Month: February 2019 (Page 1 of 2)

Reaching for the Stars, Vol. 22

Chart Week: November 6, 1976
Song: “The Rubberband Man” – The Spinners
Chart Position: #15, 9th week on the chart. Peaked at #2 for three weeks in December.

As promised, our first journey into the 1970s occasionally. This is the perfect jam to make that deeper run into the chart history.

As I’ve said many times in the past, my parents listened to a lot of soul, R&B, urban, or Black music, whatever you want to call it. Within their record collection were albums from both mainstream artists like Stevie Wonder and The Commodores and more traditional soul outfits like The Spinners. So I go way back with these cats. It’s obvious why they were in my parents’ stack of albums: they simply made great songs.

I always had a special affinity for this song. My five-year-old mind took the song rather literally and imagined a cartoon character made from a rubber band. He was a totally 70s dude, big cheesy smile on his face, wearing some funky shoes, bouncing around town fighting crime, going on adventures, making kids happy, or whatever. To me this song wasn’t much different than songs like “Kung Fu Fighting” or “Disco Duck,” which was #2 on this week’s chart.

Turns out the song was originally called “The Fat Man” and was written by Thom Bell in an attempt to give his son, who was overweight, a boost of self-confidence. Man, the 70s were a weird time. Someone, I don’t know if it was Bell or one of the Spinners, realized a better title might be in order and somehow they landed on The Rubberband Man. That probably made Bell’s son feel better than a song with the word fat in the title.

Fast forward a few years, probably to the spring of 1981. I was watching the NBC pregame show for the college basketball game of the week and they ran a feature on Tulsa’s Paul Pressey, who had been given the nickname “Rubberband Man” because of his dunking prowess. The piece featured clips of some of his best dunks over the song from which he earned his name.

Spinners song + cool nickname + generic 1980s dunks = very excited (almost) 10-year-old me! Paul Pressey was probably my sixth favorite basketball player on the planet that spring, behind Magic, Kareem, Darnell Valentine, Tony Guy, and Phil Ford. Which was kind of weird because I’ll guarantee you in our no-cable-having days I never saw Pressey play other than in that 2–3 minute NBC feature.

I remember being so inspired that I sat down and drew my version of the Rubberband Man, which came from those mental images I had put together five years earlier. I drew a long, twisted rubber band with a wink on his face, floppy basketball socks and Converse high tops, reaching for the rim to throw down a dunk. I was not a very artistic kid, but I guarantee this was the greatest picture I ever drew. I’m bummed I didn’t save it so I could prove it.

Anyway, great song, fun memories. And this video? Holy shit!

(BTW, I wondered if I had ever written about this before. [Turns out I had]. But I’m not not posting this, so if your memory is good enough to remember a post from almost 10 years ago, my apologies for wasting your time.)

Title Season

Well, here we are: three games left in the Big 12 season and after pounding Kansas State last night, Kansas is a game out of first place, needing to both sweep through their last three games and get some serious help if they want to extend The Streak to 15. In years past I’d say there was a 75% chance that KU would pull it off. This year, though? I think it is 25% at best.

Despite what KU did to K-State last night and despite K-State’s injury issues, I think the Wildcats will rebound at home against Baylor Saturday then match KU’s win at TCU next Monday and that should do it. Throw in the likelihood that KU blows at least one of their two road games in Oklahoma and the math just does not work.

That terrible loss in Morgantown in late January may very well end up being the difference. Which, the way KU played for most of that game, they don’t deserve to win the title.

Let’s not forget about Texas Tech, though. If they win out they will earn at least a share of the title. A K-State loss puts Tech in the driver’s seat, but they have games at TCU and Iowa State to get through, which is the most difficult path of the three teams at the top of the standings.

I’ve said since KU got waxed in Ames in their second conference game of the year and lost Udoka Azubuike for the season that same weekend that The Streak was over. I still think that’s the case. But it is nice to at least stay in the conversation until the closing week of the schedule.

I’ve been thinking all season about who I would be most comfortable with ending The Streak. Some of this comes down to my general feelings for each program. But mostly it’s about who coaches the other nine teams in the conference.

So here are my power rankings of what Big 12 coach I most/least want to end The Streak.

