Movie Month's third tasting comes from the 1989 classic/disappointment/dud The Wizard, starring Fred Savage, Beau Bridges, Christian Slater and more. The movie may have flopped as well as the Nintendo Power Glove it promoted, but "Send Me an Angel" from its soundtrack became a hit for Australian outfit Real Life not once, but twice! We chat with frontman and synth wizard David Sterry about the songs popularity, its rebirth as a remix, and more.
- The Inaugural Great Song Pod Video Game Gauntlet
- The chance meetup that led "Send Me an Angel" to American success
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Turn up the radio and sing a long time for another Great Song. This is the Great Song Podcast. Season's greetings and welcome once again to the Great Song Podcast. I'm Rob Alley , and I am JP Moser. Did you say JD? I said J.P.. I am J.P. Moser and we're here to celebrate. This is J.P. Moser, Joseph
We're here to celebrate the greatest songs in modern music. We're going to tell you what makes them great, why we think they're awesome and why you should to JP how you doing today, man, man, I am doing fantastic, Rob. Okay. So the song we're covering today was made popular in two films could have gone with rad the bicycle movie with Lori Loughlin, probably the more popular of the two.
I don't know, maybe it's arguable, but the one we chose to cover is arguably the greatest video game movie ever made. At least in my mind, I can't think of a better way. I mean, from the 1989 movie, the wizard starring Fred Savage, Jenny Lewis and Christian Slater, little boat, bridges action thrown in. We can talk about what song we're talking about, but I definitely want to go a video game, Nintendo episode, heavy on this.
But Rob, tell him about what song we're talking about, and then I'm going to pitch an idea for you. All right. This is send me an angel by real life from the movie.
All right guys, that's a great cutoff there. Nice job. And make sure you hang around to the end. Cause we're hanging out with David Sterry lead singer of real life. It's going to be a lot of fun and I'm going to pitch this idea to Rob between sections. I want us to pause and go play a regular Nintendo game.
So I have. In my house, a video game system that has every regular Nintendo game. So we're going to take, it's amazing. He's underselling it. It's a huge, it's a custom cabinet with literally every it's every, every every Sega Genesis PlayStations till two. But anyway, so we're going to pause for 30 seconds and come back and tell you what game we played.
Here we go. Let's go pick one. All right. Well we're back. That was exciting. Me and Rob chose Jordan versus bird three point shootout and Rob put the heart in on me. Have Larry legend shooting up those drain in those trays. Well, the 7, 12, 7 wasn't even a ball game, bird defeats, bird against bird. Cause only bird plays, bird and bird.
So yeah. Bring us back yet. Okay. So send me an angel. The version we actually listened to this song has been released twice and lived two very full lives. And, but it hit both times. It was released originally in 1983 by the band real life on their album Heartland. It went to number 29 on the billboard hot 100 in the U S and number 22 on the U S cash box.
Top 100 number 18 in Canada. It went number one in New Zealand and west Germany. Number two in somewhere else. I think it's supposed to be Switzerland. I think I just wrote New Zealand again, but I think it's Switzerland. And number six in Australia, the 1989 version, which is the version that we listened to.
And the version that is in the wizard went to number 26 on the hot 100. So actually chartered a little higher than the. Number 20 on the cash box. Number three on the billboard hot dance charts and number five on the billboard club play charts. So a legit hit both times. Same song, just different mix, a little more.
Maybe a little more aggressive in the 1989 version, I guess. Should we play the 83 version? Let's do this just by the way. Not to be confused with calling all angels. How do you talk to an angel angel by Aerosmith? Shaggy angel. Here's the original,
Just a little different mix. Let me get it further into it.
One thing that really stands out in this version,
that clap sound on the previous version is really clappy. It's almost too much. It's really hot in the mix. There reminds me of the the like I don't can't remember what it's called even from my percussion days in high school, but there's this big piece of two pieces of wood on a, on a. Swivel kind of thing on a, when you call to get them together.
And it makes us the biggest, most obnoxious sound and they always use it at Christmas time when they're singing. There's a birthday party at very gray. I would've picked pass around the coffee and the pump. Yeah. I just couldn't think of whatever the, whatever the lyric was, but on sleigh ride
right. And it, but it's what all the percussion kids wanted to play. Like give me the freaking woodblocks because it was literally just like, just hit it as hard as you wanted. So that was always big fun in the Christmas thing. But the, in the 89 version, that is a different sound. It's like a synth synthy sound and it's a little bit more back in the mix and it's a little easier to stomach I that when I was like, that's too much, I don't, it's big in there.
I'll tell you something else about this song. You could easily, well, let me, okay. Let me get back in the verse here and I'll go to the I'll go back to the 89 version. Here we go. You can easily mistake the first verse of this for a Michael W. Smith song,
especially the pre-chorus melody. I feel like
oh, that's the answer? The radio edit. So it's structured a little, a little differently. You don't have to be picture perfect. Okay. I tell you something else that jumped out to me on this is. There's a melody thing here where he jumps an octave plus a minor third for absolutely no reason. Not necessary at all.
It's like, why did you do that? That's hard. It's not even a high thing. It's from low to mid range. Okay. So let's, let's listen real close here.
on my, on my burning hot, that's an octave and a, and a flat third when it's like Y you know, like not necessary at all. He didn't need to do the, on my, that low yeah. Open fire. Oh, my Burnie just kept that same note. You know what I mean? So the fire dropping octave on my Burnie. It's really interesting choice to make something I would have never done it.
It's cool. Well, why do you do that? That's good. Good ear. I got some stuff on the movie real quick. Okay. Let's take a quick break and talk about the movie, the Wiz. Oh, well, since I said, take a break. Do you want to play another game? Let's go play up real quick. All right. So we're back. We played a game that neither of us had played against each other.
Cause we're trying to do head to head games. We played karate kid and I got the fortunate chance to be Daniel Sohn and I win. I win. One with a kick to the jejunum anyway, so I will on that one. So we're even one-to-one I lost, I was mid air and you kicked me, kicked me right in the crotch. Yeah.
