Thursday, July 30, 2009

Quick, Henry, the Flit!

From the soundtrack to John Waters' original Hairspray, please enjoy Jerry Dallman and the Nightcaps' greaseball quasi-rockabilly dance classic "The Bug."





The album and the movie came out in 1988, but "The Bug," like the rest of the songs on the LP, was a genuine obscure regional oldie from Waters' personal record collection; as he said in the liner notes, it was part of "the only antidote to today's Hit Parade of Hell," a cure for a malady that has hardly lessened in virulence in the intervening years.

A true story: When Waters was working on the soundtrack, he was in almost daily contact with the lawyers at MCA's music department, who were trying to get the clearances for the songs he wanted to use. Halfway through the process he got a phone call from a Mr. Jerry Dallman. Yes, the singer of "The Bug." Turns out he was now a senior executive in MCA's movie division, and he was as astonished that the song he'd recorded as a teenager was going to be in Hairspray as Waters was to hear from him.

6 comments:

Mister Pleasant said...

I'm lovin' how the guitar string is bent so much it goes nearly a half step out of tune. Also when Mr. Dallman yelps "Well c'mon baby" into the stratosphere. A cure for today's pop parade indeed.

Nearly every Water's film has at least one bizarre forgotten gem, like Link Wray's Jack the Ripper in Mondo Trasho. Though for my money, the best of them all is High School Hellcats from Cry Baby, which was a cover sung by Johnny Depp and the cast.

steve simels said...

That guitar riff, with the string bend, is fucking brilliant actually. Love this song...I really need to get the CD now that I think of it. Gene and Wendel's "The Roach" is equally wonderful, and Toussaint McCall's "Nothing Compares to You" is one of the most gorgeous Southern soul songs ever....

Noam Sane said...

I can't bring myself to watch the remake; Water's original film was too perfect.

Just last week my brother was telling me how great Travolta was in the new one; he's sort of a square, so I just nodded my head. How would I explain the brilliance of Divine to him?

Brooklyn Girl said...

The remake doesn't hold a candle to the original, in spite of Travolta's performance. He, Christopher Walken and Queen Latifa, are all entertaining. But it still left me cold.

geor3ge said...

As for the remake, I really wish they'd asked Harvey Fierstien to reprise the Divine role.

John Fowler said...

Thanks for posting about this tune Steve, love it!