1 – Chris Beard, Texas Tech. Really good coach, is doing great things to build a program in a tough location, and seems like a generally solid dude.
2 – Steve Prohm, Iowa State. Probably my favorite coach other than Bill Self in the conference. I like his inventiveness and ability to get his teams to play beautiful ball on the offensive end.
3 – Lon Kruger, Oklahoma. Second-best coach in the conference. Was nice to me once. Everyone likes him. ‘Nuff said.
4 – Mike Boynton, Oklahoma State. He’s kind of the “Meh” coach of the Big 12. Yeah, be beat KU twice last year, but the Cowboys haven’t done much yet in his tenure so I have no strong feelings about him.
5 – Bob Huggins, West Virginia. I hate the dude during games, but so many people say that away from the court he’s a totally different person. He slots in here mostly because I dislike everyone behind him even more.
6 – Jamie Dixon, TCU. Dixon really should be Boynton: kind of meh. But he just seems like a straight-up dick.
7 – Scott Drew, Baylor. For some reason Bill Self has softened in his feelings regarding Drew. It may be because of the two guys below Scott joining the conference. It may be because Self’s wife told him to stop hating on Drew. It may be because Drew has made efforts to cultivate Self’s friendship. Regardless, I still think he’s a big phony.
8 – Shaka Smart, Texas. A fraud built on the worst game played by a Kansas team in the last 20 years. I hope Texas never fires him.
9 – Bruce Weber, Kansas State. At our old house we had a neighbor who went to K-State. He was not a big sports guy; he follows the NFL closely but otherwise cedes the family allegiances to his wife, who is a UNC alum. We had dinner together last year during the K-State Elite 8 game and I think I paid more attention to it than he did. I told him I hated Bruce Weber and he asked why, genuinely curious because he admitted he knew almost nothing about him. I began my answer with an acknowledgement: Weber is a really good coach. But it’s everything else about him that causes me to hate him.

It’s the standing five feet out on the court, waving his arms, and screaming during games. It’s his whining before, during, and after games (and even in the off season). It’s his easy use of excuses when something goes wrong. It’s his thin skin. It’s his inferiority complex regarding Self that goes back to his bizarre behavior the year he took over for Self at Illinois. Throw all that together and it’s just damn hard to respect him no matter what his teams do. Put that guy as head coach of your in-state rival and that all turns into hate.

Quick aside: I have a friend who played football at Purdue when Weber was an assistant there. Once summer this friend lived with some basketball players and Weber was the coach in charge of checking up on them. An assignment he apparently relished. I was hanging out with this friend a year or two back and we flipped by a K-State game. Totally unprompted my friend said, “Man, isn’t Weber just the worst?” I thought that summed Weber up nicely.

If K-State is the team that breaks The Streak, that will kind of suck. But growing up in Missouri I’ve never had super strong feelings about KSU. I hate them on game day, but I can also easily root for them if it somehow helps KU. I have K-State friends and I will be happy for them if they get to celebrate a conference title in about a week.

But Weber? Man, if he’s the coach the finally breaks The Streak? That’s going to fucking suck, because he’s going to walk around like he just won three straight national titles. Can you imagine what a smug asshole he’s going to be? I guess the only good thing about it is that Self clearly does not like him at all, and will become obsessed with just destroying K-State next year to remind Weber who is boss.

Friday Playlist

“Blankets” – Craig Finn. This is the first time I’ve really enjoyed one of Finn’s solo songs. It may make me reconsider his entire solo catalog. But I’ll likely just got back and listen to classic Hold Steady tracks.

“Heart Attack Kid” – Ben Kweller. Kweller disappeared for awhile. This is a pretty solid return.

“Devil May Care” – Son Volt. Jay Farrar is always gonna Jay Farrar.

“F the NRA” – The Coathangers. No explanation needed.

“Kiss” – Prince. I didn’t have a video lined up so I just randomly scrolled through my Spotify catalog until something caught my eye. I remember how mind blowing this song and video were. Around the World In A Day was nothing like Purple Rain, and this track showed that Parade was going to be nothing like either of them. For all the accolades we heap on Prince’s career, I think the most amazing thing about his peak – 1983-1987 – was that every album in that stretch went in a completely different direction. Another thing I noticed while looking at the track listing for Parade was that Prince was never afraid to load up side two. I feel like Parade is kind of a forgotten album. But that side two is amazing.

Neighborhood Golf Association

This mini-documentary hits a lot of things I like: photography, golf, beautiful eccentrics to name three. It made me both happy and sad as I watched it.

Fair warning: plenty of NSFW language in this piece.

Via Kottke

Reader’s Notebook, 2/19/19

I’ve dillied and dallied a bit on these, so some quick recaps of my four most recent books.