So I crank kicks, but not really the crane kick. Yeah. It's a body bag and there may be reference. Okay. So the movie, I watched it last night just to get ready for this. It's been a while since I've seen it, but basic premise, little kid, Jimi woods, he suffers from some, from some PTSD after his twin sister drowned trouble, child runs away to keep up with his runs away with his half-brother.
Who's played by Fred Savage. They go to Reno. They enter this video game contest. So many facts about how they found out he's good at these video games, but whatever, watch the movie, you can figure that out. Tobey Maguire Rob mentioned in there has got this and he's an uncredited extra. Awful little kid mullet and he just stands there.
It's it's hilarious. So Jimmy makes it to the finals. They unveil a new game, which happens to be Mario three and somehow Fred Savage, his character Corey and Jenny Lewis, that character Haley they know about warp zones and how the game works and everything, even though it's a brand new game, they're like find the warm zone, use the whistle and it's this brand new game.
So the concept, it's basically an ad for an Nintendo. Essentially the whole movie is based social studio and Nintendo for universal studios. Nintendo. Yeah. They go to the king Kong thing and everything, Tendo power. They talk about it in there and the power glove, the power glove. Now this song is sandwiched between you got it, the right stuff by new kids on the block.
Yup. And hanging tough by new kids on the bus. Two of Rob's favorites. I got to say, I'm an unabashed old school, new kids on the block. And I don't mind, I was going to point out actually, some of the other music on this movie because the soundtrack is so varied. It goes from new kids on the block to real life, to Martha and the Vandellas to Paul Kerrick, Paul characters on their former guests of the Great Song, Bobby.
Paul Anka and then Patsy Cline and the BoDeans. So the girl on there that does the last song. I could, you have the soundtrack pulled up, Sally, Dworsky my way. So that girl ended up being the voice of Nala and the lion king. Oh, no kidding. And the original she's the adult voice of Nala and the line, the adult Nala.
Wow. And she does some, did some other, I need to be clear about what you just said. He's not talking about the adult version of the line. Now don't go looking for the adult version of the lion king. No, no, no, no. I'm don't even know that that's out there, but I'm a hundred percent sure it is. You know what I mean?
Don't, that's not what we're discussing. You don't want to see scar and you don't want to hear the music from it anyway. So anyway. Great, great movie. I love the movie. It's got a 29 on rotten tomatoes. It's actually not that great. I guess if you're going to be critical, but I love it. I made my wife watch it with me last night and she she suffered through it, but she's like, it's one of those.
If you grew up in the eighties. Exactly. It's a cult. If you grew up in the eighties and you played video games in the eighties, like I remember where I watched this movie for the first time. Like that's it's so it's a it's heart feels for me, it's heartstrings in it. And, and I remembered how cool I thought the song was when they got on the back of the guys on the motorcycles, which is where this song plays.
And it's right before Fred Savage character is drinking this green canteen that I had the exact same green canteen. And I was like, dude, this is so cool. Not gone Reno or bust I'm him. So yeah, anyway, so let me throw a few facts from the movie out about this that may bring it into some further context.
Okay. First of all, here's a little bit backstory on how the movie, how and why the movie got made. Okay. And this, this kind of blew my mind during 1988, a shortage of rom chip. That's like computer chips, microchips and the preparation of a version of super Mario is to super Mario brothers two for the west delayed several of Nintendo's game releases in north America.
This is a Wikipedia by the way, the delayed products included super Mario brothers three and Zelda to the adventure of link. The delay presented Nintendo with an opportunity to promote the game in a feature film in 1989, Tom Pollock of universal studios approached Nintendo of America's marketing department about a video game film inspired by a Nintendo video game competitions, Pollock envisioned here's here.
It is a video game version of. For younger audiences. This is the video game version of the who's Tommy, which is about pinball and came out in that wizard. This is the pinball wizard of the wizard, the wizard. Oh, pinpoint. So that makes the thing make more sense as to why, what is this? Right. And then I read another thing literally that said the original pitch for the movie.
Now, I don't know if this is true. This is from like, I am DB. So I don't know if this is like something somebody just submitted as an anecdotal thing or if this is true, but it basically said the original pitch for the movie was the karate kid, but with video games. Okay. You know, it's competition, it's the whole thing.
Okay. So more stuff from the wizard. Lucas plays rad racer the character Lucas plays rad racer with his power glove. He presses five keys that each play a different musical note. Can you sing it off the top of your head? Heck no. Okay. All right. The five sequential tones is the famous five tone musical phrase in a major scale that the aliens in close encounters of the third kind used to communicate with the earthlings and vice-versa let's see.
Okay. The truck that Spanky I love this fact is from over the top, it's the same truck. I noticed it. And I was like, holy cow. That's the same truck from over the top. Another one of my favorite movies, which I've talked with Rob about. We have to cover something from that movie and it still has Hawk written on it on the side of it.
If you, you can barely see it when he gets out to fight the guy. Yeah. Let's see, during the video Armageddon finals, the competition finals, the last game he used is super Mario brothers three. And it was actually meant to be revealed in the film before the game was released. The the, I mean, it, it was revealed in the film before the games was released.
The movie showed the first glimpses of the game, and some people claimed that it was you know, influential in the game success. I say that game was awesome. And I still remember the first time I saw the commercial for it and how hype I got in the kid stands. One kid chanting Mario, Mario, Mario, and it backs up more and more kids Mario.
And it's the whole world, and it's got a Mario face on it and I want to play it. That's the first game. Okay. That was the very first one that I know. I beat it at my beat the game at my friend Steven Bridges house. We stayed up all night. Asterisk doesn't count because he had a game genie. Oh. So that's cut for those we to know what a game genie is.
You could have like unlimited logs. And so that was the code that we picked and I stayed up, we stayed up all night and I beat Mario three. And that was the first game I ever beat. You never good in the hall of fame? Asterisk. That's my steroid. Dang. Okay. Let's see how about I do have a list. Oh, from Nintendo life.
Okay. The 10 greatest games ranked by Nintendo life of the, just the greatest NES games from that system, from that system. So this is from the original Nintendo, the original NES. This is not my opinion. This is not, this is voted on by the editors scientific Nintendo life and their poll. Number 10 ninja guidance to great game.
