An IM Conversation About Music

Bill Schafer: THE BEST OF NIGHT RANGER has arrived.

Me: What the fuck is wrong with you.

Bill Schafer: Long list. Little time. At least it’s not the Gary Cherone VH album.

Me: I hear that.

Bill Schafer: Oh Christ. They’re touring with Air Supply.

Me: Bullshit.

Bill Schafer: Check Ticketmaster

Me: It’s worse than that. They OPENED for Air supply.

Bill Schafer: You have Journey. I have Night Ranger. We should call it a draw.

Me: Journey never fucking opened for Air Supply.

Bill Schafer: What lead singer are they on now? Shouldn’t they just bill themselves as their own cover band?

Me: No argument in either case. Still: Fucking Air Supply. Seriously. Why not just open for Michael Bolton and just get it over with?

Me: I want to cut and paste this conversation into Whatever. If you’d like I will mask your identity to hide your shame.

Bill Schafer: Fuck no. Out me, you worthless bitch.

Me: I’m only trying to protect you. But, okay. Have it your way.

Bill Schafer: I will call down the NIGHT RANGER legion on you.

Me: That’s you and the creepy guy down your street?

Bill Schafer: Across town. He moved.

95 thoughts on “An IM Conversation About Music

  1. I just gained a huge amount of respect for Shafer. I seriously own every Night Ranger album through Feeding off the Mojo. Now I know who the other guy buying their albums was.

  2. You know, Night Ranger also opened for ZZ Top and Ozzy Ozborne back in the day…

    I’m just saying….

  3. Oh, god. I always knew that the ’80s weren’t good years, but the recent posts (Duran Duran! Journey! Night Ranger! I didn’t even know the latter two existed!) make me think that the memory of those years should be extirpated from Mankind’s collective knowledge through every possible mean, as soon as it is possible.

  4. Eww. And Oh My God eww.

    And John Taylor is sooooo much hawter than that Night Ranger guy.

    And? And?

    I’m all out of love. I’m so lost without you. I know you were right, believin’ for so long. I’m all out of love. What am I without you? It can’t be too late; I know I was so wrong.

  5. My knowledge of Night Ranger begins and ends with “Sister Christian,” which I enjoy. I now feel the need to explore the Night Ranger catalog, but I am afraid it will destroy any and all productivity today as well as prove they are another 80s band with only one song that I like.

  6. Night Ranger sounds like one of those 5th grade homophobic insults. “What are you, some kind of:”

    * Butt sniffer
    * Pillow biter
    * Fudge packer
    * Night Ranger

    SEE?!? It fits right in there!

    And that makes Night Ranger my new favorite band.

  7. There is nothing wrong with Night Ranger! There is something wrong with them opening up for Air Supply. I feel ill thinking about that. I saw Night Ranger open for .38 Special back in the 80’s.

  8. Why not just open for Michael Bolton and just get it over with

    Damn you, Scalzi. The coffee burns in my nasal passages are notcovered by my health insurance. The pain, it burns!

  9. MOTORIN’ what’s your price for flight…

    Damn fine cruisin’ song…

    Note: I don’t own either Night Ranger or Air Supply. Do have a Shaw Blades CD though…

  10. Damn, that post was just friggin’ hilarious! Thank you for sharing it, because it has made my Monday bearable.

    Also, Sister Christian was the theme song (for some uknown region) at my work a few years back, back when my employer was awesome and let us have fun at work.

  11. I listened to the Best of Night Ranger last night. Really.

    They really were a rock band for their first two records, before Sister Christian made them rich and they fell in love with the power ballad.

  12. And so the war of SIX began. Ohio SF writers vs. 2008 Night Ranger fans. It was bloody and they ran out of spoons in 32 hours of battle. No one speaks of the outcome to this day.

  13. Well, the question is *which* Whitesnake?

    The “Slow and Easy” Whitesnake?

