Thursday, July 24, 2008
GMVW # 29: "Innocent Until Proven Guilty"
Gem Music Video of the Week # 29: Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Song: Rock Lobster by The B52s
(Songwriters: Fred Schneider and Ricky Wilson)
July 24, 2008
Place: Serious Rocker Tribunal made up of 9 judges
Time: A futuristic ‘What If’ scenario
Setting: An interrogation. Spotlight on me
Chief Justice: So, Steeves, you consider yourself a serious rocker?
Me: ahh, yes, I do
Chief Justice: Someone who takes his music seriously?
Chief Justice: Let’s review your records. Going way back now, there are reports that you listened frequently to Neil Diamond and the Carpenters with your family on the way to swimming lessons as a teenager.
Me (sheepishly): Yes, but Rock n Roll initially passed my parents by. They were busy being parents, and, well, Dad’s a big time classical music kind of guy. You can’t knock classical, particularly Mozart. Mom, she came around. Started enjoying Creedence Clearwater Revival, Elton John, The Beatles.
Chief Justice: Hmmm. You did stoop pretty low, though. Do the words “Sky Rockets in Flight” ring a bell?!!!
Me: Ouch, that hurt. Believe me though, by that time some basic instinct was starting to kick in. I was not quite as duped as others my age. They were sliding down a slippery slope, like John Travolta under that mirror ball.
Chief Justice: Back to you. One of your first album purchases: ‘Breakfast in America’
Me: Chalk it up to Late Bloomer Syndrome
Chief Justice: Moving on to the late 80’s. We have reports of your car’s radio having every fixed station tuned to KISS 108 for the better part of a long weekend!
Me: I can explain! My then soon-to-be sister-in-law pulled off a cunning, diabolical and, I must admit, smooth maneuver.
Chief Justice and other judges < huddling and murmuring >
Chief Justice: ok we will let that one slide.
Chief Justice: < shuffling thru documents >: The rest of your records look pretty good….. Wait! What’s this! Right up to the present day, we see a love for the music of the B52s… and you consider yourself a serious rocker!
Me: I was hoping you would have missed that
Chief Justice: You better have an explanation for this! What’s to keep us from banishing you to a deserted island with nothing but a collection of ABBA albums?
Me: Yow! < pause > ….no, I can’t abandon them now… the B52s are a great band!
Chief Justice and other judges < exasperated >
Chief Justice: You must be joking.
Me: No I’m not.
Chief Justice: <looking through B-52s lyrics>: How can learning the Camel Walk be serious stuff? The Coo-ca-choo? The Aqua-velva?
Me: ahhh well….
Chief Justice: < interrupting >: Let’s read a few lyrics, shall we? “She came from Planet Claire, I know she came from there, she drove a Plymouth Satellite, faster than the speed of light”. Here’s another: “His ear lobe fell in the deep. Someone reached in and grabbed it. It was the Rock Lobster”. What the…..
Me: Great stuff, actually. Sorry you didn’t connect. You missed out!
Chief Justice: Your time is running out. Explain please.
Me: ok, the lyrics were a little out there. But the lyrics worked because they fit well with the music. The guitarist was very original. The interplay between the 3 lead singers was brilliant. The stage presence of Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson was absolutely hypnotizing. I relate it to watching Natalie Merchant spinning like a top in front of her band, 10,000 Maniacs, or the imposing figure of Peter Garrett strutting his stuff in front of Midnight Oil
Chief Justice: Keep going…
Me: Well, and then there is my sister, Jen.
Chief Justice: Jen?
Me: Actually, her alter ego, Jenzo. Jenzo immersed herself into the New Wave scene and brought the rest of the family along for the ride. Jen had added the ‘zo’ to her name in order to spell it out along her 5-hole pierced ear lobe.
Chief Justice: Pretty hot shit. But how is that supposed to sell us?
Me: Jen(zo) also brought Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin into our household. She introduced the family to these bands.
Chief Justice: I see. Please give us a few moments.
< A few moments >
Chief Justice: We have come to a consensus. We would like to hear ‘Rock Lobster’
Me: Let me take you back to Gem Music Video of the Week #29
Chief Justice: I’m already Froogin! Pass the tanning butter!
Gem Music Video: Rock Lobster
About the Video: Made for MTV like video (rare and strange). Includes footage of the band and other things (like a hover craft and dancing lobsters).
Video Rating: 1
Best Feedback: Jen(zo)
If you consider any and all sorts of music influences that we bring into each other's lives, CJ would certainly have banished you to an island, or better yet, a desert - with mirages of Olivia Newton John, Bobby Sherman and The Partridge Family appearing ahead of you. Thankfully, I saw the light, too, eventually. Thanks in part to Dale, with his enjoyment of classic American sounds from Queen, Boston, and from funky, new sounds from B-52's, Talking Heads, Lena Lovitch (anybody remember her?). We all bring music to each other.
** Jen later corrected Queen as an American band reference
One of my fondest memories was sleeping over Pete's house during April vacation. This is when I got exposed to BOMGA (Benevolent Order of Maloon the Goon Antagonists". I can tell you for a fact that the defendant was NOT perjuring himself under oath. The first morning I woke up, there were two things permanently engrained on my mind. The large grandfather clock that made a noise every 15, and Dotsy playing her stereo aloud with the song, "Music Box Dancer". No Zepplin, No Aerosmith, strictly Lawrence Welk fare. It was then that Pete introduced me to the Red Album! :)