Music News & Reviews

Totally awesome retro acts

Dave Wakeling
Dave Wakeling

Oh. My. Gawd.

There’s this show coming to the Madonna Inn? And it’s, like, totally bitchin’, ‘cause it’s got all these rad bands from the ’80s. And the ’80s were, like, so classic because it had MTV, Molly Ringwald and some gnarly hairdos.

So, anyway, this show? It features FIVE different ’80s bands in one night, which makes you, like, “No way,” right? But, like — totally way.

It’s called “That 80s Thing,” and it features Berlin, The English Beat, Missing Persons, Bow Wow Wow and the Fixx. Some say they’re all past their prime, but what-everrrr.

Here’s why they’re all so totally excellent.


Ironically, the L.A.-based synth pop group’s biggest hit was also the song that split the band. When producer Giorgio Moroder asked the band if they wanted to record “Take My Breath Away” for the movie “Top Gun,” bassist John Crawford said he didn’t want to do someone else’s song. But the record label had another view. The song became a huge hit, making Berlin a stadium-rock attraction. But as soon as its tour with Frankie Goes to Hollywood ended, Berlin split, “Take My Breath Away” being the final nail in the coffin.

Today, lead singer Terri Nunn is the only original member.


Terry Bozzio, a former member of Frank Zappa’s backing band, met Dale Consalvi, an ex-Playboy bunny, at a recording studio in Hollywood. Later, the two — along with other Zappa alums — began performing together. Consalvi, who would marry Bozzio, became the face of the band, who notched singles like “Words” and “Destination Unknown.” But when Today Dale Bozzio and guitarist Warren the Bozzios broke up, so too did the band.

Cuccurullo are the only original members.


At their height, the Fixx toured with the Police, sang songs on Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” album and had hits with tunes like “One Thing Leads to Another,” “Saved by Zero” and “Our We Ourselves.” But by the ’90s, this synth-driven group from London took a break to raise families. Today it tours with its original lineup.


Singer and guitarist Dave Wakeling was working for Greenpeace in the ’90s when Elvis Costello talked him into returning to music. Soon Wakeling was back with his ska-influenced band, The English Beat. With a kitschy logo made even more popular when worn by Sting in the Police video “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” English Beat had its biggest hit with “Save It For Later.”

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune