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A Pinch Of This, A Little Of That...
There’s a lot of things about the Seventies I think I remember. There were a lot of good times (waiting on my baby sister to be born and holding her hand for the first time, flying a kite with my old man in the park, sitting on a curb in Virginia and wondering what life in America would be like) and a handful of crappy ones (let’s not dwell on those, okay ?), but I really couldn’t choose “the best” things about that decade. Instead, here are a handful of things I really enjoyed and I invite you to share yours with me….
Rock ‘n’ Roll High School – What do you get when you combine Alice Cooper, Roger Corman, a group of fun loving teens and the ever lovin’ Ramones ? Mother fucking Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. Riff is your prototypical teenager. She likes sex, drugs, and the Ramones. But she hates her school. The high school is run by a principal who acts more like a Nazi than an educator, who is determined to ban any and all rock and roll from her fine institution. But Riff is willing to fight the system, and will do anything in her power (and a few things that aren’t) just to watch her principal go down.
Is it a crappy teen comedy, directed by one of the greatest schlock directors of our time ? Or is it a musical, borrowing from the best that stage and screen had to offer and distilling it down to their basic three chord parts ? Who fucking cares. The movie is ten kinds of fun. The plot makes no sense, the cameos are hilarious and it’s the fucking Ramones. And it beats the hell out of “Kiss Saves Santa”.
The Muppet Show – Vaudeville is apparently a lost art, but one that had a very bright and shining revival in the 70’s… Starring Muppets. Kermit the Frog yelling “It’s the Muppet Show starring” seems like kind of a cheap way to open the show week after week, but for me it never got old. Besides, who didn’t like Kermit ? Sure, he may not have been your favorite Muppet, but there was no one who didn’t like him. And who couldn’t love a show with such an great cast ? Gonzo the Great, Scooter, Sam the Eagle and Sweetums. Hell, there were even a few sketches where that damned pig wasn’t the most annoying thing on the stage.
The guest stars were always fantastic and all over the map. One week, they’d have Lena Horne, the next week it’d be Vincent Price. Steve Martin, John Cleese and practically every other actor I idolized in my formative years were all on The Muppet Show. And who could forget Johnny Cash ? It’s a damn close tie between the Johnny Cash episode and the Star Wars ep for Best Muppet Show ever in my mind. Everything in this show “just clicked” and it still really holds up. It’s even more fun to watch these days because my little beast gets really excited, sings along and watches the Muppets with an interest he usually only reserves for Bob the Builder.
And since it’s been a long week (both physically and mentally), I give you fifteen lines from fifteen albums; in no particular order (I’m not sure if it’ll work, but I’m willing to try anything at least once)….
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
Raw Power – Iggy and the Stooges
Devo – Are We Not Men ? We Are Devo
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On ?
Madness – One Step Beyond
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
All right, not sure if that worked, but it’s something that I wanted to make myself do for a little while now…. So kids, I gave you movies, TV and a shitload of good music… What do you wanna share ?