Both proof that one needn’t be especially proficient as a musician to write killer songs AND an explanation for my recent blargh absence.
The Nerves weren’t around too long but are regarded by some as ground zero for the LA punk and power pop scene. Drummer Paul Collins went on to form The Beat (“Rock N Roll Girl,” “I Don’t Fit In”), bassist Peter Case formed The Plimsouls (“A Million Miles Away”), and guitarist Jack Lee’s song “Hanging on the Telephone” became a massive hit for Blondie when they covered it on Parallel Lines in 1978.
And here’s Collins a few years later with The Beat …
I came to appreciate his genius when a vintage Mentos commercial recently appeared on one of my devices.
At the time it came out (1992) I had the same reaction as everyone, i.e.
WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS. But this being in the before times, prior to Makerbot inventing the internets, I had to simply wonder how the abomination arose, and wallow in ignorance.
Enter Bastard Research Division.
The candies, in various formats, have been around since the 1930’s, and are owned by the Perfetti Van Melle, an Italian-Dutch corporation. Van Melle hired the ad agency Pahnke & Partners out of Hamburg, to come up with the ad spots. Groves composed the theme, which is available in extended format!!
The bulk of commercials were shot in South Africa, and aimed squarely at the US and Canada.
Viewers who spotted the ads when they premiered in July 1992 were driven to distraction by one intangible: The ads seemed disconnected from actual human behavior, and the song itself was critiqued for appearing to be an English translation that didn’t get the lyrics quite right.
When Van Melle was asked “what the actual fuck?” they responded coyly, realizing they had a phenomenon on their hands. The less they answered, the more interest there was. Sales went from $20M in 1991 to $140M in 1996, worldwide. In the late 90’s, Altoids caught fire and were blamed for a decrease in Mentos market share.
The singer is allegedly Richard Ryan Graves (aka Frank Ryan), who takes zero credit for it on wikipedia or elsewhere. He was in Hamburg at the time, so he remains a likely suspect.
Monkeystador’s conceptions of truth and justice may have been heavily influenced by these shows, now that I think about it. They hit me at just the right age and I watched them all the time.
I was right angry when a new Shazam! (2019) came out and they called the main character “Shazam.” No, you fools, he SAYS Shazam but his NAME is Captain Marvel. I can’t even with this stuff. Hollywood needs to consult me on more of its releases.
Now that I think about it, the “Seven” gods from Game of Thrones were just a variation on the six elders that advised Billy Batson: Solomon, Hercules, Apollo, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury. Apparently Shazam! is an acronym of their names. I never knew that because we didn’t have wikipedia when I was a kid. You youngsters have it too easy.
Also, schoolteacher Andrea Thomas / Isis is highly underrated as a 1970’s pinup. All my friends were Farrah Fawcett or Wonder Woman stans, but Bionic Woman and Isis deserve some love.
Sister Rosetta rocks a mean axe and sings like she means business.
Enjoy the guitar compilation:
I can’t confirm whether or not she ever opened for Renfield. She played a Les Paul custom with three PAF humbucking pickups, three-way selector switch, two volume and two tone controls; and gold-plated side-action vibrato system.
She helped to pioneer distortion, and her 1964 Manchester show with Muddy Waters was cited as an influence by Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Keith Richards.
This video is only concerned with the artists who contributed to Mad in it’s first two decades – even if some of them carried on for longer. I’ve got nothing against those who came later but I’m selfishly only dealing with the ones who inspired and influenced me as I grew up. They taught me more than 4 years of college ever did. Apparently in the early Kurtzman comic years Mad was printed in colour, although all the examples I found were black and white only, and according to a particularly grumpy viewer Dave Berg didn’t die until 2002. Mea culpa.
Claude Debussy’s “The Sunken Cathedral” is based on a myth involving, well, a sunken cathedral off the coast of Brittany. The beautiful princess of a prosperous coastal town named Ys had an affair either with Satan or one of his many lieutenants on earth (as beautiful princesses tend to do). As punishment, the town was destroyed by sinking into the sea along with most inhabitants. Local legend held that on certain days you could hear the bells of the cathedral of Ys ringing from below. On other days, it was believed to rise briefly to the surface. Debussy begins by representing both waves and the ringing of the cathedral bells. As the cathedral rises, chanting monks and priests emerge, culminating with the great organ at 2:25: a brief emergence of a grand, underwater zombie Mass of the damned. Then it all sinks again until we just hear the bells. Near the end, the great organ melody makes a muted reappearance from the murky depths.
Beautifully creepy stuff here, with the obsessively perfect Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli looking like he’s playing this from deep within his castle in Transylvania. (He actually never lived in a castle in Transylvania, but for a while he did live in one near Brescia).