“I didn’t go around the world, I went around the world on a private jet. I didn’t have a hotel room, we had an entire floor. We were spoiled.”
—Ricky Martin on the “exhilarating” experience of being a member of Latin teenybopper group Menudo at age 12. The act’s 16th album, Evolucion, released Aug. 25, 1984, featured his debut single, “Rayo de Luna.”
“From what I could gather, Aerosmith was pretty much flat on its back. There were shows where Steven [Tyler] had basically collapsed onstage. I was writing songs with Alice Cooper, and around Easter 1984, I was at his manager’s house with my [future wife Billie]. She saw some articles [about Aerosmith] in old Circus magazines and said, ‘If you’re going to work in a band again, why don’t you go back with those guys?’ I couldn’t think of a reason why not and called Steven and said, ‘Why don’t we get together and talk?’ We all met at Tom [Hamilton’s] house. It sure felt good to play those songs again.”
—Joe Perry on Aerosmith’s 1984 reunion
“We knew it would cause trouble. I was under the impression that Holly was singing ‘When you want to sock it to it,’ not ‘When you want to suck it chew it.'”
—Frankie Goes to Hollywood producer Trevor Horn on the band’s sexually explicit single “Relax,” which topped the U.K. chart in January after BBC Radio banned it. In April 1984, the single peaked at No. 67 on the Billboard Hot 100. A different mix rose to No. 10 in 1985.
“Sylvia Robinson [the late owner of Sugar Hill Records] told me we had to make it more radio-friendly. [The song peaked at No. 47 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.] She said, ‘You got to add, “Don’t do it!” at the end.’ Even to this day people tell me, ‘Man, we used to stay up and party till dawn, doing blow to that song.’ “
—Melle Mel on his and Grandmaster Flash‘s cocaine classic, “White Lines (Don’t Do It)”
“She just had this fearlessness as she sang into the microphone. Teddy was mesmerized, knocked out.”
— A&R executive Gerry Griffith, who brought Whitney Houston to label head Clive Davis’ attention, about the late singer. On June 2, 1984, Teddy Pendergrass‘ single “Hold Me” began a 16-week run on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The track features a pre-fame Houston, 20. It’s her first of many appearances on the Billboard charts.
“Gay was still very much undercover then, and Bronski Beat was the first socially integrated gay band that I’d met. ‘Why’ was very specifically gay, with the lyric, ‘Contempt in your eyes when I turned to kiss his lips.’ “
— Producer Mike Thorne on Brit synth-pop trio Bronski Beat, whose breakthrough single “Smalltown Boy,” from debut album The Age of Consent, entered the Hot 100 at No. 86 on Dec. 22, 1984 and rose to No. 48 in March 1985. “Why?” hit No. 27 on Dance Club Songs.
“Rudy Sarzo had played with Ozzy Osbourne, but he quit the band [in 1982] — and it infuriated Ozzy. We were all sitting in the lounge at this hotel, and Ozzy went right over to Rudy and cold-cocked him. He f—ing laid him out and walked away.”
—Night Ranger frontman-bassist Jack Blades, recalling the drama at the 1984 American Rock Festival in Kalamazoo, Mich.
These quotes first appeared in the Nov. 1 issue of Billboard.