Joe Dea was a music video director back before that was actually a job description. I don’t think I ever met him but I knew him tangentially through my VERY brief volunteer work at the late 70s/early 80s groundbreaking television newsmagazine/video production company VideoWest. Founded by Fabrice Florin (whom dad knew somehow) and staffed by a bunch of people who went on to work for MTV. Joe Dea made some of the best comedy sketches and also some of the best music videos. Joe Dea has a YouTube channel, now, and a lot of the old VideoWest segments are posted there. (I don’t know why this show is not better documented, overall.) What I do recall about the show is that each week had a theme like “sex” or “death” or “politics“. The show was also very aware of the video art scene. I think they would broadcast documentation from the then-still-active Ant Farm, for example.
And, Joe, if you read this, I would love to see “Beach Blanket Armageddon” again, if it still exists.
What I like so much about The Monkee’s Head is how it is largely a parody of their own show. It has amazing songs (“The Porpoise Song” especially) a cameo by Frank Zappa and what seems like the gags that were too weird or political to go on the air.
Performance, with Mick Jagger and James Fox, is a very strange movie with very amazing score.
Memo From Turner. I feel like the entire sensibility of The Sopranos is lifted from this music sequence. No wait, that sensibility is lifted from Goodfellas. Or even Mean Streets. Maybe Scorsese saw this. I dunno. I think this must be the origin of the Rolling Stones + gangsters trope. Even though this is not the Rolling Stones, proper.
When I see James Fox in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in the Veruca Salt song, I think of Performance. And for me, the songs are slightly talking to each other.
Meet Buzz. The lady I got Buzz from (Buzz was a girl) named her Mooncat. Since Buzz Aldren was my favorite astronaut, and since Mooncat seemed too dippy, it seemed fitting. I edited this in Photoshop years later.
What do rock operas have in common? Well, whether it is Nora Walker rolling in baked beans as her son becomes Jesus, Pink watching endless reruns as he becomes Hitler, or Swan (the Devil incarnate), running the cheesiest record label offices ever seen as he plots to buy souls, we can find a pattern: in rock opera, the most profound hopes and fears of our culture intersect with the crassest, most consumer-driven product. In fact, perhaps they are the (gasp) SAME?
I saw this when I was – what? eight? It had a big impact on me. I found the music haunting, the story gripping and the villians terrifying. Been looking for it for years as I don’t think it ever showed a second time.
Bremen, Germany is very proud of this old fairy tale. The Muppet version takes place in Bremen, Louisiana (I am trying to figure out if this is a real place – anyone?) and is filled with New Orleans style jazz. Jim Henson was from neighboring Mississippi and I have a feeling this project must have been dear to his heart.