Episode 190: We Are the World

Episode 190: We Are the World
Pat and Co-Host Christy Stratton celebrate the 30th anniversary of the #1 charity single of all-time... We Are the World!
From March 5, 2014

With your hosts:

Pat Francis

Christy Stratton

00:00:00 Pat and Christy welcome us to the show. Christy is fresh off of filming her brand new web series "Everyone's Crazy but Us." It was a 7:30 AM call time for the crew, 8:00 AM call time for the actors. They took two 12-hour days to film 5 episodes. Pat thinks it must have been odd for Christy to have all those strangers in her house, cluttering everything up, stepping on her bed. Christy didn't mind, hell she didn't even change her bedsheets. Meanwhile her husband Gary and son Johnny slept at the lovely Encino Marriott. It was grueling work, but Christy is happy with it. It probably won't come out for at least a month. Christy did buy the domain name and it will be free. Pat thinks she should set up a donation button, but Christy is way too humble to ask for donations. Not for Rock Solid, because you can click on the donation button on the side of this very page! Give the show some dollars and cents, why don't you?
00:05:00 Today's episode is a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the smash-hit charity single "We Are the World" by USA for Africa. The song sold a lot of copies, but Christy doubts the effectiveness of the relief efforts. Something about warlords, perhaps? In any event, the intent is equally as important. Pat and Christy will not only play pieces of the song "We Are the World," but we'll be hearing other songs by artists who were in USA for Africa. "There's a softer rock to these artists," says Christy. And like those artists, Pat and Christy came into this episode with little preparation. Were their egos checked at the door? Nope.
Which artist do you think had the hardest time being there? Pat says Billy Joel. Christy says Waylon Jennings. There are a bunch of artists who were in the song, but did not get a solo: John Oates, La Toya Jackson, Tito Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Bette Midler, Lindsey Buckingham, Bob Geldof, Harry Belafonte, and plenty of others. Who gets asked to sing a solo and who doesn't? Maybe it was first come, first served.
00:10:00 Of course we cannot refrain from mentioning the producer, Quincy "Q" Jones. Kyle once met Quincy Jones III. "He's okay," says Kyle. Pat met Tina Jones, Quincy's daughter, at a kid's gym. Not a weightlifting gym, obviously, but a Gymboree type place. Christy tried bringing Johnny to one of those places and he hated being told what to do. This sentiment was felt loud and clear when they were filming the web series. Johnny was having NONE of Christy's directions. But once that camera was on, he was like a mini Brando. He's only in a few scenes and his character's name is Ziggy. She named him that because no one is named Ziggy. Except for David Bowie. And the comic strip, which Christy loved. He was such a sadsack, with his bald head, large nose, and lack of pants.
00:15:00 Let's play the beginning of "We Are the World" and hear those opening lyrics:

Who are the Rock in Peaces of "We Are the World?" Only Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Waylon Jennings, and June Pointer, it seems. More people have died from Pat's graduating high school class than "We Are the World." A lot of people forget that there was a whole CD from USA for Africa, where the artists submitted new, unreleased songs. Pat has an actual physical copy of the album.
Christy starts us off with other songs by the artists. She starts us off with Paul Simon. Christy loved Paul Simon when she was younger because she felt the songs were about what being an adult was like. She plays "Late in the Evening" off the album One-Trick Pony. Pat didn't like the film One-Trick Pony when it came out in 1980. Maybe if he saw it now, he would like it. Or maybe he'd hate it more.
00:20:00 Pat's first pick is a new track from the We Are the World album. It's Steve Perry with "If Only for a Moment, Girl". Christy is not a fan of it. Kyle concurs. Pat wonders if James Ingram was popular enough to deserve a solo. Christy thought he sang a song in An American Tale. Pat says no. He was Oscar-nominated for a song from Beethoven's Second... wait, what? In fact, he got back-to-back nominations with a song from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Junior. Well, he sure knew how to pick 'em. Inspector Kyle lays down the truth: James Ingram WAS in An American Tale. Christy is redeemed! Get this, Ingram also has original songs in Beverly Hills Cop 2 and City Slickers.
Christy's next pick is one of her favorite songs ever and an artist for whom she proudly waves the flag. Off the Caddyshack Soundtrack, it's "I'm Alright" by Kenny Loggins.
00:25:00 Man the battle stations, Pat is going OFF BOOK! He plays another Kenny Loggins soundtrack song, except this time it is "Nobody's Fool" from the Caddyshack II Soundtrack. The movie is hot garbage water seeped through a dog's asshole, but the song is good. Kyle hates the gopher because he hates fun.
We return to "We Are the World" and hear the next batch of solo artists:

