In Stranger Things (based in 1983), we see the four boys play Dungeons & Dragons just before Will Byers disappears. A little after 1983, a Detroit-based company called Palladium Books began their own galaxy of Role-Playing games. Palladium is notable for Rifts, but also found some popularity within the RPG community with its games involving the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Of course, Palladium was not the ones who introduced TMNT (or Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles) to 80s and 90s children, the folks at Mirage Studios were responsible for that and held the copyrights. However, they made a deal with Palladium to create the TMNT RPG series. The first book Palladium pushed out was TMNT and Other Strangeness.
Starting in 1986, Palladium would release shorter supplement books to go along with characters created from the TMNT sourcebook. The first to be released would be After The Bomb. The story of After The Bomb begins after “The Big Death” that happens in the late 21st century. “The Big Death” began with a war, then a plague and eventually ending with nuclear winter which caused some survivors to mutate into creatures.
You can play as a mutant animal going against the evil human empire, or vice versa. After The Bomb took place in the Eastern United States seaboard, stretching as south to modern-day Georgia to as north in New England. In the first page, the folks at Palladium asked its readers if After The Bomb had interested them and encouraged them to contact the company via mail.
The second release titled Road Hogs followed After The Bomb with the first paragraph thanking the readers on the overwhelming response. Road Hogs took place on the western seaboard of the United States. Overall, the After The Bomb series would release six books from 1986 to 1992, ending with Mutants in Orbit. I suppose they were able to advance after “The Big Death” and head to Mars.
Palladium Books are still around as of May 2017. Besides bringing us TMNT, they were known for its Rifts series. Palladium has had troubles with embezzlement & financial issues in the mid-2000s.
It’s sad to say that we lost one of 90s superstars Chris Cornell, the lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave. He was also known for Temple of the Dog, the band had reformed and toured last year. Cornell did a show with Soundgarden at the Fox Theater on May 17th and would return to his hotel room where he had supposedly committed suicide.
Here is a short video of his last show at the Fox Theater.
It’s hits close to home due to Detroit being my hometown and also, I was at the Joe Louis Arena at the same time as Soundgarden’s last performance with Chris Cornell, only I saw Tears for Fears and Hall and Oates. Today’s article was going to be all about that and the poor cellphone pics I would be uploading.
Another strange thing about the death of Chris, at my primary job on Wednesday night, I was thinking about the song Black Hole Sun and how goofy that video is. Was my brain trying to tell me something?
Not a good day for us folks who grew up on Grunge.
It sucks that I have to go to that Temple of the Dog page and re-edit the page to add that Chris Cornell died. Ugh…
Saturday 29th of April, I travelled an hour and 20 minutes from my hometown of Sterling Heights to Frankenmuth. Around the last weekend of each April, Frankenmuth throws a 80s party to help benefit cancer research. It’s been a while since I have attended an 80s gig and I thought I should go, for my own enjoyment and for this site.
Square Pegz and Slick JimmY
The 80s party had it’s own tent and also a large garage where the bands played. I attended Saturday’s show, which had a Flint-based band called Slick Jimmy. The band did not have a keyboard players so all the synths were pre-recorded to go along with the performance. The headliners were a Detroit-based 80s band known as Square Pegz. Here they are in the 2015 80s Fest, wished I was there:
The tent also contained a Rec Room where many 80s toys were there for one’s view. They also had an Atari, Nintendo and Sega Genesis hooked up to old TVs for one’s gaming pleasure.
The place got crowded around 8:30p and it’s just would be hard to get around. But despite my hatred for being in a small place with a shitload of people, I was happy as hell. Lots of Henry’s Hard Orange Soda to boot (I had 4 or 5) and 80s music playing all day. I never wanted it to end. I wanna go next year, the 80s Fest in Frankenmuth is highly recommended for all who love the 80s.
The Netflix show Stranger Things sure is making it’s way to the binge-watching crowd, myself included. There is talk of the season 2 in the works as well. One of the memorable items of Stranger Things is the retro darkwave music done by some folks in Austin, Texas. The fight scene between Johnathon and Steve had Tangerine Dream’s “Exit” playing in the background, from 1981.
The above video (called Stranger Synths) has only a couple of songs from Stranger Things, noteably the intro from the said show. And arguably, this mix here also has some rough transitions. However, it does present some orignal and good darkwave tunes from groups such as GUNSHIP, Timecop1983, Le Cassette and many more.
The guitarist and leader of the J.Geils band John Geils has passed away. The J.Geils band is known for their slew of hits in the 70s and early 80s. The band’s Freeze-Frame album in 1981 hit #1 in the Billboard charts and saw “Centerfold” and the album’s title track saw heavy airplay on MTV.
John Geils was found dead in his Massachusetts home at the age of 71. The local police department stated he likely died on natural causes.
Around the time AOL began its big move in 1995, another option for a whole encyclopedia on CD-Rom would be Encarta 95 for Windows 95. Encarta had lots of info, music and movies all stacked in a 650MB CD. If you were in school, Encarta would help with you projects.
Encarta wasn’t just limited to a boring encyclopedia, you can look up rock music and hear a sample of Soundgarden’s “Nothing to Say.” Nowadays, you can look that up on YouTube and get the song in it’s entirety. It also had a video of the 1993 World Series game winning home run by Joe Carter. According to this Reddit thread, they had a portion of Sea Shanties: Santy Anno. Encarta was an encyclopedia on steroids; you definitely would not need this:
Another great addition to Encarta was the quiz game known as MindMaze. You walk around a castle and answer questions to continue on with your quest. I loved MindMaze and played that quite a lot in 95 when I was 13 years old. Learning was interesting for a sick-ass video gamer like me back in the day. Some folks with Encarta 97 played MindMaze here with three videos passing the 30-minute mark each. MindMaze wasn’t action-packed; all it offered was pictures of doors or folks you could click on for the questions or hints, with Classical or Irish Folk music to accompany you. A right answer would get a horn; a wrong answer will give you the sound of a bad piano chord.
If you reading this, I highly recommend MindMaze!
Where to find:
I bought an original copy of Encarta 95 at a Salvation Army back in 2012, but as of now in April 2017, I can’t find it! No worries though, you can download Encarta 95 here on Archive.org, but the bummer is that it won’t work on Windows 10! Shit…
I do have a spare computer with Windows XP, I’ll have to install it on there, if this Archive.org copy works on Windows 7, please let me know.
There is WikiMaze here that is more like a welfare version of MindMaze, it just isn’t the same. I’ll be putting Encarta 95 on my Win XP computer.
Some news first from Tool, but it looks like a April Fools joke. Tool has been involved with quite a few April Fools jokes from one stating three of the band members were killed to Maynard becoming a Born-Again Christian. Or this in 2015:
Boy, that’s annoying.
Anyways, there was some speculation that Tool was replacing Maynard with Sammy Hagar. Here’s an article from Loudwire on April Fool’s Day and one from Consequence Of Sound.
Tango in the Night
Now we make a long jump to Fleetwood Mac and yes, we here at 80s and 90s are a little obsessive with Fleetwood Mac. Despite my disagreements with Salon.com, they do have a long read from the engineer of the album Greg Droman. As one would know, Tango in the Night took a long 18-months to make. A few songs intended to be a Lindsey Buckingham solo album made it on the record. Also a worthy addition was Stevie Nicks’ contribution to the album just before the completion.