october 1984

I don’t care. I like dressing like a guy. I love it. When I was modeling I used to do pictures where I would dress up like my little brother. No makeup and I looked like a boy. [..] Very passé. The future is no sex.  You can be a boy, a girl, whatever you want. I have a lot of man in me.  I have just as much woman in me as I have man. It’s just a matter of channeling the energy into which way you use it.
—  Grace Jones, Interview Magazine October 1984
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FireBall Chapter 4: Personal Scout SEED. Non-scale model. From MJ magazine, October 1984. Illustrations on the second page are a lot closer to the production Monoseed toy than the model. The face on the front just cracks me up, “…but I’m a friendly war machine…” As an aside, has anyone ever run across references to the illustrator Pentagon before? Would love to know who it might be…

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1. Debbie Allen Jet magazine cover- October 1984 with husband norm, daughter Vivian.

2. Donna Summer  with her daughter on the cover of Ebony magazine, October 1977.

3. “Dreamgirls” on Broadway in late 1981, the cast – Loretta Devine, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Jennifer Holliday – appeared on the cover of the May 1982 cover of Ebony magazine!

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Prince Notebook

A wire-bound notebook used by Prince at the St. Paul Civic Center during rehearsals in preparation for his Purple Rain Tour. The three-subject notebook with blue cover has been written on multiple pages by Prince and with notes to and from members of The Revolution. The notes in Prince’s hand include a to-do list, multiple budgets, a floor plan and list of tools, a notation about bible verse, and various contacts and phone numbers. A small number of notes are written to or regarding Mark Brown, bass guitarist for The Revolution. A photocopied page of information on Cavallo, Ruffalo & Fargnoli Management stationery regarding hotel accommodations dated October 9, 1984, has been laid into the notebook.

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On this day in music history: October 29, 1984 - “Welcome To The Pleasuredome”, the debut album by Frankie Goes To Hollywood is released. Produced by Trevor Horn, it is recorded at The Manor Studios in Shipton-on-Cherwell, Oxfordshire, UK and SARM West Studios in Notting Hill, London, UK from July 1983 - July 1984. The eighteen track double LP set features the Liverpool dance-pop bands’ first four hit singles including “Relax” (#1 UK, #10 US Pop), “Two Tribes” (#1 UK, #48 US Pop), and “The Power Of Love” (#1 UK) which make them the second band in UK chart history to have their first three singles reach number one on the UK singles chart (fellow Liverpudlian natives Gerry & The Pacemakers are the first to achieve that feat in 1963 - 64). The album is a huge success upon its release in their home country, receiving advance orders of over a million copies in the UK alone. Though a hit on US dance floors during its initial release in late 1983, “Relax” takes more than a year to reach the top 10 on the US singles charts (peaking in March of 1985). After being featured in the comedy “Police Academy” and Brian DePalma thriller “Body Double” (with the band performing the song in the film), Island Records in the US reissues and re-promotes the single in late 1984 to coincide with the albums release. The band’s second single “Two Tribes” is accompanied by a highly memorable music video directed by Godley & Creme (The Police, Herbie Hancock, U2) that feature actors that are look a likes of then US President Ronald Reagan and Russian Premier Konstantin Chernenko. It depicts the two world leaders literally wrestling and battling for world control in an arena, ending with the destruction of the earth.  The album is also the subject of major controversy when it is later revealed that the band did not actually play their own instruments on it, with those roles being filled by studio musicians including Art Of Noise members J.J. Jeczalik and Anne Dudley, producer Trevor Horn (bass), Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin, and former Yes guitarist Steve Howe. Original pressings of the album feature a painting by artist Lawrence Cole on the back cover of animals copulating with their genitalia fully visible. The artwork is censored on later reissues with fig leaves superimposed over the “offending” images. In 2014 to commemorate its thirtieth anniversary, ZTT Records issues a limited edition boxed edition of the album, featuring a remastered version of the original double album, plus additional CD’s, vinyl and digital downloads with the numerous remixes of the singles, a DVD featuring music videos and a cassette single. “Welcome To The Pleasuredome” in the UK enters the UK album chart at number one and is certified 3x Platinum, peaking at number thirty three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On 26 October, 1984, a man called Gunther Stoll was discovered naked in his car, smelling of alcohol. The car was in a ditch and Stoll was severely injured and at first, it appeared as though this was just a traffic accident. Stoll died while on the way to the hospital. It was discovered during his autopsy that Stoll had been run over before being put back into his car. Another bizarre aspect to the case was that a note was found beside the man which read “YOGTZE” - nobody has been able to discover what this word could possibly mean as it isn’t a legitimate word in any language. It could possibly be an acronym or encryption, but if so, nobody has been able to crack it. Stoll had often spoken to his wife about “them” and how “they” intended to hurt him, and the day before Stoll died, he had declared to his wife: “Now I get it!” before writing down the strange word and leaving the house. The case and the meaning behind the bizarre note still remain a mystery and even to this day, people are still trying to solve it.

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On this day in music history: October 15, 1984 - “Stop Making Sense”, the seventh album by Talking Heads is released. Produced by Gary Goetzman, it is recorded at The Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, CA in December 1983. Recorded during the tour in support of the bands then current album “Speaking In Tongues”, the album is issued as the companion piece to the live concert film directed by Jonathan Demme (“The Silence Of The Lambs”, “Philadelphia”). The band’s main line up is augmented with additional musicians including Bernie Worrell (keyboards), Alex Weir (guitar), Lynn Mabry and Ednah Holt (backing vocals). The original LP release contains only nine songs and is heavily edited in order to fit it on one album, and also comes wrapped in a full color picture book. In 1999, an expanded edition of the album is released featuring the complete performance, matching the contents of the fifteenth anniversary theatrical re-release of the film. “Stop Making Sense” peaks at number forty one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.