for the first, and that's what happened here.  I'm going to have to give this one a second watch because I enjoyed The Driver and I definitely want to experience everything that this movie has to offer, but I know that my neurons weren't firing well enough to properly follow the plot.  I can tell you that it's about a getaway driver and a shady police detective who is trying to set up a sting operation to capture him, and it has some incredible chase scenes, but I'm going to have to see it again before I'll be able to say too much more than that.

Night Two of ActionFest wasn't as challenging to get through.  For one thing, I don't work on Saturday, so I was able to sleep in and get a full 8 hours, though I think it ended up being closer to 10 hours.  I took some NyQuil when we got home from Night One and it did a pretty good job of knocking me out.  We managed to get almost the exact same spot in the front row that we had on Friday night, so I set up my blankets and beanbag chair up against the front of the car.  I was still feeling pretty crappy from whatever illness this is, so I stayed at the car to keep from getting anyone else sick, but I had plenty of beverages and snacks on hand to keep me nourished, hydrated and caffeinated throughout the night.  

The first movie of Night Two was the 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster, Commando.  When we got tickets for this triple feature, I thought that I hadn't seen this movie before, but I realized about 15 minutes into it that I have.  I didn't remember what happened, but as things played out in the movie, it began to unlock the filing cabinet of memories that's been pushed to the back of my brain and I found myself thinking "oh yeah, I remember that!".

If I had to guess, I'd say that I probably saw this movie for the first time when I was living on First Street in Hazleton in 1988.  My mother and I spent a lot of time at our next door neighbor's house, and they pretty much always had a movie playing when we were there.  This would have been three years after Commando was in theaters, so the timing is right to when this would have been available to rent at the Pantry Quik that was behind our house.

Commando is the very epitome of an 80's action flick, and it's a hell of a lot of fun.  Seriously, if you can watch Arnold Schwarzenegger tear through a bunch of bad guys while dropping one-liners on the way to rescuing his daughter and not find yourself smiling from ear to ear the entire time, I can only suggest that you find a way to let off some steam. 😉

As always, they showed vintage trailers before each movie throughout both nights of ActionFest.  The only time that didn't happen was before the second movie of Night Two because they showed an original 35mm print of the 1948 cartoon: Popeye Meets Hercules.  I am always very happy to see these classic cartoons in between the features at the Mahoning.  This might have been the first time I've been to a screening that included a Popeye cartoon, but I hope it won't be the last.  If they ever surprise us with Popeye Meets Sinbad The Sailor, I'm going to cheer so damn loud that they're going to be able to hear me out at sea!

The second movie of Night Two was the 1984 Cannon Films cult classic, Ninja III: The Domination.  Words simply aren't going to be able to do justice to this bizarre plot, but I'll try.  It begins with a ninja going on a murderous rampage at a golf course before he is finally gunned down by the police.  Because "only a ninja can kill a ninja" he survives by possessing the body of a young woman who works as a telephone repair person by day and an aerobics instructor by night who just so happens to begin dating one of the officers who shot at the ninja at the start of the film.  As strange as that sounds, it doesn't even come close to painting the full picture.

It's important to note that this isn't one of those of those schlocky movies that are weird for the sake of being weird.  There is a sincere effort that was written, filmed and acted by people who give a damn about what they're doing.  It's a movie you just have to see for yourself, and I strongly recommend that you do.

The final movie of ActionFest was the 1989 Jean Claude Van Damme martial arts classic, Kickboxer.  It's a movie I've heard of for years but never got around to seeing.  In the days leading up to this, Mark Nelson and Austin Trunick spoke about it on the Mahoning Drive-In Podcast and my takeaway from their discussion was that the folks who love Bloodsport will love Kickboxer.  That was all I needed to know to get me hyped up for this.  Bloodsport has been one of my favorite martial arts films since I was a kid, and I was super excited to get to see it at the drive-in last summer.

I can definitely understand the comparison, but Kickboxer makes Bloodsport look like a family movie.  It's much darker than I expected it to be, but it's a hell of a good flick.  I understand that it's spawned a number of sequels, including a reboot series that features pro wrestler Dave Bautista, so I'll have to check them out.

There's an unofficial third night of ActionFest that's taking place at the Mahoning tonight with The Colossal Cannon Films Trailer Show.  They'll be screening nothing but trailers from the Cannon Films library for over two hours.  I went to a screening like this last year called Trailer Trauma II and it was a lot of fun.  It's tempting, but I'm not going to be worth a damn at work tomorrow if I don't get some rest.  Next week is Camp Blood.  I can't wait!

Aug 27, 2022

Words Shrink Things That Seem Limitless...

