Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday 80s Flashback for December 13, 2013

Rock 'n' Roll Christmas Guitar from the Embroidery Library (

[Rockin' the Winter Holidays] -- I missed posting a Flashback last week. I was a bit busy between work and my 25 Days of Winter Holiday Trivia. I'm back this week, though, and I'm serving up a trio of hard hitting, but not necessarily jolly, 80s Christmas tunes. And, now that we've passed the halfway mark to Christmas, it's not a moment too soon for this holiday treat. Now, these songs won't necessarily be everyone's cup of cheer, but they will certainly keep you warm between snow squalls. So, if you're ready to enjoy a few audio stocking stuffers, you can read and hear more after the break. 

Flashback #1"Christmas vacation you took a vacation from me, from me."

I'm sure when I was very young, my Christmas memories were a blur of early morning rising, plowing through brightly printed wrapping paper, and playing with new toys. After I was a little older, lets say somewhere around the age of student driving, my memory expanded the holiday beyond a single morning and embraced the joys of Christmas vacation, otherwise known as the winter break. Speaking of breaks, sometimes a holiday break included a little breaking of the heart as well. With "Christmas Vacation," the Descendents offer up a tuneful depiction of a relationship that's gone down the crapper. It can be found on the band's third studio album, I Don't Want to Grow Up (1985). 

Flashback #2"I loved you from the start | 'Cause Christmas ain't the time for breaking each other's heart."

Our next Flashback is "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)" by The Ramones. It first appeared as the B-side to their 1987 single, "I Wanna Live." Two years later, it found a place on the band's 11th studio album, Brain Drain (1989). Unfortunately, it failed to chart in either the US or the UK. It has, however, done a bit better since the demise of the Ramones. Perhaps by taking on an afterlife, this song is also a ghost of Christmas Past -- our 80s past, and that of each argument we ever regretted. 

Flashback #3"Friday is the 13th to 24th | It's not so long to go."

Our final Flashback of the day is the bouncy, albeit ultimately depressing, "Dead by Xmas" by Hanoi Rocks. Now, if there is a band whose name is synonymous with merriment and frivolity, it is not Hanoi Rocks. Well, maybe frivolity, but not of the holiday persuasion. However, there probably isn't a more aptly titled album in their entire discography than Self Destruction Blues (1982). Now, "Dead by Xmas" was actually released as a standalone single in 1981, before their second album was released. But it wasn't featured on an LP until Self Destruction Blues. The song tells a decidedly non-Christmas horror story in which the narrator sings, "I'll be dead by X-mas now anyway." Some have claimed it predicted the death of Hanoi Rocks' drummer, Razzle, who died in a car crash in December 1984. Guitarist Andy McCoy, however, simply says it's a tale of something that could happen, not necessarily something that did (or would) happen. Whatever the truth behind the song, it certainly seems appropriate for a Friday the 13th in December.

Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the archives. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

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I'll see you in seven!

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