Beastie Boys Book – Michael Diamond and Adam Horowitz Simply one of the best music memoirs ever published. I’m being 100% honest, not funny at all. This book is equally hilarious, poignant, thoughtful, and moving. Mike D and Ad Rock tell the band’s story from their early days cruising the seedier parts of New York’s hardcore scene, through their transformation into rappers, and then through their massive, international success. They write of the good and the bad. And they give great respect to the one Beastie who isn’t around to tell his story anymore, MCA. A must read for Gen Xers who grew up on the Beasties and that first wave of hip hop.


How It Happened – Michael Koryta Another book by a local author I found on a list late last year, this is a terrific thriller. It is one of those mystery novels where most of the answers are given in the opening pages, but then Koryta jumbles up the parts and has you guessing if what you think happened really happened. Much of it is fairly standard, thriller fare, but done quite well.


Friday Black – Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Adjei-Brenyah is a young author who is getting tremendous attention for his early works. Notably George Saunders, a giant in American literature, has championed this first collection.

It is difficult to describe or categorize this set of short stories. They are futuristic, but only pushed slightly into the future. Maybe even just months in the future. There are elements of fantasy in many of the stories. Not as in dragon and elves and whatnot, but simply in the broadness of possibility that Adjei-Brenyah introduces into his stories. There is a strong send of fatalism, and an equally healthy dose of farce and humor.

I struggled to connect with a couple of the stories. But most of them moved me. The only problem with the book is that he put what I believe to be the best story first, “The Finklestein 5.” It is a perfect example of the balance he builds into his stories. Parts of it are utterly ridiculous: the entire nation is on edge after a white man was acquitted of killing five black children with a chainsaw because he felt threatened by their presence. Not only was he acquitted, but the verdict came down in less than an hour. Parts of it are chilling, too, though. Based on several recent, notable trials, are we really that far away from something like this happening?

What sticks with you about the story, though, is the aftermath of the verdict. Black people are beginning to arm themselves and attack random white people, shouting out the names of the Finklestein 5 as they do so. Something about that feels very third world and primitive. But, given that there are many, many people in the highest seats of power in this country who seem intent on fanning the flames of racial hatred, I wonder how far are we from the point where personal violence moves from random to organized?

He resolves the story in a way that confirms our humanity. I hope that humanity is there in all of us if our country ever spirals too far down the path of madness.


Dream On – John Richardson I’m sick of winter. I want to be outside enjoying some good weather. I’d like to pick up that late summer/early fall re-ignition of my interest in golf. So I figured this book would be a good way to satisfy some of that.

Richardson grew up playing solid golf in Northern Ireland, getting to a 15 handicap as a teenager before school, career, and family turned his game to crap. For ten years he kicked around the idea that any golfer could spend a year practicing and playing hard and get to the point where they could shoot a single round under par. Single round is the key. This isn’t about getting your handicap to scratch. One round, one day, you break par.

He gives it a shot. He makes it, by the barest of margins: a one-under round in the final week of his year-long challenge. Along the way he nearly drove his wife insane, neglected his career and forced himself to step aside from the company he helped to build, and hit a shit-load of golf balls.

I have pretty reasonable goals if I begin to play regularly: get my game to the point where any of my friends who belong to a golf club would not be embarrassed to invite me along for a round. But Richardson’s process and progress still provided some guideposts to whatever plan I come up with for the spring and summer.


Abandoned
Reservoir 13 – John McGregor.
Just six weeks in and already an abandoned book. You may recall that I read the companion piece to this, The Reservoir Tapes, late last year and really enjoyed it. So I was really looking forward to this.

But, whoa, it was a total miss.

Both books relate to the disappearance of a teenage girl in a rural English town. Where Tapes were small sketches of the various characters from the original story, Reservoir 13 was all about the community in which the disappearance took place. Each chapter lays out dozens of small details in the life of the village over the course of a year. Everything from the search for the girl, to her family’s reactions, to how the town church vicar brings people together, to a crumbling marriage, to a lonely teacher, to the elements of nature, like foxes, badgers, and birds and how their lives adjust to the seasons. No facet of the story gets more than a couple paragraphs, and each chapter begins with the fireworks of New Year’s Eve.

It was strange. And then off-putting. And then I just had to quit. I stuck with it for four or five chapters, but when I got to another chapter and read about someone else’s NYE fireworks, I gave up.

