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Reagan-era MTV Contest Madness

Back in the 1980s, MTV ran some pretty wild contests. I found this story about the Lost Weekend With Van Halen, but there were many more. Does anyone have a complete list of those contests, or links to any more of the winners' stories? [more inside]
posted by ktoad on Aug 25, 2014 - 13 answers

Singer-songwriter from the 1980s

A friend asked this question on Facebook just now, so I'm passing it on: Any clue who this is? Singer-songwriter. Came on the scene in the mid-eighties. A New Yorker. Titillated journalists dwelt on the fact that she left home at thirteen to move in with some African musicians, with her parents’ okay. Wrote a song about a dream in which she made love with her mother.
posted by zadcat on Jul 27, 2014 - 3 answers

Book recommendation: a good historical overview of the US in the 1980s?

I am seeking recommendations for (reputable/peer-reviewed) essays or books that could help me develop a nuanced but well-rounded understanding of the social, political, and economic climate in 1980s America (economic deregulation is a particular point of interest). [more inside]
posted by coastisclear on Jul 14, 2014 - 8 answers

80s Music Videos with Communist References?

I'm trying to compile a list of music videos from the 80s (early 90s is fine too) that reference communism, with, for example, use of hammer and sickle imagery, or the like. The more the direct the reference the better. Bonus points for synth-pop. [more inside]
posted by matkline on Apr 27, 2014 - 26 answers

Find this movie: topless woman with paper bag on her head

Trying to help a friend identify a movie he saw a few minutes of when he was a kid. How it starts: A woman drives to an artist's apartment/studio, talks about relationships, takes her shirt off, puts a paper bag on her head. The artist begins to draw. [more inside]
posted by croutonsupafreak on Mar 4, 2014 - 5 answers

The Reaganettes, brought to you by Tab

I am looking for TV commercials from the 1980s that feature mothers, women and girls conforming to yuppie, conservative, WASPy ideals of beauty and behavior. [more inside]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Feb 25, 2014 - 20 answers

History Trivia

I'm writing a trivia game for a birthday party. What are events from the 1950s through today that 60 yr olds would have a good grasp of that I would miss out on just by scanning through wikipedia? [more inside]
posted by troika on Nov 19, 2013 - 22 answers

Beyond the Berlin Trilogy

Seeking recommendations on media--books (novels and nonfiction), movies, music, maybe even documentaries--on life in Berlin during the 1980s and 1990s. I'm especially interested in the punk scene and any other counter cultural groups through this time period. [more inside]
posted by Kitty Stardust on Oct 26, 2013 - 12 answers

Song ID: UK house hit, late '80s - early '90s

I'm trying to rebuild a mix tape made for me by a London friend around 1989-1990. One track I'm having trouble finding started out with "Are you sitting comfortably? [Good.] Then I'll begin," which is a sample from the BBC's "Listen with Mother" radio series (click on the second old time radio for a clip, starts at the :16sec mark). After that it had a very deep man's voice saying "Welcome," over and over again while the music ramped up behind it. I always thought the man sounded like Worf, from ST: TNG. Any leads?
posted by cocoagirl on Sep 12, 2013 - 6 answers

Help Me Find A Book

I am looking for a book that was published in the late 1980s. I cannot remember the title or the author, only that it is a memoir, and that the cover of the book (oft advertised in the New Yorker) had a small picture of a boy jumping between two rocks. The design of the cover was very much like this one for Lewis Thomas' The Fragile Species, with the picture of the jumping boy there in the center. The only other thing I can remember is that the author's name started with two initials, i.e. T R Something or A R Something. Please help!
posted by chavenet on Aug 21, 2013 - 2 answers

Dystopian ITV or BBC pilot from 1980s?

I am trying to locate a MeFi link from perhaps a year ago to a cancelled or unaired ITV/BBC pilot from the 1980s, and none of my MeFi/google/youTube searches in the past hour has unearthed it. Please help! [more inside]
posted by dickyvibe on Jul 18, 2013 - 7 answers

Just saw "Total Eclipse of the Heart" for the first time. More, please.

While settling a disagreement over whether Total Eclipse of the Heart was a duet, I just saw the music video and it blew my mind. I grew up without cable, and am pretty much ignorant of everything but the "classic" music videos from the 80's; please let me know what I'm missing. [more inside]
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear on May 23, 2013 - 267 answers

What is this sign, located in Venice Beach (I think?)

In Michael Palin's "Around the World in 80 Days", there's a shot of a building with an interesting sign. It says "EARTH SPACE SCIENCE ART FACT FICTION FANTASY". [more inside]
posted by dubold on May 20, 2013 - 12 answers

Improve Your Vocabulary Tape From The 1980s

When I was a kid, my grandfather bought me an audiotape meant to improve my vocabulary: 25 Power Words, or something. It was pitched, I think, as a way to get ahead in business -- and read in a very serious, very radio-y voice. We used to play it on long car rides, endlessly, when I was in elementary school (in the early 80s). I'd really like to find a copy of the tape, but I can't remember its title. [more inside]
posted by buriedpaul on Apr 1, 2013 - 4 answers

Cheerleaders don't always get what they want!