Number nine, punch out, which there's two versions. It's either Mike Tyson or the other Sandman. No, it was, I forget what it was, Mr. Wonderful. Or something like that. Maybe I'm making that up, but right now, so punch out either version number eight, mega man three. Okay. Fantastic. Number seven. Duck tails. Okay.
Oh yeah. Number six. Duck tails to wow. Never played duck tail. I don't even think I knew there was one number five, super tech mobile, probably mafia. Number four legend of Zelda, number three, Contra with the original Konami code. You remember it up, up, down, down left, right left. Right. B a star select. I think it's just start.
I don't think it's select start, but yeah. Anyway, the Konami code, you could get 30 extra lives. So that was the thing there. Number two, mega man two, and number one, super Mario brothers three is the greatest game. Mega man, two mega man. Great game. The second greatest game. It was the first mega man game that I had.
I had two and three And then I had, I had several of those and lists punch out for me. Oh, that's my favorite probably be super Mario three would probably be number one for me, just because of everything that it was wrapped up in one thing. But then I think punch out would be a close number two. Yeah, I go, Mike, Tyson's punch out.
Number one. Super tech mobile. Number two. That's my one too. I don't think I ever played tech mobile. Do you want to let's pause. Here we go. Grab three. We'll come back and meet the.
So let's just say what happened here. I was like, this is my second favorite game ever. And then Rob one play, we played basically sudden death rules, kind of the overtime rules in college. And Rob goes freaking Montana to rice for one play, one shot, one kill. So for the sake of time, it worked out 25 yards, one play, one shot, one kill.
So Rob's played one play of offense and tech mobile and beat me. So there you go. So anyway, great game. Where are we going? We're going to meet the band. Yeah, I split the jingles, make the bank. Hey, let's meet the man. It's time to meet the man. Hey mama. Let's beat the man.
we're going to meet the band that played on this track. On keys and violin, Richard did music for the movie, the hooker girl at the heart of the hooker with a heart of gold. That's the only thing I could find by him other than real life stuff. I don't want to tell you to go pick up the hooker with a heart of gold, but he did that.
I'm on base and no shoes in this. If you're watching the video, no shoes on this guy, Alan Johnson. He was also in a band called I'm going to call it exciter. It may be Exeter, but it's spelled E X, C I T E R. It should be exciter. Is that exciter I'm going to go with exciter on that. He plays an ominous Sr 5 0 5 and a Dean M L metal man base.
I have a five. I'm an Sr five of five. Oh, there you go. Boom. There you go. Andre, he got some cool bass slides in there. Really prominent in the song. Yeah, I like it. On drums, Danny Simon In he's now playing with a, a gentleman known as Dave Evans, who y'all may know as the original lead singer of ACDC.
So before bond, Scott was a guy named Dave Evans. He's in a band now called Dave Evans and the thunder down under. So he is now the drummer for them. Interesting. That's an interesting segue from there. So that's the band and then David Sterry on lead vocals and lead guitar, which we will talk to at the end.
So make sure you hang around for that. Let's go a little bit more on real life. They are an Australian new wave synth pop band originally called the wires, which I think is a cool name. Actually, I liked that a lot. I'm surprised that nobody has sort of successfully broken through with that name.
It just seems like a name that there would have been a band that, you know, called the wires it's, you know, whatever. Let's see. They had a drum machine named Gloria. Oh, they apparently not, not called Gloria. Like this is the Yamaha Gloria. They just named, they had one that they named Gloria, like who was it?
Oh, gosh. Oh, sister Hazel. Like they had a van named Clavon right? The, these guys had a drum machine named Gloria and after hearing an early version of send me an angel, the group's manager, Glenn Wheatley was so impressed that he formed his own label. Wheatley records to release it as a single in early 83, the band then signed a curb for worldwide distribution.
So smart move on the part of the manager to go. Wow. And an cool, cool of him. I assume. I don't know if things went well after all that, how it went from them to curb. Right. But he saw dollar signs for everybody and made the leap and said, I believe in this song, I'm going to be the label that, that puts it out.
So and then they signed to curb and, and got it worldwide. And then it came out again, six years later and everybody loved it again. They're like, oh yeah, I love that. Let's see what else we got. I got a little section here on the power glove, just a few. Facts on the power glove. The power glove was originally released in 1989.
Though it was an officially licensed product. Nintendo was not involved in the design or the release. I didn't know that. So I didn't either until, did you ever use one? I use one once in my life. Terrible. It's the hardest thing ever. That's it totally bombed, but this movie made it look so cool. You know?
Absolutely. It was like, it was one of those things that like your rich buddy. Huh? Exactly. And that was it. Yep. There's a, the Satan that, where he goes the character Lucas, he's like the he's like, I love the power glove. It's so bad. And it was did you see the movie that came out last year on Netflix called?
Yes. So good. And they just talk about like, it was terrible. I love that movie impossible to, to you know, hit the buttons and the movements didn't work. Right. And they only really. To power glove specific games, the rest of it, you just had to use the buttons on your arms as a controller, but they made like just a couple of games were supposed to use the, the, the motions of the glove.
It was kind of revolutionary in that stuff that we're doing with like VR technology. Now this was the first glimpse of it. And like the, we, it was kind of, you could call it like a precursor to that. Yeah, exactly. That sort of motion activated, you know, effect on the game. You remember the power pad now the power pad was best at that.
Awesome. With world-class track mate, did you ever, and then you, the way you beat it is instead of running, you know, what you do, you get down on your hands, just hit it real fast. They wouldn't be able to do that. Yeah, that was great. New the power, the power pad now, and that, do you remember the, we equivalent the the board, like the, what's it called?
The we fit board. The, it was called the, we fit and there was a light game, went with it, you know what I mean? But he would do everything from like track your weight to like, you could do stuff on it, but they would have like Olympic games that would be like, okay, you would run, run, run, run, run, and then, and then get up on the balls of your feet.
Like you were jumping for like a ski jump. And so you would like get down, shift your weight and zoom up on your feet. And it, dude, that was cool as hell. And the way you did the, if you really wanted a real jump in that you just jumped off the pad and then just back off. Oh yeah. You've been in the air forever.