Different Seasons
Stephen King (1982)
Forty years ago today, author Stephen King published a collection of four novellas which were each themed around a season.  The book begins with Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (Spring), followed by Apt Pupil (Summer), then The Body (Fall) and finally The Breathing Method (Winter).

Some of these titles may sound familiar to you even if you haven't read the book, and there's a good reason for that.  Three of the four novellas were turned into major motion pictures which went on to achieve significant success at the box office.

The first novella from Different Seasons to be turned into a movie was The Body, which was adapted into the 1986 blockbuster hit Stand By Me.  Eight years later, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption was adapted into the film The Shawshank Redemption, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1995 and has gone on to be recognized as one of the most significant films of its time.

The third and final movie to be made from this collection of novellas was the 1998 psychological thriller Apt Pupil.  I'm not sure how to feel about it.  The performances are good, but I don't feel that it captures the horrific personalities of its lead characters as they are told in the novella.  It also pales in comparison to the first two movies that came out of this book and it did not make a profit at the box office.

Artwork by Patrick Leger

The only story from this book that didn't turn into a movie was The Breathing Method, and I can understand why.  I think it might have made a good episode of an anthology series, like Tales From The Darkside, but I don't think there's enough in the main story to fill out a full length feature film.  In fact, the setting of this story might make a good framing device for a brand new suspense/horror anthology series.  The story takes place at upscale professionals club on East 35th Street in Manhattan where members get together to read, play pool and tell stories.  This building has a library of books that don't exist on our world, including many which were written by authors who don't exist.  The butler of this establishment describes the upstairs as having rooms and corridors that seemingly go on for miles, as well as entrances and exits.  Readers of The Dark Tower series will no doubt recognize this as a nexus point to other worlds.  Unfortunately, this story barely scratches the surface of The Club and focuses mostly on a story told by one of its members about a pregnant woman whose child he delivers in a highly creepy circumstance.  It's not a bad story, but it teases something in the background that is far more interesting.

Aug 26, 2022

Take A Trip To Isle Delfino

Super Mario Sunshine
Nintendo GameCube (2002)
One of the most innovative games in the Mario universe was released to American gamers on GameCube twenty years ago today.  Super Mario Sunshine took our favorite Italian plumber and his friends out of the Mushroom Kingdom and to a tropical vacation on Isle Delfino.  Unfortunately for our hero, he is framed by Shadow Mario and ordered to clean up the graffiti left behind by his evil doppelganger.

The game was most recently released on Nintendo Switch as a part of the Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection.  Unfortunately, this collection was removed from the Nintendo eShop last March, but physical copies of the game (both new and used) are still available on eBay and from other vendors at reasonable prices.

Aug 25, 2022

Approaching A World Beyond Resuscitation

Dog Eat Dog
Warrant (1992)
The third studio album from Warrant, and the final album that featured all five original members of the band, has turned 30 years old today.  Despite the fact that it didn't have the sales or number of hit singles as their 1989 album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich or their 1990 double platinum follow up, Cherry Pie, I think that this is the best record the band ever put out.  Unfortunately, it came at the wrong time, as the bands that were associated with 80's hair metal were being pushed into the background by the emerging grunge rock scene.

I was living in South Florida with my dad and my then-stepmother and stepsister when this album was released.  My stepsister was a metalhead who sometimes made mixtapes for me of songs that she thought I might like.  She included the third song from this album on one of those mixtapes.  It's a song that was never released as a single, and has not received any significant airtime on the radio or MTV that I am aware of.  It's a post-apocalyptic song about a world that has suffered from wars and the pollution of the environment for so many years that we had reached a point where there was no hope of fixing the problem, and that the best we could hope for is to live out our days as best we can in the wasted world that our species has created.  This song made me shiver the first time I listened to it, and it scares me even more to hear it today as we inch closer to the date named in its title.

Jani Lane passed away eleven years ago, so he won't be here to experience the month and year that he sang about.  The rest of us are eight years, seven months and six days away from April 2031.
Warrant (1992)
They say the sky used to be blue
I don't quite believe it
It's probably always been the color that it is

And there were cotton candy clouds
Birds to fly through it
Stories we all love to tell our kids

So I'll close my electronic door and keep the cold outside
Hug my aluminium pillow so tight
And pray the radiation doesn't make me sick tonight

They say there used to be a wind
Wasn't caused by fans
I wonder how it would have felt in my hair

And the nuclear ring around the moon
Was caused by man
If it was, then it's much too late to care

So I'll put my safety goggles on and gaze out at the sun
The artificial atmosphere machines give off a constant hum
In a world that's cold and peaceful, April 2031

