November 19, 1985: Star Stealer

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(Pictured: Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev relax by the fire in Geneva on November 19, 1985.)

November 19, 1985, is a Tuesday. Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev are in Geneva, where they will hold their first summit meeting starting today. Other headlines in the morning papers: U.S. Navy intelligence agent Jonathan Pollard was arrested yesterday for passing classified material to Israel, and in the Monday night football game, the Washington Redskins beat the New York Giants 23-21, but lost their quarterback, Joe Theismann, to a gruesomely broken leg suffered when he was tackled by Lawrence Taylor of the Giants. The injury will end the quarterback’s career. Also announced yesterday, winners of the Cy Young Award for best major league pitchers: Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets and Brett Saberhagen of the Kansas City Royals. On the comics page in 35 newspapers across the country today, readers return to a new strip that debuted yesterday: Calvin and Hobbes. Lincoln Perry, better known as Stepin Fetchit, dies at age 83, and future Pittsburgh Steeler Patrick Bailey is born.

Top movie at the box office last weekend: the vampire comedy Once Bitten, starring Lauren Hutton and an unknown named Jim Carrey in his first starring role. The weekend’s other major new release, the animated Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer, came in at #10 for the weekend. Other top movies include the thrillers Jagged Edge and Target, Death Wish 3, and Back to the Future, still among the nation’s box-office Top 10 after being in theaters since the Fourth of July. TV shows on the air tonight include the detective series Riptide starring Joe Penny and Perry King, The A-Team, Growing Pains, and Moonlighting. The play I’m Not Rappaport opens on Broadway. AC/DC plays Washington, DC, and Dire Straits plays Stuttgart, West Germany. The Charlie Watts band continues a six-night stand at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London. At the China Club in New York City, a birthday party for rock drummer Steve Ferrone turns into a superstar jam when David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Steve Winwood join Ferrone on stage. Seeing that the band needs a guitarist, Bowie makes a phone call, and 20 minutes later, Rolling Stone Ron Wood shows up to play. In Macomb, Illinois, a local radio announcer and his wife are packing to move from a one-bedroom basement apartment to a big house they’re renting.

Albums released this week include Radio by LL Cool J and Rock a Little by Stevie Nicks. The lead single from Rock a Little, “Talk to Me,” is the highest-debuting single on the latest Cash Box chart, at #48. The hottest record on the chart is “Say You Say Me” by Lionel Richie, moving from #39 to #32 in its second week on; nearly as hot is #60, “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne and Friends (Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John, who sounds in bad need of throat surgery). At the top of the chart, “We Built This City” by Starship jumps from #5 to #1, knocking “Miami Vice Theme” by Jan Hammer to #2. The video for “We Built This City” is a strange one, failing to use the images the song provides (most notably the radio reference in the middle), opting instead for shots of people staring. In years to come, the song will top a couple of lists of the worst records ever made.

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One thought on “November 19, 1985: Star Stealer

  1. The jump from David Bowie (making a no-big-deal phone call to Ronnie Wood) to a radio announcer in Macomb, Illinois, is pretty great.
    I was sorta hoping for: “Bowie misdials Wood’s number and reaches the radio announcer, who is convinced his friends are pranking him and asks the former Ziggy Stardust if he has Prince Albert in a can before hanging up.”

    Like

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