Looking back, there are three birthday parties from my childhood that stand out in my mind. The earliest one being my McDonald’s party. Yep, before today’s numerous birthday party options became available many parents just set aside some time at the local burger joint. And you know what? It was awesome. We played games, one of which involved trying to drop straws into a paper cup from a predetermined height, we ate burgers, and we just sort of ran around the place. Hey, it was a simpler time. The next memory would have to be my skating rink party. After all, it was the 80s and that was what we did. I remember trying not to fall down, and I remember the arcade games that were available. Double Dragon seemed so cool, edgy, and adult to my little 8-year-old eyes. Lastly but not leastly, I remember my Showbiz Pizza birthday party and the robotic rock band that melted my face as I munched on my slice of pepperoni with cheese, The Rock-afire Explosion!
After my party, I remember becoming obsessed with the animatronic band. I even tried to create my own makeshift robots in my bedroom to no avail. After giving up on a future in robotics, the art student in me eventually decided to simply draw each band member’s likeness on paper grocery sacks. I would then convert these sacks into costumes I could wear by cutting out arm holes, eye holes and a mouth hole. A photograph exists of me and my sister wearing these abominations, but since I wish to remain on speaking terms with my sister, I’ve decided to withhold them from the site.
Anyway, getting back to the party, I was the birthday boy so that meant I was to be presented with a free gift from the house. I think you can guess what I probably received, right? After all, if it was a rubber coin purse displaying the Showbiz Pizza logo or some such nonsense, I probably wouldn’t be writing this post. Indeed friends, it was the premiere album from what I had just decided was “like, totally my favorite band of all time”! Behold dear reader… Gee, Our 1st Album by the Rock-afire Explosion on vinyl!
I don’t think a day went by in the late-80s where I didn’t spin this bad boy on my small Fisher Price record player. I’m convinced this album is what first introduced me to the music of Billy Joel, The Doors, and Elvis Presley. So, I owe it a lot actually. Thankfully someone was able to digitally preserve this classic and post it up for the common good on YouTube as well. Enjoy!
One More Thing
If you were also obsessed with the Rock-afire Explosion as a child, I must direct you to the following documentary. It tells the story of a small town disc-jockey who acquired his own Rock-afire Explosion, and then tweaked things a bit to have them perform new set lists. It’s a bit of a bummer, but it beautifully illustrates the urge we all feel to remain young and to keep certain things from our own childhood alive. It’s well worth a watch.
Official Site: http://www.rockafiremovie.com
Feel free to share your childhood birthday memories in the comments section below as well!