Sunday, January 19, 2014

Rock n Roll Tonite- TV show 1983

So does anyone remember watching a late night concert show called "Rock n Roll Tonite" that started in early '83?

 I can't remember what night it was on (most likely a weekend) but it was on late night. I thought it broadcast on regular TV but it might have been cable (?)
 It was recorded at Perkins Palace in Pasadena, Ca. The show was only on one season I think.

Rock 'n' Roll Tonite episode guide

MTV used to play a concert on Saturday nights, but  this show was cool in that it would feature 2 or 3 acts per episode. Another cool thing is that our local rock station here used to simulcast the audio in stereo. I used to turn down the TV and put on the headphones!

 I remember really being sold on INXS watching the episode they were in. Ric Ocasek released a solo album that didn't do as well as a Cars album. I dug seeing him on there. 

Red Rider lead by Tom Cochrane were one of my new favs at the time. They were featured on an episode playing songs from their newly released "Neruda" album, still one of my favorite albums from that era.
I thought Night Ranger was a decent melodic rock band with an edge (this was pre-Sister Christian) I remember it was a big deal that their guitarist Brad Gillis, had played with Ozzy briefly after the death of Randy Rhodes. They really "brought it" on their spot on the show.
They featured a ot of new wave acts but also some older acts like Todd Rundgren, Stephen Stills and even Les Paul (!)

I'm such a nerd that in the 90's, I even mailed away to purchase some old VHS tapes of the show from a collector. 

So which brings us to now. I just noticed VEVO, who seem to be recognized as one of the biggest official posters of music videos, have been posting clips from the show Rock N Roll Tonite on You Tube! 
(You can search by each bands VEVO channel: ex: TheCallmusicVevo, Zebravevo,etc.)

I suppose, like many I am a sucker for music, movies, TV shows, etc from I guess what I consider the most enjoyable time in my life; the ages between 15-20 years old. 

I feel a grew up during a fun time. Looking back, is some of the entertainment and fashion cheesy? sure, but it still takes me back in my heart and mind.

Coming off the huge success of the Cars "Shake it Up' album, Ric Ocasek signed a solo deal with Geffen and released "beatitude". More stripped down and quirky than The Cars stuff, but still containing some nice hooks. Greg Hawkes from the Cars was along for the "ride" (sorry, couldn't resist)

                            "Connect Up to Me" (live 1983)

"Something Grab For" (live 1983)

Graham Nash/Stephen Stills "Changing Partners"

Remember when even old guys like CSN tried to go "new wave"?

                                               Stills- Nash "War Games" live 

Quarterflash were certainly benefactors of the arrival of MTV, enjoying brief success in the early 80's
                                                "Take Another Picture" live

Joe Walsh himself admits this wasn't the best time in his life, but any Joe is better than none!

                                                "All Night Long" live 1983

 Marshall Crenshaw from his 2nd album  
                 "Our Town" live 1983

Hey how about Michael Been and the Call?! "ay yi yi yi ya Yi yi"
                "Walls Came Down" (live 1983)

Zebra had kind of a Zeppelin- meets- Prog rock sound. Really good band. Lead singer Randy Jackson is still out there gigging.
                   "who's Behind the Door" live 1983

Scandal back when they had their main lineup still together. Patty and Keith Mack still tour these days as "Scandal"

                                                         "All I Want" (live 1983)

um, long before the infamous "Rock me Tonite" video, Billy was prancing around in a pink top. Sorry Billy.. (no one can get away with that except Jagger)

                                          "My Kinda Lover" (live 1983

Red Rider's "Neruda" is one ofmy favorite albums of the 80's. Ken Greer was/is such a fantastic sympathetic player. he's Tom Cochrane's "David Lindley". 
Trivia: bassist Jeff Jones was in an early version of RUSH (I think?)

"Light in the Tunnel/Human Race" live 1983

INXS "Shabooh Shabah". Such a great new wave album. They were never as good after that ...

                 "Too Look at You" Live 1983  

The Psychedelic Furs finally break America with some help from Todd Rundgren

                  "Love my Way" live 1983

                           Speaking of Rundgren, Flo and Eddie on backing vocs

                    "Chant" live 1983

I didn't quite get the Divinyls at first. I found Chrissie Amphlett more scary than sexy!

             "Boys in Town" live 1983

You can laugh, but they laugh last. They still pack em in at concerts and they are a lot better than Poison....

  Night Ranger "Eddie's Comin Out Tonight"

one of my favorite Tubes songs . a sort of a "Money for Nothing" type song (2 years before)
             "Out of the Business" live 1983

  George Martin
 (yes , THE George Martin had produced their latest album "Quartet")
               Ultravox "Reap the Wild Wind" live 1983



  1. Yes this is a great forgotten show. One band you didn't mention that I highly recommend checking out is The Plimsouls. If you search Plimsouls live 1983 you will find their performance on this show.

    I definitely agree with you about INXS. They were at their best during Shabooh Shoobah. I think we might be the only ones who think this though because their early work seems largely ignored even by the band themselves. Long in Tooth is a great b-side from the Shabooh Shoobah era worth checking out.

    Thanks for posting all the info about this show!

    1. Thanks for checking it out Nick. I will have to check out that INXS b-Side!!

  2. I remember seeing this and sometimes wondered if I was the only one who did. The episodes which stuck in my mind were when the Honey Drippers (Plant, Setzer) covered Elvis's 'Santa Claus is Back in Town'. The other one was when Les Paul and Jeff Beck traded blues solos and Paul pulled the plug on Beck when he started doing wang bar riffs. I finally found video of this...

    1. I think Jeff Beck released part of his performance on a Dvd as bonus material. Thanks for link. I'll check it out.
      The Plant/Setzer performance was from SNL hosted by Eddie Murphy in 1984

  3. Molly Hatchet playing "Fall of the Peacemaker" for 11 1/2 minutes on Rock-n-Roll Tonight in 1983 on their "No Guts No Glory" tour

  4. Who was the lady that done the band intros after commercial ???