Wednesday, January 28, 2009

WPIX Sunday Movie Commercial Break 1984

Attn: Sunday afternoon TV watchers of the 80s...Here is a seven-minute commercial break from Christmas 1984 loaded with all the classic Tri-State area based commercials, including Apex Technical School, NBO, Crazy Eddie and the Money Store, and a few national nuggets, too (holla, Rosie!).


Growing up, one of my favorite times of the year was when my grandfather would take me to my Aunt Madeline's house in Saratoga Springs, NY. I have been going up to Saratoga since I was a baby, and it remains arguably my favorite town in the state of New York.

Whenever we would go up to visit my aunt and cousins in Saratoga, my grandpa would take myself and one of the cousins to Lake George and Storytown USA, now known as The Great Escape/Splashwater Kingdom and a part of the Six Flags franchise. Papa used to take my mom and uncle there when they were kids, and he kept the tradition alive by bringing me during my wonder years.

If you could bottle up and sell that excitement and happiness I felt when I saw that big Storytown road sign approaching after the long car ride, I guarantee the world would be in a much better place.

A little history of the park, thanks to whoever wrote the entry on Wikipedia:

The Great Escape was opened in 1954 as Storytown USA, a Mother Goose themed amusement park by businessman Charles Wood who bought the land with his wife for $75,000.[1] In 1957, realizing that the park was geared only toward small children, the park opened its Ghosttown area, the first of many themed areas opened in the parks history.

In 1983, the park officially changed its name from Storytown USA to The Great Escape. For publicity, the park placed bumper stickers on every car in the parking lot. This practice stopped a few years later due to complaints.

In 1984, the Great Escape opened the Steamin' Demon, the first of its eventual seven roller coasters. The showpiece attraction at The Great Escape is the Comet. Re-opened at The Great Escape in 1994, this roller coaster already had a 41-year history as The Comet at Crystal Beach (an amusement park near Niagara Falls, Ontario). It was saved shortly after the park closed down forever after the 1988 season. Charley Wood, the owner of Great Escape Fun Park and Fantasy Island in Grand Island, New York successfully bid for The Comet and it sat in storage for a few years in Fantasy Island before making its way to the park in Queensbury, NY and reopening in 1993. Roller coaster enthusiasts recognize it as one of the best wooden roller coasters in North America.

In addition to typical amusement park rides the Great Escape offers a variety of unique shows, most notable of which is a high dive show featuring a team of divers scaling an 80-foot (24 m) tower and plunging into a ten foot deep pool.

Other milestones include:

* 1954 — Charles Wood opens Storytown USA.
* 1957 — Ghosttown section of the park is opened [2].
* 1960 — Jungleland section of the park is opened [3].
* 1967 — Alice in Wonderland walk through adventure is opened [4].
* 1982 — addition of about eight adult spinning rides.
* 1983 — Name change from Storytown USA to Great Escape Fun Park along with the addition of Steamin' Demon looping rollercoaster and a few other adult rides.
* 1986 — Opening of Raging River, a river-rapids water ride.
* 1994 — A used wooden track and steel frame rollercoaster called the Comet was brought from Crystal Beach, Ontario and reassembled at Great Escape and opened, giving the park three rollercoasters.
* 1995 — Great Escape opens its waterpark Splashwater Kingdom.
* 1996 — Acquisition by Premier Parks, which later bought and changed its name to Six Flags.
* 1997 — Addition of Boomerang Coast-to-Coaster(a very much duplicated ride), a forward and backward looping coaster. Was and currently is still the tallest rollercoaster at the park.
* 1998 — Addition of Alpine Bobsled, an alpine themed bobsled type rollercoaster (Previously located at Six Flags Great America from 1990 to 1995 as Rolling Thunder and Six Flags Great Adventure as Sarejevo Bobsleds from 1984-1988).
* 1999 — Addition of Nightmare at Crack Axle Canyon, a combination rollercoaster and dark ride featuring four-person cars, but only operated with two people. (Indoor Schwarzkopf Jet Star rollercoaster).
* 2003 — Addition of Canyon Blaster (Family rollercoaster by Arrow Dynamics from defunct Opryland USA).
* 2004 — The Great Escape's 50th Anniversary.
* 2005 — Debut of Looney Tunes National Park: a Looney Tunes themed children's area which included eight new children's rides (including Road Runner Express, the park's seventh rollercoaster) and a re-themed restaurant as well as a cartoon walk-through. Replaces the old Jungleland area. Accompanying Looney Tunes National Park are the Looney Tunes characters. The Flash Pass system is introduced.
* 2007 — The Tornado opens in the Splashwater Kingdom.
* 2008 — Wiggles World Children's Theme Area and The Mega Wedgie, a Proslide Bowl. At the Great Escape Lodge, The Trapper's restaurant is converted to a Johnny Rockets, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
* 2009 - Sasquatch. A S&S Power Inc. Combo Tower. Relocated from Six Flags New Orleans.

