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‘Get High On Yourself’: Robert Evans’ coke-bust community service mega-turd TV special
06.10.2016
09:00 am

Topics:
Drugs
Television

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Robert Evans, the wunderkind Hollywood studio executive best known for his work on Rosemary’s Baby, Love Story, The Godfather and Chinatown had gotten himself into a bit of a jam back in 1980.

He was busted after agreeing to purchase $19,000 worth of cocaine—an amount he claimed was for himself as a user, denying the federal selling and distribution charges that were brought against him. Evans was convicted, and in a punishment befitting a big shot Hollywood producer, he didn’t get jail—he was ordered to create a public service anti-drug campaign. The end result of this slap on the wrist was one of the biggest TV mega-turds of all time: Get High On Yourself which aired on NBC in the Fall of 1981. 

Evans put up $400,000 of his own money and recruited That’s Incredible‘s Cathy Lee Crosby to co-produce an hour-long “very special program.” Evans put his rolodex to work and pulled in over 50 celebrities including Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Muhammad Ali, Paul Newman, Scott Baio, Robby Benson, Kristy McNichol, Herve Villechaize, Dana Plato, Mark Hamill, and Bruce Jenner. Evans hired the jingle-writer responsible for “I Love New York” to compose the cornball earworm theme song. The special consists of the celebrities getting together to sing the song—a format which would be used to much greater success a few years later with Band Aid’s “Don’t They Know It’s Christmas” and USA For Africa’s “We Are the World.”
 

 
NBC turned this preachy anti-drug celebrity clusterfuck into a week-long celebration titled Get High On Yourself Week. At least 28 different commercials and promos were shot for the NBC roll out which was promoted for weeks in advance. NBC aired one Get High On Yourself spot every hour during prime time for eight days.
 

 
In his autobiography The Kid Stays in the Picture Robert Evans cites Get High On Yourself as the high mark of his career.

More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
There’s going to be a ‘Star Trek’ Vina Barbie Doll
06.09.2016
10:09 am

Topics:
Television

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In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series, Mattel will be showcasing an exclusive “Vina” Barbie Doll at the San Diego Comic-Con. The sexy character, made famous by actress Susan Oliver, appeared in the Star Trek pilot episode, “The Cage,” in 1965. Apparently the episode was not broadcast on television until 1988.

The episode is a cult classic and has a different captain, namely Christopher Pike. The story starts with the Enterprise crew receiving a radio distress call from the fourth planet in the Talos star group, where Captain Pike meets a beautiful young woman named Vina. She is a ruse of enemy forces, the Talosians, who seek to lure the Enterprise to their planet. Vina is presented to Pike in various guises and settings, including the seductive green-skinned Orion which is the inspiration for this SDCC doll.

Now if you want one, there’s a catch. Purchasing instructions are, below:

The Barbie Vina doll is priced at $50 and will be featured on Mattel’s SDCC pre-sale site on Matty Collector starting June 16 for subscribers only (Early Access), and from June 16 through June 25 for everyone else (All Access). Orders must be picked up in person at San Diego Comic-Con.


 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
TV taboos: Things you can’t do on television, 1949 edition
06.08.2016
02:01 pm

Topics:
Drugs
Sex
Television

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I don’t know who wrote and photographed this guide to “Television Taboos” but it seems to have appeared in 1949, just as the new household technology of television was on the verge of staging a massive takeover of the American mindshare.

Taking a cue from the Hays Code that enforced strict standards of chastity and morality in the movie industry after 1934, TV producers after World War II were worried that a reputation for indecent programming would cause a severe backlash among the American viewing public. You may think of these censorious regimes as having died out long ago, Jimmy Fallon still can’t say the word “shit” at 12:25 a.m. on NBC—even in 2016. These taboos are deeply embedded. 

At the same time, it’s fun to imagine the gales of laughter you’d elicit if you tried to tell the producers of True Blood, Girls, or The Americans that they are henceforth forbidden from showing “too much leg” or sweaters that are too tight.

