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Bob Hope and Raquel Welch’s unfortunate cover of ‘Rocky Raccoon,’ 1970
12.08.2016
12:46 pm

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
Raquel Welch
Bob Hope
the Beatles


Rocky Raccoon sheet music; pictured here are its two very famous composers

There have been countless covers of Beatles songs over the decades, but surely one of the most regrettable has to be the version Raquel Welch and Bob Hope essayed of “Rocky Raccoon,” an original and enjoyable song off of side 2 of The White Album. The cover version Welch and Hope executed wasn’t a record, it was part of Raquel!, a Raquel Welch TV special that aired on CBS in 1970—DM’s Richard Metzger once described it as “a camp time capsule full of Bob Mackie dresses, Paco Rabanne spacesuits and Bob Hope singing “Rocky Raccoon” wearing a Davey Crockett hat.” Welch and Hope had a close relationship, she was a staple of his USO tours, one (perhaps two?) that the troops were always overjoyed to see.
 

 
The western motifs McCartney employed in his ditty provided the producers with an irresistible opportunity to put together a slapstick pastiche sketch à la The Monkees or Laugh-In or Benny Hill. Not that there’s anything wrong with that per se, but the gags are pretty lazy. Welch can’t pass up the chance to do Mae West, and I’m not sure if whatever Hope is doing qualifies as Sprechgesang or Sprechstimme, but it ain’t singing (he sounded better doing “Thanks for the Memory”). Welch’s voice, however, is very nice but she makes no effort to capture the spirit of the original.

John Lennon got the last word on this subject. As Geoffrey Giuliano reported in Blackbird: The Life and Times of Paul McCartney, Lennon’s quote on the subject ran, “I saw Bob Hope doing it once on the telly years ago, I just thanked God it wasn’t one of mine.”
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Pixies telepathically host ‘PostModern MTV’ in 1989
12.05.2016
12:20 pm

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
Pixies


 
After the arrival of Surfer Rosa in 1988, Pixies became the unavoidable new darlings of the college rock circuit—as this segment from MTV’s PostModern MTV from early 1989 amply demonstrates. PostModern MTV was kind of a truncated weeknight edition of their long-running 120 Minutes, which offered “underground” rock for a two hour programming block on Sundays.

In an MTV News segment hosted by Kurt Loder, the band is introduced purchasing knishes on the sidewalk in midtown Manhattan. Still known officially then as “Black Francis,” Frank Black is quoted as saying “We just wanna make everyone spine-tingly and everything.”

The original host of the show, Kevin Seal, kicks things off but then the four Pixies themselves take over—this YouTube video shows their bumpers and video intros but not the videos themselves. The bits were taped at the much-missed Scrap Bar on MacDougal Street in the West Village following a highly “clever” conceit that actually just comes off as “awkward.”
 

 
Seated behind a heavy iron grate, the band members were tasked with presenting their palaver “telepathically”—that is, keeping their mouths shut and gesturing emphatically in sync to pre-taped audio bits imparting the relevant info. Just watch it, you’ll see. It’s a good reminder of the tryin’-too-hard ethos of what would soon become associated with Generation X. In retrospect, perhaps the band members’ obvious discomfort with the setup was itself kind of a coded message to their collegiate (and college-adjacent) faithful.

Towards the end of the episode the band runs through the top ten “PostModern” videos, whatever that means, and based on the tracks that made the list that week, I’d peg this segment at June 1989, which was a couple of months after the release of Doolittle and also around when “Here Comes Your Man” came out. Anyone born during the Nixon administration is likely to have some strong opinions about the bands that charted that week…

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
That time Orson Welles met Andy Kaufman
12.02.2016
02:12 pm

Topics:
Movies
Television

Tags:
Orson Welles
Andy Kaufman


 
Orson Welles and Andy Kaufman were arguably the two greatest pranksters in American history. Welles infamously sparked an intense bout of public hysteria when his 1938 radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds conned thousands of radio listeners into believing that a Martian invasion of Earth was actually occurring.  Welles’ final finished feature film, 1974’s documentary F for Fake, about the notorious art forger Elmyr De Hory is a dazzling, intellectuality challenging masterpiece that can never quite decide if it’s a fake documentary about a painter of fake masterpieces who himself was the subject of a true biography written by a fake biographer (Clifford Irving)… or what it is.

