It was thirty years ago today when 87 Men (formerly The Jerks) opened for Modern English at Augustana College.
It was also my best friend, Chris Vasquez’s birthday.
That was a fun and wild night that lasted until the next morning. The lead singer of the band was really cool, coming up to us after the concert and asking us if everything was okay. Later, we ended up at the Mad Hatter in Davenport, Iowa and then someone’s house and a party that was still going on the next morning.
87 Men, which already had a loyal fan base in the Quad Cities (thanks to all those shows they played at the Mad Hatter), pumped up the crowd (which included a large contingency from the Illinois Valley). It was also the first time for Chris and Tony Innis to play with Dick Verucchi and Alan Thacker. Who would have thought two years earlier that two members of the Libido Boys would team up with two members of Buckacre/The Jerks/87 Men?
After a grueling 58 hours of continuous play, John McAllister of Seattle, Washington officially became the best Asteroids player on the planet by scoring an unthinkable 41,338,740 points in the classic 1979 coin-op arcade game. The previous mark of 41,336,440 was set by Scott Safran back in 1982—the longest standing record in gaming—and was considered virtually unbreakable.
Way to go Joe!
Wow, I was just happy to make it to the next level on the ones I used to play at Friday’s or Murphy’s—two bars that I frequented on Water Street in Peru, Illinois back in the early 80s and also where The Jerks, Longshot, and The Libido Boys played. Of course, I was usually pretty well tanked when I played; hence the low scores.
"Three young airmen start their Air Force careers at Howard AFB in the Panama Canal Zone in the 1970s. A fascinating adventure unravels as they become involved with Panama's nightlife during the intense times of the Panama Canal Treaty negotiations. Contains mature subject matter." - That is my thumbnail-teaser/description of the book. The author, like myself, was stationed at Howard AFB in the 1970's, which lends a personal authenticity to his story. But that's not all. Mr. Miller went the extra mile and included the Panamanian and Zonian perspectives (along with the U.S. serviceman's) in the historical background of the narrative. That is vital to an unbiased work, whether it be fiction or nonfiction. His storytelling is so good that it supersedes any of the nostalgic traps that could befall a lesser writer. Yes, those of us who were there will see ourselves on the page, but those who weren't will find that this just breathes more life into the characters. A fascinating story full of surprises!