Smiths Complete - Available at Rhino.coma-ha "Hunting High & Low" and "Scoundrel Days" Deluxe Editions Rhino Handmade raids the vault!

Friday, May 13, 2005

"pilot of the airwaves / here is my request..."

Ah, Charlie Dore’s ode to calling the DJ request line. Every ‘80s child has been there, hanging on the phone, waiting for that busy signal to stop, finally getting it to ring, then sitting there waiting for the DJ to answer so you can make that request. Sigh. Well, Charlie had a decent sized hit with “Pilot of the Airwaves”, however, it seems to have faded into obscurity since it hit. But Charlie did okay since, writing songs for Tina Turner, Celine Dion and a little ‘80s jam for Sheena Easton called “Strut”. Who knew?

But we’re talkin’ requests…

Lost in the 80s started just three short months ago, and with the help of such fantastic sites as and Tofu Hut, has grown from a couple of my friends and blogging buddies visiting once a week, to more than 500 hits a day from around the world. And with this new traffic comes plenty of great e-mail from fellow ‘80s geeks. I read and truly appreciate each and every one, even if it takes me forever to respond. You guys are awesome.

Let’s dig into that mailbag a bit, yes?

One of the first e-mails I got from this site was waaaay back in March was from John G. who had two fine requests, one for Q Lazzarus and another for the extended version of Heaven 17’s “Let Me Go”.

Let Me Go 45

Well, John, I have both tucked away somewhere in Cleveland…unfortunately, I’m in Cali. Until I dig them out of storage, how about the radio edit of “Let Me Go” to tide us over? Can you believe this was Heaven 17’s only Hot 100 chart entry in the States? We suck.

“letit beme” writes in with a bunch of good requests, a few I may get to eventually, but I love one in particular – Industry’s “State of the Nation”.


Industry had an EP and later a full-length release on Capitol Records. Both are long out of print, but “State of the Nation” surfaced a few years ago on a CD compilation titled “Can’t Get Enough of the ‘80s”. That CD is also now out of print, but you may be able to find it used at While you search, here’s “State of the Nation”, plus a nice Razormaid remix. Without getting too political, I think the lyrics are probably more relevant today than back in 1983…

And while they didn’t request anything specific, shoutouts in particular to Zombie Joey D., Joe.My.God., DJ Joel-Steven and Dave P. from Memory LAME radio for their kind words and support.

One last request…mine! I’m looking for a pretty obscure one here, folks. Anyone remember “Baby Come Back” from Billy Rankin? In 1984, this former Nazareth member put out a solo album containing that single which peaked at #52 on the Hot 100, accompanied by a pretty stylish video where he watched himself on TV chasing himself on TV, then a static-y version of himself came out of the TV and chased himself into the TV and…well, it was cool. I love that song and it’s never been issued on CD. And I’ll be damned if I can find the album (“Growin’ Up Too Fast”) much less the 45. Anyone?

That is my request. You don’t have to play it, but I’ll hope you’ll do your best.

”Pilot of the Airwaves” by Charlie Dore peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1980.
“Let Me Go” by Heaven 17 peaked at #74 on the Billboard Hot 100, #4 on the Club Play Singles chart and #32 on the Mainstream Rock chart (??) in 1983.
“State of the Nation” peaked at #99 on the Billboard Hot 100.

posted by John, 10:57 AM