Fun With Utilities

Have I mentioned my issues with our gas, water, and sewer utility before? Well, I’m about to!

These people suck. Seriously.

Here’s a list of the issues we’ve gone through with them over the past eight months.

First, our builder did not drop any grass seed until the week that the water line was supposed to be connected. They had a firm date from the utility – this was the week we reached a deal to buy the house – and leveled the torn up ground and then covered it with seed. They also planted some small bushes and ornamentals. And then the water line did not get put in. For 10 days. When it was crazy hot and dry.

Thus, our yard looked like shit all summer, more weeds than grass because all that seed had died. Which, you know, whatever: unless you’re laying sod you figure it’s going to take a couple seasons to get the yard in good shape. But, still, would have been nice for the first summer not to be a total waste. The bushes held on, only because our builder came over every night and watered them until we closed.

Next, when we opened our account with them we signed up for all the easiest stuff: budget pay so our bill only changes once per year, auto pay so we don’t have to think about the payment going through, and paperless billing so we don’t get a bill we won’t really look at. Each month I got an email with the amount due and confirmation that that amount would be paid on date X.

Well, we never went online to look at our bill until deep into August. When we did, we found that A) they hadn’t been checking our water meter and B) they hadn’t switched the sewer service to our name with the gas and water. We actually discovered B because we got a message from the accounting department at our builder that said, “Hey, dumbass, get this fixed.”

So I call and talk to a few people, several of whom seem befuddled that our gas meter would get read but not our water meter. Finally I reached someone in the meter reading department and he knew what was up. “I bet,” he said with a hint of ‘Ah-ha!’ to his voice, “that your meter got covered up when the landscaping was done. I’ll send someone out to locate it, uncover it, and you should be good.”

Magic!

In October we got a bill that, sure enough, appeared to be for about three months of water. All fixed, right?

Well, no. See, the thing is, our water line comes in from under the main street our house sits off of. And they put the water meter way out by that street, roughly 200 feet from our house. I don’t think it was ever buried; the meter reader just looked around our house, couldn’t find it, and gave up. In fact, when I first called they said he had marked it as “Behind fence.” We have no fence. Anyway, I found it by following a straight line from where the line comes into our house to where they tore up the street last June. There it was, painted blue by whoever had come out to locate it.

In November our gas meter was read, but not our water meter. Now, sometimes a meter won’t get read because of the weather. So, dumbly, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and another month. Oh, and our November bill was estimated based on our previous month’s bill. Which, you may recall, covered three months of service. So we were billed for three months of water/sewer in November.

December was going to be correct, right?

WRONG!

Once again, no water meter read, we were billed for another three months of service.

So I hop on the phone and work my way to the right people again. The guy I spoke with in the meter reading department couldn’t have been nicer. When I told him how high our bill was because we had been billed for, basically, six months of water in two months, he promised to send someone out that week to take a new reading and said to call back in a week to get an updated bill. He also, allegedly, put notes into “the system” that would let the readers know exactly where our meter was located.

You will no doubt be shocked to learn that when I called the next week to get an updated bill, no new reading had taken place! In fact, the lady I spoke with said the man who informed me there would be a new reading and a new bill “never should have said that.” Oh, goodie. She reviewed our account and said we should have gotten some kind of notice from them that the meter was not readable, but since that letter was never sent, she gave us a credit of $150. She was very nice, and I hoped this would be my final call.

Just to be safe, when meter read day rolled around in January, I took no chances. I cleared the snow off of our meter. I put a big, bright orange, yard stake next to it. And I put a poster board sign next to our gas meter that said the water meter was located behind the big tree, marked by a stake. And then I hoped for the best.

Miracle of miracles, they actually read our damn water meter in January! All that estimated use got backed out and we went from a $550 balance to a credit balance of nearly $200. I sent thoughts of thanks out to the folks that had helped us.

Last week was meter read day. I put the sign out again. I made sure the yard stake was still by the meter. Saturday I got the email saying our bill was ready. You probably never would have guessed this, but they didn’t read the water meter! And in order to do the estimated read, they had to go back to our last read. Which, if you’ve been following closely, you will remember covered three months of use. So we’re back to up a $500-some balance.

I was not getting back on the phone and sitting through hold music, then bouncing around until I was connected with the “right” person again. I went to the website and looked for some other way to send in feedback. I found a page that you can add comments and submit them. I carefully typed out the whole history of this disaster and pasted it into the text box. When I tried to hit Submit, I got an error message that said “Comments may only contain letters and numbers.”

