Selling over 20 million albums worldwide, The B52s have quietly impacted alternative music, fashion, and culture over the course of four-plus decades. They count John Lennon, Madonna, James Murphy, and Michael Stipe among their disciples. Panic! At The Disco, Blood Orange, The Offspring, Pitbull, Roger Sanchez, and DJ Shadow have sampled classics from the band’s discography as Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy, The Simpsons, Sugarland, and more offered up covers of their own. They inched towards the forefront of the post-punk movement in America codified by 1979’s self-titled The B-52s. Not only did the record go gold, but it also placed at #152 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and #99 on VH1’s “Greatest Albums of All Time.” The gold-selling Wild Planet arrived hot on its heels in 1980. With Keith brilliantly filling the void in with music composition and live show guitar duties, 1989’s watershed Cosmic Thing elevated the B-52s to another galaxy altogether. It moved 5 million-plus units and spawned a string of Top 10 smashes in the form of the GRAMMY®-nominated “Roam” and “Love Shack”—which Rolling Stone lauded on the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
After a 16-year hiatus, The B-52’s proved as bright, bold, and boundless as ever on 2008’s Funplex. The momentum only ramped up when they roamed on tour in 2015 alongside Tears for Fears and more. In the summer of 2018, The B-52s also began their 40th Anniversary tour alongside Boy George & Culture Club and will be continuing strong into 2019. As they prepare a high-profile documentary and first official book, The B-52s look forward to inspiring future generations.
Bret Michaels is a multiplatinum global superstar who has turned his passion for music into a multifaceted brand. With a legendary career that encompasses record-breaking touring sales, reality TV stardom, chart-topping songs that have sold over 50 million records, product endorsements as well as a dedication to philanthropy, Bret is supported and followed by three generations of loyal fans.
Born in the small town of Butler, Pennsylvania on March 15, 1963, Bret first rose to fame as the front man of Poison, helping to define the rock-n-roll scene on the Sunset Strip. One of rock’s most iconic and enduring bands, Poison’s massive success includes selling over 40 million records worldwide and numerous hit singles.
Equally as successful as a solo artist, Bret Michaels’ career has charted its own course with multiple solo albums. His album, Custom Built, topped the charts, reaching #1 on Billboard’s Hard Rock list. His CD, Jammin’ With Friends, featured a myriad of legendary artists. Michaels recently embarked on his worldwide 2019 Unbroken Tour, which will continue throughout the year. His latest single and video, “Unbroken” — which he cowrote and recorded with his youngest daughter, Jorja Bleu — was released on March 15, 2019.
When Michaels is not touring he can be found both in front of and behind the camera as a director, producer and a reality TV superstar. His first foray into reality TV brought the record-breaking Rock of Love with Bret Michaels franchise to VH1, one of the most successful shows in the network’s history. Following three successful seasons of the show, he teamed up with VH1 for the docu-series Life As I Know It, setting even more records. Bret has also starred in and won the NBC hit, Celebrity Apprentice. Coming into the show as the underdog, his tenacity and business sense helped him win the series, raising well over $300,000 for Diabetes research and making him the only celebrity to have a product they created be available to the general public and actually become an endorsement deal.
The legendary Los Angeles-based synth pop group Berlin, founded by bassist John Crawford, singer Terri Nunn, and keyboard player David Diamond, made its first national impression with the provocative single “Sex (I’m A…)” from the gold-selling debut EP Pleasure Victim in 1982. The group was filled out by guitarist Rick Olsen, keyboard player Matt Reid, and drummer Rob Brill. Berlin’s first full-length LP was the gold Love Life in 1984. In 1985, the group was pared down to a trio of Crawford, Nunn, and Brill. Berlin topped the charts in 1986 with the single “Take My Breath Away,” the love theme from the Tom Cruise movie Top Gun.
Nunn left for a solo career in 1987, and Crawford and Brill teamed up in the Big F. In 1999, the band reunited to record some new studio material and also performed a concert, which, along with the new songs, was released as 2000’s Berlin Live: Sacred and Profane. This was followed a year later by a flurry of recording sessions that included co-writing tracks others. The end result, Voyeur, was their first full-length studio release in over 15 years.
A favorite of The 80s Cruise audiences, Berlin returns to The 80s Cruise in 2020 by popular demand after rocking the ship the past three years with electrifying live performances and several interactive events with guests. Berlin will perform two concerts jam-packed with their hits —as well as brand-new songs from their new studio album, “TranscenDANCE,” which The 80s Cruise audiences were treated to sneak peeks of in 2019 during a special concert in which the original members reunited onstage for the first time since 1985.
For more than 30 years, LOVERBOY has been “Working for the Weekend” (and on weekends), delighting audiences around the world since forming in 1978, when vocalist Mike Reno was introduced to guitar hot shot Paul Dean— both veterans of several bands on the Canadian scene— at Calgary’s Refinery Night Club.
With their trademark red leather pants, bandannas, big rock sound and high-energy live shows, LOVERBOY has sold more than 10 million albums, earning four multi-platinum plaques, including the four-million-selling Get Lucky, and a trio of double-platinum releases in their self-titled 1980 debut, 1983’s Keep It Up and 1985’s Lovin’ Every Minute of It. Their string of hits includes, in addition to the anthem “Working for the Weekend,” such arena rock staples as “Lovin’ Every Minute of It,” “This Could Be the Night,” “Hot Girls in Love,” “The Kid is Hot Tonite,” “Notorious”, “Turn Me Loose,” “When It’s Over,” “Heaven In Your Eyes” and “Queen of the Broken Hearts.”
LOVERBOY went on to win a still-record six Juno awards in 1982, and until a three-year sabbatical in 1989, were one of the Top 5 grossing touring acts in the world, performing in over 100 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Their success made them the first Canadian group ever to earn Columbia Records’ exclusive Crystal Globe Award, celebrating the sale of over five million albums outside their native country.
Along with Reno and Dean, LOVERBOY still includes original members Doug Johnson on keyboards and Matt Frenette on drums, with Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve (a former member of Dean and Frenette’s pre-LOVERBOY band Streetheart), replacing the late Scott Smith on bass, and continues a healthy touring schedule around the world.
Perhaps the band’s most famous song is “Working for the Weekend,” which has fueled a generation’s dreams of toiling every day for the chance to celebrate come Friday night. Dean realizes it has taken on a whole new meaning these days. “You’re lucky if you can work for the weekend now,” he says. “We’re all fortunate to be doing that. My personal dream has always been to play guitar and entertain people,” he enthuses. “There’s no feeling like looking out in the audience and seeing them grinning ear to ear, everyone on the same wavelength. And once we start with the mega-hits, the place goes crazy. That’s why we do what we do and will continue.”
Patty Smyth, both with her hit band Scandal and as a solo artist, has always been, at heart, a rock and roll chick, and that’s no truer today for the mother of six, now back on the road and raring to play for fans new and old. If Smyth did nothing but marry New York punk poet Richard Hell (with whom she had her oldest daughter Ruby), then noted tennis punk and commentator John McEnroe (who had three kids of his own and then two more with Patty), that would be amazing enough, but she’s also earned both Oscar and Grammy nominations, recorded a series of hit singles and albums and enjoyed a successful reunion on VH1’s Bands Reunited series.
Smyth was born in New York City, and took after her mother, a show business enthusiast who literally ran away to join the circus. She was 15 when she played her first gig and was honing her craft by performing short musical sets at Catch A Rising Star when she met Zack Smith, who would later ask her to front a band with him called Scandal. The rest is history. The group burst onto the scene in 1982 with a self-titled debut that turned out to be the best-selling EP in Columbia Records history, featuring the hit single, “Goodbye to You,” a song Smyth co-wrote with Smith, a #1 MTV video, and the hits “Love’s Got a Line on You” and “Win Some, Lose Some.” The group’s first full-length album, The Warrior, released in 1984, climbed into the Top 20 on the sales chart, eventually earning RIAA-certified platinum status, with more than a million in sales.
For all her ‘80s achievements (including being asked to join Van Halen while 8 months pregnant – an offer she declined), Smyth’s most impressive successes came in the ‘90s. Her 1992 solo album turned out to be a career peak. “Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough,” a song Patty wrote and featuring a performance by Don Henley, became Smyth’s biggest hit ever and was named BMI song of the Year. Two years later, Patty was brought in to sing and co-write “Look What Love Has Done,” the Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy-nominated theme from the hit Arnold Schwarzenegger/Danny DeVito comedy, Junior.
As for her current revival, Patty suggests: “I don’t play to a pre-recorded track or have 15 dancers on-stage. There are no smoke and mirrors. We feel that people are yearning for music that’s real. It’s just these four guys and I, out there seriously kicking some ass and having fun. We’re so tight, if I fell down a flight of stairs, they would follow me and we’d all land on our feet. I don’t have to think of anything else when I’m performing. For that hour, I can step out of my life. It’s like flying. I feel like I’m at the top of my game, and totally in my element. It’s an unbelievable joy.”
Tony Hadley, London born and bred thought his future lay in medicine until as a young lad he won a holiday singing competition and decided his vocation was to sing…. The rest is history! Tony went on to front 80s Romantics, Spandau Ballet, earning himself the accolade of being one of pop music’s greatest vocalists. The band had numerous chart topping singles and albums all over the world, including the epic “Through the Barricades” and of course the international number one “True” and the unofficial London Olympics theme “Gold”. Following two well documented reunions, which generated the critically acclaimed rockumentary “Soulboys of the Western World”, Tony has now left the band permanently and returned to his successful solo career, writing, recording and performing across the world both with his band and with orchestras. In 2005 he was awarded a Gold Badge from the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters. 2007 saw him win a new legion of fans when he appeared as Billy Flynn in Chicago on the West End stage. In addition to his music Tony also presents his own radio programme on a Saturday night on Absolute Radio.
Tony recently released his highly anticipated first solo album in many years, Talking to the Moon.
Tony Lewis, musician, songwriter and record producer is best known as co-founder of The Outfield. Together with John Spinks, the two took the 80s by storm with their infectious pop songs, including “Your Love,” “All the Love,” and “Say it isn’t So.” Their debut album, Play Deep, was issued in 1985 and would go on to reach triple platinum sales status and the Top 10 in the US album charts. “Your Love” peaked at No. 6 and is still featured in a number of compilation albums, commercials, and has been covered or remixed over 1,000 times by other artists.
Tony was playing one night in a pub in East London when John Spinks was there, and John said “With your voice and my songs, we could form a great band”. “The Baseball Boys,” named after a street gang in the popular film The Warrior,s became a real band, which became The Outfield In 1984 when they signed with CBS Columbia and began working on their first album, Play Deep. After the success of the first album, Tony and John went on to record many more albums with various drummers. The two were great friends and wrote and recorded together until John’s passing in 2014.
After the death of his longtime friend and collaborator, Tony took a break from music, but is back with a new CD, Out of the Darkness.
The Dire Straits Legacy project was born from the love and respect for the music of Dire Straits, and to bring the music to fans who have been starved of hearing it played live by the musicians who made it, for far too long.
Since Dire Straits played their last gig on the On Every Street tour in 1992, Mark Knopfler has left Dire Straits behind him and prefers to play his more recent songs from his solo career. Which is fine, he’s moved on, we respect that…but the fact is: the world misses Dire Straits! The idea of the Dire Straits Legacy is to bring together the members of Dire Straits who made those iconic records so they can bring the music to the fans, and the following members of Dire Straits have joined us: John Illsley, Phil Palmer, Alan Clark, Mel Collins, Jack Sonni, Danny Cummings, Pick Withers and Chris White. The current lineup contains Alan Clark (Dire Straits, 1980-), Phil Palmer (Dire Straits, 1990-), Jack Sonni, Mario Caviglia, and Priano Dibiase.
