Hello Pasadena

Cassie was born in Pasadena, CA. Her parents actually lived in neighboring San Marino, but there’s no hospital there, so Pasadena it was. she told me that when she would tell people in London she was born there, they would say, “Hello Pasadena!” and say that was where the Rose Bowl was. She wondered why so many people knew about that, and they said it was because of the Depeche Mode live album 101, which was a recording of the 101st concert in the Music For The Masses tour, in 1987-88. The concert was recorded at the Pasadena Rose Bowl, and at one point in the concert, vocalist Dave Gahan calls out, “Hello Pasadena!”. So that clears that up.

But there’s more. Another reason people in the UK have heard of Cassie’s birthplace is The Pasadenas, who were spawned out of the arse-end of the Amerophile mid-80’s. This was a dark time. Levi commercials roamed the land, spewing out cover versions of good Sam Cooke singles, which then launched the originals to the top of the charts, and put black’n’white portraits of James Dean on teen walls everywhere. There was a single good side-effect – the excess of golden oldies in the charts in 1987 did at least cause Bill Drummond to tentatively tender the following query: “What the fuck is going on?”. But the damage was done, and these cod-soul soundalikes were the result. OK, two members were born in Pasadena, but they were very much a UK group, despite the layers-thick Americana.

Here we see the lads “doing their thang” in a nicely-lit studio, in front of a flat painted to look like a train. The camera is probably on rails as well. Get them bags loaded, boys!

Even more cynical, this one was basically a list of soul greats, performed for some reason in a Woolworths warehouse piled high with boxes of unsold pick’n’mix.

Nice moves, I guess. Catchy tunes, yes. Very radio- and TOTP-friendly. Clean 80’s production. But still.

Now, I might be mistaken, but I used to be sure that a member of the Pasadenas was seen earlier in the video for I.O.U. by Freeez, an awesome slice of pop-electro produced by the legendary Arthur Baker. I think the Pasadena can be seen in the playground breakdancing sequence. Perhaps.

Interesting. Mr Falsetto there sporting the grey Roland SH-101 monophonic synth with axe-handle and shoulder strap!

The circle is complete. This exercise in Holistic Nostalgia™ has been brought to you by coffee, Cassie Destino’s Olde Tyme Smoothies and plenty of water.