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

My message didn’t have any weird symbols or ancient ruins in it. I took out the dollar signs where I noted what we had been charged and tried again. Nothing. I Find/Replaced every punctuation mark with empty spaces. Goodbye periods, question marks, and commas. And good grammar, for crying out loud. But, again, no luck.

Over in the corner of the screen there was one of those annoying “Need Help? Let’s Chat!” buttons. I clicked on it. “Sheryl” said she’d be glad to help me. Since I knew she was just the front door, there was no way I was going to lay out the whole story. So I just told her about the issue I was having with the website. After a pause her response was, “I’ll let IT know. Try again in 30 minutes.”

OHHHHHHH, FUCK YOU “SHERYL”!

I was literally banging my desk as hard as I could with the palm of my hand. All we want to do is pay the appropriate amount for the water we use. Should it really be this hard?

I guess I’ll try again in 30 minutes. And next month, on meter read day, I might set up a chair next to our gas meter and wait for that motherfucker to come and force his lazy ass to walk out and check the water meter too. I have a baseball bat. I’m tall. I can be intimidating.

BTW, the house next to us remains for sale. There was an open house yesterday and we strolled over to take a peek, since we knew they had staged it for this one. As we walked up the driveway, I saw their water meter, also 200 feet from their house. If anyone ever buys that house my head will literally explode if they have a perfect water bill their first month there, and each one after.

Friday Playlist

It’s been a rough few musical days, another time when we have been reminded that painful music is sometimes a product of truly painful lives.

On Wednesday The New York Times ran a story in which several women accused Ryan Adams of abusive behavior. Phoebe Bridgers and Adams’ ex-wife Mandy Moore both went on record about their relationships with Adams and the pain he inflicted upon them. Worst, the article suggested than he engaged in a highly inappropriate, on-line relationship with a musician that began when the girl was only 14. 

That was bad. Real bad. Then Thursday came. Natalie Prass, Courtney Jaye, and Liz Phair all confirmed they had been the subject of Adams’ abuse. The FBI opened an investigation into the relationship with the minor. And his record company postponed indefinitely the release of his album Big Colors, which was to be the first of three albums Adams released this year. 

These revelations were disgusting and disappointing. I’ve grown to love Adams’ music over the past four or five years. He’s one of the three artists I’ve listened to most over that span. What struck me most about his music was his emotional honesty: the way he laid out his pain so boldly and clearly on his songs. He wasn’t quite as frank as Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison, but the effect was often similar.

But now we’ve learned that “emotional honesty” was the product of a diseased mind. That pain he was laying out on his songs was often used to guilt women into bending to his will. He forced them into relationships they did not want. He torpedoed their own careers because of his insecurities. There’s no justification for his behavior. It makes me feel sad, and honestly pretty dirty, for liking his music so much. 

But mostly I feel for the women who have been the subject of his abuse. And I wonder how many more there are. I’ve played songs by several artists over the years that have worked with him and have not come forward. I don’t want to include them in this playlist, hoping that they avoided his advances. But let this group of songs stand for all the women who had their lives messed up by Adams.

Peace to them all.

“Scott Street” – Phoebe Bridgers

“Short Court Style” – Natalie Prass

“Can’t Behave” – Courtney Jaye

“Distant Shore” – Karen Elson

“Never Said” – Liz Phair

“Invisible Ink (Rebecca’s Demo)” – Mandy Moore

Some Notes

A couple smaller things smashed into one post today.


First, there’s just too much information out there. I know this is, like, a devastatingly deep and original opinion, but that’s why I have a blog, people.

Wait, I’m not talking about the general flood of information we swim through each day. I’m talking about the maddening process of trying to buy pretty much anything.

Example: our printer is dying. So I go on the webzzz to do some research on what garbage printer we should buy for the next 18–24 months.[1] I find a couple articles, on reputable sites, that lay out various options. I hone in on a couple and head over to Amazon to check the user reviews. And here’s where we run into issues.

Try to buy anything, especially an electronic device, and you have to wade through a sea of terrible reviews. You think you’ve found a winning printer, camera, whatever, and then you see five people give it one-star reviews based on some terrible flaw. “Printer literally ate my child. WOULD NOT BUY AGAIN!!!111!!!” Are these five people out of a million, or five out of 200? What is worth the gamble?