The sequencing of the artists is very interesting. That's all Quincy Jones.
"That's Q. No one would ever have thought to put a laser in a pen."
- Kyle, with the line of the episode
00:30:00 "Was Willie Nelson high before he recorded his lines?" asked Pat, the dumbest man in the world. We just know that he smoked a doobie outside the studio, probably with Dan Aykroyd. Christy guesses that Waylon Jennings was drunk by noon. Who else got high? The Pointer Sisters have had their issues, infers Pat. Kyle thinks that Huey Lewis and the News were snitches. Totally. They wouldn't sing "Hip to Be Square" and not be narcs to the Five-O. But what did they eat? How was this catered? Maybe they ordered 50 pizzas, I don't know.
Up next for Christy are The Jacksons. She plays "This Place Hotel" off the album Triumph. The single originally was called "Heartbreak Hotel," but it was changed to "This Place Hotel" for the CD. Apparently Michael claimed he never knew about the Elvis Presley song, but changed it anyway. Pat thinks "This Place Hotel" is what a foreign person would say. I PARAPHRASE HERE: "This place no gas station, this place hotel." Yes, thank you, I'll see myself out. Pat admits that the episodes with Christy are the ones where he and Kyle cross the line the most. But Kyle's parents do like Christy's voice the most. Christy, as usual, is her humble self.
00:35:00 Pat thinks Tina Turner has a crazy way of singing and proves it with his next song. Off the album Private Dancer, the song is "Better Be Good to Me". The album put Tina back on top. She was 46 when it came out. Pat and Christy compliment Tina for wearing her age like a badge of honor.
Christy adds her own female artist to the mix with Kim Carnes. She plays "More Love" off the album Romance Dance. Years ago Pat and Jimmy Pardo wrote a pilot where Kim Carnes was the mayor of Pasadena. Yes.
00:40:00 The Boss Bruce Springsteen found his way onto the We Are the World. Pat plays a song called "Trapped", originally done by Jimmy Cliff.Pat does a nice callback to the last Christy episode, where she couldn't find out if Bruce used to kill Clarence Clemons onstage, but it only took Kyle 20 seconds to Google it. Everyone has a hearty chuckle at Christy's internet follies. Christy reminisces that the first person she looked up on the internet was Andy Gibb. This was around the time that Princess Diana died. Pat says that if his wife Pilar ever hears Elton John's re-worked version of "Candle in the Wind," she will cry. What if Elton John re-did all of his songs to reference Lady Di? No need to imagine the answer, because Pat and Kyle sing a few verses.
Christy sends some love to Cyndi Lauper. She plays "I Drove All Night" off the album A Night to Remember.
00:45:00 The song was written by Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, who wrote a TON of hit songs: "Like a Virgin," "I Touch Myself," "I'll Stand by You," "True Colors," and "Eternal Flame," just to name a few. It would be cool if we got those guys in studio for an interview. Pat wanted to get Dianne Warren, but her people said no.
Pat plays his own Cyndi Lauper song. Off the album Shine, he plays the song "Shine".
We're going back to "We Are the World" and the next batch of singers:

Christy doesn't think the song is up-to-par with "Do They Know It's Christmas?" It's a bit too on-the-nose for her.
00:50:00 And then there is the all-star Canadian charity band Northern Lights, consisting of people like Gordon Lightfoot, Burton Cummings, Anne Murray, Joni Mitchell, Dan Hill, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, Corey Hart, Cockburn, Geddy Lee, and Mike Reno. Pat plays "Tears Are Not Enough" off of We Are the World.
And we would be remiss if we forgot the heavy metal charity supergroup Hear 'n Aid. Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Eric Bloom, Mick Mars, Geoff Tate, Adrian Smith, Don Dokken, Kevin DuBrow, Rudy Sarzo, Vivian Campbell, and a cavalcade of others. Kyle plays their big song "Stars".
00:55:00 Speaking of Kevin DuBrow and Rudy Sarzo, Pat watched a Quiet Riot documentary on Showtime. It's a good documentary, even if Pat isn't a fan of Quiet Riot. They had the very first #1-charting heavy metal album, over Thriller and Synchronicity. At this point in the episode, Pat and Christy wholeheartedly believe that they have lost ALL of their young listeners. Pat jokes that even I, ardent defender of all things classic rock, will have dropped out at this point. Which is not the case because... well... *yawn*... oh man, look at... the... time ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Kidding of course, I'm wide awake. And so is Christy, because she's got her next pick. Off the album Blood on the Tracks, it's "Meet Me in the Morning" by Bob Dylan.
Bob Dylan is all fine and dandy, but Pat has a true American icon: Huey Lewis and the News. He plays "Trouble in Paradise" off the album We Are the World. Pat observes that Huey has a lot of story songs. Christy LOVES Huey Lewis and the News. She once camped out overnight for tickets to the Sports tour. Pat saw them open for Loverboy before they made it big and they blew Loverly off the stage.
01:00:00 Christy plays her own Huey Lewis song. Off the album Sports, it's a song called "Bad Is Bad". April Richardson loves Huey too. Pat worries that the videos are so iconic that they taint the songs for him. On another note, Pat and Jimmy recently saw Billy Idol live and he was really good. He sounds great and was having a lot of fun onstage. Pat doesn't like it though when people swear during "Mony Mony." Christy tells a story about when she first heard of that trend. In high school, Christy was at a national cheerleading competition in Dallas. There was a party with a bunch of cheerleaders there, they played "Mony Mony," and did the "Hey motherfucker, get laid, get fucked" chant.
01:05:00 Christy was confused by the chant. Pat is horrified by it. Maybe it's because he's a dad. Pat also hates the part in "Sweet Caroline" where the audience goes "bum bum bum." And Kyle completes the trilogy by telling sports arenas to stay away from "Cotton Eye Joe."
We round up the "We Are the World" with one final clip:

