Saturday, March 6, 2010

12 Inch Singles # 2 AND Night Tracks or Night Flight?

I can tell that I'm getting old. Earlier I was thinking about a certain video from the early 80s and how I remembered watching it on a particular channel before I had ever laid eyes on MTV. Somehow I remembered that it was on the WTBS show Night Tracks around my sophomore year in high school however as I decided to do some fact checking before posting (a rare thing) and I found that it cannot have happened that way. The above mentioned show didn't air until 1989 which was about 7 years too late. I knew I had seen this video (and many others) on a show that aired on Fridays and Saturdays in the evenings but couldn't figure out what it was. At first top 40 or top 40 aspiring mainstream videos would be shown and as it got later in the evening you would see edgier, more alternative videos from artists like Devo, Iggy Pop and so forth. This was my favorite time to watch. Forget all of the mainstream garbage that was being pushed my way, no I went in for the different, unique and well, just downright odd groups. You have to know, I lived in a small town (pop. roughly 12,000) named Ironton in southeastern Ohio and wasn't near a larger city where you could get exposed to different kinds of music. I graduated high school in 1983 (in a different state) but attended my 20th high school reunion in Ironton and most of the people wanted to listen to disco so that should be all the explanation you need about what living in that place was like. Still, it was better than the town that I ended up graduating from.

At any rate the band I was thinking about was The English Beat and the video was for the song "Save It For Later." It was so immensely different than the music on local radio or what I heard anybody else listening to that it made a distinct impression on me and to this day it stills brings a smile to my face when I hear it.

Now after doing some actual research I think the show was actually Night Flight on the USA network and since the name is so similar I'm sure you can understand my confusion. It started in 1982 (my sophomore year) a few months before MTV aired and from all accounts it seems like it should be the one. Of course I also used to hear groups on the tv show Fridays which got called a rip off of Saturday Night Live but it didn't matter to me. They featured artists playing in a live setting like The Jim Carroll Band, The Plasmatics, Devo and so on that Saturday Night Live would never touch. Of course, that's another story.

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