Friday, July 18, 2008

Weekend Listomania (Special TV Eye Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental amanuensis Hop-Sing and I are off to the Cape for a weekend of posing at the salon of New Yorker cover artist Barry Blitt, fresh from his unambiguous gift to the Obama campaign.

This time, Barry's doing a cover for National Geographic, and he'll be drawing me dressed in Hassidic garb, complete with Star of David and a prayer shawl, in a scene where I'm eating the flesh of Catholic babies and using their blood to make Passover matzoh. Of course, since everybody knows I'm a Vegan, it will obviously be taken as a satire of wingnut anti-semitism. Really -- who could think otherwise?

In any case, posting by moi will necessarily be somewhat fitful for a few days.

But until then, as always, here's a fun project for you all to contemplate:

COOLEST TV MOMENT FEATURING A ROCK STAR OR BAND EVER!!!!

Arbitrary rule: NO VIDEOS!!!

I'm not kidding about this -- We're talking unexpected guest shots, awesome live performances, odd cameos and the like, okay?

Let me repeat: NO VIDEOS!!!!!

Okay (and remember -- NO VIDEOS!!!!!!!), here's my totally top of my head Top Seven:

7. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Dave Grohl -- Saturday Night Live



From November 19, 1994. There's no clip of it on YouTube, alas, but the unbilled Grohl, filling in for just-departed original Heartbreaker Stan Lynch, played "You Don't Know How It Feels" about a hundred times harder than the studio version. Stunning, actually.

6. The Bedbugs -- F-Troop



That's the pre-Little Feat Lowell George and Richie Heyward. I saw this episode of the show back in the day and remember thinking -- Who are those guys?

5. Madonna and Britney Spears -- The 2003 MTV Awards



The infamous lip-lock. Jon Lovitz, when asked what he thought of it by David Letterman, replied "It was terrible! By the time I got my pants down, it was over!"

4. Paul Revere and the Raiders -- Where the Action Is



From 1966, examples too numerous to mention. I can't tell you how many college classes I cut to see this show, primarily for the Raiders. Seriously -- if it wasn't for these guys, I'd have had a successful law career and be comfortably retired in Tahiti, instead of posting on a C-list blog from the Paris of the Tri-State Metropolitan Area.

3. The Beatles -- The Jack Paar Show



From January 3, 1964 B.S.(Before Sullivan), this is their actual American TV debut. I remember sitting in front of my parents 12" RCA console and getting chills watching this.

2. The Rolling Stones -- The Ed Sullivan Show



The infamous performance from January 15, 1967, mumbling the lyrics to "Let's Spend the Night Together." To my surprise, yet another clip inexplicably missing from YouTube. This one's from Top of the Pops around the same time, though; never seen it before, but it's quite cool.

And the number one, nothing else even comes close, coolest rock TV moment of all time is ---

1. Elvis Costello and the Attractions -- Saturday Night Live



From December 17, 1977. Elvis starts to play "Less Than Zero" but breaks it off and bursts into the anti-censorship "Radio Radio." Stunned SNL and NBC execs then ban him from the show for twelve years. Another clip not -- shockingly -- on YouTube at the moment.

Alrighty now -- what would your choices be?

[Shameless Blogwhore: My new Cinema Listomania is up over at Box Office. As always, if you could see your way to going over and leaving a comment, an angel gets it wings.]

30 comments:

MikeJ said...

I think that Tom Petty SNL shot was in Bogdonovich's four hour opus. Recommended even to non-fans.

sdf (Stu) said...

As I was scrolling slowly down it was all too obvious what number one was going to be (not that it isn't deserving of course).

I have nothing to add -- there has to be something with Warren Zevon on Letterman, but I can't think of any particular moment off the top of my head. Didn't Letterman devote an entire show to him shortly before he died?

MikeJ said...

If you include F Troop, how can you leave out Boyce & Hart on Bewitched? Twice!

Mike said...

Neil Young on SNL in 1989 was some amazing shit. Chuck Berry on The Tonight Show about 20 years ago, when he ended up being the only guest, was a lot of fun. And how about Frank Zappa on The Monkees?