    Or the one that was the result of David Coverdale being hit on the head and coming down with Lionel Ritchie Disease?

  14. Damn. I figured they had bottomed out playing the Fremont, MI Baby Food Festival. (though they did headline.)

    (For the record I made it a point to do something more worthwhile that evening, like water the grass..)

  15. Cinderella, Night Ranger, Whitesnake, White Lion, Poison, Warrant – aren’t they all touring now? Playing dinner theaters across the nation? Bringing the pure, unadulterated evil that is the ’80s power ballad to innocent ears across this great nation? Isn’t there some sort of organization devoted to stamping out this sort of perversion?

  16. Journey or Night Ranger. I don’t know which side of the fence to come down on. Maybe if I run real fast I can make it across without falling either way.

  17. Klecha, I won’t own up to Whitesnake, because those videos really irked me, but me? The Scorpions. Totally. Right before I listened to The Cure’s Pornography and went all gothy.

  18. When these arguments come up I’m always remind of Beavis & Butthead’s lame little sometimes sidekick with his Winger t-shirt. I will now always think of Scalzi in that role.

    Also, I note that the Power Ballad has returned to modern rock stations. I thought Kurt Kobain had killed the Power Ballad before himself, but it appears that it was just waiting a respectable period before re-emerging. I call down zombie Kurt Kobain upon all of you lame-rock fans.

  19. I’m threatening to put the song in the collective brain of another community that I frequent. I need some demands to go with my threat, though.

    Is this in accordance with your evil plan?

    Also, that’s Cobain… unless it’s the Kommunist one!

  20. punkrockhockeymom, see, now Scorpions I’ll dig all day. I think we even have a CD of theirs somewhere.

    Whitesnake though… ewww.

    My wife is the lover of 80s hair metal.

  21. You put the bug in my ear. It is therefore your fault that I just posted a request of Air Supply’s “Chances” to FlashBackRadio.com and all three FBR listeners today will groan and clutch their ears in pain.

    It could be worse. I could have requested “All Out Of Love.” Now that’s an earworm you can get just from the title…

    Oops?

  22. When it gets right to the nub of things, Air Supply was the price you had to pay for the privilege of steamin’ up the car windows with your best girl down on Seven Bridges Road (which, in my neck of the woods was a real place and not merely an Eagles tune.)

    “All Out of Love” was a classic steamer, and good for a double.

    On the Journey front, “Faithfully” was a third-base tune.

    And Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” could close the deal.

    (Throughout much of the 80s I was a radio DJ, and oh, the mix-tapes I would cut…)

  23. At least you weren’t subjected to even worse “artists” like STRYPER at work and forced to listens to their particular brand of audible horror against your will. I once brought home one of their albums to preview and my brother came bursting into my room asking what was wrong and why I was making such an awful noise.

  24. Journey, Night Ranger, Whitesnake…I love ‘em all. I’ve even paid to see both Journey and Night Ranger live in the last couple of years.

    ’80s videos, though? What were they thinking??? What the hell is going on with that monkey? Reading the paper at the beginning, driving the truck in the middle, in the trash bag she drags to the curb at the end. Oops…I’ve said too much.

  25. Speaking as a woman named Christian, who was in middle school when “Sister Christian” came out:

    ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH. THE PAIN.

    Even now, when people meet me, they attempt to ask, “Hey, are you motorin’?” before I cut them off with:

    “If you can’t sing the whole entire song–right NOW–be quiet.”

  26. Oh, but I *can* sing the whole song!

    Sister Christian Oh the time has come
    And you know that you’re the only one
    To say… O.K.
    Where you going what you looking for
    You know those boys don’ want to play no more with you
    It’s true…

    You’re motoring
    What’s your price for flight
    In finding mister right
    You’ll be alright tonight…

    Out of some sense of respect for copyright, however… I’ll leave it at that. ;)

  27. The lip-syncing… it’s so baaaaaad!

    “I’m singing full throated right now, but mysteriously without drawing a large breath or actually opening my mouth!”

