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Wendy O. Williams’ PSA on how not to get venereal disease
07.20.2017
09:09 am
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What with super gonorrhea getting the Trump bump and billboards in my neighborhood warning of a “syphilis tsunami,” this sure feels like a good moment to remember Wendy O. Williams’ public service announcement about venereal disease. It would have been nice if she had mentioned condoms or dental dams instead of recommending better taste in partners, but let’s give her credit for raising the issue at all.

The PSA was taped for U68, a Newark UHF station that switched to a music video format during Reagan’s second term. Its brief lifespan dates the clip to ‘85 or ‘86. While I was a mere child, I don’t recall the blitz of safe-sex advertising beginning until some years later, though I distinctly remember that the President wouldn’t talk about AIDS.

Now, I didn’t know Ronald Reagan personally, but I suspect his life experience did not overlap much with Wendy O.‘s. Having come up in the Times Square sex show scene and acted in 1979’s Candy Goes to Hollywood, WOW would have considered VD a matter of professional interest, and one about which she was loath to moralize. (“Fuck That Booty,” the last track on Kommander of Kaos, is many things, but prudish?) Right and wrong, guilt and shame—none of that should enter into a simple matter of personal hygiene, unless it is wearing musk, which is a wrong and shameful habit.

Tl;dr
: don’t forget to remember not to get the heps, herps, HIVs, syphs, or claps. And when you get to the free clinic, tell ‘em Wendy O. sent you!
 
Watch it after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.20.2017
09:09 am
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Former Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain’s strange obsession with ‘Twin Peaks’
07.18.2017
07:03 pm
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A tweet from former presidential candidate Herman Cain’s official Twitter page from Monday, July 17th, 2017.
 
A friend of mine hipped me to the weird tweets coming from idiotic 2012 presidential candidate and Fox News “personality” Herman Cain. It appears that over the last five or so days Cain has been tweeting images from David Lynch’s television series Twin Peaks along with short rants.

If you’ve successfully blocked memories of Mr. Cain out of your mind, let me help you with that. This is the same guy that once referred to strategic U.S. ally Uzbekistan as “Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan” so it’s probably not all that surprising that his Twitter account would be a bit unhinged. However, this new stuff seems a bit nutty even for Cain. I mean, he even went so far as to post a photo of Morning Joe‘s Joe Scarborough next to a picture of John Nance in character from Eraserhead. What are you doing Herman Cain? I don’t know if I should get behind this or get to the bottom of it. Perhaps some of our more investigative-minded DM readers will be able to figure out the meaning of these strange dispatches. For now, I’ll leave you to check out screenshots of Cain’s Twin Peaks related tweets below and after the jump…
 

July 18th, 2017.
 

July 17th, 2017.
 

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.18.2017
07:03 pm
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That one time Elvis died
07.14.2017
08:01 am
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It’s easy to forget how weird Elvis was. Sure, I mean weird “like a prince from another planet,” in the New York Times’ phrase, but I also mean weird like an ordinary nerd. Kicked, punched, wedgied, swirlied, dumped-in-the-trash-can weird. Sun Records artist Barbara Pittman makes it sound like humiliating Elvis was once a kind of neighborhood sport:

My older brother went to school with him, and he and some of the other boys used to hide behind buildings and throw things at him—rotten fruit and stuff—because he was different, because he was quiet and he stuttered and he was a mama’s boy.

He could have been John Lauber, the gay schoolmate whose bleached hair Mitt Romney reportedly chopped off with scissors as a senior. He very nearly was, according to Memphis Mafioso Red West, who claims to have broken up just such a scene in the high school men’s room:

What sealed our fate forever, I’m sure: between classes, I went into the bathroom one day, and I saw these three guys and Elvis back in the corner. Two of ‘em were holding him, one guy had the scissors. Elvis was different: he wore the long hair, and all of us had crew cuts. And I walked in, looking around. “What’s goin’ on, boys?”

“We gonna cut a little hair off this boy, here, you know.”

And I said, “He don’t look like he wants it cut off, to me.”

