Aint Gonna Eat My Mind

Aint Gonna Eat My Mind is all about Bronx Gangs in the 1970s

Aint Gonna Eat My Mind was a short documentary style program made for public television. It illustrates the struggles of growing up and dealing with the increasing violent world of the Bronx in the 1970s. This was a time when crime and gangs seemed out of control. But what was the cause? Did people facing it want a solution?

The answer was, of course they did, and “Aint Gonna Eat My Mind” attempted to give the young people trapped in this world the ability to speak to those outside of it. In addition to young gang members and others caught in the crossfire of this dangerous world, we also hear from the education side of things. We learn unsurprisingly, that it is difficult to get a cycle of education going when things seem hopeless due to an uncontrolled avalanche of crime, drugs and violence. And that if people want things to be different, something deeper would have to change. This is something that I imagine is still applicable over three decades later.

As a bonus you get to see New York City as it used to be. When I visit NYC now, it is hard to believe that this is even the same place.

Watch Aint Gonna Eat My Mind

If this history intrigues you, I would also suggest you check out the more modern documentary Rubble Kings. A much older Karate Charlie from Aint Gonna Eat My Mind also makes an appearance to offer insight in retrospect.

Cinderella Chili Dog Commercial

They made a Cinderella Chili Dog Commercial?

When the band Cinderella was still a rising force in the nascent hair metal scene, they starred in a local commercial for Pat’s. Located in the Philadelphia area, where Cinderella was also based at the time, the commercial seemed like natural synergy. The band could make some extra money and get some free advertising for their new album. Pat’s on the other hand could attempt to attract all those hungry kids who were stumbling out of music clubs late at night. While the Cinderella Chili Dog Commercial ran only locally on Mtv in the area, it has since gone on to become a cult hit on the internet.

When I first heard it a couple of years ago, I was smitten. I cannot claim to be a fan of Cinderella, but this was something special. Music being used to sell chili dogs. A movement I can get behind no matter what the genre of music.

The band sings a song all about Pat’s and its amazing hot dogs. While the song is a big redundant, I think it is cassingle worthy. It should have at least been a B-side.

Sadly Pat’s didn’t stay in business. I guess the wave of grunge that swept hair metal away also damaged chili dog sales. Damn you Nirvana! Pat’s Chili Dogs had two locations. The one at Route 420 and McDade Boulevard in Folsom, PA and a second on Route 291 in Lester, PA. Both locations were open 24 hours a day. So you could rock out to your favorite metal bands and get stuffed whenever you needed.

Watch the world-famous Cinderella Chili Dog Commercial

Now I know after one watching, you don’t know the jingle by heart. But admit it, you can’t help yourself from singing “Pat’s dogs!” That might be because some of the lyrics are a little hard to decipher? Here is my attempt to decipher them.

Hey, we’re Cinderella for Pat’s Chili Dogs!
Pat’s Dogs!
The cook is never tired!
Pat’s Dogs!
The Steam is always fired!
Two locations rockin’ all night
We ????? ???? Lester????
Pat’s Dogs!
Pat’s Chili Dogs!
Pat’s Dogs!
Pat’s Chili Dogs!

Superman Anti-Smoking PSA

Superman Anti-Smoking PSA

If a Superman Anti-Smoking PSA couldn’t convince you to not try smoking as a kid, I am not sure what could. These ads are not familiar to me. I never saw them when I was growing, but I believe they were created in the UK. At least that is what I would guess from the accents. One things for sure, these kids aren’t from New Jersey. I, like many people, discovered them when they started being posted on the internet.

According to online sources, the Superman Anti-Smoking PSAs were created specifically for the Health Education Council and their anti-smoking campaign. They were animated by Eric Goldberg for the Richard Williams Studio. Goldberg is an American animator who has worked for both Warner Bros and Disney. At Disney he worked on Aladdin, Hercules, Pocahontas and much more.

Superman would appear with the villainous Nick O’Teen in multiple print and broadcast PSAs. The print ads included a form you could send in to get more info about not smoking. The print ads are okay, but these animated PSAs really shine. You can find out more about the Superman Anti-Smoking Print Ads which were written about right here on the site by Hayden Yale.

What makes them great? Well, the animation is solid and Nick O’Teen is a surprisingly creepy villain. The voice acting on Superman leaves something to be desired. At times he almost sounds Russian and all the time he sounds like someone trying to do an American accent. For some reason, hearing this faux accent on Superman makes me very happy.

My favorite PSA is the first one you will see in the video below. It is very much like all the PSAs, but has some nice touches that make it great. For one, Superman appears to kill Nick O’Teen. He picks him up and I assume like so many problems he has to face, simply throws it into the Sun. A solution to problems I wish I had access to.

