About the BackToThe80s Guys
BackToThe80s.com is brought to you by three guys with a deep appreciation
music of the 1980s: Will Nicholes, Randy Monnin and
Michael S. Miller. The three
first worked together in the early 1990s on the University of Toledo student
newspaper as writers and editors of the Arts & Life section. Among the early
highlights: a review of a Steve Miller concert (in which, for some reason, Steve
left the “black panties with an angel’s face” line out of
“Abracadabra”) and a
review of the then-new Yes boxed set berating the band for leaving out
“Leave It.” (For this and more inexplicable “greatest hits” omissions, check out our
Greatest Misses page.)
After the three outgrew the student newspaper,
they started their own arts and entertainment magazine, Spectrum, in which their
love of ’80s music was still visible. A couple of years after the conclusion of
that project, they reunited, this time as radio DJs, to host “Lost in the
a celebration of the big hits and lost classics (and the first show of its kind
on the WXUT airwaves.)
With BackToThe80s.com, they hope to recapture the
spirit of the decade of greed and decadence with fun features, compilation
reviews, and song, album and artist profiles. Take a look around, and let us
know what you think!
Will began his love affair with pop music at the age of four with a 45 RPM
record of “A Fifth of Beethoven” and a portable record player. By the age of
ten, his collection of 45s had expanded to include Bucker and Garcia’s “Pac-Man
Fever,” and “Elvira” by the Oak Ridge Boys. By the following year, his musical
tastes had dramatically improved, as had his record collection, which now
boasted “Abracadabra” and “Centerfold.”
By 1986, cassette tapes (mostly Duran
Duran, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna, with a few one-hit wonders thrown in for good
measure) had begun to outnumber the records in his collection. Although the 45s
and tapes have since between (mostly) replaced by CDs, the music of the ’80s
still remains the favorite part of his music collection today.
As the youngest of three brothers, Randy expected his musical tastes to have
been well nurtured as a child. However, his earliest record collection of Bobby
Bare’s “Singin’ in the Kitchen,” C.W. McCall’s “Convoy,” Tom T.
Hall’s “Sneaky Snake,” and “Dancing Queen” by Abba would indicate otherwise. In 1982, he
bought his last 45, the Oak Ridge Boys’ “Elvira.” The following week, his house
got hooked up with MTV and his musical tastes were immediately changed.
Growing up as a child of MTV, watching the flavor of the week
during MTV’s golden age, Randy has always regarded ’80s music among his
favorites. Early videos such as “Once In A Lifetime,” “Sweet Dreams,” and
Blinded Me With Science” topped off his daily consumption of images and synths.
Songs where the words didn’t matter, the name of the band didn’t matter, neither
did the instruments they played nor how well they played them; if the song had a
good beat, a catchy hook, and a great video - that’s Randy’s ’80s music.
was raised on Beatles and Hillbilly music by such titans of
the Ozarks as Bobby Bare and Tom T. Hall.
While sneaking a radio into the
basement to hear the “Star Wars” theme by John Williams on a Toledo, OH,
Sunday AM Top 40 show, he discovered that his parents were right; Rock and
Roll is corrupting and dangerous. Michael immediately began a love affair
with pop music, and remembers his dad throwing away a 45 of “Roxanne” by The
Police, an act of parental suppression which, like all such maneuvers,
strengthened the son’s love for the contraband.
A weekly trip to a
record store that served bars and sold used 45s for 25 cents fed a record
collection that at its zenith embraced everything synth and pop, especially
releases with cool picture sleeves. The sleeve to “My Sharona” remains a
The ’80s remain a lucid and powerful era in
mind, with a soundtrack running through every failed seduction and most of
the successful ones. Michael has never indulged in the “drugs” part of
“sex, drugs and Rock and Roll,” but two out of three ain’t bad.