One Day in Your Life: October 6, 1981

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am all about the month of October. This month, we’re revisiting some random October days. For the whole “One Day in Your Life” series, click here.

October 6, 1981, is a Tuesday. Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, reviewing a parade in Cairo, is assassinated by Muslim extremists after 11 years in office. President Reagan makes a brief televised speech about the Sadat assassination after attending a luncheon in honor of the visiting prime minister of Thailand. He also proclaims October 9 to be Leif Erickson Day. The Progressive Conservative Party wins a majority in general elections in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. A female polar bear named Coldilocks takes up residence at the Philadelphia Zoo; she will still be there in 2008. The Mall of Memphis opens in Memphis, Tennessee. The major-league baseball playoffs open, with an unusual format made necessary by the players’ strike earlier this season. Nolan Ryan of the Houston Astros outduels rookie sensation Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers in one game; in the other, Oakland defeats Kansas City. Two more series will open tomorrow: New York Yankees at Milwaukee and Philadelphia at Montreal. A group of Wisconsin college students watches the afternoon playoff game in a bar. At 6PM, they decide to skip their evening class to watch the second game and drink more beer. At 10PM, one of the drinkers is finally pulled out of the bar by his girlfriend, who reminds him he has to be on the air the next morning at 5:00. Sure he will never get there by himself, she puts him to bed on her couch. She will awaken him at 3:30 the next morning, when he will be half intoxicated and the other half hung over, so she will drive him to work. He will last until 7:30AM when a friendly colleague will take pity on him and send him home.

Actor Gary Coleman tells producers of Diff’rent Strokes that he wants a new contract; he will not appear on new episodes of the show until the dispute is resolved. Shows on TV tonight include Hart to Hart, Three’s Company, and the TV movie Return of the Beverly Hillbillies. The Grateful Dead play the Rainbow Theatre in London, AC/DC plays Newcastle, England, and Motorhead plays live on the BBC. The Dead Kennedys play Rome, and the Police play Russelsheim, Germany. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Stevie Nicks, and the Joe Ely Band share a bill in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Pat Benatar plays Austin, Texas.

At WLS in Chicago, the top album is Tattoo You by the Rolling Stones, which has knocked Journey’s Escape from Number One. The live album Nine Tonight by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band leaps from 12 to 5; Dan Fogelberg’s The Innocent Age also enters the Top 10, moving to Number 8 from Number 25. The soundtrack of the R-rated, animated sci-fi movie Heavy Metal is at Number 11. Two songs from the soundtrack are new on the WLS singles chart: Devo’s cover of “Working in the Coal Mine” is at Number 40 and the title song, recorded by Don Felder of the Eagles, is at Number 41.

“Working in the Coal Mine”/Devo
“Heavy Metal (Takin’ a Ride)”/Don Felder
(buy the Heavy Metal soundtrack here)

9 responses

  1. the Heavy Metal soundtrack – well played!

  2. I never realized that the movie has such a cult following. One track that I played till it was thin was Grand Funk Railroiad’s “We Gotta Get Out Of This PLace”. Damn the man (Mark?) could scream!

  3. I was 13 when “Heavy Metal” arrived in theaters, but I didn’t see it ’til several friends and I rented it years later. In my nexk of the woods, seeing it was a bit of a rite of passage.

    Since I’ve been buying vinyl, I’ve bought several Blue Oyster Cult albums, including Fire Of Unknown Origin which, from what I gather, includes several songs written for but not included on the “Heavy Metal” soundtrack (and, lyrical, they fit much better than “Veteran Of The Psychic Wars” – although I still love the song).

  4. Wow! That happened on the night of October 6, 1981? Guilty as charged. I hope the statute of limitations will get me off the hook!

    1. If you hadn’t said anything, I wouldn’t have remembered. Alcohol will do that.

  5. I was glad to have helped.

  6. This reminded me that my pal Rick’s dad used to call me Lief because of my last name. When he thought I was being scatterbrained or harebrained, he called me “Loose Lief.”

    1. And being late in the evening or early in the morning, I spelled “Leif” wrong.

  7. you forgot Missing Persons debuted for the first time at Whisky A-Go-Go that night

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