This problem really came to a head this week as the first new printer we ordered did not work. I unpacked it, plugged it in, followed the instructions, and it got stuck in an error code loop I could not get out of. I tried everything I could find online, but nothing fixed the issue. And this error kept me from doing anything. I couldn’t connect to a computer to try to override it. I couldn’t just cancel out and try to make it work around it. Nuthin’.

Luckily since it was an Amazon purchase, I flagged it as defective, sent it back, and began the process again. We have a new printer coming tomorrow. It was highly recommended by several websites. It also got slammed in the Amazon reviews. So we’ll see…


Next, a follow-up note to yesterday’s Reaching for the Stars post. My Top 40 listening habits have changed a little and, thus, I’m adjusting my writing related to those shows.

You may recall on New Years Eve day I rediscovered the iHeart Radio station that plays old AT40’s continuously. I really enjoyed hearing their replays of the Top 100s of each year in the 80s that week. And I’ve continued to listen to that station. It’s kind of become my default background music. In the morning I have our Sonos speaker in the kitchen tune to that station and keep it on until the girls get home. When I pass through the kitchen throughout the day, it’s fun to hear a few minutes of whatever countdown is on. I swear the station is trolling me though, as they are constantly playing shows from 1984. I’m almost disappointed when I hear an ‘84 show I’ve heard so many lately.

As you would expect, my brain is always spinning and highlighting little Casey tidbits in these countdowns. Since these countdowns are random, they don’t always match up with the calendar week the way the ones on my local FM station or SiriusXM do. But, since I’m listening to them, it seems like I should go ahead and write about them.

So, going forward, there will likely be some Reaching for the Stars posts that are from the iHeart Radio station and from different parts of the year. The bonus is I might get more sweet, 1970s action going on in those posts!


  1. Seriously, all home printers are trash.  ↩

Reaching for the Stars, Vol. 21

Chart Week: February 12, 1983
Song: “Down Under” – Men at Work
Chart Position: #1, 15th week on the chart. Spent four non-consecutive weeks at #1 in January and February.

If you’ve paid very close attention to my music posts over the years, you may recall that I kicked around a project in which I would find the best single weekly top 10 of the 1980s. A couple summers back I spent a few nights scrolling through top 10s and marking down my favorites as I watched Royals games. I still have that list but have never gotten around to diving into it.

This week would likely be on that list. It’s a monster, with some very 1980s outliers that bring it down.

At #10 was Phil Collins’ cover of “You Can’t Hurry Love,” which I have always loved, even when I grew to really dislike much of his music.

Number 9 was “Stray Cat Strut,” by The Stray Cats. A song I liked a lot back in the day, would be fine skipping over today, but can still acknowledge its place in 80s music history.

Number 8, “Rock the Casbah.” The peak of The Only Band That Matters’ biggest US hit.

Number 7, the first outlier: “You And I” by Eddie Rabbit and Crystal Gayle. Blech.

Number 6, “Maneater” by Hall and Oates. One of their biggest and best songs and a former #1.

At #5, Toto’s “Africa,” which slipped after spending one week at #1. Still a great song, even if you’re sick of Weezer’s version.

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band’s “Shame on the Moon” was at #4. Not his best, nor one I’m thrilled to hear.

Number 3, Marvin Gaye’s last hit, the legendary “Sexual Healing.”

At #2 was, RIP, James Ingram and Patti Austin’s lovely “Baby, Come To Me.” In a decade full of cheesy, duet ballads, this was one of the few truly great ones. It reached #1 a week later.

And then at #1 this week was “Down Under,” which spent three weeks at #1 the previous month, dropped behind “Africa” for a week, then reclaimed the top spot for one more week. Men at Work, and this song, seemed kitschy and silly at the time. But this song became one of the iconic songs of the decade.

So that’s a pretty good top 10, right? But it has me thinking I need to dive back into that list I made two summers ago. Because I know there are weeks better than this. In fact, many of those weeks came later in 1983, when Michael Jackson took over the charts.

One more thing…this is one of those shows I remember hearing back in 1983. How do I remember this one? Well, before playing “Down Under,” Casey shared a story of how their manager got CBS Australia to sign them. He put signs all over the CBS offices that said “Men At Work.” Fake constructions signs. Signs in hallways. He would glue phone receivers to their bases and slap a “Men at Work” sticker on them. That’s one of those details I’ve never forgotten, and I vividly remember sitting at our kitchen table on a (likely) cold early afternoon back in ’83 and hearing that anecdote for the first time.

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