Did they play pranks on Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles? You know, moving the mic, smearing peanut butter on the piano keys, stuff like that? In college, Christy saw Ray Charles in concert. To quote Jimmy Pardo: "Pha. Nomenal." Here's the kicker: He had keyboards in front of him and keyboards to his side. Ray would switch seamlessly back and forth between the keyboards without missing a beat.
01:10:00 Prince was not there for "We Are the World," but he did submit a song for the album. Pat plays "4 the Tears in Your Eyes". A little too creepy for Christy, it's like Prince is reading the bible over a synthesizer.
We already made fun of Stevie Wonder (we meaning Pat and Kyle), so let's play him. Christy plays "Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing" off the album Innervisions. 3 days after the album came out, Stevie got in a car accident with a log truck that sent him into a coma. He lost his sense of smell, but eventually got it back. A log truck, though? Pat says it reminds him of a Wacky Races character. This leads to a quick discussion about midgets and "tall-ies." I can't even begin to explain.
01:15:00 Pat also has a Stevie Wonder song for his last pick. Off the album "Songs in the Key of Life, it's "Isn't She Lovely". Pat got into Stevie Wonder because Starsky of Starsky and Hutch was a Stevie Wonder fan. And Pat also had a Starsky sweater. It was itchy. Christy, meanwhile, is rocking a rather hipstery t-shirt. It's Rutger Hauer's character from the movie Wanted Dead or Alive. She bought 5 of them and it is her favorite thing. Christy's hair is also looking very natural today. She mentioned to one of the young crew members on set that she wanted to get her roots done and they didn't know what that meant. Youths! All in all, everyone on the set had a blast.
01:20:00 This was a very nice and mellow episode. Sometimes you gotta caress your soul with some soft rock goodness. Congratulations once again to Christy on her web series. She takes us out with the song "Go Insane" by Lindsey Buckingham off the album Go Insane.
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:15:00 We Are the World We Are the World USA for Africa N/A
00:15:00 One-Trick Pony Paul Simon Christy
00:20:00 If Only for the Moment, Girl We Are the World Steve Perry Pat
00:20:00 I’m Alright Caddyshack Soundtrack Kenny Loggins Christy
00:25:00 Nobody’s Fool Caddyshack II Soundtrack Kenny Loggins Pat
00:30:00 This Place Hotel Triumph The Jacksons Christy
00:35:00 Better Be Good to Me Private Dancer Tina Turner Pat
00:35:00 More Love Romance Dance Kim Carnes Christy
00:40:00 Trapped We Are the World Bruce Springsteen Pat
00:40:00 I Drove All Night A Night to Remember Cyndi Lauper Christy
00:45:00 Shine Shine Cyndi Lauper Pat
00:50:00 Tears Are Not Enough We Are the World Northern Lights Pat
00:50:00 Stars Stars Hear ’n Aid Kyle
00:55:00 Meet Me in the Morning Blood on the Tracks Bob Dylan Christy
00:55:00 Trouble in Paradise We Are the World Pat
01:00:00 Bad Is Bad Sports Huey Lewis and the News Christy
01:10:00 4 the Tears in Your Eyes We Are the World Prince Pat
01:10:00 Don’t You Worry ‘bout a Thing Innervisions Stevie Wonder Christy
01:15:00 Isn’t She Lovely Songs in the Key of Life Stevie Wonder Pat
01:20:00 Go Insane Go Insane Lindsey Buckingham Christy