No more sky and no more trees
April 2031
No more oxygen to breathe
April 2031
No more hate and no more war
April 2031
Nothing left worth fighting for

As far back as Vietnam
We should have learned our lesson
But we closed our eyes and sent our sons away

And they told us we were winning
As we sold more ammunition
Some were angry, most just looked the other way

The night's illuminated by the endless glowing sand
That swallowed all the oceans and choked off all the land
In a world beyond resuscitation, even by God's hand

No more mountains, no more sea
April 2031
No more you and no more me
April 2031
No more music, no more songs
April 2031
No God left to blame it on
April 2031

No more children playing
April 2031
No more need for praying
April 2031
No more children playing
April 2031
No more need for praying
April twenty thirty

Aug 24, 2022

I Suggest We Run This Tent In A Democratic Fashion

Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown
Paramount Pictures (1977)
The third full length theatrical film based on the Peanuts comic strip was released in theaters across the United States 45 years ago today.  It was the first time the Charles Schulz characters were used in a feature film that did not feature a score from jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi who died the year before.

Standard Speaker - Hazleton, PA (August 31, 1977)

The movie went on to earn 3.2 million dollars at the box office, which is respectable when you consider the fact that it spent much of the late summer competing for the attention of children with the original Star Wars.

Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown is my favorite of the four original Peanuts films.  It's everything that I love about the comic strip perfectly captured in an animated film.  It's heartwarming without feeling phony.  It's funny without feeling mean spirited, even when Sally is threatening to shorten the life span of a girl who dared to stick out her tongue at her.  It holds up a mirror to the ridiculous world that we all share and the ways that we navigate through it.  It's a cartoon that is very special to me - the kind of thing that I like to watch on a cold, snowy day with an oversized blanket wrapped around me and a cup of hot cocoa.  If you enjoy the Peanuts comic strips and haven't seen it before, it is included with a subscription to Starz and is available to rent from various streaming services, including YouTube and Amazon Prime.

Aug 23, 2022

Behold The Sunball

Sunball Chair
Günter Ferdinand Ris (1969)
This thing has got one table for popcorn, one table for drinks, an overhead speaker, and a dome to provide shade from the sun and to help keep you dry if it rains.  In other words, it's the perfect drive-in chair.  (source: Mutual Art)

Aug 22, 2022

The Third Time's The Charm

Goo Goo Dolls / Blue October: 2022 Summer Tour
Mann Center For The Performing Arts - Philadelphia, PA
In February 2020, the Goo Goo Dolls announced a summer tour of 29 shows in support of the band's 12th studio album, Miracle Pill.  The Covid-19 pandemic caused this tour to be postponed to the summer of 2021, but it was postponed a second time and finally got underway on June 23rd, 2022.

Our seats for this show at The Mann Center were pretty far away from the stage, but they were in the first row of the terrace section at the center of the venue.  It's not the best spot to take photos, but it's not at all a bad place to see a show.  You get a full view of the stage and plenty of legroom to stretch out and be comfortable.

I didn't realize how much weight I had put on over the past five years until I saw this photo.  This is not good.  The strict diet that I intended to go on at the start of the year obviously didn't happen.  I've lucked out so far and not suffered from any major health effects, but I've got a family history of diabetes and I'm not getting any younger, so this cannot continue.  I'm giving myself until the end of September so that I can enjoy the Bloomsburg Fair without counting calories, but after that, I am swearing off of fast food and snacks.  But enough of my eating habits...

Blue October is a band that I'm not very familiar with, but I know that I've heard a few of their songs before last night and I liked them.  They played the two songs at this show that I remembered from before: Hate Me and I Hope You're Happy.  I thought they were good when I heard them before, but they were amazing to listen to live in concert.  They played an eleven song set that was incredible from start to finish.  I'm going to have to check out a few of their albums this week.

The Goo Goo Dolls are a band that I've wanted to see in concert since I was 15 years old.  A Boy Named Goo was one of my favorite albums when I was a teenager.  Name was the highest charting single off of that record, and it's a song that connected with me pretty hard.  

I'll write more about the show later on this week when I have more free time.  Until then, here are the setlists for Blue October and the Goo Goo Dolls from the show.

For That Deep Down Body Thirst

Gatorade Limited Throwback Edition
PepsiCo (2022)
The Roy Rogers at the Allentown Rest Stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike was selling Gatorade in old school green and orange cans.  This is pretty close to the way that they looked when I was a kid.  At first, I thought that maybe this "Limited Throwback Edition" was something new, but all of the references that I could find to them online are from last year, so I'm guessing that this has been sitting around at the rest stop since then.  Still tasted pretty good though.