I really appreciate the tongue-in-cheek tone of the captions, which make a show of agreeing with the TV censors while winking at the reader (and showing exactly the things that TV isn’t supposed to show). Here are a few samples from the captions, all of which cleverly start with the word “TOO”:
 

TOO-HOT KISSING is a major television “Can’t Do!” Here she is wearing too little clothing. He isn’t allowed to put his hand around her waist. She mustn’t swoon.

TOO MUCH BUST is revealed in this shot, as you can see by the shocked expression worn by the director. Also she isn’t permitted to adjust her stocking on television.

TOO-GAY DRINKING scenes aren’t permitted by television censors for fear they’ll give the viewers some ideas. The actors mustn’t enjoy drinking.

 
Here’s the full magazine feature, just to remind you what not to do if you ever find yourself on TV in 1949…....
 

 

 
Much more after the jump….....
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?’ Blistering footage of Cheap Trick live in 1979
06.03.2016
09:15 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Television

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Artist Kii Arens’ gorgeous poster commemorating Cheap Trick’s introduction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

When it comes to Cheap Trick, I was a late-bloomer. I was a huge metal head and for some reason, I just didn’t “get” Cheap Trick when I was in high school. I even dated a guy who was a Cheap Trick super-fan who never stopped trying to help me understand how great the band was. It wasn’t until I got into college that I finally realized that there was clearly something wrong with my ears, and finally embraced the band after hearing “Stop this Game” from their 1980 album All Shook Up. The first time I saw the band live I was (gulp) already in my 30’s and I actually fucking cried when they broke into one of the greatest rock anthems ever written, “Surrender.”

This footage of Cheap Trick on Rockpalast in 1979 captures the band at the very top of their game after the face-smashing success of their live album, Cheap Trick at Budokan that finally saw a US release after a frenzy of demand for the record (which was only available in Japan at the time). That album catapulted the band into the stratosphere of rock and roll superstardom. Here they rip through eleven songs with switchblade precision and I don’t know if I’ve ever heard vocalist Robin Zander sound better than he does here.

I recently caught Cheap Trick’s acceptance speeches at the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and I was really moved by drummer Bun E. Carlos’ (who no longer performs with Cheap Trick) reminiscing about how the first time he heard guitarist Rick Nielsen’s name was in the fourth grade. Still going strong, Cheap Trick kicks off a massive tour in support of their seventeenth studio album, Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello on June 4th in Syracuse, New York.

Watch Cheap Trick live on German television after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Lemmy Kilmister gets ambushed by three of his ex’s on TV in the late 90s
06.02.2016
10:07 am

Topics:
Amusing
Heroes
Music
Television

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Lemmy being Lemmy back in the day with a few of his close, personal friends.
 
In this brief clip from an interview Lemmy did in the late 90s on the short-lived British TV program, The Girlie Show (which you can see it its entirety, here), Lem got asked about the number of women he had slept with in his lifetime, to which the mighty Motörhead bassist replied “thousands” (though the man himself has usually put the number somewhere in the neighborhood of one thousand). I’m not going to get all hung up on numbers (I hate them), or even attempt to dispute either claim because despite the moles and his unconventional looks, Lemmy was one charming and intelligent son-of-a-bitch. Note to all you aspiring wannabe ass-wranglers—watch Lemmy and learn.
 

Lemmy on the set of the ‘The Girlie Show’ back in the late 90s.
 

Lemmy and Kelly Johnson of Girlschool.
 
Then one of the show’s hosts, Sarah Cawood, throws a curveball at the always affable Lemmy when she ambushes him with a visit from three of his ex-girlfriends including Girlschool guitarist Kelly Johnson (during the segment Cawood refers to her as the “love of Lemmy’s life”). Johnson and Girlschool collaborated with Lemmy back in 1980 calling themselves “Headgirl” and recorded a cover of “Please Don’t Touch” (originally recorded in 1959 by one of Lemmy’s favorite bands, UK group Johnny Kidd & the Pirates) as an A-side to the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre EP. The B-side featured Girlschool’s cover of Motörhead’s 1979 track, “Bomber” and Motörhead’s recording of the Girlschool single “Emergency” from 1980.

