40 years in 40 days, and today we’re living in 1978. I remember spending a lot of my meager salary at Wax Trax Records on Lincoln Avenue. Jim and Danny’s store was not just a place to buy records (yes, records), but it was like a cultural center that offered the newest of new music and tons of obscure soul and rockabilly albums. Do I ever miss hanging out there! Meanwhile back at XRT, some of us were very excited about the wave of new music and lobbied to get more of it on the airwaves. I remember Jim calling me one day and urging me to get behind The Cars. He had no economic interest. He just had this passion for music, and pointed out that unlike some of the punk/new wave music, this album was radio friendly. Pop music for smart people. He was right. This band from Boston went on to commercial and critical success, and got lots of spins on the big X. They reunited for awhile with Todd Rundgren as The New Cars, but it just didn’t have that new car smell. Benjamin Orr had died and Ric Ocasek wasn’t interested. Now they are back together again as The Cars and Ric is back with them. I got to hang with Greg Hawkes a few years ago at The Fest For Beatles Fans. He released an album of Beatle covers on ukulele, which is quite sweet. Nice guy, too.
But let’s go back to their debut in 1978.
You can have your own 1978 flashback live and in person. Blondie and Devo are doing an XRT show Wednesday night at the beautiful Chicago Theatre. Tickets still available. Blondie had a fantastic year in 78 with the release of the Parallel Lines album.
Devo made Ohio proud in 1978 with the release of their debut album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! Brilliant. And it scored high on the XRT listener poll. Devo came by the studio and we thought we’d all be clever and dress up in our promotional devo yellow plastic suits. They didn’t seem the least bit amused. Oh, well. They didn’t even care that I was from Ohio too. But disappointment aside, the music was fantastic! Devo, Blondie and The Cars made 1978 feel less like the 70′s and more like the future.