This ride will be located where the Rainbow used to be.

In February 2006, The Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark opened up with positive reviews and sold out weekends throughout the first month. This major addition includes a 38,000-square-foot (3,500 m2) waterpark exclusively for lodge guests. This is New York State's first indoor waterpark.

With the closure of Houston's Astroworld in 2005, the park has received the dismantled Serial Thriller (Vekoma SLC) coaster as well as their former Tidal Wave shoot-the-chutes water ride. The Great Escape's General Manager was quoted as saying, to the Queensbury Town Board, that the Tidal Wave ride was "too old" and would not be assembled in the park and to expect the Vekoma SLC to be assembled at the park.

During the 2005 season, the park introduced a new line queuing system, the "Flash Pass." For $10, guests can use Flash Passes an unlimited number of times on rides that often have long waits, including the Comet, Alpine Bobsled, Desperado (no longer Poland Springs) Plunge, Raging River, and Canyon Blaster. The park is also offering Flash Passes for free for guests wishing to ride the Nightmare, which has drastically reduced the ride's normally long wait time.

The park debuted several new features for the 2006 season. These included character greetings from the likes of the whole Justice League.

Admission prices since 2007 have been $39.99 for visitors over 48" tall at the gate ($32.99 if purchased online), $24.99 for visitors under 48" tall, $24.99 after 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 24.99 after 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and free for visitors aged two and under. Season passes and group rates are available. There is also a $10 fee for parking, which a season pass can also be purchased for $30.

New for the 2007 season, The Great Escape added a Proslide Tornado water attraction to Splashwater Kingdom. This is the first renovation/adding to Splashwater Kingdom in 10 years. The Tornado will take riders through short section of enclosed slide before coming out at the top of a giant funnel. The same ride is already featured at several Six Flags parks, including Six Flags New England & Darien Lake. Along with the addition of the Tornado, the park re-themed their dive show to a pirate themed show, branded their pizza restaurant a Papa John's, and brought back the Superstars and Legends: Elvis! Show (Which featured throughout the summer not only Elvis, but also Buddy Holly, and Billy Joel) to JollyTree Theatre.

I have pictures of me chillin' at Storytown with Papa, my mom and my grandma in one of our last family outings together before my grandmother passed away, which I will post as soon as they are dug up out of storage.

In the meantime, check out these two YouTube clips I found of old super 8 reels of family trips to Storytown, one from 1966 and another from 1973, the year I was born.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


If you are looking to reminisce about all the old toy stores you went to as a leisure suited youth of the 70s and early 80s, look no further than the Gallery of Vintage Toy Stores, put together by the fine folks at Plaid Stallions. If you thought we had some funky fresh toy emporiums here in New York, get a load of some of these spots in other parts of the country. Star Wars endcaps. Walls of Lego playsets. Full-on daps to Montgomery Wards! Holla!

My personal favorite is a store called Stuffnpuffs, which sounds more like a head shop than a toy store, if you ask me.

And nothing beats this wall of old school Atari, Intellivision and Colecovision at the defunct mall shop The Game Player.