He said, “No he don’t, but we do.”

And I said, “Well, if you cut his, you’re gonna cut mine, and I ain’t got too damn much up here to cut.” And they looked at me to see if I was serious, and they saw that I was serious, and they let him go.

Now, the story that these were football players—these weren’t football players. These were just redneck dumbasses.

 

 
So while some of the world’s mean motherfuckers consider Elvis one of their own, their claim is by no means exclusive. To be the King of Rock and Roll is to be the king of every abnormal person who’s ever been on the losing end of a fight. I’ll grant you that Elvis did not always act with these subjects’ best interest at heart, as when, in the rambling letter to Nixon he wrote on American Airlines stationery, he volunteered to use his bona fides with “The Drug Culture, The Hippie Elements, The SDS, Black Panther, etc” to infiltrate those groups as a “Federal Agent at Large.”

But Elvis contained multitudes. At least in the probably apocryphal version of the Elvis story Lux Interior of the Cramps said he heard from Sam Phillips’ son (which one?) “one drunken night,” Elvis was “The Drug Culture” of 1954, leveraging Gladys’ supply of bennies for studio time:

Yeah, we were told that Elvis wasn’t discovered as such at all! He was just some freaky-looking kid always making a nuisance of himself around Sun Studios and nobody wanted to know him. Like here’s this guy who dyed his fuckin’ eyebrows and dressed in black pimp clothes—and this was the ‘50s in the South, you’ve got to remember—and Sam Phillips and all the session guys thought he was some disgusting little faggot!

However Elvis did have this one piece of luck. His mother, right, had a really bad weight problem and the doctor prescribed her this enormous supply of diet pills which just happened to be… these pills were just pure benzedrine, right, which is a very potent form of speed.

And all those Sun guys just lived on speed, man. So when Phillips found out that Elvis could get bottles of these things, he let him hang around. So, like, here was Elvis every week bringing huge bottles of these pills to the guys at Sun until, as he was the studio’s main source of supply for speed, Phillips was more or less obliged to let him cut a record.

So like, rock ‘n’ roll was born simply because Elvis Presley was Sun Records’ number one speed dealer.

 

 
It’s fitting that the book Elvis is said to have taken with him on his fatal trip to the can, A Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus, concerned the Shroud of Turin, which is either a holy relic or a total ripoff, depending on who’s talking. He was about to pass into just such an indeterminate state, Elvis was, forever leaving behind the dimension that has toilets for the one made entirely out of meaning. And now that he’s been a pure symbol for so long, hardly anyone remembers that he used to sing. (N.B.: Elvis was fucking great!) But everyone remembers that he died on the shitter.

VCRs and cassette decks everywhere whirred into action on August 16, 1977, perhaps hoping to capture a glimpse or echo of EP kung-fuing his way through the pearly gates. Because I love Elvis, before I am subjected to the inevitable cable news specials marking the 40th anniversary of his death next month, I’m inoculating myself with heavy doses of raw video. There are hours of TV and radio coverage of the event. Perhaps you’d like to join me?

After the jump, nearly two hours of Elvis death coverage and ‘mini-docs’...

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.14.2017
08:01 am
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‘Who ate my pie?’ David Byrne plays boorish, mustachioed, pie-loving drunk on PBS sitcom
07.13.2017
10:59 am
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The first episode of the PBS anthology series Trying Times (originally called Survival Guide) was directed by Jonathan Demme. “A Family Tree” stars Rosanna Arquette as a science major and aspiring astronaut on a nightmare first visit to her future in-laws’ place. Everything that can go wrong does, but nothing is worse than the behavior of her presumptive brother-in-law, Byron, the boorish pie-hoarder played by David Byrne. “Ask me what’s the most poisonous snake in the world,” he dares her.

I recommend the whole half-hour episode (split into 1 2 3 parts on the YouTube), but the “Who ate my pie?” scene below is a satisfying quick fix of David Byrne acting like a total asshole.