  28. I saw Dennis DeYoung of Styx on the BART train once. Don’t know why he was in town, but instead of saying something clever like “Is this the train to Desert Moon?” I blathered about how Cornerstone was the first album I ever owned.

  29. To paraphrase Ron and Fez

    Doesn’t hearing Sister Christian just conjure the image of some guy in a mullet riding down the Garden State Parkway with his Camaro T-Tops down, blasting the song with a tear in his eye for his lost youth?

    Tangentially, saw what you will about Night Ranger, but Jack Blades was in Damn Yankees with the Nuge and that counts for something, right?

  30. Bands like journey and Night Ranger are why I mostly listened to punk bands like the Clash and new wave bands like The English Beat and the Police in the 80’s.

    I think it was a Toronto thing.

  31. #49:

    I just snorted very loudly in my cubicle! I can’t really give you a hard time, because it would never have occured to me to make a wise-ass crack about Desert Moon to Dennis DeYoung…while on a train…but talk about golden opportunities!

  32. And to clarify, I probably would have gone on about how Paradise Theater was the first album I ever bought with my own allowance money.

  33. Jaysus, Scalzi. Behind the scenes you have text chats the same effin way I do!

    Either we’re normal or both need help.

    Scary, innit?

  34. I think Journey actually DID open for Air Supply back in the day.

    I know I saw Journey twice, and once they were the headliner and the opening act was Loverboy–but I think the other time, Air Supply was the headliner.

    I could have verified this a few years ago, before I threw away my high-school diaries.

  35. Okay, have to drop out of “lurker” mode to give Aldo Nova some love. HE was my guilty pleasure (along with Asia) back in the 80s. I graduated high school in 1982.
    You guys do remember “Fantasy” and “Foolin’ Yourself”, right ? Right ?

  36. This music is why I emigrated from rock to country. Not because it was so horrible, necessarily, but because I am so susceptible to power ballad earworms. The Stanley Brothers, Doc Watson, and Rodney Crowell will clean those right out.

    Of course, this month’s featured earworm is “Hey There Delilah”. Not even Iggy Pop has been able to blast that one loose.

  37. JupiterPluvius:

    “I think Journey actually DID open for Air Supply back in the day.”

    Simply. Not. Possible.

    Not in the least because by the time Air Supply hit big in the US (in 1980), Journey was already a headlining band, having released three albums with Steve Perry as their lead singer. Also, Air Supply was definitely not in the same sales demographic as Journey in 1980.

  38. I didn’t mind the power ballads – and Air Supply’s Greatest Hits was the first tape I ever bought.

    But if I’m going to remember the 80s I’d prefer it to be to a soundtrack of Genesis, Mike & the Mechanics, Phil Collins, and Huey Lewis & the News. Maybe toss some Hall & Oates in there for fun.

  39. I think that the individual who programs the in-store music for Schnuck’s must have read the previous entry in this ’80s nightmare: While buying groceries today, the elder remora and I were treated to three D/u/r/a/n/-/D/u/r/a/n/ Moron-Moron songs in a row.

  40. Basically all the ’80s rock and metal bands being derided here: I like ‘em.

    Including The Outfield.

    Also: Two words: Damn. Yankees.
    Jess, I hope you’re aware that Jack Blades, singer and guitarist of Damn Yankees, was also a prominent member of Night Ranger.

  41. “Sister Christian” is an awful, awful song. Really creepy, too – like some guys singing about his little sister is all grown up in those special ways, you know?

    (Checks Wikipedia) Which, now that I do some research, turns out to actually be true. So it really is pretty creepy, singing – approvingly – about his teenage sister looking for casual sex.

    Seriously, if that song was a person, I’d have it hung, drawn, quartered, shot, burned, and the ashes scattered into a volcano … on Europa.

