Just north of Point Pleasant, West Virginia is 8,000+ acres that was once home to a US Army facility dedicated to the manufacturing of ammunition and explosives during World War II. The $45 Million project was only operational from 1942 to the end of the war in 1945 and employed around 3,500 people during the peak of operations. The explosives for safety reasons were stored in bunkers or “igloos” that were strategically scattered across the territory and hidden by a thick layer of earth to prevent being spotted from the air. The plant was disposed of shortly after the war and the surrounding land was utilized for a landfill, the Mason County Airport, an industrial park, and the McClintic Wildlife Management Area. This area is most famously known as the location of the first sighting of a cryptid known as “The Mothman” in November 1966. During the late 70’s a fisherman reported red water seepage at the site and in 1981 TNT, DNT, and other contaminates from the WWII operations were discovered. In September of 1983 the site was included on the EPA’s National Priorities List making it eligible for the cleanup under the Superfund program. It was then listed as West Virginia’s top priority site and one of the top ten polluted in the entire country.
On this day in music history: April 14, 1983 - “Let’s Dance”, the fifteenth studio album by David Bowie is released. Produced by Nile Rodgers and David Bowie, it is recorded at The Power Station in New York City in December 1982. Newly signed to EMI Records, Bowie collaborates with producer and musician Nile Rodgers (of The Chic Organization). Rodgers assembles a group of top notch musicians that feature his Chic band mates Bernard Edwards (bass), Tony Thompson (drums), Rob Sabino (keyboards) and Sammy Figueroa (percussion) as well as Omar Hakim (drums), Carmine Rojas (bass), Rodgers himself on guitar. During the sessions, Bowie brings a then virtually unknown blues guitarist named Stevie Ray Vaughan into the studio to play lead guitar. The singer had seen Vaughan only a few months before performing in Montreux, Switzerland. Dazzled by his virtuoso blues guitar playing, Bowie invites Stevie Ray to play on “Let’s Dance”. The guitarist makes quick work of his contributions, laying down his lead parts within a few takes. Vaughan’s stand out playing on the album’s hit singles is one of the catalysts in launching him into stardom in 1983. Led by Nile Rodgers’ production expertise, the album is recorded and mixed in only seventeen days. The end result of the sessions is the most commercially successful album of Bowie’s career. It spins off three singles including “China Girl” (#10 Pop), “Modern Love” (#14 Pop), and the chart topping title track. Bowie supports the album with the “Serious Moonlight World Tour” during 1983, his first concert tour in over five years. A full length home video of the show filmed in Vancouver, BC, Canada (on September 12, 1983) is released in 1984, and is nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Long Form in 1985. The album has been reissued on CD three times, in 1995, 1998 and the most reissue issue in 2003 as a hybrid SACD. “Let’s Dance” hits number one on the UK album chart, peaking number four on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
As well as dividing the city down the middle, the Berlin Wall also cut off West Berlin from the surrounding countryside. This scene is looking over the Wall south of Buckow, and the West Berlin district of Lichtenrade can be seen centre right. The two bicycles parked against the guardhouse show that there are two grepos (border police) inside. Taken in September 1983.
So this latest episode, Ash Beach, we got more information on 1983. But it dawned on me, “I remember something with 1983 and the world ending.”
Let’s go to September 26th, 1983
At a Russian Military Base, there’s an alert of nukes coming from America. Line of command gets to Stanislav Petrov. He decides to not report it. Same thing happens later, and he has the same reaction.
There was a computer error that made it seem like there were nukes, but there wasn’t any. We avoided nuclear war in 1983.
Thus, on November 7, 1983, as Soviet intelligence services were attempting to detect the early signs of a nuclear attack, NATO began to simulate one. The exercise, codenamed Able Archer, involved numerous NATO allies and simulated NATO’s Command, Control, and Communications (C³) procedures during a nuclear war. Some Soviet leaders, because of the preceding world events and the exercise’s particularly realistic nature, feared that the exercise was a cover for an actual attack.
Okay so I’ve seen people talking about 1983 alternative universe but I haven’t seen anyone mention Night Vale’s Russian Sister City: Nulogosork.
Nulogosork got stuck in 1983, remember? Night Vale kept sending letters but Nulogosork’s replies were always in 1983 until they lost contact in 1997 (for NV anyway). Apart from the fact that according to a Night Vale Journal Article in a submarine that turned up, Nulogosork was destroyed by an atomic bomb in late September 1983. But Cecil found the article for the same date (Sept 24th) and it was a completely different headline.
There’s definitely an alternative universe that ended, or was at least partially destroyed, in 1983 and some of the wreckage is leaking through into Night Vale. I wanna analyse it more later with other episodes mentioning alternative universes, but I want to point out now that it has something to do with the sea. Ash Beach with a mysterious sea brings memories, a seafaring submarine arrives impossibly in the Sand Wastes. The sea is washing up bits of a world that ended in 1983.
On this day in music history: May 29, 1984 - “Private Dancer”, the fifth solo album by Tina Turner is released. Produced by Terry Britten, Carter, Rupert Hine, Martyn Ware and Greg Walsh, it is recorded at Abbey Road Studios, CBS Studios, Mayfair Studios, Wessex Studios, Good Earth Studios in London and The Farmyard Studios in Cotswolds, Oxfordshire, UK from September 1983, March 1984. By the 80’s, Tina Turner is still in the process of rebuilding her career after divorcing her former husband Ike Turner in 1976. With the help of her new manager Roger Davies, Turner is signed by Capitol Records. Before she can make a record for the label, Tina is nearly dropped by Capitol when new management comes in. Fate intervenes when David Bowie (newly signed to Capitol’s parent label EMI at the time) is having dinner with label executives in New York City. As dinner concludes, Bowie tells them “I’m off to see my favorite singer, Tina Turner”. The execs go with Bowie to see Turner perform at The Ritz, and witness Tina’s electrifying live performance. Not only do they reverse their decision to drop her, they put her in the studio immediately to record. For her first release, Tina works with Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh of Heaven 17 on a cover of Al Green’s classic “Let’s Stay Together” (#3 R&B, #26 Pop, #1 Club Play). After the success of that single, Capitol Records requests a full album from Turner as quickly as possible to capitalize on it. The bulk of the albums tracks are recorded and mixed in just seven days in England, with A&R man John “Carter” Carter supervising and gathering material. The album features support from a number of high profile musicians including Jeff Beck, Wilton Felder, Joe Sample, Dire Straits, and The Fixx. “Dancer” spins off five hit singles including “What’s Love Got To Do With It” (#1 Pop, #2 R&B), “Better Be Good To Me” (#5 Pop, #6 R&B), and the title track (#3 R&B, #7 Pop). “Private Dancer” spends one week at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, and peaking at number three on the Top 200. “Dancer” is nominated for six Grammy Awards (winning four) including Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year in 1985. Subsequent US reissues of the album replace the original cover LP and cassette photo with the inner sleeve image (used on international issues and the US CD as the front cover) with Turner sitting in a chair with a black cat at her feet. The album is remastered and reissued for its thirtieth anniversary in 2015 as a two disc deluxe edition. The first disc contains the original ten song album (US LP and cassette contained nine tracks), with the second disc featuring fifteen bonus tracks including B-sides, 12" mixes and live recordings. “Private Dancer” is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.