shoutfactory YouTube Channel video: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers sing "American Girl" (LIVE) on ABC-TV's "Fridays" on June 6, 1980. Uploaded August 1, 2013. http://youtu.be/b2nbHpF7-qk
Personally, I always thought that the camera-work done on this ABC-TV show when musical acts performed was better than over at NBC's Saturday Night Live.
I was just recently back from my freshman year at Indiana University in Bloomington when this particular program first aired, three years after the song had come out on Tom Petty's first album.
The night it aired I'd gone out earlier to the old Rum Runner Bay Bar & Restaurant that I used to visit with friends who were also going to college out-of-state when I was back from IU for Christmas Break or the summer in the early 1980's.
It was located on the water off of Biscayne Blvd. and N.E. 172nd Street in North Miami Beach -back before Aventura existed, and far too far south to be called "Turnberry"- to meet with some friends I hadn't seen since my visit home at Christmas, since they had a different week for spring break, when I'd driven down to Fort Lauderdale from Bloomington with some friends and would spend all day and most of the night at the excellent Yankee Trader Hotel or at the beach across the street, but would then go home to NMB most nights to crash.
(Loved, loved, loved the Yankee Trader Hotel pool scene!!!
That was like the "W" Hotel concept before there was a "W" concept, or the pool scene on the NBC-TV series "Vegas," but for college kids, and NOT a compete rip-off price-wise.
Every friendly and good-looking coed from a school my friends and I had never heard of, except perhaps from a couple of sentences from Street & Smith's College Football Preview issue, made a beeline from where ever they were for that pool up top with the great view of the beach: Eastern Kentucky University, Central Connecticut State University...
We couldn't believe our luck at being in a place that seemed like we'd literally dreamed it up on the drive down.
As one friend who was a Journalism major at IU remarked about the army of friendly and good-looking college girls in that pre-Internet era, before we could make the hotel Social Media Gold by tweeting about it, "What they lack in fanfare, they make up for in Quality and Friendliness." Yes.)
This was back before the State of Florida changed the drinking age from 18 to 21 -which meant that I could legally drink in my last semester of high school if I was so inclined- we'd meet there and a handful of other places in North Dade and South Broward where we'd all exaggerate how great everything was going for us back at school, especially relationship-wise.
The very big advantage that Rum Runner Bay had was its great central location -and on the water- very attractive wait staff and even better-looking customers, AND, beers from around the world.
Plus the likelihood that at least one or two people we knew from North Miami Beach High School would show up.
It was a very, very sociable place!
Now THAT was a relaxing place!
Wish we had something close to that on the water now in Hallandale Beach.
At some point, according to what Curbed Miami wrote a few months ago, that site of so much fun for me and my friends is going to be a condominium complex called Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residences, and as these things go, it actually looks attractive to me, or at least not hideous or unattractive like so many condos down here that I could name that screw-up or ruin perfectly good locations.
On August 6th Shout Factory is releasing their best of Fridays DVD