The 80s: SEATTLE'S BEST ROCK
The 80s. Seattle's Best Rock.
What patches did you have on the back of your denim jacket? Rock dominated America in the 80s. It took over and became a way of life. It was what you spent your money on and lived your life for. This was truly when KISW and you, the Rockaholics, became a force to be reckoned with. Through the power of Ozzy, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Metallica, we could kick any ass that stood in our way. It was a life raft in a sea of Reganomics.
KISW jocks of the 80s were household names with antics that had the whole city abuzz. Robin and Maynard, Crow and West, Sharpie and Steve Slaton. They entertained us through the discovery of the synthesizer for Eddie Van Halen and Geddy Lee to the full on explosion of hair bands. However, in the 80s, KISW suffered a tough blow. The whole air staff except for Slaton, Program Director Beau Phillips, and a couple of people in the office, went across the street and started KXRX (96.5). To their credit, The X was a great station. The competition just made us a little stronger.
On August 4th 1980, Miss Rock the hydroplane was born, and Seafair was never the same. To say we blew up a few boats is an understatement. Alas, Miss Rock continues to ride the waves of KISW history.
The 80s also brought us the first KISW Rock Girls. Beautiful ambassadors of KISW. While rock isn't always pretty, they sure were. Next time you see a smokin' hot woman in her 60's just think, she could be an original Rock Girl!
Hair band fashion overdrive: big hair, snakeskin, fringe, mullets, cut off shorts... we all look back and cringe/smile!
The 80s found Seattle on the big screen with Say Anything, The Fabulous Baker Boys, An Officer And A Gentleman, War Games, and Harry And The Hendersons.
Metallica recorded the landmark Live Sh*t: Binge And Purge at Key Arena in 1989, on the Damaged Justice Tour – maybe a tip of the hat to our city and the first radio station in America to play the band.
Sir Mix-A-Lot also debuted the famous "Posse On Broadway" in 1988. A shout out to Broadway, Taco Bell, Dick's Drive-In and MLK Way... pure Seattle, baby.
The 80s found The Kingdome at the height of its popularity. On the sports front, the Seattle Seahawks won their first AFC West Division title.
In 1986, Sup Pop Records was formed by Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman. The label garnered local and underground fame for signing Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden, and countless others. Our little local music scene in the next decade, would blow up bigger than anyone could have imagined.
The 80s for Seattle's Best Rock. It would have made a great edition of Behind The Music.