Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cry Baby Cry

Frequent OPC commenter Kinky Paprika considerately provided a link to the video tribute to the Beatles that was part of the tenth anniversary TV special of Rolling Stone magazine we were discussing the other day. Part of me wants to extend deep thanks to Kinky, and part of me wants to ask him or her to never, ever do such a thing again. I feel like I need to go to an Ozu film festival or something, just to cleanse my cultural palate after being exposed to this stinkbomb. The clip is indescribably awful, but describing things is what we do around here, so let us soldier on.

First of all, it's misleading to refer to "dancing strawberries" in this musical extravaganza, as Gavin did in the comments the other day. Not only is that a very small part of the whole 15-minute tribute, but it's actually dancing strawberry plants. There is a difference.

But the framboises danseuse are far from the biggest travesty here. That honor goes to the guy in Kiss-style makeup and hot pants who sings "Helter Skelter" while a troupe of Broadway-style dancers re-enacts what appears to be a Tribute to the Sixties' Most Violent Moments. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

Then there's the guy in the Point Break-style rubber Richard Nixon mask singing "I'm a Loser." And Ted "Jesus" Neeley (whose name, a reader helpfully pointed out, I had misspelled in my earlier post) singing "Magical Mystery Tour" while said Broadway dancers cavort around a yellow submarine. One of those dancers is a boxer in a robe (no, I have no idea what a boxer has to do with "Magical Mystery Tour," unless there's some baroque connection to "Hey Bulldog"), and if any of my readers can decipher what's written on the back of his robe, I'd appreciate it.

There is one nice, restrained moment in here, when Ritchie Havens and Yvonne Elliman sing "Here Comes the Sun." Still, the Keith Moon skit I posted the other day, while not funny, is about 17 times better than this piece of glop. It's worth pointing out that the director of this Rolling Stone special was the same guy who directed the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, which was inflicted on the American public a year later. Watch it... if you dare.

10 comments:

Marshall said...

"A reader." Well, that's just great.

T. Nawrocki said...

I respect the privacy of my readers' personal correspondence with me. If you, or whoever it was that sent that missive, wanted to be known correcting me, he or she could have done it in comments.

Kinky Paprika said...

Does anyone else find it really annoying how they break canon and include "Give Peace A Chance"?

Dude, it's NOT A FREAKIN' BEATLES SONG.
They might as well have included "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey," or maybe "Snookeroo."

I also love how "Long Long Long" slips in there. Now there's a Beatles song that defined a turbulent generation.

T. Nawrocki said...

They also slipped in "I'm a Loser," which violated the whole conceit of the Rolling Stone decade, since that song predates 1967.

But when the very second song in the selection was "Magical Mystery Tour," I think it was clear that these things weren't going to be chosen with a lot of discretion.

Marshall said...

You "respect our privacy." I don't seem to recall that same spirit when you told the police all about my liquor-store robbery spree in 1980s Evanston. Where was my "privacy" then?

T. Nawrocki said...

There were no liquor stores in 1980s Evanston. It was a dry town.

Marshall said...

Seriously? What was I drinking?

T. Nawrocki said...

Bootleg from Chicago.

Kinky Paprika said...

The second word on the boxer's robe appears to be "CLEVELAND," which rules out any Beatles reference I can think of.
Can't read the first word.

T. Nawrocki said...

Thanks, Kinky. I would love to have been in the creative conference when someone threw out "Let's put a boxer with ____ Cleveland on his robe out there, too. The kids'll love that."