Sunday, September 22, 2013

Retro Atari Computer Game: "Journey's Escape" (Data Age, 1982) starring JOURNEY "America's Hottest Rock Group"

I just found this ad in an old  Games magazine from March 1993.

According to this ad, "You're on the road with "America's hottest rock group, Journey. And they're counting on you. You're the only player who can help Journey make it to their scarab escape vehicle. Only you can outsmart the promoters, avoid the photographers, and fight off the love-crazed groupies."

As an American tween-ager at the time of this ad, I have two problems with this premise:  1) the "America's hottest rock group" label and 2), the "love-crazed groupies" issue.

Problem 1:
Journey had some catchy hits and ballads but "America's Hottest Rock Group" is quite an overstatement. You can't tell me that Journey was ever hotter than Van Halen (David Lee Roth), Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, or KISS.  Even at their lowest points, Aerosmith and Alice Cooper were still amazing performers.

One of Journey's biggest hits is "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' "- a song that never failed to remind me of Mr. Whipple in the "Don't Squeeze the Charmin" toilet paper ads.  (Come to think of it, "Don't Squeeze the Charmin" sounds awfully close to another one of Journey's hits "Don't Stop Believin' "). Also, what's with dropping the "g's" at the end of words?

"Don't stop lovin', touchin', squeezin' the Charmin"

Problem 2:
Was Journey really fighting off "the love-crazed groupies"?   Journey, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, and Styx are all good bands but they all seemed interchangeable looks-wise to me.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C
As you can see from the photos above, there is nothing there to get love-crazed about unless you like man-perms, handlebar mustaches, open shirts, and (as in the case of REO Speedwagon) hairy chests and turquoise necklaces.  In fact, if you put all of these bands in a blender you would get...

Mr. Brady from "The Brady Bunch"
Mr. Brady and his merm (man-perm).   This is not a look that kept young girls up at night.

Most of the rock star crushes in the early 1980s were from other countries: Duran Duran, The Police (Sting), or Rick Springfield. You had to fight with your friends about which one was "yours".

I don't doubt that Journey had some "love-crazed groupies" because there are a lot of people out there who try to service every rock star that comes to town as if they are playing some sort of X-rated bingo (a less creative variation of the Plaster Casters).   I just shudder at the actual "love-starved groupies" for Lemmy from Motorhead or The Insane Clown Posse.

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