Meanwhile, Kaufman’s legendary ability to take a premise beyond its breaking point was so developed that to this day many people still believe that he faked his own death 32 years ago.
 

 
The two men not only met, but Welles interviewed Kaufman when he served as a replacement host on The Merv Griffin Show. Despite his notably curmudgeonly behavior in his advanced years, Welles genuinely gushed about Kaufman’s remarkable acting talents. The date of the show was June 25, 1982. Observing the proceedings was Barney Miller actor Ron Glass, who passed away earlier this week.

I was happy to learn that Welles appreciated the comedic heights achieved by Taxi, which he calls one of the few things on TV that is not a “criminal felony,” but it’s even more interesting to notice the man behind the Mercury Theatre, possibly the greatest theatrical ensemble ever put together, observe that Taxi, despite its marvelous cast, often fell short of its potential as an ensemble show because the plots were seldom confined to the taxi depot (which would have the effect of forcing multi-character interactions).

Welles acutely observes that “Nobody ever came from nowhere as completely as” Kaufman’s character Latka Gravas did. Kaufman comes out wearing a neck brace but never makes anything of it—this was no doubt a product of his wrestling escapades with countless female opponents.

Roll tape, after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Why not have a ‘Doctor Who’ Weeping Angel-themed Christmas tree this year?
12.02.2016
09:24 am

Topics:
Amusing
Television

Tags:
Doctor Who
Weeping Angel


Weeping Angel tree topper can be found here.

If you haven’t guessed by now, the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who are by far my most favorite predatory creatures from the sci-fi TV series. They’re nastier than the Daleks! I’ve blogged about them a lot here on Dangerous Minds. They’re truly terrifying (don’t blink around ‘em). What I didn’t know though, is that you can actually dress your Christmas tree from head to toe in Weeping Angel gear! If you want a considerable less joyeaux noel tree this year, why not go all the way and make it a terrifying one?

I did a little Internet digging and was able to construct an entire tree festooned of Weeping Angels. It’s easy! I’ve added the links of where to buy underneath each image.


Weeping Angel string Christmas tree lights can be found here.
 

 

Weeping Angel ornament can be found here.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The sad and heartbreaking reality of Shelley Duvall’s mental health


 
“Oh, we went to a party, found a girl, and you’ve got to meet her. She is special!” Robert Altman remembered being told after screenwriter Brian McKay and assistant director Tommy Thompson returned from an engagement celebration for a local artist in Houston. They were in the lone star state location scouting for Altman’s upcoming film Brewster McCloud. At the time Shelley Duvall was studying nutrition and diet therapy at South Texas Junior College and working as a cosmetics salesperson at Northwest Mall’s Foley’s department store. Without formal acting experience or training, Altman cast her in the key role of the Houston Astrodome tour guide Suzanne Davis and a star was born. Over the next two decades, she would go on to appear in classic films such as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Robert Altman’s Nashville and 3 Women, and Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. Besides a successful film career she created, hosted, executive produced, (and even wrote the theme music) for the award-winning live-action children’s anthology series Faerie Tale Theatre.
 
In 1993 Shelley sold the rights to Faerie Tale Theatre to a small British entertainment company after she began to struggle financially. As an independent producer, Duvall was finding it increasingly difficult to fund new projects with tight credit and mounting production costs due to the recession. She was forced to lay off over a dozen employees that worked out of her production company, Think Entertainment, whose offices were located on the second floor of a nondescript San Fernando valley strip mall over a Chinese restaurant and a dry cleaner. Shelley retired as a producer but continued taking acting parts. In 1994 her Studio City home was damaged in the Northridge earthquake and she relocated to the small city of Blanco, TX (approximately 50 miles north San Antonio and 50 miles west of Austin) which boasted a population of 1,500 residents.
 