Aug 21, 2022

Forty Years Of Working Class Dog

Rick Springfield / Men At Work / John Waite
Forty Years Of Working Class Dog US Summer Tour 2022
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race CourseGrantville, PA
We saw Rick Springfield in concert for the first time four years ago at the Bloomsburg Fair and we were blown away.  Last night, we had the opportunity to see him again, along with two other artists whose music I grew up listening to: John Waite and Men At Work.

The concert was held at an amphitheater on the grounds of the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, PA.  I've never been to the casino or the venue before, but it turns out that this month marks the 50 years since the Penn National Race Course first opened.  The casino opened in February 2008 after gambling was legalized in Pennsylvania, and the My Heroes stage where this concert was held opened last summer.  The venue reminded me of some of stages at Musikfest in Bethlehem.

Before the show, we stopped at a restaurant inside the casino called The Classic, which is part of a food court called The Eatery by Fabio Viviani.  Both of us had the Mushroom Burger, which is made from dry aged ground beef from topped with cooper sharp american cheese, garlic mushrooms and buttered onions on a brioche bun.  Very tasty!

We had pretty good seats for this show in Row M of Section 102 at the dead center of the stage.  There was a small pit at the front of the seating area where fans could stand up against the stage, but those were reserved for folks with much deeper pockets than mine.  The standing area in front of the stage at most venues used to be general admission, and if you got to a show early enough, you'd be able to secure a spot right in the front.  There are still a few places where this is still how it's done, but it seems like more places are starting to section off the pit and charge top dollar for VIP tickets to access it.  It's a trend that I'm not especially happy about, but it is what it is.

John Waite was the first performer to take the stage.  He was the bassist and lead singer for a band called The Babys in the late 70's and early 80's, but he really hit it big when he went solo in 1982.  His first hit was a song called Change, which was on the Vision Quest soundtrack, but his biggest hit as a solo artist came in 1984 with Missing You.  He was back in a band before the end of the decade as the lead singer of Bad English, who had a hit single called When I See You Smile that went to #1 in 1989.  He has a great voice for adult contemporary ballads, and at 70 years old, the dude has still got it.  He sounded exactly the same as I remembered hearing on the radio throughout my childhood.

He performed a short six song set that included the three hits that I mentioned, in addition to an outstanding song that he recorded in 1997 called Bluebird Cafe.  His setlist closed with an excellent cover of Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love.

I had the greatest of sympathy for the lower back of John Waite's drummer.  The dude was kind of hunkered down at the front of the stage with the smallest and most uncomfortable looking drum kit I have ever seen.  Mr. Waite mentioned this between songs, saying "as you can see, we're on a budget" and he jokingly implored the fans to look into their hearts and visit the merchandise table behind the port-a-pottys to buy a CD.

The second performance of the night was the main reason that I bought tickets to this show.  No disrespect whatsoever intended toward John Waite or Rick Springfield, whose music I have loved for many years, but Overkill by Men At Work is one of my favorite songs ever recorded.  It's not the only Men At Work song that I enjoy, but my appreciation for Overkill is on another level.  It's a song about insomnia on the surface, but it captures the feeling of losing control as you move though the different stages of your life.  It's become more meaningful to me as I've gotten older and as I've found myself in times and places where I'm unsure of myself.

Lead singer Colin Hay is the only original member of Men At Work that is still touring with the band, but they sounded the same as the band that I've always known.  In addition to Overkill, they played an 11 song set that included many of the hits that I've grown up listening to, including Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive, It's A Mistake, Who Can It Be Now and Down Under before closing their set with Be Good Johnny.

Before I even start talking about Rick Springfield's set, take a look at this photo.  It's taken from Row M and I'm not the world's greatest photographer, but does that man look like he will be celebrating his 73rd birthday on Tuesday?  He looks like he's in his 30's... maybe early 40's at the oldest, but he was born on August 23rd, 1949.  Nineteen forty freakin' nine!  He's 31 years older than me and looks like he could be my younger brother.   It wasn't just the way he looked either... his stage presence dwarfs most of the rock stars who are half his age.  If you don't believe me, go see him in concert.  I guarantee you will walk out of that venue with a new level of respect.  This dude is legit.

Mr. Springfield performed nine full songs and a ten minute medley that included his biggest hits that weren't part of the rest of the setlist, and the dude absolutely rocked every last one of them.  His set finished with his biggest hit and a song that's virtually guaranteed to inspire everyone within earshot to sing along every time it comes on the radio, Jesse's Girl.

Here are the setlists for John WaiteMen At Work and Rick Springfield (click here to enlarge).