That's so funny. The first thing that we look for is like how like, I don't want to win this. Rob's like, I'm going to beat Montana and rice. I'm going to tell you exactly. I mean, yeah, we played a wind run here. Let's see. On in July of 2019 a speed runner, like somebody that tries to beat games as fast as possible, and they'll stream on Twitch, YouTube, that kind of thing.
Speed runner grand poo bear became the first and only person known to have completed super Mario brothers three using only the power glove. Oh, wow. Took him to basically two and a half hours. Two minutes, two hours, 29 minutes, 43 seconds. Did it only with the power glove. Have you seen Ash vs. Evil?
Dead. Okay. You know what it is though? It's like, okay. Really evil, dead movies. Sam Raimi directed them. They started Bruce Campbell. Okay. And evil dead too. Especially as like classic, like horror comedy classic. Is it like walking dead stuff? Zombie stuff. It's yeah. It's zombie it's zombie type stuff.
Yeah. I don't know. There's like there's like a book of the dams and it's like, you know, just weird stuff, wax stuff, but cheeky and funny, you know anyway, ashes, the main character and his prosthetic hand in Ash vs. Evil, dead is built from a repurposed power glove. And so next time you guys watch Asher's evil dead.
You can check that out. And then my last one that was about yeah, eight big Christmas which was which I really enjoyed. I thought that was cool. It's good. Oh, I've got to stop the genius, but before you guys shout out what game we should play on the count of three, yell it out. 1, 2, 3. Okay. We heard you.
We're going to go play.
All right guys, we know y'all are all dying to know which game we played. Cause we heard you. And we heard you say RBI baseball. The majority of you said army. So that's why we went with and we just called it a tie. We played one inning. Rob actually got more runners on base. So I guess technically he would get the win.
But congratulations. We'll give him the more or less victory for now. I think maybe I'm the wizard. I think you are. You're Jimi. That's awesome. Okay guys, the stump that we're gonna play stuff that genius. So I don't know if we play the jingle yet because the back and forth or the video game, but we're going to play step the genius video game themes.
Oh wow. I'm going to play popular video game and we're going to see how many of these Rob can get. And these are video game themes only from the Nintendo. Alright. So I think you'll do okay. I think you'll you'll know the majority of I picked six cause that's a good even number. I don't know why I landed on six.
Maybe one is. But here we go. Try to tell us yourself ball at the beginning. Here is number one. Of course, this is a super Mario super Mario brothers. Number two. We'll go here. Tetris Tetris, Rob, killing the game. Number three.
Oh, the fragment that is PAC man. Rob three for three, bring out the bell. Number four,
duck hunt, duck hunt. Number five. That's punch. That is punching glass Joe in the room. We're doing it. And here is number six to bring it on home.
It was on the list.
Can he clean sweep?
I don't think I know this. That was Contra. Oh wow. I have no memory of that. Well, Hey, great showing. Great job on the video game. Stumped the genius. I just knew you're going to be, you're going to do famous angels like either like Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson, man, or famous people named angel angel Hernandez.
Right? Famous MLB angels. Mike trout. Mike. Yeah. Mike trout. Yeah, that would have been Tim salmon, all the fish, all the fish, all the centerfielder angel. We were going to put together a baseball outfield of just fish. We got Tim, Tim salmon, Mike trout, and Kevin Bass coming at you. Let's see. Okay. Do you have any other notes on song wise?
I'm good, man. There's a bunch of covers. Mostly like dance covers. This is a, you know, revered dance track at this point. Jenny Lewis that plays the girl in the movie, Haley. She went on to be a, she's a pretty big music person. Now a couple songs y'all to know what's the band. What's her. She's the lead singer of a band.
I think maybe that sounds right. I can't, oh no. She's saying with the postal service, she's not the lead singer and she sang songs with the postal service signs with the Polk, you know, such great Heights. That song. She's probably leading every band too, but I know she was in the postal service. All right, there we go.
Oh, hello, Kylie. She's in Ronald Kylie. All right. All right. So now what's coming up. Next is we are about to talk with David sterry of real life. You're going to like him. We liked him a lot. We had a great time chatting with him in sunny Australia. And so stick around for that. But first, no matter what you're doing right now, I need you to stop.
Okay. If you are, I don't know, I don't have a funny one this week, but no matter what you're doing, stop it right now. And if you're playing Nintendo hit start right now. That's right. And while you're on the pause menu, go to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, follow at Great Song pod on all those places.
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We're going to talk to David Sterry, we'll be back at the end of tequila. This is the Great Song podcast, ladies and gentlemen, as promised we are here with David sterry of real life. David, thank you so much for joining us today on the Great Song Podcast all the way from Australia. Thank you so much.
You're most welcome. I'm very happy to be here. Excellent. And you sound like $1,200. Oh, $1,239. It's amazing. It sounded great. Okay. Let's, let's start here because this is one of the, one of the really interesting things about send me an angel to me, is the, is the different releases that the two different releases with different mixes and kind of a different feel?
What was the decision to sort of re-release the song with a, with a a pretty different feel in 1989 after it had already been something of a breakout hit for you? What was the decision behind that? Well, it was actually me hearing the remix of the blue Monday by new order, which is one of my all time favorite songs, you know?
And you know, a lot of songs have been remixed in the time and there was never a fabulous remix of me, an angel. And I just sort of wondered out loud to my record company thinking, oh, you know, wouldn't it be good if we had a fabulous new mix of send me an angel and they ran with it and you know, it, it just started all over again, which was pretty amazing, but it was just off the top of my head.
I thought nothing would come of it, but they took it very serious. They went, okay, let's do that. And there were so happy. Curb records were so happy with the remix by an English guy called Nigel. Right. They said, look, we're going to release this again. It's because blue Monday had sort of be coming here again.
And so they, they thought that they could do that with angel and. Do you have a, like if you were wanting to listen to one of your own songs, do you have a version that you prefer over the other? Do you like, if you wanted to hear it, would you go back and listen to the 83 or would you or would you pop in the 89?
That's really hard to answer, you know? I mean, I don't often hear it. I don't often hear it. I'll tell you, I'll tell you a quick, funny story that yes, today morning I sleep in bed. I've got my iPad. The first thing I did before I get out of bed is to roll over and see what's the news. What's the weather going to be?
Has anyone mailed me or something? And I got gone to Facebook and there's my friend, dear friend, the drummer from a flock of seagulls is in Cancun, Mexico, this beautiful resort. They're having this thing called the eighties in the sand. And so, you know, I'm half asleep and Kevin's live on stage and he's videoing some band and they're playing Semyon.
You know, so it is me in bed with my iPod in the middle of Melbourne is straight, has had the longest lockdown in the world, you know, I'm miserable. I'm not happy. And there's this band in this beautiful resort playing my song. Yeah. Th that's so funny that that's funny that you mentioned that Weaver. We just had space-age love song by flock of seagulls playing right before we hit record.
And we were talking about career opportunities, but that's so funny. That's crazy timing. Well, I, I work with them a lot, but two years ago I did over in the states on a big, last eighties live too. And w see, I was a lot, Kevin Rankin, the drummer is a lovely, lovely guy, and he's always videoing things to people.
You know, he always includes everybody from around the world and what he was going on. And we had a lot of fun a couple of years ago. I say, if anyone's playing semi an angel, Kevin's going to be live on Facebook, making sure that I've watch it. That's great. Well, you mentioned like eighties scent. So you mentioned some, some eighties stuff that you'd want to talk about.
Oh, had it way later, but since you mentioned it, the send me an angel 80 Synthes essentials album. I love it so much. With sweet dreams, your remix of that and cars and fade to gray. I completely forgot that about that fader gray song and by visage and until I heard you do it, and it's one of those cases that now that I've heard yours so much, the original sounds like a cover to me.
If that makes sense, like obviously the tainted love, you know, the soft sell song and shout those, are you doing a cover of their song, but I've listened to your version of fade to gray so much that the visits, it sounds like a cover to me, if that makes any kind of sense. Yeah. I mean, that's, I appreciate what you're saying, but that's sacrilege.
That was great. I mean, yeah, but that's interesting that album. I got an email from the head of Cleopatra records. And it was said, said, David, we want you to make a cover album, do send me an angel and do some of your favorite other songs. And I thought, no, I can't do that. You know, I've never produced anything before my stuff.
And you know, home shear recording was kind of reasonably, you still knew at that stage, but, but a part of me went, no, yeah, we'll do it. And so I was learning, I did it on a program called logic. So yeah, it's fabulous. It's fabulous program, but I was just one step ahead recording. So I was learning how to use it while recording at the same time.
So if I wanted to learn how to do a vocal, I had to go into this a tutorial thing that I'd bought and. So I was thinking, are they going to, I'm going to be discovered, they're going to find out that I'm a fake, that I can't record that I can't do this and can't do that. But I do. I learned how to make records off, making that record, you know, and it came out quite good and, and I've made some money out of it and people always say how much they like it.
So it was all good in the end. Good on ya. We, we mentioned that we're going to talk a lot about, send me an angel is probably the one we're going to focus on, but so in the original music video after the base character enters on horseback, you're shown singing into a Shure SM 57. Is that your mic of choice?
Is that at that time or was that predominantly just for video quality and ease of, of holdability. I know Steven Tyler preferred a 57 there for a while. Is that your mic of choice in the, in the early eighties, early to mid. Well, yeah, it's pretty much the main stage. Mike of choice. It pretty much everyone in Australia was always handed handed a 57, but one of our sound guys went sit.
Now you're more of a 58 and I don't know what the difference was, but I've got one sitting around somewhere actually that I use for recording and my guitars actually. But yeah, it was always a 57. Yeah. Back in the day. Yeah. Some great closeups in that you have a great teeth. Have you always had stellar dental hygiene?
Your teeth are fantastic in that video. You know, so many people, I don't think I've got great teeth, but so many people have told me that I was in an airport the other day I looked up and they're playing music videos. And they're your teeth? No, in fact, one of my, one of my childhood friends. Dad used to call me whales' teeth, you know?
Yeah. That was, he nicknamed me. He comes Wells tooth. You know, that's really interesting. Elijah, you can tell where we're gear people. I'm a gear nut. I love it. Can you confirm, are those Simmons SDS V Tom's on that? They sound great. I don't know if you're if, how much of the gear you are fishing auto and then I guess that's a role in Jupiter six since.
Nope. Okay. I am a gear head. Yes, yes, yes. The, the the drums were the, into this and we pretty much got them to record the song. A lot of people were very angry at us. A lot of music industry began, oh, don't do that. Don't use that. It's like this, it's going to sound so bad in a year or so it's going to sound, everyone's going to hate it, but we love them.
And we got them and we got that. We got the full kit. And of course, when angel came out, we added the soon drums. So the rest of our set but that was the first Laura Simmons. And they had very hard shells, very hard heads on them, not showing the heads and all the dramas that we're using. We're getting hear, hear fractures and their risks.
You know, they were hitting so hard. So. Steven's finally put some plus some rubber coatings on to stop the, to make it still feel okay. But stop though, the wrist fractures and the, since no, it was a Jupiter, right? It's a, the, the all pretty much everything on the famous real life songs did you operate?
And in fact, speaking of gear, I had the baby Jupiter. There we go. Y'all can't we're only audio so they can see what your whole, I know. I know, but that's fantastic. I've got, I've got the whole series. I've got the Juno six, the Jupiter eight the Jake three-peat and the sh one-on-one cause we had all of those back in the day.
So I've got the mini versions. That sounded fantastic. That's excellent. Who, so who were, as you were crafting the, the sound and the style of real life, who were you listening to? Not that you were trying to imitate anybody just, who was inspirational to you as you're, as you're crafting your own thing.
I guess the biggest record at the time was the one that just everybody was in love with was dare by human league. You know, that was the, the, the biggest thing about the new wave sound with the synthesizers. And of course you mentioned fader gray before with massage Ultravox of course, you know so it was definitely those things.
Ultravox human league TC but more a bank or magazine actually were very influential as well as an Australian band in the early eighties. How hard was it to get exposure say in the United States or even in the UK? It's not, it's not the same now where you can just send somebody an MP3, you know, what's the process of, of getting your stuff to labels and distributors over, over here this far away.