While she remained single without any children, Shelley moved into a modest ranch in Blanco with her collection of exotic birds and reptiles that she had begun acquiring in Los Angeles. “At home, it’s a menagerie: 70 birds, all different kinds, ten dogs, one cat, a leopard tortoise, a rabbit, four iguanas, and two desert lizards,” she said during her interview on the Marilu Henner Show in 1994. Shelley continued to accept acting roles and television appearances throughout the late ‘90s but in the early 2000’s the roles got smaller before dwindling completely. Her 2000 independent film Dreams in the Attic which shot in and around Houston and Galveston was pitched to Disney but never sold or released. Duvall’s final acting performance was in the outsider film Manna from Heaven in 2002.
 
Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
Ugly Xmas sweater with Rick from ‘The Young Ones’
11.28.2016
03:11 pm

Topics:
Feminism
Punk
Television

Tags:
The Young Ones
Rik Mayall


 
The last few years have seen an explosion in “ugly Christmas sweater” designs. On DM alone we’ve brought you designs keying off subjects like the Friday the 13th franchise, Blondie, Iron Maiden, Einstürzende Neubauten, and Motörhead, among many others.

It’s gotten so prevalent that we’ve actually started passing on some of them. If we showed you all of them, this would turn into a ugly holiday sweater blog, and who wants that? But every now and then, one stands out from the pack, and those we’re more than happy to show you.

The design for today isn’t actually a sweater, it’s a sweatshirt done to resemble a sweater. Not only does it feature the “People’s Poet” Rick from The Young Ones, it actually references a specific scene from “Bambi,” unquestionably one of the better episodes of the series, which only ran for 12 episodes. It premiered on the BBC on May 8, 1984, and on MTV a year or two later. That episode featured perhaps the best musical performance of the series, with Motörhead kindly obliterating “Ace of Spades.” It’s also the episode with the University Challenge competition that has the fantastic scene in which Neil preps Rick on a train on the way to the quiz show.

The line “Hands up who likes me?” is something only the desperately disliked and needy Rick would ever say, and it immediately conjures an image of the rest of the flatmates thrusting their hands down as far as possible while Rick alone pointlessly flings both of his hands above his head. The scene is exquisitely played by the entire foursome but especially Rik Mayall, also one of the main writers of the series, who sadly passed on in 2013.

Here’s the scene in dialogue form; the episode was written by Mayall, Ben Elton, and Lise Mayer with “additional material by Alexei Sayle”:
 

Rick: [stands up abruptly] Why don’t you like me?
Vyvyan: Because you’re a complete bastard.
Rick: Vyvyan, I’m being serious!
Vyvyan: So am I. You’re a complete bastard and we all hate you.
Rick: [shaking his head] I find that rather difficult to believe.
Vyvyan: Do you want to bet on it? I’ll put down a fiver.
Neil: Yeah, me too.
Mike: You can count me in as well.
[Vyv, Neil, and Mike put their money on the table]
Rick: Yes, eh, I…I don’t bet.
Vyvyan: Coward!
Neil: Yeah, yellow chicken!
Rick: Alright, I’m not scared!
Vyvyan: Right, then, a fiver!
Rick: Oh, I haven’t got any money.
Neil: What about that tenner I lent you this morning? For your sister’s operation?
Vyvyan: You haven’t got a sister, Rick! You’re the classic example of an only child.
Rick: Alright, alright, are we going to bet or are we going to piffle around all night? [slaps money on the table] There’s a tenner!
Vyvyan: Quiet, everybody, the bet’s on!
Rick: Right. Hands up, who likes me! [Rick throws both arms into the air, while the other three guys drop their hands to the floor] DAMN! Right, that’s it, I’m going to kill myself. [He removes his belt] Then you’ll be sorry!
Vyvyan: No, we won’t. [Rips the tenner in half and gives one half to Mike]

 
After this Rick becomes temporarily despondent and tries to kill himself and if you know the episode at all well you know exactly where that leads.