  42. Having been subjected to a mix of Barbara Streisand, Wayne Newton, and Alabama among other things, I welcomed the sweet release that my own FM radio with headphones brought at age 8… and then…. a WALKMAN. An honest-to-Ghod portable source of musical joy. And it was MINE.

    I still remember the look of confusion on my stepfathers face when my mother said that I could pick 5 tapes off the big booklet of stamps for the record club thing she had joined. I still have 4 of those cassettes– Alan Parsons Project, Boston, Kansas, and Styx.

    Not your typical 8-yr old’s fare, but geezus, given the music I was exposed to as a kid, and the concerts I was dragged to? When an 8 yr old winds up memorizing Danke Schoen and Copacabana by sheer exposure to the tunes, that says something about the musical tastes of the parents. Something bad.

  43. Furthermore, I’ve decided it’s a good evening to revisit some of my favorite 80s songs on Youtube. Time to subject the kids to Glass Tiger, The Fixx, and The Romantics.

  44. Now y’all’ve done it… reminded me of what I had to listen to through the early 80s. My older sister got THIS, album and played it EVERY SINGLE EVENING after dinner, for a full year, until it sounded like the band was underwater or something.

    Then she bought his next album, and played THAT for a year.

    And his NEXT album.

    Then she moved out, thank Glub, and I bought a CD player and Anything That Didn’t Sound Like That.

    Me? Damaged? Mmmmaybe. Maybe a little.

  45. #72 Natalie: EWWWWW Europe…one hit blunder Europe and “The Final Countdown”…Whiniest. Hair Band. Ever!

  46. Okay, Justin JJ at #11, I see your Bonnie Tyler and raise you Laura Brannigan…

    ..and Toni Basil!

    I admit I was around for the Kennedy assassination, the Mercury launch, and the invention of MTV.

    [Mentioning JFK’s assassination on 22 Nov forty-five years ago, reminds me of where he was one week before, on 15 Nov 1963: a mile from where I sit, opening the completed I-95 at the Mason-Dixon Line — also celebrating its bicentennial that day — in Newark, Delaware.]

    JJB

  47. First two Asia LPs on the two sides of a hand-rolled cassette tape — many, many hours of grad school work on a Walkman… (grin) Later, when I needed something calming to make it through the dissertation, I’d swap Asia with a tape with Enya on one side and Basia on the other. You need to be quiet in the library, you know. (double-sided-grin)

    Dr. Phil

  48. No one mentioned Toto! Or Kansas! I’m shocked… :) I’ll own up to being a Whitesnake fan in the 80s because Tawney Kittaen was: a) HOT; and b) looked good with Jaguars; and c) was HOT. Huge fan of the Cars too…along with Boston, Journey, The Police, Sting solo, Heart, Aerosmith, and others of that strange era.

  49. Air Supply was a key factor in the seduction of at least one young lady I can recall, so regardless of their musical quality, I still have a soft spot for them.

    Sister Christian -> poor man’s “We Are the Champions” (filk version “We are Chimp Pansies”)

    Some other one-, two-, or three- hit wonders from the 1980’s to name-check: Eurhythmics (or their predecessor – The Tourists), Cyndi Lauper (with or without Blue Angel), Roxette, Wilson Phillips, Spandau Ballet, and A-ha!.

    Since I’m strictly limiting myself to the 1980’s I can’t really mention bands that got their start before 1979 like Saga, The Scorpions, Heart, Kansas, The Cars or the Go-gos. And in deference to your sanity, please avoid Hawkwind. Absolutely the worst album I ever paid for.

  50. Now I think I’m going to play “Earworm Challenge” – walk up to someone of a certain age and say “It’s the Final Countdown”. Then, picking my moment as the dawning horror creeps across their face, say “I’m all out of love…”.

    Come back 5 minutes later and find out which one is still stuck in their head.

    Repeat on a new victim subject, reversing the order (for fairness). Continue until hounded from the office by pitchfork wielding mob.