MikeJ said...

And how about Frank Zappa on The Monkees?

Zappa was also in Head, the Jack Nicholson penned Monkees opus, but I don't think he played on either the show or the movie.

Attaturk said...

The Who on the Smother's Brothers nearly (and literally) blowing the roof off the dump.

TJWood said...

I have nothing to add -- there has to be something with Warren Zevon on Letterman, but I can't think of any particular moment off the top of my head. Didn't Letterman devote an entire show to him shortly before he died?

Absolutely, Stu, just after his diagnosis became public, and that would be one of my choices as well.

Just about all the great ones I can think of have already been mentioned, but there are some historic moments worthy of mention--John and Yoko hosting the Mike Douglas show for a week, Sinead O'Connor's 1992 appearance on SNL, the Beatles announcing the formation of Apple Corp. on The Tonight Show (with Joe Garagiola subbing for Johnny Carson as host, none of which involve music actually being played. For musical moments, I'll take U2's American TV debut on Late Night with Tom Snyder in 1981, with Bono going out into the audience and the Edge kidding Snyder that he chose his moniker because his real name was Johnny Carson.

TMink said...

Reading the intro, I was telling myself "Well, I know the best rock moment on TV, I wonder what Simmels will choose?"

Turned out we agreed.

Trey

Gummo said...

Oh, there are so many --

Paul Simon & George Harrison on SNL, sounding like they'd been playing & singing together for years, not days, as they did Homeward Bound & Here Comes the Sun (not to mention 2 very funny bits, one featuring Harrison, one featuring Simon);

again from SNL, The Band just before their official breakup, where the show let them do 4 songs instead of the usual 2;

Patti Smith on the Mike Douglas Show -- actress Ruth Gordon was on the same episode, and after Patti finished her songs, Ruth turned to Mike and said excitedly, 'If I was still young, that's what I'd be doing!'

Chuck Berry appearing as a guest on the Mike Douglas Show the week John & Yoko co-hosted -- the music they played together was sadly out of tune and horribly mixed, but John's feverish excitement at hosting his idol was wonderful to see;

Prince at the Superbowl in 2006 - playing Purple Rain in the pouring rain -- greatest Superbowl half-time appearance ever.

and one grumpy complaint, steve -- you said no videos, but isn't that exactly what that Beatles appearance on Jack Paar was? They certainly weren't there live.

Anyway, how could any such list could leave out the Beatles first Ed Sullivan appearance? That's just silly.

steve simels said...

and one grumpy complaint, steve -- you said no videos, but isn't that exactly what that Beatles appearance on Jack Paar was? They certainly weren't there live.

Anyway, how could any such list could leave out the Beatles first Ed Sullivan appearance? That's just silly


Gummo --

By no videos I meant MTV promo clips, but I take your point.

And for me, at least, the Paar clip trumps the first Sullivan appearance. I missed the Sullivan back in the day -- I was running a 102 degree fever at the time. The Paar, of course, I saw.

Brooklyn Girl said...

Well, it may not be the coolest, but it was certainly one of the weirdest: From July 1969, the Grateful Dead on Playboy after Dark.

Rumor has it that the party's "coffee" was spiked with acid, and by the time the show was over, everyone was tripping their brains out.

We report, you decide.

Anonymous said...

The Doobie Brothers on What's Happenning - Rerun tries to bootleg their show using a comically huge tape recorder. the poremise is that somehow the doobies all graduated from the seemingly all-black high school - and the director has the kids acting all tripped out but the DB's RIP IT UP.

Stevie Wonder on Sesame Street - everyone is really loving it and LOOK - Sesame street is DIRTY and looks like a REAL city street. Ah the good old days.

Billy Preston and janis Ian on the first SNL - rebroadcast without fanfare the week following george carlin's passing, god bless NBC. great contrast between these 2 performers, Billy makers you wanna get up & dance then Janis sits you down to cry...

CoolSchool said...