More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Led Zeppelin perform their first live set on TV, 1969
05.31.2016
09:56 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture
Television

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0_0lz68ghfhgih.jpg
 
Led Zeppelin’s appearance on Danish television in 1969 is one of the classic moments of rock music history. It was Zeppelin’s second time on television but their very first playing a full live set of songs in front of a studio audience—they had previously lip-synched to “Communication Breakdown” for Swedish TV.

What is surprising watching this superb concert is the audience’s lack of response to Zeppelin’s fully charged performance. They sit listening intently showing little enthusiasm for what they’re hearing. For guitarist Jimmy Page this sort of apathy was part of the appeal of launching his newly formed band in Scandinavia:

They don’t cheer too madly there, you know? We were really scared, because we only had about fifteen hours to practice together. It was sort of an experimental concert to see if we were any good. I guess.

 
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An advert for Zeppelin’s first gig together as ‘the Yardbirds med Jimmy Page’ in 1968.
 
Zeppelin first appeared under the name The Yardbirds with Jimmy Page at the Gladsaxe Teen Club in Denmark on September 7th, 1968. They developed their prowess touring Denmark and Sweden over the following months. However not everyone was convinced of this new band as one Swedish reviewer of their early gigs at the Inside Club in Stockholm noted:

It has been up and down for the Yardbirds. A couple of years ago, they were on top. For a while, a lot of people thought that the Yardbirds would lead the developing English pop but their efforts led nowhere.

The members changed and the Yardbirds currently touring Sweden have very little in common with the original line-up. It is not only the line-up that has changed. The style of music is different, as is the quality - only the name is the same.

Friday night they played the Inside. They were so loud it almost hurt. Sometimes playing loud has an important role in pop, but here it was just superficial effect.

More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Must-see footage from Samla Mammas Manna, Sweden’s prog-rock fusion jazz rascals
05.27.2016
02:58 pm

Topics:
Music
Television

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Samla Mammas Manna was a prog rock band that was active during the 1970s and later that seems to have been Sweden’s closest approximation to Frank Zappa. Samla Mammas Manna was musically accomplished and willing to wander all over the map into outright experimentation, and they were also quite funny, a bit like how Zappa was funny. Samla Mammas Manna maybe brought a little less edge to its humor than Zappa did. They were highly adventurous musicians of an exacting and exuberant nature.

The phrase “Samla Mammas Manna” is Swedish for “Collect Mama’s manna” and undoubtedly was chosen for its mellifluous ring, it’s something akin to a tongue-twister. According to François Couture, SMM’s second album Måltid (“Mealtime”) combined “free improvisation, Scandinavian folklore, progressive rock motifs, and Amon Düül II-like short songs.” Doesn’t that sound tasty?

In the late 1970s Samla Mammas Manna was one of the founding partcipants in the Rock in Opposition (RIO) movement, which was very influential throughout Europe. In 1979 SMM signed up to be Fred Frith’s backing band on his first solo album following the breakup of Henry Cow, 1980’s Gravity.
 

Klossa Knapitatet
 
In this clip, the year is 1974. The members of the band amiably answer a few questions from the noted guitarist Stefan Grossman before breaking into a phenomenal rendition of material off of SMM’s third album Klossa Knapitatet, which was a new album that year. Judging from the comments on the YouTube thread, Swedes are very familiar with this band.

If nothing else, Samla Mammas Manna had one of the most entertaining drummers it’s ever been my pleasure to watch. The creativity and joy on display here are positively infectious.

Should this clip appeal to you, I promise you there is much more of the same on the studio albums.
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight: Watch Sha Na Na totally kill it live on German TV in 1973
05.27.2016
10:17 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Television

Tags:


The Kings of New York, Sha Na Na
 
Those of you that are of (ahem) a certain age will certainly remember faux-50’s band Sha Na Na not only for their music but also for their syndicated television show that ran from 1977 to 1981. I was absolutely obsessed with that show, and adored the band’s goofy antics and faithful fashion homages to the 1950s from the top of their greased back hair, to the seams on the famous gold lamé pants worn by Frederick “Dennis” Greene, Johnny “Kid” Contardo, and Scott “Tony Santini” on the show—one of the most popular in TV syndication at the time.