TeeChip is selling the sweatshirt for just $31, but you can also get the design on a shirt or mug or smartphone case if you prefer, those options are all a little less expensive. Note that you can only get them in the next two days, then the sale is over.

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
That time the ‘Star Trek’ crew took on Nazis from outer space
11.28.2016
02:37 pm

Topics:
Politics
Television

Tags:
Nazis
Star Trek


Captain James T. Kirk (played by actor William Shatner) and Mr. Spock (played by actor Leonard Nimoy) in a scene from ‘Patterns of Force,’ show during season two of the original ‘Star Trek’ television series.
 

“You should make a very convincing Nazi.”

—Mr. Spock complementing Captain James T. Kirk’s snazzy Nazi uniform in the 1968 ‘Star Trek’ episode ‘Patterns of Force.’

 
If just reading the title of this post gave you a sudden case of the “what the fucks” then you better sit down, because if you’ve never seen the episode titled “Patterns of Force” from the original Star Trek television series (season two, episode #21), then your mind is about to be blown.

Like many of you, I spent a bit too much time on my couch last week watching movies. I happened to catch a sweet Star Trek marathon on the tube that was in the midst of showing some groovy early episodes. After thoroughly enjoying the amusing “I, Mudd” (season two, episode eight) I decided to see what other episodes were coming up and caught an image of Spock dressed like a Nazi. Was I drunk? Yeah, sure, probably a little, but my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. As the episode unfolded things only got weirder.

“Patterns of Force” was originally broadcast back in February of 1968. Just a bit over 20 years since the end of WWII making it reasonable to assume that people who had opposed the Nazis during that time, or who were, you know, survivors of the Holocaust, were probably sitting down to watch one of the most popular shows on television. Only this time beloved intergalactic odd couple Captain James T. Kirk and his adroit Vulcan pal Mr. Spock (along with Dr. McCoy) end up on planet Ekos, a place that has embraced every aspect of Nazi culture and German society from the 1940s. Shortly after the episode begins we even get treated to images of Adolf Hitler and the ugliness of Nazi Germany in an authentic newsreel that is playing on a video monitor on the streets on Ekos. “Patterns of Force” plays the Nazi card to the hilt utilizing images of swastikas, actors costumed in Nazi-esque uniforms, and plenty of those nasty “seig heil” salutes we’re once again seeing thanks to some of the alt-reich supporters of our president-elect. Dialog for the show included the use of the word “Fuhrer” which was used to address Ekos’ fictional leader, the mundane sounding “John Gill.” 

It’s worth mentioning—as I know that many of our readers are history buffs—that there are several inconsistencies with the Nazi costumes that would have made Lemmy Kilmister cringe. Such as the black “Gestapo” uniforms that were modeled after the garb worn by the Waffen SS in “Patterns of Force” and the fact that you can clearly see the name “Adolf Hitler” embroidered on both McCoy and Kirk’s cuffs during the episode. Which makes little sense to begin with as Hitler didn’t actually exist on Ekos. That said Patterns of Force is nothing short of chilling given the current circumstances we’re all supposed to be “getting used to” here in the U.S. Especially when you consider that the plot line focuses on Ekos’ desire to eliminate inhabitants of neighboring planet “Zeon” who they refer to as “Zeonist pigs.” Sound familiar? Despite the grim parallels to horrific past events and the deeply disturbing ones that are occurring with increasing frequency now, it’s an absolute must see moment of television history which I for one will never be able to scrub out of my mind. Because once you see Mr. Spock dressed up like a member of the SS, you can never unsee it.

And here’s another interesting factoid about “Patterns of Force” that helps reinforce my thoughts about the episode: In 2011 “Patterns of Force” was shown in Germany for the first time since it aired in the U.S. back in 1968. Though it had been released on video in the mid-90’s with German-language dubbing, it had never been shown on television. And even then it was only allowed to air after ten o’clock with a warning that the content should not be viewed by anyone under the age of sixteen. And that was a full 66 years after the end of WWII. I’ve included an array of stills from “Patterns of Force” as well as a short clip from the episode featuring Kirk and Spock trying to figure out how the fuck what happened during WWII could actually be happening again in outer space.

