The Popstream: All Sports Band


God -- the fuckin' '80s, man. There was a decent amount of cool stuff back then -- Repo Man, Schoolly D, OutRun -- but it felt like a time that was bound and determined to cancel out every inch of creativity with enough ridiculous grasping-at-straws bullshit to make the '70s look deadpan by comparison. I lived through the '80s at an age when kids sometimes have a tough time telling the difference between stupid shit and cool shit, but even my four-year-old self would wonder what the appeal of the All Sports Band is. They're a rock band... that dresses like athletes? I... yeah. Can't they just dress in rock band clothes?

Well, no: the All Sports Band was put together by Tracy Coats, the sound engineer behind, among other albums, the Village People's live record. What with this being The Eighties and disco having been decreed to be worthless by an American public that actually bought Christopher Cross albums, Coats decided that instead of riding the inevitable flood of success that the Village People's new wave reinvention would bring (yes, I said the Village People's new wave reinvention), he'd start his own group. And without any of that campy shit -- no, this band would be stocked with red-blooded American men who would embody all that manliness has to offer, directly through the lens of professional athletics. This resulted in a band consisting of:

-a lead-singing Karate fighter with Dirk Diggler hair

-a keyboard-playing race car driver (rumored to now be operating as The Stig on Top Gear)

-the world's skinniest boxer on drums

-session bassist/football player Alfonso Carey, who was probably starting to feel typecast after appearing on this album by The Ritchie Family


-1983 American League Rookie of the Year Ron Kittle on guitar (but not on bass -- get it? Because in baseball when a runner is occupying a... oh to hell with it)

All I can really say is that if sounding like a dollar-store version of Foreigner means you have to dress the band up like professional athletes to get anyone to notice you, then maybe people will not necessarily take you seriously. I... I just... agh.

This is why my generation grew up infatuated with irony.

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