The New Yorker posted this review of “A Family Tree” shortly after Demme’s death.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.13.2017
10:59 am
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It’s a rival vintage Addams Family and Munsters hand-puppet showdown
07.07.2017
10:44 am
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The Addams Family and The Munsters both ran for only two television seasons between 1964 and 1966. The Addams Family ran on ABC and (the higher Nielsen-rated) The Munsters ran on CBS—both shows airing for the same two seasons.

The cultural impact of both shows is astounding, considering they were both such short-lived programs. Legions of fans appreciate both shows 50+ years later, with individuals leaning towards one or the other as a personal favorite.

Me, personally, I’ve always been an Addams Family guy since religiously viewing both shows (in syndication) as a kid. My first crush was on Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams, and that crush basically informed my “type” until this very day. The Addams Family seemed relatable as a gaggle of offbeat weirdos with ghoulish quirks and passions—a concept which resonated with me, even as a child. The Munsters seemed like, well, some TV execs had a pitch meeting and said: “Wouldn’t it be CRAZY if a Dracula and a Frankenstein and a Wolfman LIVED TOGETHER?!”

Given the lowest-common-denominator mentality of most Americans, it’s not surprising that The Munsters was the ratings favorite.

Having a life-long obsession with all thing Addams, my curiosity was piqued when I ran across this 1964 vintage Addams Family hand-puppet.
 

 
These puppets were produced by the Ideal Toy company. Three puppets were produced in the line: Gomez Addams, Morticia Addams, and Uncle Fester. The Morticia is a bit odd with a strangely short hairdo. I guess Ideal skimped on the plastic for a full hair-length Morticia.
 

 

 

 
The rival show had a similar toy, produced by rival toy manufacturer, Mattel. Herman Munster was the only puppet produced for The Munsters, but the Mattel puppet had a string-activated voicebox, much like their G.I. Joe line. Frankly, the Herman Munster is the cooler toy.
 
See the Herman Munster toy in action, after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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07.07.2017
10:44 am
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Todd Bridges and the ‘Whatchu Talking ‘Bout Willis Experience’ cover the ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ theme
06.23.2017
12:52 pm
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The actor Todd Bridges, best known for the role of Willis Jackson on Diff’rent Strokes, which he inhabited between the ages of 13 through 21, has precisely one credit on Discogs, the exhaustive music recording resource that you’ve probably already consulted five times this week, if not many more times than that. It’s a fascinating one, and actually, his performance pretty much puts the question of why he doesn’t have more music credits in his CV to rest.

In 1997, in the middle of a big era for hastily assembled CD compilations, Which? Records put out an amusing comp called Show & Tell: A Stormy Remembrance of TV Theme Songs, which exploited the marketable idea of having a bunch of punk and thrash bands do covers of famous TV theme songs. The Meatmen contributed two tracks, “Green Acres” and “Mission: Impossible,” Murphy’s Law did the theme to “Zoom” (with DM’s own Howie Pyro on backing vocals), and the Dickies recorded a cover of “Secret Agent Man.” It’s fun stuff—really, how could it go wrong?

The attention-getting bit of business—enough to merit special mention on the album cover, done up to vaguely resemble a copy of TV Guide—was Todd Bridges singing lead vocal on a thrashy cover of the theme song from the show he will never not be associated with. The full credit runs Todd Bridges and the Whatchu Talking ‘Bout Willis Experience cover “Diff’rent Strokes”—the familiar, perky ditty that was co-written by none other than Alan Thicke. 
 

 
Not surprisingly, there was no such thing as the Whatchu Talking ‘Bout Willis Experience, other than that record. The bassist, John Jesse, and the guitarist, Roy Mayorga, at that time were members of a band called Thorn but were rather better known for their work in the influential crust punk band Nausea. Weirdly, Mayorga is credited as playing guitar on this song but is really a drummer.

The rendition lasts a cool 50 seconds, and Bridges….... well, let’s just say holding a tune is not a big part of Bridges’ skill set.

