Archive for the ‘1985’ Category

Charlie Sexton came up through the roots music scene in Austin, TX and was taught how to play guitar at a young age by W.C. Clark, “Godfather of Austin Blues”. Before the age of 18, Sexton was an in-demand session player recording with the likes of Bob Dylan, Keith Richards and Don Henley and released his debut solo record PICTURES FOR PLEASURE (1985). The very 80’s sounding Top 20 hit “Beat’s So Lonely” from that record was featured in the classic John Hughes movie SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL.

My favorite Sexton story: When The Replacements fired original guitarist Bob Stinson, their management encouraged the band to hire a real ‘guitar-slinger’ as a new member. Surprisingly, the band was receptive to the idea. One of the most intriguing candidates was Charlie Sexton – but in typical bad decision-making fashion, the ‘Mats passed on Sexton without an audition after deciding he was “too good-looking” and not the right fit for their infamous shenanigans and drinking. Sexton continued on, most notably as a long-time member of Bob Dylan’s band.

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1980’s alternative/new-wave band from Wales.  The Alarm was often compared to U2 in the early and mid-eighties and opened for U2 on parts of their WAR Tour in 1983. I had a friend who loved The Alarm and I kept wanting to like them, but nothing I heard ever grabbed me . Like Coldplay, I considered The Alarm as ‘U2-Lite’. But years later after “borrowing” the cassette from my wife’s music collection, I discovered ‘Spirit of ’76’ from the Alarm’s 1985 release STRENGTH. Oddly structured but catchy, raw, and anthem-like, the song warrants the early comparisons to now legendary U2. The song’s warm piano melodies and Mike Peters storied lyrics of past friendships immediately pull you in for the songs journey. The intro piano melodies transfer to the guitar perfectly for the course of the song, then both share the melodies toward the end. A definite 80’s sound and recording. Fans of 80’s music who are not familiar with The Alarm should give a listen.