Chevy Chase Leaves Cast of ‘Community’
By JAMES C. MCKINLEY JR.
Chevy Chase is leaving the NBC sitcom Community under a mutual agreement with the producers and will not appear in the final episodes of the season, Sony Pictures Television said on Wednesday.
Mr. Chase had expressed his unhappiness with the low-rated show’s storylines and had clashed with Dan Harmon, the creator and former executive producer of the series. The show returns for a fourth season on Feb. 7 and is still in production...Mr. Chase played Pierce Hawthorne, a bored, wealthy, older man who goes back to school.
And immediately I thought -- ah yes, Chevy Chase. Boy, that brings back memories.
And now a seemingly tangential digression whose rationale will become obvious in a paragraph.
Attentive readers with long memories may recall that back in March of 2009, when both this blog and the world were young, I wrote about a 1989 article I had done for Rolling Stone, one which ultimately did not run (for reasons I won't get into, except that Jann Wenner is an asshole) but for which I was nonetheless lucratively paid. The premise of the piece was that most celebrities, in all fields of endeavor, now tended to have rock bands in their pre-celebrity pasts. In pursuit of this thesis, I interviewed a bunch of interesting people, including pre-rehab Insider host Pat O'Brien, Marvel Comics auteur Roy Thomas, vice-presidential spousal scold Tipper Gore and the late Republican strategist/devil incarnate Lee Atwater.
One of the other celebs I interviewed for the piece was (you guessed this, of course) Chase. I did this because I was a fan, obviously, but also because he'd been a member of a band called The Chameleon Church, who made one LP as part of the ill-fated "Bosstown Sound" hype that MGM Records attempted to foist on an unwilling world in 1968.
I had heard the album, which while not terribly memorable was at the least pleasant by the standards of its day, and I also knew that Chase was a really good Jimmy Smith-inspired Hammond B-3 guy. More important, as the only writer on the planet who had said nice things about his 1980 solo album (this in the pages of the Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review), I thought we might have an interesting conversation about his musical career.
The shorter version of what happened is that we didn't. When I talked to him, by phone from the set of whatever bad movie he was making at the time, he was a thoroughgoing shit who could barely conceal his annoyance at having been tasked for the interview by whoever his long-suffering publicist was. It was a profoundly unpleasant experience, and the thing that particularly appalled me was what he said when I asked if he'd ever been in touch with his former bandmates. "No," he replied. "They wore faggy little suits, they wrote faggy little songs, and they were all junkies and they're probably dead."
Chevy Chase: A real asshole, in other words.
In any case, when I read that squib in the Times last week, it brought back, as I mentioned, a lot of memories. But it also moved me to revisit that 1980 solo album -- of which I alone, amongst those who walk upright, had said nice things in public -- after lo these many years.
Having now listened to it again, I must confess to you guys that I couldn't bring myself to actually download mp3s to share with you.
You can, however, stream the complete album, track by track, over here.
I suggest you start with the just barely amusing Chipmunks version of "Let It Be," due to the fact that the other cuts range from mildly unfunny to staggeringly unfunny to really fucking offensive and what the hell was anybody connected with this thinking?