John Payne became the frontman of the supergroup Asia in 1992 at the invitation of keyboardist Geoff Downes, replacing vocalist/bassist John Wetton. Asia extensively toured the world for the next 14 years performing new classics and old favorites. With Payne fronting the band, Asia released 8 stunning studio albums and several live recordings. In 2006, Geoff Downes left the band to reform the 1982 line up for their 25th anniversary. Since 2006, John Payne has continued his legacy with Asia as “Asia Featuring John Payne” and has been touring in North America since 2008.
Asia was originally formed in London in 1981, a supergroup of four members of different progressive rock bands: lead vocalist and bassist John Wetton of King Crimson and U.K., guitarist Steve Howe of Yes, keyboardist Geoff Downes of Yes and the Buggles, and drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Their debut album, Asia, released in 1982, spent nine weeks at number one on the U.S. album charts and sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. alone, and the band sold out every date on their debut tour. Hits from the album included “Heat of the Moment,” “Only Time Will Tell,” and “Sole Survivor.” They received a Grammy Award nomination as Best New Artist of 1982. Their follow-up album contained the hits “Don’t Cry” and “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.”
Lita Ford’s career began in 1975 as a founding member and guitarist of the groundbreaking all female group the Runaways. The groups hard rock/punk edge spawned hits like “Cherry Bomb” (featured in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and nominated for a Grammy Award).
In 1983 Lita launched her career as a solo artist with her debut album Out For Blood, establishing her as the premier female performer in rock and Heavy Metal. Lita quickly followed up in 1984 with the release of “Dancin’ on the Edge,” which earned her a Grammy nomination in the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance category. The album produced the world charting single “Fire in My Heart” and the U.S. Billboard top 50 charting hit “Gotta Let Go.”
2018 celebrated the 30th anniversary of the self-titled multi platinum album Lita, which boasted four charting hit singles: “Back to the Cave”, “Falling In and Out of Love” (co-written with Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx), the worldwide mega hits “Kiss Me Deadly,” nominated for the MTV Video Music Awards Best Female Video of the year, and the certified gold ballad single “Close My Eyes Forever” featuring Ozzy Osbourne, which remained in the Billboard top 10 for 25 weeks. The Lita album solidified Ford as one of the most influential female performers in the music industry and earned her the title “Queen of Metal.” Ford released three more studio albums following Lita: Stiletto, Dangerous Curves and Black, producing the radio and video hits “Hungry,” “Playin’ with Fire”, and “Shot of Poison”, again nominating her for a Grammy.
In 1995 Lita Ford took a sabbatical from the industry to raise a family. In 2008 Ford answered the calling of her fans and after thirteen years triumphantly returned to the stage. The excitement generated by Ford’s return quickly showed the world that the Queen was back. Since then Lita continues to tour at a non-stop pace, headlining major events worldwide and throughout the United States.
In 2014 Ford was presented with the Guitar Player Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the Guitar Player Hall of Fame. At 2017’s Fifth Annual She Rocks Awards, Lita was chosen as the recipient of the coveted Icon Award.
You know everybody’s been looking for Midnight Star. Well… Search No more… They’re back! After a lengthy sabbatical, Midnight Star has emerged once again…back on the scene, with class, excitement, and those patented infectious, hit grooves & melodies that rock the house!
