This Month In Retro: August 1980

This Month In Retro is a monthly article where we look back on the current month as it happened during the 1980's.  Learn, reminisce, and stay retro.

In film:

Xanadu was released. Interestingly enough, the soundtrack of the film performed much better commercially than the movie itself. Which is surprising considering it's a film about a Greek muse taking human form and building a roller rink. The only premise nearly that good since then has been Rubber.


Births: Chris Pine, aka the James T. Kirk who isn't Shatner. Macaulay Culkin, famous for being that blonde kid from every movie in the 90's.

In music:

The first ever Monsters of Rock festival is held in England. Notable performers at the festival include Rainbow, April Wine, Scorpions, and Judas Priest.

The Heatwave festival was held at Bowmanville, Ontario. Out of every festival I've ever read about, including Woodstock, Heatwave is the one I most wish I could have attended. The list of bands was just insane: The Pretenders, the B-52's, Talking Heads, and Elvis Costello. The Clash was scheduled to perform at the festival but cancelled at the last minute. 

In addition to that amazing festival, four albums that would be important to the emerging New Wave music scene were released. Siouxie and the Banshees released Kaleidoscope. The Cars released Panorama. The B-52's  released Wild Planet. Finally, Killing Joke debuted with their self-titled album. 

Births: Vanessa Carlton, anybody who says they don't love "A Thousand Miles" is a liar.

Billboard #1 Song of August 1980: "Magic" by Olivia Newton-John


In comics:

Marvel – Former villain Mesmero decides to give up crime, instead focusing on his love of Broadway productions. He offers Spider-man a large sum of money to make appearances in his play, but Spidey declines. Mesmero ends up using his powers of hypnosis on a harsh critic who Peter Parker has to save, lest the tragedy that befell Gwen Stacy repeats itself.

DC – Dr. Alchemy attempts to use the Philosopher's Stone to turn the Flash into a cloud. Yep. That's the best use he can come up with.  Green Arrow decides to resign from the Justice League. Bummer. He does manage to save the day first, despite not using what is clearly the most logical arrow to use.

In television:

The soap opera Texas premiered. Though it only lasted two years, it managed to have over 600 episodes.

Deaths: Tex Avery, creator of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, dies at age 72.

In lieu of the July 1980 article, here are some quick facts about it:

1.     Bjorn Borg beat John McEnroe in tennis. Here's a fun fact- Bjorn Borg was the basis of the character Richie Tenenbaum in Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums.

2.      Ronald Reagan received the nomination to be the Republican candidate for President. Due to a large amount of influence from Christian political groups, the Republican Party dropped its support of the Equal Rights Amendment. This marked the beginning of a general shift towards conservative policies in America.

3.     The Summer Olympics are held in Moscow, Russia.

4.     AC/DC release Back in Black, the second highest selling album of all time. Also, how did I not know until now that AC/DC is an Australian band?

5.     Caddyshack premiers in theaters.