C-Budget "Horror" flick that may have been hosted by Elvira circa 1985 [more inside]
posted by phytage on Mar 24, 2013 - 3 answers

Load Runner for modern Mac OS?

Hi all, I have a project I'd like to do that involves the use of Broderbund's Load Runner game. I have a 4 year old Macbook Pro running Mountain Lion. I have found various sites to download the game, but so far none of the downloads work. [more inside]
posted by LizardOfDoom on Feb 19, 2013 - 10 answers

Name that film! Post-apocalyptic 80s Sydney

I am seeking the name of a film, set in post-apocalyptic Sydney (Australia). I could have sworn it had Cassandra Harris in it, but IMDB disagrees. It was filmed and was set in in the early- to mid-80s, and had a bunch of people running around trying to escape the nuclear fallout that hit the Opera House and ended up in the northern beaches. The film wasn't necessarily good, but it resonated. Can you name the film? Thanks!
posted by goo on Feb 9, 2013 - 7 answers

Can anyone identify this indie, children's folk singer?

I've been wracking my brains trying to remember the identity of this female folk singer from the 1980s-1990s. She made at least a few albums targeted at kids, incorporating many environmental themes. And I can't for the life of me remember even enough to do a proper Google search. Gah! [more inside]
posted by valkyryn on Jan 28, 2013 - 7 answers

What was the name of this ubiquitous performance art duo from the 1980s?

Back in the late 1980s there was this weird performance art duo, a man and a woman, who seemed to turn up all over the place on TV. They were on MTV, I think they were on the Tonight Show, et al, but nobody seems to remember them and I can't find any record of them online. (No, they were not Shields and Yarnell.) [more inside]
posted by Ursula Hitler on Jan 10, 2013 - 8 answers

What's that home video (VHS) introduction to home computers from the '80s?

What is the name of that 1980s home video introducing you to computers hosted by that famous TV personality husband and wife whose names I can't remember? The one whose background color changes depending on what section you're in? [more inside]
posted by dan_of_brainlog on Nov 27, 2012 - 5 answers

80s foreign movie about a clown or mime wandering in city

Looking for a movie I saw on TV in the 80s that was about a sad clown/mime who left his circus and was wandering around the city - a foreign city, probably Europe. It is NOT Children of Paradise, but maybe some remake inspired by it. I believe it was a foreign film and was probably shown on Nickelodeon - it was a color film. Very atmospheric and followed the clown wandering in the city. Any ideas?
posted by cmp4Meta on Nov 20, 2012 - 5 answers

NYC 1980s art scene

Art buffs of Mefi, please tell me about exciting things that were happening in the New York City art scene in the early 1980s. [more inside]
posted by marginaliana on Nov 20, 2012 - 14 answers

Does anyone remember "U Film"?

Does anyone remember U-Film? [more inside]
posted by Dr. Wu on Oct 30, 2012 - 8 answers

Help me identify this movie?

I've had this vague memory of a 1970s-80s crime movie in the back of my brain. Can you help identify it? [more inside]
posted by Borborygmus on Oct 1, 2012 - 7 answers

Help me identify this videogame

Help me identify an old videogame. ~1990, combat between different spaceship types, with gravity, momentum and orbital physics. [more inside]
posted by snarfois on Sep 23, 2012 - 5 answers

Has the world changed much since the 1980s?

A friend and I had a friendly disagreement about whether society as a whole has changed significantly since the 1980s. Can you help me bolster my side? [more inside]
posted by suburbanbeatnik on Jul 24, 2012 - 71 answers

Help me find this science book aimed at kids.

What was that book? 1970s or early 1980s science book for kids, illustrated with black and white photographs. [more inside]
posted by PussKillian on Jul 11, 2012 - 5 answers

Not that I don't love LaVar...

Everyone remembers Reading Rainbow, but what about other reading TV shows in the 1980s? [more inside]
posted by lodie6 on Jun 20, 2012 - 16 answers

Early 1980s sitcom about a TV station in a house

Trying to remember a sitcom from the early 1980s about the "world's smallest television station." Was it real or did I just dream it up? [more inside]
posted by smoothvirus on May 7, 2012 - 6 answers

Does anyone know this arcade game?

Can anyone help me identify a vertical-scrolling arcade game from the 80s? [more inside]
posted by Lucien Dark on Apr 29, 2012 - 12 answers

No Retreat! No Surrender!

What is this mid-80's martial arts movie with two kids and terrible editing? It's not "No Retreat, No Surrender". [more inside]
posted by Cat Pie Hurts on Apr 5, 2012 - 4 answers

Rockists who tried synth-pop?