Formed at Kentucky State University in 1976, MIDNIGHT STAR began as a self-contained party band in the P-Funk/ Earth Wind and Fire mode, and quickly earned a strong live reputation throughout the world. The group’s passion and love of the music and their strong desire to keep their fans ultimately satisfied, has shown up in Platinum and Gold as they’ve poured out streams of top 10 and No. 1 hits like “Freak-a-Zoid”, “No Parking on the Dance Floor”, “Wet My Whistle” and the lovers’ ballad of the mid-80’s, “Slow Jam.”. The Planetary Invasion LP of 1985 took them to No. 1 with “Operator” and the sizzling “Curious”. In 1986 Midnight Star struck gold with the chart buster “Midas Touch” and the title cut from the Headlines LP. The year of 1988 rowed them to the top once again with the No. 1 “Don’t Rock the Boat” (which featured rapper Ecstasy of Whodini) and the top 10 “Snake in the Grass” from their self-titled CD.
MIDNIGHT STAR broke into the 90’s with the smash “Do It (One More Time)” from their Work it Out CD which also featured the sultry ballad “Red Roses”.
So what can we expect from MIDNIGHT STAR today? Lead singer Belinda Limpscomb says,“ We will hit the stage with the high energy performance that we are known for, remembering all the things that were so special about the group… letting everybody’s light shine.”
In 1971, a young Martha Davis joined The Warfield Foxes, a band from Berkeley California. In 1975 they moved to Los Angeles and changed the band name to The Motels. The new name was inspired on the way to the band’s first show at Barney’s Beanery. Guitarist Dean Chamberlain noted the motor inns as they drove down Santa Monica Boulevard and suggested “What about The Motels?”
The band broke up then reformed in 1978 , releasing five albums between 1979 and 1985, two of them earning gold record status and generating two Top Ten singles, “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer.” When the band broke up in 1987 Martha released Policy, a solo album that charted in Australia.
Besides Davis, the new lineup includes guitarist Clint Walsh, drummer Eric Gardner, bassist Nic Johns and, as of 2011, original member Marty Jourard. Apocalypso, a previously unreleased version of 1982’s All Four One was released in 2011, thirty years to the day after the intended original date. In 2018 the Motels released their new record The Last Few Beautiful Days.
Big Country was originally formed in 1981 by guitar playing founder members Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson, both native of the band’s hometown Dunfermline in Scotland.
Initially driven by a shared vision of widescreen guitar melody, harmony and lyric, the classic Big Country sound was further enhanced later that summer by the arrival of drummer Mark Brzezicki and bass player Tony Butler. This is the Big Country that (with producer Steve Lillywhite), recorded the classic debut album ‘The Crossing’ in 1983. The band broke massively worldwide with the release of the album’s classic singles ‘Fields Of Fire’, ‘Chance’ and signature song ‘In A Big Country’, which went on to become massive worldwide hits, selling over 2 million copies and driving ‘The Crossing’ to 3 prestigious Grammy nominations in the USA.
The run of success continued throughout the 1980’s with the release of the anthemic single ‘Wonderland’ and the second album ‘Steeltown’ (1984), which debuted at Number 1 in the UK and contained the hit singles ‘East Of Eden’, Just a Shadow’ and ‘Where The Rose Is Sown’. In 1985, Big Country appeared for the finale at Live Aid in London followed by further successful album releases ‘The Seer’ (1986) – including the bands biggest UK hit ‘Look Away’ which reached Number 1 in the Irish Singles chart –, supporting David Bowie on his Glass Spider tour in 1987, and then the ‘Peace In Our Time’ album (1988), which saw the band playing the first ever privately promoted gig in Russia at the Moscow Sports Stadium. Big Country scored 17 top 30 UK singles achieving 5 gold and platinum status albums along the way.
Discovered in Minneapolis in the mid 1980s, this group of brothers and sisters hit the music scene as teenagers and soared straight to the top with hits like “Crush on You” (American Music Award nominee, 1986), “You Got it All,” “Make it Real,” and “Rocket 2U” (Grammy nominee, 1988). These songs are still in rotation on radio stations all across America today. Originally from the island kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific, The Jets have an international appeal that attracts fans across the US, Asia and Europe. The Jets had 8 top ten hits and have sold over 3 million albums, receiving 3 platinum records.
