The floating book shop was rained out today. One of the things I planned to do to fill time was to experiment with AI. I wanted to see if I could create an ad for my 14 books. I wasn’t able to do that, so I tried to do one for Rising Star. I did it at Adobe Firefly, simply typing “rock n roll band” and hitting “Enter.” The picture was generated almost instantaneously. I couldn’t figure out how to get text in the right place and right size. I also realized I should have been more specific, asking to create a singer, guitarist, keyboardist, bassist and drummer. Maybe the next rainy day.
In a recent blog I covered my favorites of USA one-hit wonders by a specific year, 1955-’75. Here’s ‘76-’90:
1976: Thin Lizzy — The Boys Are Back in Town. I had the privilege of seeing them at the Ritz, which I mention in the Michelle essay of Curious Sicilian. “…Friday night down at Dino’s Bar and Grill/The drinks will flow and blood will spill…” (The late Philip Parris Lynott)
1977: Sanford-Townsend Band — Smoke from a Distant Fire, one of my all-time favorite pop songs. “…If things are the same then explain why your kiss has gone cold/And that mist in your eyes feels like rain on the fire in my soul…” (Steven Stewart/John Townsend/Ed Sanford)
1978: Patti Smith Group — Because The Night. “…Have I doubt when I’m
alone?/Love is the ring, the telephone…” Co-written with Bruce Springsteen.
1979: Nick Lowe — Cruel to Be Kind. One of my guitar staples. “Well, I do my best to understand you/But you still mystify/And I wanna know why…”
1980: Devo — Whip It. “…Step on a crack/Break your mama’s back…” (Mark Mothersbaugh/Mark Allen Mothersbaugh/Gerald Casale.” I remember a chunky middle-aged woman at a wedding reception blushing as she said: “I can’t believe I danced to Devo.”
1981: Quarterflash — Harden My Heart. Heartbreak made beautiful. “Cryin’ on the corner, waitin’ in the rain/I swear I’ll never, ever wait again…” (Marvin Ross)
1982: Modern English — I Melt with You. “…There’s nothing you and I won’t do/I’ll stop the world and melt with you… (Gary Frances McDowell/ Michael Frances Conroy/Richard Ian Brown/Robert James Grey/Stephen James Walker)
1983: Shannon — Let the Music Play. It captures the anxiety of the moment.
1984: Talk Talk — It’s My Life. Another band I caught at The Ritz. The Who’s Roger Daltrey was standing a few feet from me. He seemed so scrawny I didn’t think it could possibly be him. Maybe it wasn’t. I didn’t say anything to him.
1985: Simple Minds — Don’t You (Forget About Me). Great hook. “…Vanity, insecurity…” (Keith Forsey/Steve W. Schiff)
1986: Nu Shooz — I Can’t Wait. Irresistible pop track except for the break.
1987: Midnight Oil — Beds Are Burning. Passionate song from Down Under, white guilt.
1988: The Church — Under the Milky Way. Haunting pop song. “…Wish I knew what you were looking for/Might have known what you would find…” (Karin Gunilla Jansson/Steven John Kilbey.”
1989: Love and Rockets — So Alive. Haven’t heard it in a long time.
1990: Concrete Blonde — Joey. Awesome vocal by the great Johnette Napolitano about a woman hopelessly in love with a drunkard. And here she is:
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