  51. The awesome thing about Air Supply is playing the Greatest Hits for your friends and watching them freak out when they realize they know every word to every song.

  52. Let’s see, If I was an “enemy combatant” at Gitmo & offered a choice between Nightranger, Journey or waterboarding…

  53. #73 Michael – They actually had 3 hits in the US. And they were/are very popular in Japan. AND! From reading interviews with them online (as well as a Dutch documentary on YouTube)–I get bored sometimes and look up random things online–they seem quite aware of how transient and fluke-y their success was. Which is more than I can say for some other bands of the era.

  54. First of all, Jerry at #42 wins. You owe me for the pain and suffered endured when I inhaled toxic Diet Coke up my nose.

    As a child of the early 70s, I draw my cloak of superiority tight across my shoulders. I mean for the love of gawd, Slade and Uriah Heep were our ideas of a guilty pleasure for us rockers back then. Please tell me that in the 80s you guys at least listened to your share of Prince and Bruce.

  55. Well Scalzi, you managed to spark a domestic feud in our household. While I was taunting Patti’s Journey crush with some well placed Night Ranger barbs, this happened:

    Me: Well, one good thing about being married is that we’ll never have Air Supply in the house.
    Patti: What do you mean? I have their greatest hits on my iPod…
    Me: Why, are we breaking up? I’m pretty sure the Fourth Commandment from the Gods of Rock says you can only listen to Air Supply during a breakup.
    Patti: You don’t want me to choose between you or them
    Me: Fine, don’t blame me when the Gods of Rock send you to the Hell of 80’s Hair

  56. Having read this a few days ago, I had to giggle like a fiend when I got my review copy of Night Rangers’ Hole in the Sun. Now I must go listen, right away, in honor of this conversation.

  57. Listening to The Final Countdown on teh Youtubes makes me wonder what happened to synthesizers in music in the last, like, fifteen years. ‘Cause they’re awesome. (do, dodododahdoo)

  58. I live in Taiwan at the moment. The two big huge sellout concerts here in the last couple months were Air Supply and ……. the Osmonds.

    And they have hiphop (afternoons on the English-language radio) and smooth jazz here too (what the morning radio guys play between the classic rock and oldies they’re supposed to be playing), thus neatly covering all my least favorite genres in one easy package. On the plus side, this station does have a wider variety than any US station I know of, so they do play stuff I like not too rarely.

    We’ve begun bringing the iPod for the PM commute, though.

  59. Just to add a moment of context to this, I saw Journey open for Jethro Tull (this was before Steve Perry simultaneously Made Them and Ruined Them). Gotta admit, I still don’t which act I liked better.

  60. “I live in Taiwan at the moment. The two big huge sellout concerts here in the last couple months were Air Supply and ……. the Osmonds.”

    I just moved to Germany. While it seems that everyone who’s ever put out an album, good or bad, is touring here, the poster that makes me giggle is the one for…

    Falco.

    (Please don’t tell me he’s still got a successful career here – I don’t want to know.)

  61. Ah HA, now we know why the defense of gay marriage. Only a self assured gay man would actually declare himself to be a fan of Journey. Does your wife know?

    God just thinking of that squeaking voice makes me ears bleed. Funny story to me at least, we took our company to a piano bar for our Christmas party. I was buying buckets of booze and ended up spending real money to get them to NOT play Journey. Worth every dollar because of all the 80s arena bands, they suck harder than all of them. Hell, the members of Night Ranger are musical geniuses when compared to Journey.

    Do you have the Journey arcade game stashed in you game room? I liked your books but now I have to burn them and I bought the over priced special additions…. you bastard.

  62. Falco is dead. Died in a traffic accident years ago.

    Journey? Air Supply? Night Ranger? A jedi fears them not, especially since none of them made it big over here, across the pond.

    Instead we had Andre Hazes.

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