Annabella Lwin, at the tender age of thirteen, was one of the most photographed, talked about and popular vocalists in the early 80’s as the original member & lead singer of BOW WOW WOW. With a string of hits such as ‘I Want Candy’, ’Do U wanna Hold Me?’, ‘Go Wild in the Country’ & ‘C30, C60, C90, Go!’. Her unique vocals & Mohawk hairstyle, defined a sound & era of pop culture, inspiring a brand new wave of up-and-coming artists today. She continued to perform and develop her songwriting throughout the 90’s, releasing classics like ‘Carsex’ and dance hits like ‘Do What U Do’.
Her ongoing Buddhist practice continues to enhance and inform her artistic sensibilities, giving birth to new mature and romantic songwriting. This new solo direction still retains Annabella’s familiar vocal stylings to hard-core dance groove, beat-heavy anthemics married now to new harmonies of her Burmese/Gypsy background weaving playfully through melodies & hypnotic chants. The spirit of her songs confirms her ongoing celebration of life through music.
Born in the U.S., Katrina grew up with the West Coast sound (Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Heart). In 1976 she moved to the UK, where a few years later, Katrina, together with fellow American and future Wave, Vince de la Cruz, formed the Band Mama’s Cookin’. As a singer, Katrina was inspired by Motown and girl groups such as The Shangri‐Las and The Shirelles. In 1983 Katrina and Vince joined the Cambridge based band The Waves and she picked up on some of their musical influences such as Etta James, Velvet Underground and the Stones. The band became Katrina and the Waves, and in 1983 they recorded an album of original material, at their own expense. They were signed by an independent Canadian label, and their first album Walking on Sunshinewas released. Katrina and the Waves had their first big break in 1984 when The Bangles covered their song “Going Down to Liverpool.” This drew attention to the group and lead to an international record deal. The band’s first album was re-recorded and remixed. Scott Litt, who went on to produce REM and Nirvana, produced “Walking on Sunshine”—it was his idea to add the drum intro which made it irresistible to radio DJs. “Walking on Sunshine” became a worldwide hit, earning top ten spots around the globe. Since then, the song has been broadcasted over 2,500,000 times in the U.S. and was the highest played track on radio in the summer of 2008—23 years after its release. It has been featured in 7 films and television shows such as Glee, American Idoland The Voice. The band was nominated for a Grammy for “Best New Artist.” Their follow up single, “Do You Want Crying,” was a top 40 hit in the U.S. Katrina and The Waves in 1998 and Katrina resumed writing, recording and touring in 2001 as a solo artist.
Emerging from the South Bronx in the early 1970s, Grandmaster Flash is inarguably one of Hip Hop’s original innovators. In the earliest days of the genre, he manipulated music by placing his fingers on the vinyl, perfected beat looping, and discovered many of the most iconic beats still commonly sampled today. It’s no surprise that The New York Times calls him Hip Hop’s first virtuoso.
Today, he’s the voice of an entire generation of 1970s hip hop pioneers. From his electric live shows, to his production role on Netflix’ The Get Down, Grandmaster Flash is at once a historian, a storyteller, and a cultural force.
When it comes to the 80s, Jessie’s Girl has it covered, and they are bringing their highly acclaimed “Back to the Eighties Show” back aboard The 80s Cruise in 2019! Based out of New York City where they perform every Saturday night at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, the 80s tribute band covers the hits of this amazing decade while dressed as many of the artists their fans adore – think Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Prince! When not performing at private parties for the likes of Jamie Foxx and Neil Patrick Harris and at some of the hottest venues throughout the country, Jessie’s Girl takes to the stage from time to time with the hit makers themselves, including Tiffany, Bret Michaels, MC Hammer, Tone Loc and Taylor Dane. A crowd favorite, Jessie’s Girl will be rocking the ship!