In addition to appearances in the film 1978 Grease (where the band was depicted as a fictional 1950s band called Johnny Casino and the Gamblers), Sha Na Na was also featured on the films wildly popular soundtrack, and the tearjerker “Sandy” (sung by John Travolta) was co-written by Sha Na Na’s Screamin’ Scott Simon, who got his start with the band playing piano back in 1970, and still performs with them to this day. In this footage (which I’m pretty sure is gonna blow your mind), the band performs nineteen songs for the enthusiastic studio audience in attendance for a taping of German music television show Musikladen in 1973.
 

 
From the minute they hit the stage, it’s clear that we are all in for some high-octane doo-wop, class-act choreography, and the visual treat that is the gangly, rock-and-roll Frankenstein known as “Bowzer” (Jon Bauman)—he’s probably the most recognizable member of the group, too. Since departing Sha Na Na, Bauman continues to tour as his alter-ego “Bowzer” with his group The Stingrays and was also instrumental in helping the passage of the Truth in Music Act—a law that protects musicians and bands from identity theft. Now that’s fucking rock and roll.
 

The gold lamé suits worn by Sha Na Na that drove my young libido into overdrive back in the late 70s
 
And what about those skin-tight gold lamé suits (pictured above)? While conducting my very important “research” for this post, I discovered that all three of them are currently up for sale (along with the matching gold lamé boots and belts, thank you very much) for the tidy sum of $2,500. A small price to pay for a piece of rock and roll history that I’d do almost anything to squeeze myself into (those boys were tight back in the day, to say the least). I’ve probably watched this footage at least five times since stumbling on it and every time I do, it gets better. As one commenter on the Youtube page said, “this deserves a million likes.” To which I say AMEN, brother. If you dig it as much as I do, you can get your very own DVD of the show, here. Enjoy!
 

Sha Na Na on German music television show, Musikladen in 1973.
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Game of Thrones’ Hodor door stoppers
05.25.2016
10:55 am

Topics:
Television

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Okay, so I’m going to have to keep this post spoiler-free for all you Game of Thrones fans who haven’t seen the latest episode yet. All I’m going to do is park this delightful Hodor door stopper right here without explanation and let you all know it’s available on Etsy for $25.00. You can get it here.

I’ve found other Hodor door stoppers (featured below) but I have no idea if they’re available for purchase yet.


 

 

 
via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘American Horror Story’ tarot cards
05.23.2016
01:02 pm

Topics:
Occult
Television

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‎Ligne claire whiz Derek Eads has concocted a gorgeous tarot set for fans of FX’s creepy shudder-fest American Horror Story.

Using the stately Art Nouveau AHS typeface and precise red/white/black drawings on a muted dark slate gray background, Eads has wittily taken some of the gore and shock out of the familiar cast of bone-chilling monster (and their victims).

In the deck, Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) from season 2 occupies the role of Judgement, while The Hermit is the “pinhead” Pepper from seasons 2 & 4 (Naomi Grossman); triple-breasted Desiree Dupree from season 4 (Angela Bassett) is the Chariot, and Iris the hotel clerk from season 5 (Kathy Bates) is the Hierophant. Eads changed the title of season 5’s Elizabeth Bathory (Lady Gaga) from Countess to Empress, whereas the High Priestess is journalist Lana Winters from season 2 (Sarah Paulson).

There’s no better choice for the Devil than season 3’s Papa Legba (Lance Reddick), and the AHS may have had a tarot deck in mind when they introduced the winged Angel of Death (Frances Conroy) in season 2.

The rest, we’ll let you figure out for yourself.

You can purchase the full set from Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles for just $25.
 

The Fool/The Magician
 

The High Priestess/The Empress
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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