Yeah, well, back in the day, it was really hard because it was very, you know, selling rock and roll to America or even to England was like selling ice to Eskimos, you know, from Australia, you know, because I guess we were, the good thing was we were, we grew up on radio from both both continents, you know, from England and from, because we're a part of the Commonwealth with England.
But we heard all the American stuff. So we, we sort of went into a blender in Australia to try to develop our own style. I mean, Australia was already, already very rock based with bands like ACDC being. So uncompromising back in the seventies, they were going to be rock and roll. And that is that.
And boy did, they do such a good job of that? So from by the early eighties, there've been very few Australian artists had made it, there was little river band who you know, Sort of more like the Eagles or something. They weren't anything about new music. Men at work kind of were a Melbourne band that broke over there.
Huge, which was pretty amazing. And. In our case, it was actually an accident. There was a, a, the famous K rock in LA a radio programmer from K rock was actually in Australia because an Australian radio station wanted to sound more like K rock because K rock was fantastic. So a guy called Rick, Carol came out to Australia to Sydney and at the time sent me an angel was, you know, you know, doing very well on the charts.
It just come out and Rick Carol loved and he said, well, I'm taking this back to America. So it had nothing to do with them management, a record company. This one guy loved the song, took it to K rock and started flogging it before we even had a record contract. Wow. Like. Pure acts happy accident for us, but then the Australian bands started to become more competent it's it goes across the arts in Australia, whether it's literature, filmmaking music or art we had what we call a cultural cringe that we didn't even think we were as good as anything that was English or American.
And it took us a long time to get over there. You know, our movies started coming out mad, max. Started taking taking on the world and, and more and more music came out of Australia. So people started to think, okay, if it comes out of Australia, it's probably going to be really good. And, and don't worry about it.
Stop the car, stop feeling so inferior, just do what you do. And if we know it's good, it'll be accepted. I love that. You want to talk about how Richard placed the ad and looking for the guitar player and how the friendship was born, kind of how real life got started, or I guess I should say we all the wires then, right?
Is that how it, how it, yeah. Wow. You've done your research. I love this stuff. Yeah, it was once the early one Saturday morning, I'd been up all night doing something. I don't know what I'd been doing. It certainly wasn't partying, but young, a young friend of mine was, you know, banging loudly on my door.
And there was a paper called the age newspaper that was or had a music column in it, you know, for, you know, bands wanted things. And this guy Nicky's banging on my door and he said, David, David is his ad in the paper. A keyboard player is looking for a guitar player and a form of bandwidth. You have to ring this number.
You have to ring this number. He was so adamant about it. And I thought, ah, yeah. Okay, Nick and I went back to bed and got up and kind of rang the number and had a brief conversation with Richard somewhere. And then Richard had gone. We was leaving his house after the phone call, but he wrote a note on his fridge for his flatmate to say I've found that guitar player.
So from one conversation, Richard seemed to think that I was the person that was going to be the right one for the band. So we got together and we were. Not going to form a band. We were just going to try to write songs. He had a synthesizer, I had a guitar and eventually we decided it's pretty exciting going out and seeing all those bands.
We've got some songs now. Well, why don't we do it as well? So we found a bass player and we went out with a drum machine. That's so cool. That's great. So there's parts of these, where we just kind of gush over things that we love about the artists that we're hanging out with. So hang tight and I'm just going to kind of rapid fire, a few things that are really like not just off of Heartland.
I love the Heartland album. Catch me if I'm following the other city, the other single and the video y'all are in all white, quick question. I'll tie in what kind of guitar you play in there? It's like the V-shaped one. I don't know what that is. That's a great looking guitar for that video, but I don't know what kind of guitar that is.
Yeah. That actually that is actually a role in synthesize a guitar. That's cool. That was the first time it was used. It was supposed to be It was hooked up to it. There was a floor pedal thing that was actually a sound module. So you basically were playing a Jags three P from this, you know, crazy looking guitar, but the latency was so terrible, you know, you'd play the note and then you could go and get a cup of coffee.
And the note, the note would finally sound and it was, it was crap. It was horrible. It was never, it was it in the video, but it was not on anything. I walked into a music shop in LA one day and the sales guy comes up to me and goes, you're the guy from real life I went. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, I've been, just been recognized for it.
He goes, you, you guys, you bastard, I bought that guitar that you used in that video clip and it's crap. And I went, yeah, yeah, I know. I never used it. That's great. I love that story so much because yeah, it open-hearted, which sounds like to me, send me an angel part or it sounds like you could be part of the same band, at least, like it's very similar.
You're playing a gorgeous blue Strat. And I was like I was like, that's the guitar I hear, but you're playing that, that, that's why it was confusing to me. So that was a. It is the blue straight on the record. It was a model called it was a model called that straight and it had a blue head stop as well.
But that is the guitar that was on love that thing. And I funny story. So that song is in apparently voyage of the rock aliens with P as a door, you know, that movie voyage of the rock alien. So I don't know that I don't know that movie, but I'm playing this song and this guy's like, oh yeah, that's from voyage of the rock aliens in my office.
I was like, what is that? I didn't even know that was a movie. So so it's P P is the Dora P as a Dora. Yeah. Crazy. W when you, when you're quoting these movies, they're all pretty, mostly pretty bad movies. And I'll kind of say I've never seen any of them, so, okay. So you haven't seen the wizard or rad, cause those are like.
I've seen the scene from red and I kind of on the bicycles a little bit. Yes. Yeah. And I go, oh God. But there was also a team or two. Yeah. And and I happened to be Bateman, not a Michael J. Fox. And I happened to be living in, in Hollywood at the time. And the record company got his ring and went, nah, David David, there's a big premiere on tonight and Hollywood Boulevard.
Isn't movie your songs in it. And you know, a little boy, a guy from Australia, you know, again wow, fabulous. So I invited a beautiful girl and I said, Hey, wait, I didn't tell her why. So we go to see a movie on Hollywood Boulevard at some famous scene. And we walked down the red carpet and, and the movie started and I thought, oh God, this is not so great.