Trial By Fire is a Los Angeles based classic rock group. Growing up in the 80’s, brothers Bill & Eric Mondragon had a strong rock ‘n’ roll background listening to groups like Journey, Van Halen and many others. In the early millennium they teamed up with the group Steel Rod which members are Jonny Reyes, Whit Petrell and Rod Pantajo who were playing the local circuit in Los Angeles. This classic rock and R&B trio consists of some of the best rock ‘n’ roll musicians in Los Angeles. With the soulful vocals of Eric and Bill of DW3 and the driving rock force of Steel Rod it was a perfect combination.
Brian Wilk began playing piano as early as he could reach the EBONY AND IVORY, but classical music gave him GROWING PAINS. So when the 80’s hit, he was a MANIAC for MTV and 80’s TV theme songs. He gave up riding the MORNING TRAIN and his 9 TO 5 life to pursue music, playing top 40 and performing with the ComedySportz improv troupe. But he was an OWNER OF A LONELY HEART until dueling pianos said you CAN’T FIGHT THIS FEELING and he found his TRUE COLORS. Brian started his career at Lucille’s Blazing Keys, then moved on to Howl At The
Moon Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and eventually Orlando.
Then one day he announced, “WE ARE THE WORLD, not just one city, and should share our music with new places.” So Brian set off for the WILD WILD WEST and took his BETTE DAVIS EYES and ability to WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN all around the country. There is almost no song Brian doesn’t know (or can make up the words to). He’s been described on stage as Robin Williams meets Howie Mandel, and with both ADD and OCD, you can see Brian meticulously organize and alphabetize your requests—yet at the same time… “Wanna ride bikes?”
He never forgets to thank his parents, JACK & DIANE, who are extremely proud of him. When Brian looks at the MAN IN THE MIRROR, he knows that in his quest to bring the 80’s to dueling pianos, he’s on THE A-TEAM. When asked what his secret to life is, Brian just says “DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY” then raises a glass of RED RED WINE and proclaims, “Although it may be BAD MEDICINE, I’ve had THE TIME OF MY LIFE! CHEERS!”
When Brad Heron was born, Dr. Feelgood took one look at his Flock of Seagulls hairdo and said, “This kid is destined for 80’s greatness!” His parents nurtured this gift with diligence: keeping him swaddled in red and black Thriller onesies, playing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in his crib, and pushing him around in a mini DeLorean stroller. He was soon reaching for that Casio keyboard, impressing everybody with his pop music covers (his favorites back then were Guns’n’Roses, Madonna and one half of Wham–we just don’t know which half). There was no stopping the music after that.
As Brad grew to manhood, the 80’s stayed with him. He took any job he could find, learning a lot but ultimately being let go because of his insistence on wearing Devo hats and randomly shouting, “I feel the need for speed!” But it was all for the best, because eventually his gift for music led him to working as an entertainer for Disney Cruise Line, where he was free to play every song possible (and occasionally lift a customer in the air like Baby in Dirty Dancing).
This led Brad eventually to the bustling metropolis of Gainesville, home to the Florida Gators. You can find him at Rockeys Dueling Piano Bar where he plays any song you ask for and can sometimes be seen phoning home. And true to his 80’s birthright, you can be sure that when the heat is on, Brad will be ready with a song at the piano and a Rubik’s Cube in his back pocket!
Kevin Hamel picked up his first guitar at 15 and has spent his musical career transforming his passion for music into a lifelong drive to becoming a truly diverse entertainer, playing in rock cover bands in New England in his college days to high-energy acoustic shows at clubs and bars from Maine to Key West, including: Sloppy Joe’s; Irish Kevin’s; Willie T’s and Sugarloaf Mountain, to name a few.
Focusing on the audience, his wide repertoire of genres and ability to play most of his show through requests, helps to make the connection with the crowd and make them part of the show. Add in some infectious sing-alongs and the music you once sang into a hair brush in front of the mirror (and maybe still do) and you’ve got an experience that will make you put your phone away and sing like a Rockstar!
