Okay, I know that just last week I lead off with a mock metal group, but I can't help myself. This week's big find is the spoof metal group that started it all - Bad News.
Released just before This Is Spinal Tap, the 1983 episode "Bad News Tour" was a part of the UK comedy series The Comic Strip Presents, named for the legendary alternative comedy club and starring Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planer, Rik Mayall (all three also stars of The Young Ones), Peter Richardson (who wrote and directed most of the episodes), Dawn French, and Jennifer Saunders (who went on to fame as a duo, and Jennifer later creating Absolutely Fabulous).
The episode is a documentary made by an inept film crew as they follow an inept rock band, Bad News, which features a megalomaniacal leader (Vim Fuego), a brain-dead guitarist (Den Dennis), a dandy-ish bass player (Colin Grigson), and a party-animal drummer (Spider Webb). Unlike their brothers in Spinal Tap, Bad News were not talented nor successful, but nicely represent the eternally struggling basement rock group. In 1988 they returned with another special, "More Bad News", in which the band tries to reform and find their glory days...a bit sad seeing as they never had any. The reunion amped up the story and features some great moments, including an extended drinking scene ("We're a rock band, make it 100 pints of lager!"), obnoxious studio noodling, hotel room trashing, in-fighting, and the band being booed off stage by the 50,000 person crowd of metal heads at the Monsters of Rock festival (the audience had no idea they weren't real).
Start with my favorite Bad News song "Warriors of Genghis Khan" to get you in the mood. The video is especially awesome.
mp3 | YouTube clip
And now sit back, and enjoy the entire episodes. But remember, these are on YouTube, which means it could disappear at any moment. If you want your own version to keep forever, track down the out-of-print VHS released by Rhino in the 90s (now showing up on Amazon for, Jesus, $102!), or if you have an all region DVD set-up (or live in the UK) pick up the complete series now on DVD.
Not included in either film is their music video for Bohemian Rhapsody, a god-awful cover version produced by Brian May, which was also featured on their self titled album (just reissued on CD in 2004). Join us after the jump for that clip, as well as this week's mp3 and other video finds....
New MP3 finds this week:
- Crud Crud ruminizes on when straight artists crack, in this case saxaphonist Charles Lloyd's attempt to go pop.
- But for sheer listening pleasure, I prefer his post on Australian glam band Supernaut, especially their ode to sexual confusion "I Like it Both Ways".
- The rather interesting backstory on the original version of The Wiz.
- The wonderful library soundtrack for the original Night of the Living Dead.
- Speaking of library music, here's a selection of 60 second production music samples from the 1960s.
- Christian garage rock with Billy.
- What is dorkier that Zappa's novelty hit Valley Girl? That would be the novelty cover version, "Silicon Valley Guy".
- Several versions of the Cajun anthem Jolie Blonde.
- 12-year-old Chandra Oppenheim rocked the post-punk scene in 1980.
- The Jesus & Mary Chain's original version of "Upside Down".
- Ken previously wrote about the Hyper-Patriotic single, including Harry D. Cup's "Sick American". Well, here's more on him, along with the b-side "Love Letter", a Jesus narrative which will give you the shivering creeps.
- I've been a fan of Buck 65's "Centaur", but who knew there was an acoustic version?
- The Brazillian version of Hair.
- Low's new video features a big mess o' cake.
- The Three Degrees, "Dirty Old Man"
- A perfect example of why the 80s were so painful - "The Wilbury Twist". Watch for Milli Vanilli twisting along with Bob Dylan.
- It's not about disco, it's about UFOs. Disco Volante.
- One of Bowie's best covers, "Sorrow".
- FM radio is pretty much fucked: The Telefones, "The Ballad of Jerry Godzilla". Found via Good Bad Music for Bad, Bad Times, who also pointed to this Dallas news piece on Stickmen with Rayguns. I love it when local newscasters discover the wacky and disturbing "underground" culture.
- Oh, man the original Sony Betamax was fuuuunky! No wonder my dad just had to have one.
- And finally, R.I.P. Calvert DeForest. Here is a classic Letterman clip, where Larry "Bud" Melman is passing out hot towels at Port Authority. Ah...those were the days.