And vintage gamers will totally appreciate this display at Child World as well.

For more retroactive fun, visit

Young Seth Green in a 1987 Play World commerical:

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Anyone who ever had HBO back in the early 80s is sure to remember this quirky educational short series that ran for a brief time before they featured some kind of children's programming. Here are some clips I found off YouTube. As one of the first families who had "Home Box" on our block in Levittown, NY, Braingames was definitely required viewing in the house.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

And now, a word from our SPONSORS

Welcome Back, WPIX!

It is really great to the best local TV station in New York make a comeback after over a decade of hostile corporate occupation by Warner Bros. and their racist frog.

But though WPIX may be back in name, they are still a long way away from their glory days of the 70s and 80s, with its psychedelic TV movie bumpers, an Action News team that puts Ron Burgundy to shame and, of course,those great editorials from station head Richard N. Hughes that came on right before the Odd Couple.

All praises to TapThat2012 and the other folks who posted these clips on YouTube and providing great memories for all of us TV zombies who grew up in the Tri-State area in the 70s and 80s. -"Whipped in Whippany"

Monday, January 12, 2009


Check out this amazing FM broadcast I found on Guitars 101 of Bonnie Raitt and John Hammond jamming with Lowell George of Little Feat, recorded live at the old Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, NY for WLIR-FM on October 17, 1972.


01. Intro
02. Love Me Like A Man
03. Under The Falling Sky
04. Talk
05. Love Has No Pride
06. Talk
07. Going Down To Louisiana
08. Talk
09. Can't Find My Way Home
10. Tuning
11. Big Road
12. You Got To Know How
13. Talk
14. Apolitical Blues
15. Talk
16. Come Ride In My Automobile
17. Talk
18. As The Years Go Passing By
19. Watch My Pony Ride
20. I Can't Be Satisfied
21. Sky Is Crying
22. Tuning
23. Honest I Do
24. Talk
25. It's Too Late

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Steve Wonder Meets Grover

Check out these clip from a 1973 episode of Sesame Street with guest Stevie Wonder. First there's a little cute back-and-forth with Grover, before getting the band together and knocking Mr. Hooper's socks off with a funkdafied rendition of "Superstition". My boy's four-month-old son was lovin' this shit! -Ed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Caldor Rainbow

Nicholas DeMaio is a 23-year-old photographer from Farmington, CT and the author of The Caldor Rainbow, an amazing Blogger site dedicated to the preservation of dead, dilapidated and long-gone buildings that once housed some of the department stores, hardware shops, electronics boutiques and fast food eateries that once made America a weird, wild, colorful rainbow of retail that gave even the littlest town its own unique flavor during the 60s, 70s and 80s before Wal-Mart and Target stomped a big mudhole of globalization into all their asses and shut 'em all down.

Now every town you go to all looks the same. Well, almost every. The Caldor Rainbow, not to mention DeMaio's Flickr photostream(, boldly aims to document any old pieces of retail Americana left in the country, and does an excellent job documenting if I don't say so myself.

Please check him out at and prepare to get pulled back in time.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

WNEW 102.7 FM circa 1982

Here is a short promotional doc for WNEW, which, at one point, was the cutting edge of New York rock radio back in the late 60s/early 70s before settling into the premier classic rock station of the Northeast. Now 102.7 FM is the home of some of the lamest soccer mom music on the planet, but we at Metro Recycling will never forget what used to be on that frequency all those years ago and continues to live on today at, which all of you are strongly encouraged to check out.


In August of 1964, the Beatles played at the Forest Hills stadium in New York and stayed at the fancy Delmonico Hotel on Park Avenue.

When they arrived at the hotel, Ringo was mobbed in the lobby and not only had his shirt torn off, but also his beloved St. Christopher's medal.

In this video, Beatle fan Angie McGowan returns the medal to Ringo and all's back to "normal" with the Fab Four. Cousin Brucie and Scott Muni from WABC Radio do a live broadcast of this and you can hear the screams from the fans outside the building! Paul McCartney pays a surprise visit.

For more information on this incident, check out: