Bootleg City, Music
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Bootleg City: Night Ranger in Los Angeles, September ’85

This holiday season will offer you 7 Wishes. But what will you wish for first?

Will it be the Jack Blades posable action figure? Dressed in authentic Midnight Madness-era stage attire, this incredibly lifelike replica of Night Ranger®’s bassist-vocalist comes preloaded with seven Jack Blades catchphrases. Pull his string and you’ll hear these unforgettable classics:

“You can stiiiiiilllll ROCK in Amer-i-caaaaaa!”

“DON’T tell me you love meeeeeee!”

“Looks like what you need right now is a TOUCH of mad-ness!”

“You still got some more RAWK left in you to-night?”

Plus three more exciting Blade-isms, all delivered by the unstoppable Jack Blades! (Requires two AA batteries to start. Batteries not included.)

But wait — there’s more!

New for the holidays, Dawn Patrol Toys is pleased to unveil the first-ever Alan “Fitz” Fitzgerald action figure. Modeled after Night Ranger®’s legendary keyboard player, often referred to as “the original Silent Bob,” Fitz comes with his own miniature synthesizer, shades, and beret.

And you’ll be lookin’ extra cool wearing the bonus pair of signature Alan “Fitz” Fitzgerald aviator sunglasses. These super boss blockers are a replica reproduction of the snazzy specs Fitz wore onstage at every single Night Ranger® gig as well as when he played keyboards behind the curtain for Sammy Hagar-era Van Halen. Finally, your chance to look mysteriously cool without having to say a single word!

You’ll be motorin’, for sure, but you’re probably asking yourself: What will be the price for flight? And what will you be listening to as you’re driving through the night on the way to another dreaded dinner at your in-laws’ house?

If Popdose has any choice in the matter, you’ll be listening to this week’s vintage bootleg, “Live Wishes.” Back in 1985 Blades and drummer Kelly Keagy, Night Ranger®’s other lead vocalist, were motorin’ full throttle toward superstardom with a slew of hits, including the song that powered every backseat make-out session and slow dance in 1983, “Sister Christian.”

“Motorin’,” as referenced in the song, seems innocent enough at first glance: you’re in your car driving around with your friends, just looking for a little fun on a Friday night. But according to legend, there’s a strong possibility you’ll find yourself driving around in that very same car, on that very same Friday night, looking instead for … casual sex! Suddenly, things aren’t feeling so innocent anymore, are they? And worse, perhaps your brother finds out about it, and goes home to write a song about your experience:

Babe, you know you’re growing up so fast
And mama’s worrying
That you won’t last to say
Let’s play

Brotherly concern translated into a top-five hit for Night Ranger®, and 25 years later “Sister Christian” continues to (inappropriately) touch music fans, like the ones who’ve left comments at SongFacts.com:

“Until recently, I had thought this was a religious song due to the title, and I misheard the lyric ‘You’ve got him in your sights’ as ‘And God gave you your sight’.” —Eric from Bend, Oregon

“Originally, I thought Kelly was singing ‘Motorhead ….’ haha” —Tim from Indianapolis

“I love it when they get to ‘Moterin what’s your price for flight’ I love the rocking part its so cool!” —LynnRocks20091

And in the end, rocking is all we really want to do, even if we’re not quite sure how to spell some of the words. (Consult your doctor if Moterin causes you to rock for more than 48 consecutive hours.) Indeed, the quintet of rock gods, originally dubbed Night Ranger® by the exalted rulers of the planet PWRChord, were beamed down to the Bay Area in the early 1980s with a single mission: to deploy blistering rock jams with melodic keyboard overtones to smoky arenas worldwide (these days they seem to focus most of their attention on the island nation of Japan).

“Live Wishes” is taken from a surviving audio document of one of Night Ranger®’s greatest triumphs. Recorded at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in Irvine, California, on September 25, 1985, the band opens the show “dressed to kill and looking dy-no-mite” (which sounds kind of familiar for some reason …) as they play “7 Wishes.” Thirteen songs later the audience has been forced to surrender, but only after promising to withhold actual expressions of love. For nearly 90 minutes (conveniently edited due to compact-disc space limitations), Night Ranger® kicks severe amounts of ass.

So you say you’ve been looking for proof that you can still rock in America? We the people of Bootleg City pledge that if you download the following 14 tracks and play them at a volume slightly above 11, you’ll discover that thy will to rock shall be done.

7 Wishes
This Boy Needs to Rock
Sentimental Street
Sing Me Away
Rumours in the Air
Four in the Morning
When You Close Your Eyes
Faces
Eddie’s Comin’ Out Tonight
Night Ranger
Touch of Madness
(You Can Still) Rock in America
Sister Christian
Don’t Tell Me You Love Me

Filed under: Bootleg City, Music

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Matt Wardlaw is a music lifer with nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. Of course you all have shoes older than that, but that's okay, Matt realizes that he's still a rookie. His byline has appeared in the Riverfront Times (St. Louis), Cleveland Scene, Blogcritics, Music's Bottom Line and Ultimate Classic Rock, among others. In addition to writing for Popdose, Matt also has his own music blog called Addicted to Vinyl where he writes about a variety of subjects including but not limited to vinyl. In his spare time, Matt enjoys long walks in the park, Cherone-era Van Halen and driving long distances to Night Ranger concerts.