Imagine that...
 

 

Kirk, Spock and McCoy all decked out in their “Adolph Hitler” designer Nazi uniforms.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Comedy gold: The Beastie Boys’ hilarious ‘Hello Nasty’ late-night infomercial
11.22.2016
04:38 pm

Topics:
Advertising
Hip-hop
Television

Tags:
Beastie Boys
Infomercials


Ad-Rock as John, the over enthusiastic audience member at a juice extractor demonstration.
 
I was up late one San Fernando valley evening in 1998, channel surfing through cable television when I happened upon a very bizarre infomercial advertising a product called “Sure Shine.” It caught my attention and I immediately stopped flipping: the commercial boasted that this multi-use product could wash your hair, polish your car, clean your kitchen counter, AND be used in the bedroom, as a spermicide. The number to call on the screen was 1-888-711-BSTE. This had to be some kind of hoax! It wasn’t exactly a hoax, rather, an ingenious marketing tactic used to promote the Beastie Boys highly anticipated Hello Nasty album on the hip hop groups’ own record label Grand Royal.

Calling the 1-888 number that flashed on the screen throughout the half-hour parody led viewers to where they could pre-order Hello Nasty and have it delivered to their doorstep on July 14, the ad also included the URL for Grand Royal’s newly launched website. The low-budget infomercial was directed by none other than Tamra Davis, wife of Beastie Boy Mike D, whose impressive credits include music videos for N.W.A., Sonic Youth, as well as major Hollywood studio films like CB4 and Billy Madison. It ran for several weeks on cable stations in Northern New Jersey, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Manhattan, N.Y., Cleveland, Portland, Philadelphia, Houston, and Washington, D.C.
 

A disclaimer scrolled over the fake products that read “If you order NOW, you will not receive any car care products, but you can order the record, CD, or cassette of the new Beastie Boys album ‘Hello Nasty’”
 
This incredibly amusing advertising concept starred the Beastie Boys themselves: Mike D (a.k.a. Mike Diamond), MCA (a.k.a. Adam Yauch) Ad-Rock (a.k.a. Adam Horovitz), who, in the name of sketch comedy, slapped on fake wigs, phony moustaches, ponytails, and took on various roles to sell fake get-rich-quick scams, psychic hotlines, and even a food processor that played beats from Hello Nasty. The Beasties comedy chops hold up strong, with a parody style well ahead of its time pre-dating Adult Swim, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, and so many others who a decade later would become popular parodying public-access television with bizarre faux-infomercials in a very similar fashion.

Director Tamra Davis spoke with me about how using a Home Shopping Network style approach to sell Hello Nasty came about: “Ian Rodgers (Grand Royal’s president of new media) was working with the Beasties on how to direct sell and market using the internet. This was all super new and I definitely remember us all thinking about how crazy it would be if you were at home watching TV in the middle of the night and this came on. We thought it would be hilarious.” This wasn’t Ian Rodgers’ first innovative approach to marketing in new media. After he wowed the Beastie Boys by giving a demonstration of the internet in 1994 (they hadn’t heard of it yet!) he created an (unreleased) CD-ROM entitled Don’t Mosh in the Ramen Shop, and in 1998 became one of the very first people to use MP3 technology to upload live recordings to the net while on the road with the group during the Hello Nasty tour.

The late-night infomercial was incredibly effective, with phone lines lighting up and pre-orders filing in whenever and wherever it aired. A Grand Royal telephone operator explained that a few viewers called in just to ask if the ad was real or not. “Some people have been like ‘Are you just going to go out and charge up my credit card?’ And I’ve just been telling them, ‘No, this is legit.’” Greg Pond, a cable programming coordinator at TCI San Francisco said, “This isn’t the first time that our cable systems local-access channels have been used to promote a well-known group of musicians. We aired half-hour spots for Tricky and Pulp, but those were just videos and information about the artists. They were nothing like the infomercial the Beastie Boys produced.”