Then Superman discusses how he knows cigarettes are bad for people. He is using his X-ray vision to look inside of us. While doing so he sees our cancer ravaged lungs and is disturbed.

This makes me wonder about something I am sure many Superman fans have wondered about. How often does he use his X-ray vision? More importantly what is the effect of using this vision on the poor people he has sworn to protect?

I was never much a of a reader of the Superman comic, but I would guess that Superman’s X-ray vision is only X-ray in name alone. Something people understand just by name. The power itself, which really couldn’t work the way X-rays work since it requires film and stuff, is something a lot more complicated.

Still, I do love that he mentions the power and that Superman is always watching us. Not just on the outside, but the inside as well.

Watch this wonderful collection of Superman Anti-Smoking PSAs

Retroist Rubik the Amazing Cube Podcast

Retroist Rubik the Amazing Cube Podcast

Welcome to the Retroist Rubik the Amazing Cube Podcast. On today’s show I start off by talking about the dark urges one feels when challenged to solve a puzzle they are not capable of solving. Needless to say, it is not pretty. After I unburden myself of this, I move onto the subject of the podcast. I talk about this glorious underrated animated gem from the 1980s. Which I honestly love despite its ludicrous writing and plot. During the show, I discuss the production, talent and much more.

Vic Sage is back on the show with a “Why Should I know this person.” This time Vic talks all about the very talented Michael Bell. metagirl wades through the not vast number of episodes to bring you the Retroist Top 5 episodes of Rubik the Amazing Cube.

This episode was originally released as part of the supporter series. I think enough time has gone by that other people might enjoy giving it a listen.

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Listen and download the Retroist Rubik the Amazing Cube Podcast


Thanks for listening to the show and I hope you have a great weekend.

Grand Lizard Pinball

Grand Lizard Pinball

Last week I got to remove another machine from my Pinball Bucket List, Grand Lizard Pinball. This was a game had some vague memories of playing as a kid, but could not nail down what I liked about it. It became very apparent when I started playing it. Grand Lizard Pinball, while a simpler machine, has some evocative sound and lighting design that I just find irresistible.

The theme of Grand Lizard Pinball is Heavy Metal-esque. Muscled warriors fighting mace wielding mandrills and rescuing scantily clad damsels. The whole time a boss battle with the titular Grand Lizard looms large.

Gameplay is easy to control. It has two levels of play, Magna-Save and a variable sized multi-ball. I like this style of multi-ball because you can “control” the number of balls locked away through skill.

But as I mentioned, the real star of the show is the sound and lighting. Grand Lizard is a crazy combo of driving drum beat and constant chatter that when turned up to full volume can rule an arcade. That combined with some dramatic lighting schemes, including some complete darkness on the playfield, makes an oddly compelling combination. One that just had me pumping quarter after quarter into this machine.

According to programmer Ed Suchocki, “Bill Parod was the sound designer on this game. The background drum music was the first time that Williams games used digitized audio samples for music. After Bill worked on Grand Lizard, he improved his technique of digitized music samples on the High Speed pinball game.”

After spending about 10 dollars on the game, I took some photos. They don’t really capture the majesty of the game, but hopefully the video I post after the photos will shine some light on this wonderful machine.

Enjoy some photos of Grand Lizard Pinball


Watch Grand Lizard Pinball in action

Are you in Seattle?


The Seattle area has a lot of great retro arcades and the city itself is home to a couple that focus solely on pinball. So knocking out my bucket list has really been a simple “wait and see” game. Grand Lizard Pinball appeared at Flip, Flip, Ding, Ding. Which is a two-story arcade in the Georgetown neighborhood catering to the 21+ crowd. While they focus mostly on pinball machines, they do have a couple of retro arcade machines available. So if you are in the area why not check them out and make sure to try Grand Lizard while you are there. Line starts behind me.

Merry Christmas Santa Claus (You're A Lovely Guy)

Max Headroom sings Merry Christmas Santa Claus (You’re A Lovely Guy)

Some songs get released and are quickly forgotten. That is a shame when that song SHOULD become a holiday classic. In 1986, the song by Max Headroom, Merry Christmas Santa Claus (You’re A Lovely Guy) was released and unfortunately did not take the world by storm. Why you ask?

Let’s assume it isn’t because of the quality. I admit, that is a bit questionable. So if it is not that, maybe it was too late? Max made his splash in 1984 and really peaked in popularity from 1985 to early 1986. So while I am sure this song was recorded earlier in 1986, by the Winter momentum had petered out. It was released as a single on Chrysalis records with the B side, Gimme Shades. Which was more of a country-esque song. While both songs can be found on the single, only Merry Christmas Santa Claus (You’re A Lovely Guy) has been posted online in a decent video and recorded form.

