Man! I miss the eighties. I miss the 1980's mainly for the music and the vibe surrounding it. Yes in-fuckin-deed!
Perhaps even more than the hip-hop of that decade (which I love to death), I miss the American punk rock of the 1980's even more.
I miss 80's US punk because the music was still fresh and vibrant and hard(core). It was when punk itself was still an ideal that hadn't been fully exploited yet, not some fuckin pre-packaged commodity hawked as a fashion accessory at the Hot Topic outlet down at the local strip mall USA.
Back then punk zines from MRR all the way down to every small but passionately put together two-page Xeroxed, circulation of ten had balls. And near everything related to punk, from zines to album covers to concert fliers and of course the music/lyrics itself, had a strong scent of political activism. And the one thing that seemed to cement everything together? The president at the time: Ronald Reagan.
If you've forgotten who Reagan was, let me refresh your memory. He was a former governor of California who made some bad decisions but still became president of the USA. Reagan was (like George W. Bush) a Republican and (also like Bush) someone that folks liked to mock and imitate and disdain. He liked jellybeans. He asked "where's the beef?" and (like Bush) was the puppet of corrupt big business powers behind the scenes.
And at that time it seemed every punk rock group had a song or album or show flier about Reagan. I thought of this when I went crate-digging in my punk section this morning and dug up my copy of the great Alternative Tentacles compilation Let Them Eat Jellybeans and also an album by the great former band Reagan Youth -- just two examples of punk releases fueled by their contempt towards the then-president of the USA.
Reagan Youth, which was formed in Queens, NY by Dave "Insurgent" Rubinstein and Paul "Cripple" Bakija, used to play bills with the likes of the Dead Kennedys and Bad Brains (both on the Jellybeans comp on Jello Biafra's label).
Allan Melvin passed away this week, and regardless of the headline - he was far more than Sam the Butcher: he also was beloved in The Phil Silvers Show, All In The Family, appearances on Gomer Pyle, The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. A lot of folks who remember Magilla Gorilla don't even realized that Magilla was voiced by Mr. Melvin.
Nonetheless ... to many he will always be remembered as the love interest of Alice (Nelson), the maid on The Brady Bunch - played by Ann B. Davis. In this day and age, how many of us even know the name of our local butcher ... heck, how many of us still eat meat?
It's an era passing by, and I pause here to stand solemnly as it slides by us in the night, never to return.
Our respects and condolences go out to his wife and family.
Original album artwork, only smaller
We all know that Planet of the Apes is musician/producer Cornelius' favorite movie since the Japanese artist, born Keigo Oyamada, chose his pseudonym in tribute to the character Cornelius from that movie. Not only that, but he also went so far as to name his son Milo after Milo -- the son of Cornelius in Planet of the Apes.
But the artist, whose current five-date US tour titled the Sensous Synchronized Show played at Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles last night and plays the Fillmore in San Francisco tonight (Friday 18th), has a lot of other favorite movies on his list -- maybe not all as close to his heart as Planet of the Apes is to him, but faves nonetheless.
So when yesterday I got the opportunity to interview him (via his translator) and ask a few questions, I had to ask-- what is another movie that he likes a lot? His reply? Something that would no doubt please Amoeblog's Phil Blankenship and other fans of horror and gore -- sprinkled with some humor. He named the 1987 New Zealand b-horror movie classic Bad Taste directed by (and also acting in the film in the role of Derek) Peter Jackson -- who would later come to megafame as the director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.