Beastie Boys fans will be thrilled to see Ad-Rock as John, the over enthusiastic audience member in a juice extractor demonstration. Mike D as exercise guru Jack Freeweather in the “8 Minute Workout” that promises amazing results. “Whatever you’ve been doing in the past, you’ve been doing it wrong. Let Jack make it right.” Mike D returns later as thick-accented “Miklious Toukas” of CEO GR International. In my favorite segment, MCA plays a get-rich-quick character named Bill Swenson, a.k.a. “The Money Man.” A perfectly straight-faced MCA wearing thick, dark-rimmed glasses and a pink sweater around his neck expresses: “Money makes you feel good, money is so underestimated in our society, money is the thing that everyone needs to feel great and be who they are.” Tamra explains there was never a script for the infomercial, “We had all the ideas of the characters and what would happen but it was all improvised as far as what they said or what the guests would say. Some things they did were such inside jokes that if only five of us got it, it was worth it.”
 

MCA as Bill Swenson, a.k.a. “The Money Man.”
 

Mike D as thick-accented “Mikilous Toukas” of CEO GR International.
 
Extras casting helped fill out the traditional studio audience when they taped the ad in New York City, as well as friends, family, fellow Grand Royal labelmates, and even some real people like the Beasties stylist Tara Chaney and Tamra and Mike D’s doorman Joe. E.Z. Mike (a.k.a. Michael Simpson) from the Dust Brothers can be seen in the crowd applauding next to none other than record producer and studio engineer legend Mario Caldato Jr. Any Beastie Boys fan knows him as Mario C. by his frequent shout-outs in lyrics such as “That’s a record ‘cause of Mario” on the song “Root Down” and “Mario C likes to keep it clean!” on “Intergalactic.” Matthew Horovitz (Ad-Rock’s brother) plays Kenny Star of “Hollywood Psychics,” and Ad-Rock’s best friend from elementary school, working actress Nadia Dajani, plays Peg of “The Juice Ladies.” Actor Russell Steinberg (son-in-law of Diane von Fürstenberg) and DJ Frankie Inglese appear as Mike Lathers and Graham Noodledish of “Fantastic Finds,” showing off a miracle cleaning product that can only be applied using a compact disc.
 
Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
A young Kate Bush performs in a musical fantasia from Holland, 1978
11.18.2016
07:08 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Television

Tags:
Kate Bush
Efteling

1kpinb1.jpg
 
The opening music to Kate Bush’s career is in the key of C. One day, sometime in 1970, Kate’s father—a doctor by profession—showed his daughter how to play the C major scale on the piano. This fortuitous happenstance came about because Kate’s brother Paddy desperately wanted someone to accompany him while he practiced his violin. So Kate learned to play the piano. She liked learning to play the piano because it seemed so logical—music was a language that could be easily understood. Kate was twelve. She was writing poetry. Soon she was putting her words together with the music she composed on the keyboard.

Though there have been such elements of good fortune in her life—everything in Kate Bush’s career has been the result of tireless hard work, dedication and discipline.

By 1972, Kate had recorded dozens of songs on a tape recorder. Through a friend of a friend of a friend, one of homemade these tapes was handed to David Gilmour. The Pink Floyd guitarist liked what he heard. His interest piqued, he visited Kate and her family to hear more about this talented precocious teenager. Kate played Gilmour a small selection from some of the fifty-plus songs she had written. It was immediately apparent to Gilmour that Kate Bush was a unique and precious talent.

A demo tape was sent around different record labels. It attracted little interest. Kate then started having second thoughts about a career in music. She considered giving it all up to become a therapist or perhaps a social worker. Instead Gilmour suggested Kate record a new three-track demo. One of the songs on this new demo was “The Man with the Child in his Eyes.”

During the recording of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, Gilmour played Kate’s latest demo to one of EMI’s record execs. The effect was immediate. A provisional deal was agreed on the spot—the details of which were worked out with Kate and her family over the following months.
 