Which artists had an uncharacteristic attempt at synthpop/electronica in the 70s/80s? [more inside]
posted by meech on Apr 4, 2012 - 22 answers

Long Distance Rates For the Late Seventies and Early Eighties?

How much did long distance telephone calls cost in the late 1970s and early 1980s? I'm mainly interested in hearing about rates for the USA but data from other countries would be welcome as well. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Mar 31, 2012 - 21 answers

what did movies think of tv in the eighties?

I just watched Poltergeist, which I am now thinking seems right-wing, almost Catholic. at the end of the movie, the husband kicks the tv out of the room and serene music plays. is this a common feature of the movies of the time? did people kick the tv out of the room a lot in the movies of the 80s?
posted by parmanparman on Mar 28, 2012 - 15 answers

tv program predicted rise of electronic books in 1980s

Trying to remember the name of a TV series program that I watched in the late 1980s that in one episode on digital information predicted the rise of the electronic book. There was a male host who led the show, which was an examination of new technologies. In the particular episode I am looking for, he recounted an idea that books in the future would be distributed from something like an ATM machine where you would insert a card onto which the book would be downloaded. If it helps, I remember he stood at some kind of podium during the broadcasts that had like an acrylic/lucite egg-shaped glowing top--random detail, but these are often what jog people's memory.
posted by cmp4Meta on Mar 27, 2012 - 4 answers

Getting rid of 1980s trading cards

I have trading cards from the early to mid 80s that I would like to get rid of. [more inside]
posted by entropicamericana on Feb 7, 2012 - 3 answers

Designer who wore mickey mouse ears?

Who was the French accessories designer or other sort of fashion insider known for sporting mickey mouse ears back in the 80s or 90s? She was a rather kooky character and I believe she was a muse or friend of Karl Lagerfeld. I've googled and googled and have been stumped. Bonus points if you can find a vintage photo.
posted by missmerrymack on Feb 5, 2012 - 5 answers

Not quite Freaky Friday.

Asking for a friend: Do you remember this (possibly made-for-TV) movie from the 1980's? A girl goes to sleep one night and wakes up as a boy the next morning. Her parents are scandalized when she wants her best friend (who is still female) to sleep over.
posted by gentian on Nov 25, 2011 - 3 answers

Giving you the future hits today.

I'm searching for digitized archives of Joel Denver's 'Future Hits' radio program from 1984-1992. [more inside]
posted by yellowcandy on Oct 31, 2011 - 1 answer

Do you remember a color-changing polar bear?

Children's book from the 80s where a polar bear changes colors.... I think? [more inside]
posted by jabes on Oct 25, 2011 - 4 answers

Give me the Halloween that Alvin and the Chipmunks always dreamed of.

I'm going to a costume party for Halloween. The theme is 80s and 90s cartoon characters. Help me find a costume that won't be expensive or challenging to move around in, but will be awesome. [more inside]
posted by decathecting on Oct 18, 2011 - 30 answers

Looking for "Favorit Son"!

Where can I find the 1988 NBC TV mini series "Favorit Son"? [more inside]
posted by lord_yo on Sep 9, 2011 - 2 answers

seeking the playlist of a compilation cassette

Can someone locate the complete playlist of a cassette that was included with the purchase of a Mercury Marquis station wagon in 1984? [more inside]
posted by germdisco on Jul 19, 2011 - 8 answers

Predating the Windows Ding...

[16mm filmstrip projectorfilter]: Anyone know where I can find an .mp3 or .wav or .avi of the ding for the slide advance of a 16mm filmstrip projector from the 1970s? [more inside]
posted by Nanukthedog on Jun 24, 2011 - 9 answers

Sasha!

This is probably a stumper... Calling all late-1980s Russians: do you remember a male pop star named Sasha who had a song named something like "Come dance with me" ? [more inside]
posted by AzraelBrown on Jun 9, 2011 - 2 answers

What was this live action children's TV show?

Looking for a children's magic forest type TV show that has skipped down the memory hole. [more inside]
posted by yellowbinder on May 16, 2011 - 5 answers

The Edge is not on the White Page

Who would you see as a seminal guitar player in the early to mid eighties? Totally frivolous question! [more inside]
posted by gijsvs on Apr 7, 2011 - 62 answers

Around the electronic shag-carpet campfire.

Please recommend articles/books/etc. which talk about broadcast media and American suburbia in the 1970s and 1980s. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Jan 27, 2011 - 2 answers

It isn't nostalgia if you don't remember it.

What was the origin of the 1980s catch phrase, "Thank you, master, for the buzz?" [more inside]
posted by Yakuman on Dec 22, 2010 - 3 answers

Trying to track down a 1980s comic story...

Help my husband find this comic strip he remembers from his childhood (UK, 1980s, his words below)... [more inside]
posted by Katemonkey on Dec 7, 2010 - 8 answers

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