Gimme Shades and other songs have been posted online, but only as rips from the Max Headroom Christmas Show.

Now the song might not be a holiday classic, but it is a great sometimes forgotten piece of the 1980s. And this video? Well this video, just like most things starring ol’ Max is just plain magical. There is something extra compelling about seeing Max try to fit into a holiday template. It is almost a little jarring and grating, but it makes for an excellent take-off on holiday specials and their music. Not everyone was meant to sing a holiday classic and Max brings that home as he plays with all the holiday special tropes. Enjoy.

Watch Max Headroom sing Merry Christmas Santa Claus (You’re A Lovely Guy)

COMET TV Movies

What COMET TV Movies will be available this December

A few weeks ago, I talked about my enjoyment of COMET TV. Since then I have started receiving email from COMET that breaks down what they will be showing for the month. December is looking pretty good for COMET TV Movies, starting with the upcoming weekend where they will be showing Buckaroo Banzai! If you would like more information about COMET TV, visit their website and sign up for their mailing list.

What COMET TV Movies can you watch this month?

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (1984)

Friday December 9 at 8/7C

Saturday December 10 at 8/7C

Monday December 12 at MIDNIGHT/11C

Friday December 16 at 4/3C

Saturday December 24 at Noon/11C

Beyond the Door III (1990)

Wednesday December 21 at 10am/9C

Saturday December 17 at 10/9C

Saturday December 31 at 6/5C

The Black Cat (1984)

Wednesday December 7 at 4/3C

Tuesday December  13 2am/1C

Tuesday December 20 Noon/11C

Blacula (1972)

Thursday December 15 MIDNIGHT/11C

Tuesday December 20 MIDNIGHT/11C

Critters (1986)

Tuesday December 13 at Noon/11C

Sunday December 18 at 4/3C

Wednesday December 21 at 6/5C

Critters 4 (1992)

Thursday December 15 at Noon/11C

Sunday December 18 at 6/5C

Monday December 19 at 4/3C

Dark Tower (1987)

Saturday December 10 at 2am/1C

Saturday December 24 at 2am/1C

Daughters of Satan (1972)

Saturday December 24 at 6/5C

Thursday December 29 at Noon/11C

Delirious (1991)

Wednesday December 7 at 10am/9C

Saturday December 10 at Midnight/11C

Friday December 16 at 6/5C

Saturday December 24 at 10am/9C

Deranged (1974)

Monday December 19 at MIDNIGHT/11C

Donovan’s Brain (1953)

Tuesday December 6 at 10am/9C

Saturday December 17 at 2am/1C

Tuesday December 27 at 2am/1C

Encounter at Raven’s Gate (1990)

Tuesday December 13 at 10am/9C

Flash Gordon (1980)

Friday December 30 at 8/7C

Saturday December 31 at 8/7C

Frogs (1972)

Saturday December 17 at 2/1C

Tuesday December 20 at 4/3C

Thursday December 22 at MIDNIGHT/11C

Friday December 30 at MIDNIGHT/11C

Gog (1954)

Monday November 21 at 4/3C

The Haunted House of Horror (1970)

Saturday December 24 at 2/1C

I.F.O. (1986)

Saturday December 31 at 2am/1C

K-9000 (1991)

Monday December 12 at 2am/1C

Tuesday December 27 at MIDNIGHT/11C

Mac and Me (1988)

Friday December 23 at 6/5C

Motel Hell (1980)

Saturday December 17 at 6/5C

New Year’s Evil (1980)

Saturday December 31 at MIDNIGHT/11C

Portrait of an Escort (1980)

Saturday December 31 at 10am/9C

Retroactive (1997)

Sunday December 18 at 2/1C

Scream, Blacula, Scream (1973)

Saturday December 10 at 4/3C

Species (1995)

Saturday December 10 at Noon/11C

Wednesday December 14 at 2am/1C

Squirm (1976)

Saturday December 17 at 4/3C

Thursday December 22 at 2am/1C

Friday December 30 at 2am/1C

Tank Girl (1995)

Friday December 23 at 8/7C

Saturday December 24 at 8/7C

Timebomb (1991)

Saturday December 10 at 10/9C

Timestalkers (1987)

Friday December 16 at 10am/9C

To All a Good Night (1983)

Saturday December 24 at 10/11C

The Twonky (1953)

Sunday December 11 at Noon/11C

Wolfen (1981)

Friday December 16 at 8/7C

Saturday December 17 at 8/7C