01kbeft1.jpg
 
1976, Kate Bush signed a record deal with EMI with a £3,000 advance and £500 for publication rights. She moved to London. She inherited some cash, bought an old piano. Her days were spent at dance classes under the tutelage of the legendary performer/actor/dancer Lindsay Kemp—the man who taught David Bowie mime.

It was the hottest summer on record. Road surfaces were sticky and tar melting in the heat. There was a hose pipe ban. People were told to bathe in only three inches of water. A drought affected large swathes of south-east England. At night Kate stayed up playing the piano, singing and writing new songs. With all the street windows open, her voice carried out into the night. Only one neighbor ever complained.

In March 1977, during a full moon, Kate wrote “Wuthering Heights.” This was eventually chosen (against EMI’s wishes—they wanted “James and the Cold Gun”) to be released as Kate’s first single.

In spring of 1978, “Wuthering Heights” hits number one in the UK singles chart. No one had heard anything like it—it was (quite literally) the shock of the new. When I first heard it—too early on a cold February morning—I hated it, but loved it too. It was the first time I’d heard anything so uniquely original—so indescribable—that all I could say to my classmates was “You’ve got hear this record.” There were no words adequate to accurately express the feelings it engendered. There was no obvious hook, no expected pattern of verse, chorus, middle eight, verse, chorus. Yet it was full of those insane longings and intense emotions teenage virgins understood. It became utterly addictive. It seemed as if everyone agreed as Kate Bush was quite suddenly everywhere.

In May 1978, Dutch television broadcaster TROS aired a Kate Bush special featuring six of her songs—quite a feat for a singer who had just released their debut single. Yet, there was this genuine sense about that Kate Bush was this giant in our midst—this singular prodigious talent, this genius—who could only blossom.
 
Watch Kate Bush at Efteling, after the jump….
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Pink Floyd’s BBC ‘moon-landing jam session’ of 1969: ‘So What If It’s Just Green Cheese?’
11.17.2016
10:31 am

Topics:
History
Music
Television

Tags:
Pink Floyd
Apollo 11


One of the posters that came with copies of ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ LP

The landing of Apollo 11 on the moon easily qualifies as one of the truly epochal moments of the twentieth century. The three American astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin, spent about 21 hours on the moon, during which time countless thousands of people surely looked up and thought, “Wow, there are human beings up there.” In fact, we know for sure that David Gilmour of Pink Floyd was one of those people, as we shall see.

With some assistance from its colleagues in the Netherlands and Germany, the BBC mounted programming to celebrate the great event. One of the shows featured a live jam by Pink Floyd. The program was a one-hour BBC1 TV Omnibus special with the whimsical title of So What If It’s Just Green Cheese?. It was broadcast on July 20, 1969, at 10 p.m. Interestingly, the program featured two actors who would become much more famous about three decades later—Ian McKellan and Judi Dench. Dudley Moore and the Dudley Moore Trio were also on hand.

The Floyd jam session eventually came to be called “Moonhead.” It’s included in Pink Floyd’s massive new box set The Early Years 1965-1972, which was released just last week (its 2,840 minutes makes its $571 price tag seem almost affordable. Almost.).
 

Bootleg cover

David Gilmour reminisced about the appearance in an article he wrote for the Guardian in 2009:

We were in a BBC TV studio jamming to the landing. It was a live broadcast, and there was a panel of scientists on one side of the studio, with us on the other. I was 23.

The programming was a little looser in those days, and if a producer of a late-night programme felt like it, they would do something a bit off the wall. ... They were broadcasting the moon landing and they thought that to provide a bit of a break they would show us jamming. It was only about five minutes long. The song was called “Moonhead”—it’s a nice, atmospheric, spacey, 12-bar blues.

I also remember at the time being in my flat in London, gazing up at the moon, and thinking, “There are actually people standing up there right now.” It brought it home to me powerfully, that you could be looking up at the moon and there would be people standing on it.

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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