Isn't it? And, and, and the girl wasn't that impressed either. And all of a sudden, there's this vicious fight scene and send me an angel comes on and I just went, oh, and I just sang down, sent down in my seat. I'd completely forgotten that that was coming up. That's awesome. It's not as though. That's great.
Well, other things like that went from there, your second album flame, you went with a different producer. You went with Peter Henderson completely different than the, than the Steve Hillage and Ross Cockle sound. With face-to-face is the lead single. I love the isolated guitar part about minute to 29, but one blind love is my favorite track on this album.
So good stuff. I'll also listened to lifetime listened through that and the happy album four and imperfection five. I listened like it's good stuff, man. So I would tell all our listeners out there, if you get a chance, if you're going to pick up a second one, I would pick up flame. After Heartland, that would be the one that I would suggest.
But those were, those were some of my face. What about, what about sirens? Yeah, so I don't, I haven't had it. That's the newest one. I haven't had a chance to listen all the way through it yet, so I will let you to, if I'm going to pick up one track, where should I. My beautiful monster. Okay. There we go.
It's actually, it's a, it's a well, it's I'm calling it a Prague Tronic album. Okay. It's actually, I've got CDs, but it's also on vinyl. I wanted to make an old fashioned record, whether it's a bit of a concept. So side one is basically, well, there's five parts, but it's sort of, it's a. A storyline about the sirens you under the sirens sing, you crashed your boat, your dye, et cetera.
So I wanted to do something that was you know, a bit concept D so yes, sirens goes to one side, then there's five tracks. It's kind of like low by David Bowie or something, you know? So I thought, ah, you know, no one buys records anymore, so I'll make one and I'll do a raver. I feel like we are album guys.
We are listening through we will take it from track one to track 42 or however many you have on there. So anybody has listened to our show for any amount of time has heard us lament the, the loss of album culture. So we are all about, especially concept records, all that. Well, there's there's I it's got the double fault cabin is all the lyrics.
There's there's funny things on the back. There's a interesting, there's lots of jokes on here because I can, and there's lots of, lots of little lies and things, and it's a great read, you know, there's a whole lot of it's based on the legend of the sirens, but I'm having a big, tongue-in-cheek laugh throughout all of this.
So I'm trying to find the actual cover. It's all over Spotify and everything. So great. Speaking of covers actually who has done your favorite cover of send me an angel of all the, of all the bands or all the, you know, whether it's, whether it's online or even somebody you've heard live, or like that's flock of seagulls is sending you stuff from resorts around the world.
Who's who's done your favorite cover of semi. Oh, that's a hard cause there's so many, you know what I mean? They're really really asked. I mean there was one, okay. There's a dance one that, you know, was a club. It was stat city versus real. I was a, a German one where they changed it from a minor key to a major key.
And it just, it worked, it was my vocal on it or was it not the original, but my vocal and just had this sort of early 2000 kind of club feel about it there. I actually just love for some reason I thought, oh, this is so beautiful. It really is other versions. I mean, there's death metal versions.
There's rockabilly versions. But there was a TV show in Australia called underbelly and underbelly re. And it's about Sydney in the great, during the years of the great depression, just after the first world war, where a lot of men who'd been in the first world war came back and they had no jobs.
It turned to crime. The Sydney Harbor bridge was just being built and there were two women, one who ran a a brothel. And the other one who ran a bar, both were illegal. They were both arch enemies. And it's this is actually true story. It's all based on actual facts. It's an amazing story, but at the very end of it, there's a singer singing a 1930s version of an angel and a nightclub.
And it's just beautiful. It's like all the songs throughout the soundtrack of this movie, that's set in the late twenties, early thirties from the eighties and the. Last song in the show is this in the, the lady who ran the bar is a broken down, seeing a scene, starting to sing Semina angel bill.
Then it flashes to this modern club who her arrival was running. And it was singing a beautiful, you know, like cab Calloway version of Simeon angels. Oh, that's fantastic. Cool. You triggered something in there that, that com that I was not planned to talk about, but it triggered something. So that took me back to, I was trying to think of the first time I actually saw.
Like you guys playing some, doing your first long story short. Let me get through this. I kinda mumble all over myself. So I discovered you through the wizard movie from 89, I've talked about the Fred Savage movie, whatnot. It's not one that you've seen or super proud of it. I love the movie. So then I looked you guys up on like some old VHS tapes.
I found one of American bandstand from 84 on there. And I, I completely, I have, I just picked up a box of American bandstand cards. So I've got a Dick Clark card in here. I was hoping to, I need to look through this and see if I've got a real life card. That would be amazing because you had the best mullet of 84.
That was like mullet of the year, that year. And you're playing gorgeous sunburst Strat. I still remember that Strat as good. And I know I'm a gear nut and I've talked a lot about it, but that, that triggered something that I completely forgot. I had this box here. When you said that. So 84 talk about 84 American bands.
So speaking of that sunburst Strat. Lacking in pieces. That's the one, but it's now I had a Floyd bro. I had it painted black and then I had a Floyd rose put on it and I'm sick to death of Floyd roses. And so I'm kind of ripping it apart and I'm waiting on pieces, but the postage is really slow at the moment with COVID, but that's the good time.
I don't even look like the same guitar, like so completely different news. Well, it's, it's it's very, very old now. It's it's cause I bought it in no that the timer on Dick Clark, I just bought it over there where we'd been over there for months and months. We were on the you're with me two or two with Berlin.
And that's so cool, but that's the good time. That's crazy. That came full circle after we're done. After we hang up, I'm going to look through and see if I have a real life American bandstand card in here. That would be amazing. One thing that we ask everybody, and then we'll let you enjoy your time.
You've been great, David. Thank you so much. Hope you've had fun. So you're on tour either by yourself with real life, whoever you're on tour. And you go into a gas station. What is your gas station? Snack, food of choice. And while you're thinking of that, I'll tell you mine. I get a three Musketeers bar when I was growing up.
My mom would say, you can have any candy bar you want, and that's the most ounces. So I would get a three Musketeers bar. What is your gas station? Snack food. Well, I was so disappointed doing a big tour of America in 2019 that they don't make the little, I hate Starbucks, but they have a little cannabis.
