Sued51's Blog

{September 5, 2012}   A Fan’s History of 80’s Boston Bands: V is for Mike Viola

Let’s face it, the letter “V” is a tough one– even trying to think of national bands is tough (the one-hit wonders The Vapors came to my mind). So I opted for Mike Viola who I think I probably saw once, opening for someone else I liked. He got a bit of press in the 80’s Boston Music Scene because of his age at the time (14 years old). Boy’s Life and The Outlets had been there before him (though they were not quite as young), but achieved more success at that time.

My reaction back then mirrored music writer Brett Milano’s as he expressed it in his 1996 article.  (I mentioned before I wasn’t a Stompers fan.) Beyond his age, he just wasn’t memorable for me. With research, I did find a blog with some Mike Viola and the Snap music.

A funny thing happened as I researched Mike Viola for this post…He interested me! One of the things I learned was that he wrote songs for and sang the title track for Tom Hanks’ 1996 movie, “That Thing You Do!” He also wrote songs for Russell Brand’s movie, “Get Him to the Greek.”

I listened to a series of songs on YouTube. I’m an 80’s power pop girl at heart, and he really fits the bill. I can see critics saying his music is rather derivative and generic (listening to Strawberry Blonde I actually heard a little XTC, “Mayor of Simpleton” kind of sound, but then, I always loved THAT band), but it is fun music.

And to think I could have seen him way back when…

peters154 says:

I always wonder what the subject for the next letter is going to be. Have to admit I have only a vague memory of Mike Viola. It’s interesting that he’s been able to get into movie work now. I’ll have to check it out. Especially with the comparison to XTC (Partridge and Moulding are both underrated geniuses!)


sued51 says:

Peter (?) You and I totally agree on Partridge and Moulding! I describe them as geniuses as well! So…you know I am going to cheat on the letter “X” don’t you? 🙂



peters154 says:

Did you know – Andy partridge recently got together with former xtc member Barry Andrews and Martyn Barker to record a few songs as “Monstrance”


sued51 says:

No, I didn’t…I’ll check into that…thanks!!


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