This Week In The 80’s: I’ve Got A Pocket Full of Quarters…

This Week In The ’80s: I’ve Got A Pocket Full of Quarters…

It’s May of 1982 and I’m a few weeks from finishing 6th grade. I’m just starting to get into music. We don’t have MTV at my house yet and all I really have is a radio to listen to because my parents are staunchly against me buying anything remotely related to rock and roll. It’s around this time that I start listening to the weekly Top 40 countdown with Casey Kasem. If you’ve read anything I’ve written before you know that I consider 1983 as the start of what we consider “80’s music”. If you look at the top ten of this week’s chart, the 80’s sound is starting to ramp up. There’s “867-5309” from Tommy Tutone, The Go-Go’s “We Got The Beat“, and “Don’t Talk To Strangers” Dr. Noah Drake himself, Rick Springfield. A little further down is “Edge of Seventeen” from Stevie Nicks, Van Halen’s cover of “Pretty Woman” (a MUST WATCH), and “Heat of The Moment” from Asia that jumps all the way to #20 from the #55 spot this week. And spending it’s seventh and final week at #1 is Joan Jett and “I Love Rock ‘n Roll”. My fondest memory tied to this song? It’s what is playing the first time I “make out” with a girl at a birthday party. Thank you, Joan Jett. 🙂

The real story, however, is sitting further down the chart. Just past the theme from Magnum P.I. at #29, sitting at #35 (down from a high of #9) are the one-hit wonders, Buckner & Garcia, with “Pac-Man Fever”. Why is this the real story? Because it was also right around this time that the entire country was going crazy for video games including yours truly. There were two Pac-Man games within walking distance of my house (the U-Totem gas station and the Safeway up the street). The local arcade, Shane’s Games, had three (among all the rest of the games at that time). It was everywhere. And I was addicted. I would collect aluminum cans from just about everywhere to redeem for as many quarters as I could get just to plunk them into that machine. And these two yahoos capitalized off the craze. They didn’t just write one song about a video game…they wrote an entire album. And trust me when I say it is terrible. But somehow this one song caught on. Also around that same time, a show called Solid Gold was taking off. I don’t have time to explain to you the majesty and awesomeness of this show but you would be doing yourself a favor to look up a little information about it. Anywho…while there’s no ACTUAL video for this song, we do have their lip-sync performance from Solid Gold and it is truly a sight to behold. Please take a moment and notice the fantastic fake mustache on Garcia. Or maybe he’s Buckner. Who knows…

This Week In The 80s is a weekly look at the Top 40 charts with Eric Vardeman. His Twitter handle is @ericvardeman.

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About Eric Vardeman 98 Articles
Curator of 80's playlists ( Tulsa Curling Club founder. Known to play guitar and sing at times. Boomer Sooner. Los Lakers. Dallas Cowboys. Star Wars nerd. Olympic enthusiast. Christmas nut.

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