Preso a little black can of Starbucks espresso, or you can't get it anymore. So I was really disappointed, you know, I mean, I only went to America to get that Starbucks. They don't have it. They don't have it at Starbucks in Australia. And I've looked all over the world that I love it. I hate Starbucks, but I love that little can of the coffee.
They didn't have it. So other than that, I'm probably going to get, probably get a bag of chips or something. I'm not Charlotte. I have a mission now. I worked at Starbucks for four months, a long, long time ago. So I'm going to call my one connection and say, Hey, I got a buddy in Australia that needs some of these I'll trade it for a siren CD autographed made out to J.P.
and we'll we'll see what we can do. Yeah, please, please do. Please do Dave. This has been fun, man. Your, your rockstar has been great. Anything you want to tell the people? Yeah. Anything upcoming, other than sirens. Is there anything on the horizon that you want to talk about? I know you're still, it's still stuck in Melbourne for awhile.
You know, I'm one of those people that's gonna to, till I drop, you know, cause this is all I do. This has been my life story. I never imagined that, you know, 40 years later I'd still be doing the same thing. So I'm very privileged that I can go practically anywhere in the world and people are happy to see me, which is very nice.
So I'm just going to keep plugging away. You know, making music, playing live shows my passion is to play live. I mean, that's the thing that I love most out of anything's playing live. So doing anything I can to play live as much as I can until I drop off that pitch. Well, if you're ever around the Nashville Tennessee area, which is where we are, we will make sure to come check.
I have a very viewed friend in Nashville. That's Rick Olson from Berlin, who was the original guitar player, Berlin. He used to work at he worked at he's always, we call him our fifth beetle because whenever we're around, he gets on the stage, takes my guitar and plays everything the way I should have played it.
Well, well, we'll have you connect us with him over here. We'll get you used to, he used to. He used to work at Gibson guitars on, but I think he's involved with the Glen Campbell museum now or something. Cool. I mean, he actually, we actually played, we actually played the what's, the, the Gibson cafe there in 1998.
And Rick, Rick had organized that for, so we were over there. We stayed in Nashville few days when his place for partying, it's got a lovely family, lovely guy. And now I think he's perhaps the. The Glenn county, museum's only open in the last couple of years. I think hasn't it. So, yeah, I think he's there, but anyway.
Yeah. I love Nashville. Yeah. Well, that's great. Well, we'll we'll be in touch. We'll let you know when the episode drops. We'll keep in touch for sure. And then, I don't know, Rob, don't ask him about the video. I don't know if he wants to do anything like that. Yeah, sure. Would you actually, would you mind if you, if you have a moment to just record yourself in a, in a, maybe a 15, 22nd video, you know, Hey, this is David Sperry, David steri from real life.
I'll be on the Great Song podcast this week, you know, check it out, whatever, and we can use that to help promote the episode when, you know, when it comes time to come out. Absolutely. I'll do that. Awesome. And I'll just, and I'll just email you. I'll just email. Perfect. Perfect. Thanks so much, man. It's been a delightful chat.
Thanks for thanks for hanging out. We'll do it again. It's great. Being here. Melvin's won't until we can just a couple of guys in Nashville, couldn't have made the day a little better. Thanks guys. Take care, man. Talk to you soon. All right. Bye bye. That was David stare at was David staring. Oh man. So much fun.
And we know you guys were dying to know which game we played it. Come back in. So we chose Mike Tyson's punch out, whoever did knock out glass, Joe, the fastest. And I finally won something to get back there. Karate kid and Mike Tyson, I guess fighting games. It took me two rounds to knock out Glasgow. Come on, come on.
Almost. We'll be three, right? 2 0 9, the second man. 52 in the first place. I like that. Yeah. So good stuff. Well, Mac came to play. That's right. I love even the did you ever play the super Nintendo version? Super punch-out it's just as good. It's equally fun. They kept the same feel. It just has this feel that feels like no other game I've ever played punch out.
It's like the, the timing of it is just perfect and right. Ah, well, for those of you guys that just joined us on this episode, we're not normally as video game heavy. We are a music podcast where we discuss music. Hopefully you got some nuggets of musical goodness that you enjoyed. No, this was fun. I got to say the great idea on the, on the break gaming, we might have to take advantage of that more often.
Yeah, I was, I'm trying to think this whole time, if there are other movies centered around video games could giggle it. Yeah. But having the whole universe in front of you, y'all let us know if we've missed a really good video game. Oh, ready player one. Okay. Shortland. Yeah, I was true. It's true. I was trying to think about like older games, but yeah.
Is there any other like video, they made a video game out of it, but it's not a video game in the movie. Is it? It's a thing it's like a scifi thing. I dunno. Interesting. Let us know. What's your favorite video game movie. If we haven't mentioned it, what's the worst video game. I think we'd said what journey or 80 from our
notably off. There's others. I super hate stone cold. Yes
Yes. As a matter of fact, I'm going to do that on my way home. I'm going to just stop and see if I can. I mean, I don't have any T mask. I'm just going to with my face, but say I'm stone called 18. Oh yeah. Okay. All right. Yeah, I think the original ninja turtles game for any, yes, not the one that was like the arcade game, but the one that was like an overhead view, you went down in the sewers.
That's probably all of them, but like, it was awful, man. Oh, it was so bad. That was atrocious. That's probably my least favorite regular Nintendo game. Although Goonies too was really bad too. It was supposed to be like a sequel to the Goonies movie, but set in a video game and it was, it was trashed to try and save it.
It needed, there was no swearing in it. The kids didn't curse. What good is that? No truffle shuffle, no truffle shuffle at all. No, there was no truffles being shuffled. So what am I supposed to do with that? All right. Kids movie month continues next week. Movie month concludes next week. Wow. We realized there's five weeks in March.
We know math, but we've got other stuff to do, but we've got something special the very last week of March. And and it's, it's good. So you guys are gonna love the way we conclude movie month, special guest coming back in friend, family of the show. So just hang around, you guys are gonna like it. All right.
We'll see you all next week with another Great Song until then. I'm Rob. J.P. go listen to.