It’s what we deserve: David Hasselhoff and Marla Maples butcher ‘If I Were a Carpenter’

It’s not the thing David Hasselhoff is most known for in America, but he did have a singing career. In 1989, perhaps capitalizing on the stirrings of liberty in the Soviet bloc, he released a single called “Looking for Freedom,” which was a #1 hit in guess what country. Just a few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, on New Year’s Eve 1989, “the Hoff” performed the song at the Wall itself.

Knight Rider had been a solid hit for Hasselhoff in the mid-1980s and shortly became an inexplicable sensation in the German-speaking countries. In 1989 Hasselhoff took on the role of Mitch Buchannon in Baywatch, which would become an iconic pageant of T&A throughout the 1990s.

Having successfully solidified his career with a second hit show, in 1994 Hasselhoff was having thoughts about reigniting his music career. He planned a lavish pay-per-view live concert in Atlantic City, scheduling the concert and transmission for a certain Friday in June—the exact date was June 17, 1994. The New York Knicks and the Houston Rockets were fighting it out in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but that couldn’t be helped.

Hasselhoff could not have known that the L.A. Police Department would choose that day to arrange the arrest of O.J. Simpson on murder charges. As all people on earth as well as certain lifeforms on Saturn know, a distraught Simpson declined the opportunity to turn himself in and instead embarked on a slow-moving car chase that lasted several hours, helicopter footage of which dominated the TV ratings for the day (and evening on the East Coast) like few events before or since. Hasselhoff’s investment of several hundreds of thousands of dollars would yield next to no viewership.

In attendance in Atlantic City that night was Donald Trump, and in fact (according to Hasselhoff) it was Trump who informed Hasselhoff that the chase was underway.

Marla Maples had become Trump’s second wife in 1993, and for reasons unknown Hasselhoff thought it would be a good idea for him and Marla to attempt to cover Tim Hardin‘s classic song “If I Were a Carpenter,” most memorably covered in 1970 by Johnny Cash and June Carter.

It didn’t turn out as good as that version.

See the video after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider
11:12 am
And the angels wept: Tim Hardin’s performance of ‘If I Were a Carpenter’ at Woodstock
06:51 pm

Dusted off my turntable and unboxed my record collection. I plan to review vinyl re-masters and reissues in the coming months and let you know how they stack up against the original pressings.

In the past few days, I’ve been listening to my Tim Hardin records and kind of wallowing in the ache of his voice. It’s a beautifully sad thing, that voice. Presently spending time with his unheralded 1969 masterpiece, the darkly poetic Suite For Susan Moore And Damon -We Are-One, One, All In One. Combining spoken word with song, the album is an extended ode to loneliness with an autumnal vibe pierced by visions of impending apocalypse. It’s one of those dark night of the soul things that are often preludes to an awakening or death. In Hardin’s case, the album may just be the purgatorial utterances of a man in a state of perpetual twilight. Like his brother in junk, Tim Buckley, Hardin seems to be aware of death hovering over his left shoulder. The result is a kind of immediacy to every cracked wail and ragged cri du couer—a trembling supplication before annihilation. It can be both terrifying and liberating. Hardin leans a lot on love to see him through the maelstrom.

My favorite line from Suite For Susan Moore... is also a brief glimpse into Hardin’s sense of humor: “We hide the truth inside our pants. It makes a secret of romance.”

In this video, Hardin performs at Woodstock and there’s no wonder it never appeared in the feel-good documentary of the festival. His various recordings and performances of “If I were a Carpenter” mostly all have a world-weariness to them. But this Woodstock version is downright haunted and he’s so stoned and scared (he dreaded public performance) that the effect is chilling and heart wrenching… and oh so naked. Standing in front a few hundred thousand people and it’s as if he’s alone in a room… except for the stage fright and the distraction of some feedback.

There’s a lot of good quality Tim Hardin records out there at reasonable prices. I suggest you get a few, if you ain’t got ‘em already.

Posted by Marc Campbell
06:51 pm