Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Your Moment of Spinal Tap

You know, I was going to post a clip of Lady Gaga's not-as-smoothly-as-rehearsed emergence from a large vibrating egg at Sunday's Grammy Awards but, frankly, on balance it struck me like shooting ducks in a barrel.

So here's a couple of major moments of cringe-inducing embarrassment from an earlier TV pop music era. Specifically, from an episode of Hullaballoo in 1965.

Obviously, Michael Landon has no business singing anything, let alone "You Were On My Mind," but I can only begin to imagine how humiliated The Byrds had to feel doing that finger-snapping variety show version of the song by their pals from the Village.

On the other hand, they might have been stoned enough not to care. Certainly, that would explain McGuinn's Jerry Lewis act and the drummer's inability to clap on the beat.

The divine Jackie DeShannon, of course, acquits herself well amidst the smoldering wreckage of the other performances.


Gummo said...

O. M. G.

Well, that just answered one of the questions of the ages, namely, what was Bill Murray's inspiration for his lounge singer character?

Seriously, go back and watch Landon and tell me you don't see the paternity.

And why o why is Roger McGuinn imitating Little Stevie Wonder's body language?

edward said...

Gummo beat me to it, wow.

Belushi had Mifune, Murrsy have Landon

edward said...

I've really got to check my spelling before posting;>

Shriner said...

You know, had I been a pre-teen in 1965...

I'd have been the first one home from school parked in front of the TV watching this stuff every day.

And you all know you would have been too! Don't try to deny it!

steve simels said...

Speaking as somebody who was exactly the demographic for this stuff back in the day, I can tell you that we watched it all voraciously DESPITE the fact that some of it was clearly lame. You just took the nuggets of coolness where you could.

A borderline case in point: Pop stars singing jingles for canned milkshakes. On the one hand, it was the Who or the Yardbirds. On the other, it was a song about canned milkshakes.

edward said...

"Shake it in the Park
Shake it in the Pool
Shake it in the Dark
Shake it after School"

Yup, hours and hours after school at my grandparents house watching Where The Action Is and other pre-MTV music shows with lots of weird commercials jingles implanted in my brain. Hi Karate anyone?

TMink said...

Wow. I have done lots of druge in my day, but I am not sure I had the kind that would make engaging in that drek possible. Crosby looks as if he is enjoying himself. He obviously got better stuff than I ever did.


mister muleboy said...

Who do I spy with my little eye?

The actor seated next to Ms. DeShannon on his barstool, enjoying his lovely bile-coloured sweater, is none other than Kim Atwood, who portrayed Ho-Jon in Robert Altmann's M*A*S*H. . . .

mister muleboy said...

I say "Kim Atwood" like I know.

I should say that the actor is the same guy who played Ho Jon, and IMDB credits "Kim Atwood" in that role.

And "Kim" is common for them Korean folks, so it makes some sense. . . .

mister muleboy said...

Okay, I'll shut up soon.

You know, this "internet" thing can make one. . . obsessive.

Anyway, I really crapped the bed on that one. The actor is the same man who portrayed Ho Jon on the Reynolds/Metcalfe/Gelbart TV series by the name MASH.

He is credited as Patrick Adiarte.

Now Kim Atwood, from the film -- definitely Korean. That's what got me thinking.

Uh, what does this have to do with PowerPop, you might ask.


steves said...

"And why o why is Roger McGuinn imitating Little Stevie Wonder's body language?"

Honestly, I think that's an homage to Mitch Miller, who was pretty big in those days.

[ETA: Verification word: "femmal." That conjurs up all sorts of possibilities of meaning.]

Anonymous said...

I was a preteen who lived for any crap on any TV channel that might just possibly feature a band with long hair and Brit accents. My sister and I attended a taping of Hullabaloo, with host Trini Lopez; Herman's Hermits were among the guests. We waited through hours of taping but had to leave by 11:00 pm (it was a school night and our parents were patiently waiting to drive us home), so we did not get to see the Hermits. As we left the studio, my sister got Patrick Adiarte's autograph on a napkin. I, having seen Lada Edmund Junior do her stuff, did not feel the least bit shortchanged at not seeing the Hermits.


Karatist Preacher said...

Oofah that is bad.

Roger McGuinn does not seem well in that clip.

Peter said...

I don't know why nobody else noticed it (maybe it's just me), but all the time I was looking at Michael Landon in the video I was thinking David Hasselhoff.

I won't comment on the performances on display in the video (I don't want to embarrass the artists any more than they already appear to be), but I will say that I thought The Byrds looked the least comfortable out of everyone involved.

By the way, my word is "sagotogp" – I think it's much more mysterious than "femmal" which, to me, sounds like a vitamin supplement for women.

Anonymous said...

"....drummer's inability to clap on the beat." Hal Blaine was there?

Years ago I asked an older friend what Hullaballo was and he said, "Hollywood's idea of what rock and roll was."

geor3ge said...

Regarding Gaga: It is inadvisable to sing "I was born this way" while wearing pointy prosthetic shoulders.

Dave Lifton said...

That's pretty bad, but not nearly as cringe-inducing (or as long) as this clip from 1968 of Bing Crosby, Jose Feliciano, and Diana Ross singing a medley of the hits of the day.

Luke said...

I had this exact same conversation with some friends yesterday. Someone told me that they thought Lady Gaga was a genius for showing up to the Grammy's in an egg, and I of course had to point them towards Spinal Tap. As ridiculous as Spinal Tap is there's still a lot of truth in there. I could definitely say the same thing about Fubar, the Canadian heavy metal cult comedy. I'm sure everyone who saw Fubar loved it as much as I did, and the sequel Fubar: Balls to the Wall is about to be released! They just put up a really funny clip that all fans of the first fan and any fans of Spinal Tap should check out: https://www.facebook.com/fubarballstothewall