Another SNL moment. Peter Tosh had recently released "(You Gotta Walk) Don't Look Back" which featured a Mick Jagger guest spot. When I heard Tosh was going to be on SNL I wondered if Mick would also appear. Tosh started the song alone but then at the appropriate time Mick came strolling out from the wings of the stage. Since I am a huge Stones fan i still remember this like it was yesterday.

Gummo said...

Well, it may not be the coolest, but it was certainly one of the weirdest: From July 1969, the Grateful Dead on Playboy after Dark.

Rumor has it that the party's "coffee" was spiked with acid, and by the time the show was over, everyone was tripping their brains out.

We report, you decide.


Supposedly the reason they cut so abruptly at the end of the credits is that tripping bunnies started disrobing while dancing to "Lovelight."

It's too good a story not to be true.

And coolschool, yes, that was a great one!

And how I forget this one -- Bob Dylan on Dharma & Greg! Not great, perhaps, but definitely weird!

Anonymous said...

SHINDIG -- RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS WITH DARLENE LOVE SINGING BACK UP -- WHO KNEW BILL AND DARLENE WERE AN ITEM ??

JANIS JOPLIN ON THE DICK CAVETT SHOW --

JOHN LENNON ON THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW

AGREE ABOUT NEIL YOUNG ON SNL -- AMAZING

David said...

In the spirit of the F Troop clip, I nominate the Standells doing "Come on and Ringo" in my favorite Musnters episode of all time, when they rent out their pad to a bunch of hippies for the weekend. Includes the classic bit where Herman recites beat poetry: "Ibbity bibbity Sam, Ibbity bibbity canal boat...Scuba dee and scuba die, this chicken's not to young to fry."

CoolSchool said...

I just thought of another one but this memeory is really hazy. Jimi Hendrix is being interviewed on a talk show, I think Dick Cavett, and the interviewer is asking about songwriting. The interviewer asks, "So do you try to get up in the morning and write a song?" Jimi throws this great deadpan look and says, "I just try to get up."

CovetedNOPrizeWinnerWithOakLeafCluster said...

Wendy O. Williams and her sledgehammer on the Tomorrow show with Tom Snyder.

ina said...

I liked Springsteen on Sesame Street singing, "baby we were born to add!"

peter spencer said...

Sesame Street had some great ones, like when Hoots the Owl says to Yo-Yo Ma:

"Yo! Yo-Yo Ma, Ma Man!"

Soul On Ice said...

Elvis on SNL was great, but Hendrix did it first.

1969 on The Lulu Show, Jimi goes off script during "Hey Joe" and starts playing "Sunshine of Your Love" in tribute to the just-broken-up Cream.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE80W5xYbTI

Anonymous said...

Stevie Wonder & Wonderlove on the PBS show SOUL in 1972. Not just the best musical performance I've ever seen on TV but one of the best musical performances I've ever heard & seen.

ROTP(lumber)

MBowen said...

In addition to some of the ones mentioned like The Who, Neil Young, Sinead O'Connor, and John Lennon (I remember him playing "Slippin' and Slidin'" and his band coming out wearing skinhead masks with faces on the back - they'd spin back and forth and you wouldn't be sure if you were looking at their back or front) here are some others I remember:

The Supremes, probably on "Where The Action Is" since I remember seeing it in the afternoon, singing "Stop, In The Name Of Love". They were performing outdoors at an airport, coming down one of those old sets of mobile stairs they used to use, wearing white fur coats. It always stuck with me because when they did the "Stop" gesture, it was the first time I noticed that (some, as I later learned) black people had light-colored palms. That got me starting to wonder about black people, and thinking that some of the things that I was learning about them might not be true.

The infamous Bill Grundy interview with the Sex Pistols - tubby middle-aged interviewer starts flirting with 17-year-old Susan Ballion (a.k.a. Siousxie Sioux). Her friends in the Pistols call him a "dirty old fucker". He goads them to swear some more, they comply. Heads all over England explode. As the Television Personalities put it a couple of years later, "Where's Bill Grundy Now?"