Kevin was a paratrooper in the US Army. He currently lives in Bangor Maine with his 2 children, Riley and Kayla.
Christopher Olivas is not only the drummer for The 80s Cruise favorite Berlin—he is also an in-demand DJ, and he returns to The Ultimate 80s Party in both capacities in 2020. When he is not behind the drum set, you’ll find him onstage keeping audiences dancing with his eclectic music selections and deep cuts. Christopher’s energy and encyclopedic knowledge of music adds yet another level to the music experience aboard The 80s Cruise.
The 80s Cruise is ecstatic to welcome Mark Goodman on deck as one of our celebrity hosts. Though he launched his successful career in radio, Goodman is best recognized as an original VJ (video jockey) for MTV, where he spent much of the 80s interviewing some of the biggest names in the music industry – Paul McCartney, Sting and Bruce Springsteen included. In that same capacity, he became the face for several of the network’s hit shows including “The Week In Rock,” “120 Minutes” and the first show ever syndicated to broadcast by MTV, “The Top 20 Video Countdown.” After leaving MTV, the music personality had stints in film, television and internet radio. Today Goodman broadcasts from Sirius Satellite Radio’s 80s channel as well as its Classic Rewind and The Spectrum stations. Additionally, recent forays into the music supervision business have had him orchestrating soundtracks for film and television, including Touchstone/ABC’s hit series, “Desperate Housewives.” In 2013, Goodman and his fellow original MTV VJs co-authored “VJ-The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave,” a behind-the-scenes look at the network’s early years. Expect Goodman to continue regaling audiences with these stories and other fascinating anecdotes as we journey back the 80s together.
When a fledgling music video channel debuted on cable television in the 1980s, Nina Blackwood became one of a select few faces the world associated with the revolutionary station, MTV. Blackwood’s experience as an original VJ (video jockey) for MTV makes her an ideal host of The 80s Cruise where she’ll share her expertise on and love for the music and Artists of this great decade with fellow passengers. These days, Blackwood headlines daily shows on SiriusXM’s “Big 80s On 8.” She also hosts her own syndicated radio shows – “Absolutely 80s” and “New Wave Nation” – on weekends in the United States and Canada via United Stations Radio Networks. Live concerts are another avenue through which the music aficionado spreads her wealth of knowledge on the people, places and history of music. Blackwood studied piano and orchestral harp from the age of five and has herself performed as a musician. She also trained as an actor at the Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles and secured some modeling work and appearances on television series and movies early in her career. More recently, Blackwood has done music commentary on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and hosted her own “Rock Report” on Entertainment Tonight. In 2013, she and fellow MTV VJs collaborated with Rolling Stone contributing editor Gavin Edwards on “VJ-The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave.” The book tells the story of MTV’s early years and hit the New York Times bestseller list in May 2013. Beyond the music scene, Blackwood is a dedicated animal lover with several parrots, cats and an Alaskan Malamute.
Just as he hooked audiences in the 80s as one of MTV’s original VJs (video jockey), Alan Hunter is sure to captivate guests of The 80s Cruise from behind the mic on the highly anticipated voyage at sea. Since leaving MTV in 1987, our cruise emcee has maintained his hosting chops as a personality on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s The 80s on 8 and Classic Rewind channels. Additionally, he has served as the face of Encore’s “Big 80s Movies Weekend” and “Looking for Stars” on Starz. Hunter also dabbles in the film industry through his production company, Hunter Films, which received an Academy Award nomination in 2003 for the short film “Johnny Flynton.” Other titles produced by the company include “Dreamland,” “Best Worst Movie” and “Lifted.” Devoted to his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, Hunter co-created the downtown entertainment complex WorkPlay and co-founded of the city’s Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival. He now lives in Chicago with his wife and children.