The October 1998 issue of Vibe featured a Q&A with Gary Coleman, Bridges’ diminutive co-star on the TV show, and writer Peter Relic asked Coleman about Bridges’ recent turn as a singer:
 

Vibe: Have you been to a gig of Todd Bridges’ punk band, the Whatchu Talking ‘Bout Willis Experience?

Coleman: You’re kidding! Todd didn’t tell me about that.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.23.2017
12:52 pm
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‘Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse’: The Warlock Pinchers hate Moz, but love them some Satan


 
I first discovered the Warlock Pinchers while working at a record store in East LA. Buried among the piles of LPs that circulated through the store daily was what I personally consider to be one of my most treasured “finds”: the delightfully titled record, Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse. Nowadays, the lack of impulse record shopping doesn’t allow for much discoverability. I’m guilty of it, too—it’s much too easy to see an album that looks kinda cool staring back at you from the bin, but then to preview it online before you would consider buying. I guess that’s what happens as the $$$ sticker-shock for rarer records sets in. Needless to say, when someone wanted to sell off their copy of Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse, I have no choice but to blindly take the dive.
 

 
The Warlock Pinchers sound like a blend of Big Black, Butthole Surfers, and the Beastie Boys; all presented in a fury of adolescent shenanigans. The punk hip-hop pranksters and self-proclaimed “Official Sound of Satan” were the kind of people who enjoyed pissing off their fans—and if you weren’t a fan, then “fuck you!”
 

 
Sharing a record label with the Melvins, opening for the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and once having had their record reviewed by Damon Albarn for NME, sadly the band did not pick up much steam outside of their hometown of Denver, Colorado. If anything, their alleged commitment to the devil was the one thing that helped give them some form of notoriety outside of their local scene, as if spraying flames around small clubs and giving their audiences muffins and pancakes wasn’t quite enough.
 

Blur reviews Warlock Pinchers at the NME office, 1991

Fire by Nite was a Christian youth variety program that operated out of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the late eighties. By presenting in a context of “relatable” youth material, the show oftentimes tackled highly controversial subjects that have plagued (or improved) the lives of many young Christians, namely drugs, sex, and the devil. “Satanism Unmasked” was a multi-part special that saw the “real-life” testimonies of self-confessed former Satanists like Mike Warnke (later disputed as a fraud) and Lauren Stratford (ditto), and hosted a bizarre conversation with convicted murderer, Sean Sellers. Slayer is spoken about briefly, but they are quickly dethroned as a bunch of charlatans; using the devil for their own shock-value appeal.

The highlight is the exposé of Warlock Pinchers, who dismiss Jesus as the real source of evil, in favor of Satan, “the good guy.”

Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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06.23.2017
12:39 pm
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‘The Best of Times’: Bonkers TV pilot starring baby-faced versions of Nicolas Cage & Crispin Glover
06.23.2017
11:00 am
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Crispin Glover and Nicolas Cage react to the news that their failed television series from 1981, ‘The Best of Times’ is still kicking around out there on the Internet.
 
In 1981 both Nicolas Cage (who at the time was going by his real name “Nicholas Coppola”) and a baby-faced Crispin Glover both made their television acting debuts. However, the pilot, The Best of Times, only aired once before getting the boot from ABC.

I don’t want to ruin any of this for you, but if you haven’t seen The Best of Times—which was part musical, part teen drama, and part comedy—then clear your calendar for the next hour because you simply haven’t lived until you’ve seen an eighteen-year-old Nicolas Cage participating in a bizarre car wash sequence while his pals kick out a vanilla version of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.” In a pair of overalls with no shirt.

Your life is also a lie if you’ve never experienced the crazy that is Crispin Glover (who was also eighteen) having a spastic meltdown about the latest Talking Heads cassette tape. Adding to the weirdness, most of the actors on the show went by their own names and there’s something very strange about hearing Glover’s real mother Betty yelling at her boy Crispin throughout the episode. But that’s ALL I’m going to say because this totally golden television oddity that really must be seen to be believed.

PS: You’re welcome.
 

An image of Cage with another star of ‘The Best of Times’ actress and future scream queen, Jill Schoelen.
 