And four years later, Public Image Ltd. on, yes, American Bandstand. They lipsynched, of course, and barely pretended to play their instruments. John Lydon used nosedrops several times during the "performance".

Live Aid, of course. Some of us actually thought it might do some good, and the whole thing was kind of cool. My strongest memory, though, was the finale, "We Are The World". As people would sing a line, they'd pass the mike to the next person (there were two or three mikes being used), except that only lasted until the fifth or sixth pass, when it got to Patti Labelle. She grabbed it and wouldn't let it go for the rest of the song, because the whole concert was set up so she could show the planet how great she was.

The 1995 Brit awards (their version of the Grammys), when Michael Jackson performed "Earth Song" dressed up like a god among a bunch of little kiddies. This annoyed Jarvis Cocker of Pulp so much that he danced out onto the stage to "help" Jackson. Cocker spent most of the rest of the performance "dancing" between Jackson and the camera. And yeah, as far as I know, it was all on live TV.

One of the SNL reunion/anniversary shows featured Elvis Costello doing "Radio, Radio" with the Beastie Boys backing him up instead of the Attractions. The one playing keyboards is even wearing the same "Thanks, Malc" shirt that Steve Nieve wore on the original performance.

steve simels said...

One of the SNL reunion/anniversary shows featured Elvis Costello doing "Radio, Radio" with the Beastie Boys backing him up instead of the Attractions. The one playing keyboards is even wearing the same "Thanks, Malc" shirt that Steve Nieve wore on the original performance.

Oh. My. God.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine named his band - the Darlings - after a fictitious band that appeared on an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies. (They were played by The Dillards, IIRC...)

Alice Cooper on "The Muppet Show."

And no one has showered the late Tom Snyder with some love? Say what you want about him, he had GREAT musical guests. (I recall T. Petty, G. Dead, The Clash, and a classic exchange with "2nd Edition" era PIL... I believe there's DVD of the
highlights.)
-bill buckner

Mike said...

Since there's no "post-Elvis" qualifier this time, I gotta bring up one of the original r&r tv moments: Elvis Presley on Milton Berle's show.


One of the SNL reunion/anniversary shows featured Elvis Costello doing "Radio, Radio" with the Beastie Boys backing him up instead of the Attractions. The one playing keyboards is even wearing the same "Thanks, Malc" shirt that Steve Nieve wore on the original performance.


Hey, I used to have that clip on youtube, before the powers-that-be pulled it off. I should try and sneak it on there again.

Sex Pistols and Bill Grundy. ::forehead slap:: Of course.

morbid puritan said...

Husker Du performing on The Late Show with Joan Rivers:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=vefkvjcjNj8

Wire on (I believe) the same show, but with Suzanne Somers subbing in:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=r6eAOmz-Aag

Morrissey on Johnny Carson, promoting Kill Uncle. (No clip, though I have it on tape somewhere.) Carson starts the introduction but is drowned out by screaming fans and points frantically at the stage. Afterwards, guest Bill Cosby mutters "Incredible! Just Incredible"; whether it's Morrissey's performance he finds incredible, or that fans are raving over what he considers shit it's hard to tell, but I suspect the latter.

In the anti-cool dept: Richard Thompson on Letterman to promote Rumor & Sigh. Watched impatiently as Letteman yakked and yakked, so very amused with himself. With five minutes left to the program, RT finally appeared and got to sing one damn song. I hated Letterman for years after that.

Gummo said...

John Lennon (I remember him playing "Slippin' and Slidin'" and his band coming out wearing skinhead masks with faces on the back - they'd spin back and forth and you wouldn't be sure if you were looking at their back or front)

That's from the Salute to Sir Lew Grade from, I think, 1975. I don't remember how Lennon got roped into it, but he wasn't a big fan of Sir Lew and those double-faced masks were a very deliberate comment on the man...

Noam Sane said...

LL Cool J doing "Mama Said Knock You Out" with a live band on an MTV Unplugged, back in the day. Fucking incredible.

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