Watch it, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.23.2017
11:00 am
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Adam Ant, John Cale, Ad-Rock and others guest star on ‘80s crime drama ‘The Equalizer’
06.22.2017
10:04 am
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Edward Woodward and Adam Ant on the cover of Ant News Today, 1985
 
The Equalizer was a crime drama starring Edward Woodward (The Wicker Man‘s Sgt. Howie) as Robert McCall, a secret agent turned private detective. Like the contemporary Miami Vice, The Equalizer brought in guest-star musicians to play the sinister jerks peopling its slough of rank criminality.

Also like Miami Vice, it was considered racy. Comparing the two series’ depiction of “raw, sometimes shocking underworld grit,” the LA Times reported in October 1985 that “several advertisers pulled their sponsorship of the [recent Equalizer] episode titled ‘The Lock Box,’ which starred Adam Ant as a purveyor of bizarre and forbidden sex.”

Many full episodes of this morally corrosive, sexually perverting entertainment are now playing on the world wide internet, and collected here are the ones with famous rockers. Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz (not yet 20!) plays the title role in “Mama’s Boy,” in which he gets mixed up with such drug dealers as Alex Winter’s Jeffrey. John Cale of the Velvet Underground wears his Songs for Drella ‘do in the role of “Aryan Leader” in “Race Traitors.” David Johansen of New York Dolls and Buster Poindexter fame and Stewart Copeland of the Police (writer of the series’ theme song) appear in “Re-Entry.” Though I haven’t watched Meat Loaf’s performance as Sugar Fly Simon in “Bump and Run,” I’m sure it’s some of his best work. And Adam Ant forces nice young women into prostitution in “The Lock Box.” (I haven’t been able to find the Quentin Crisp or John Cameron Mitchell episodes, but they must be on the DVD set.)

After the jump, watch John Cale’s, ah, “understated” performance as a neo-Nazi in the episode “Race Traitors”...

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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06.22.2017
10:04 am
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Insane footage of The Clash, Joy Division, The Jam & The Specials on UK TV
06.19.2017
03:32 pm
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An early shot of “the only band that matters,” The Clash.
 
According to what I was able to dig up about the footage you are about to see from UK television show Something Else, the performance by The Clash that was filmed in 1978 was allegedly their one and only live contribution to be televised by the BBC. Strummer and his bandmates never appeared on Top of the Pops because they refused to lip-synch their songs. In addition to that cool piece of punk history, Joy Division’s appearance on the show, during which they played “Transmission” and “She’s Lost Control” would be the last videotaped-for-TV footage of the band when it was shot in the studio for the show in 1979.

It’s important to clear up the possible misconception that all of the bands in the footage below appeared at the same time on Something Else, though The Jam and Joy Division performances were aired on the same show. It’s also safe to assume that appearances by all four of these bands on one singular TV show might have caused viewers to spontaneously combust into flames after witnessing the adrenalin charged performances by four of the greatest bands to ever come out of the UK. The program itself was a precursor to other notable shows like The Tube and Oxford Road Show which integrated the format used by Something Else. The show’s “vibe” was also famously parodied by the strangely ribald BBC comedy/music series The Young Ones. The dig was also said to be directed at the Oxford Road Show which as I mentioned borrowed heavily from Something Else.

The episode in question, Demolition, was the first show of season one which aired on November 9th, 1982. During the episode we see Rick, played by the late Rik Mayall, frantically “shushing” his roomies so he can watch the faux television show “Nosin’ Around” which later causes him to kick in the TV screen in frustration because someone purporting to “speak for the youth” was wearing “flared trousers.” I can’t say that I blame him for his reaction either as I feel the much the same way anytime I see someone wearing white shoes. While I’m sure the footage I’ve posted won’t make you want to stick your foot up your television’s “ass” so it shits size eights, it will make you want to smash something. So perhaps have an easily breakable item close by that you won’t miss just to be safe. Posers get LOST!
 
Watch after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.19.2017
03:32 pm
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