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bearcatscanna [userpic]

Skeeter Davis, NRBQ, The Shaggs and Me

June 8th, 2005 (10:22 pm)

One of the greatest things about living in Nashville is that every once in a while there is a celebrity estate sale. Today, the contents of Skeeter Davis' house went up for sale. Skeeter, who sang "Don't They Know It's the End of the World," was a big doll collector who also liked Snoopy. Skeeter had an aqua fridge and stove, which I lusted after. I could not afford any of her awesome show clothes, nor any of the framed records on the wall, but I did go through the giant collection of unframed records. After noticing that Skeeter had a lot of NRBQ records, I remembered that Skeeter Davis had been married to Joey Spampinato, the bass player of NRBQ. Kind of an odd match, given that Ms. Davis was once married to wax figure Ralph Emery.

After making the Skeeter/NRBQ connection, my super excellent boyfriend remembered that NRBQ was instrumental (no pun intended) in the release of my favorite records of all time, "Philosophy of the World" and "Shaggs' Own Thing" by The Shaggs, my favorite band of all time. He suggested that we look through the albums for original Shaggs vinyl, and after debating whether or not to buy Skeeter's copy of "Kiss Alive II," with scratched up spine by Skeeter's cat, I found the Shaggs record! No, not the original, original Shaggs record, the one that Austin Wiggin pressed a hundred copies of, but the original vinyl of "Shaggs' Own Thing," on Rounder/Red Rooster records, which is pretty original, musically as well as chronologically. It was still in the shrink-wrap, and looked like it had never been played! So, I now own Skeeter Davis' copy of "Shaggs' Own Thing," and I am the happiest girl alive.

bearcatscanna [userpic]

Richie the C's cousin Roger's brother, Flip

June 6th, 2005 (06:05 pm)

Much to the chagrin of my super excellent boyfriend, I am now obsessed with 9th season Happy Days reruns that are now being shown on TV Land. Last night, Roger's brother Flip showed up. Flip is supposedly a bad-ass, and I fell asleep before the show ended, but not before I noticed Flip's '50's costume, which consisted of tight jeans and a down jacket!!! Chachi sported the '50s "gloves hanging out of the back pocket of your jeans" look, while Laurie-Beth, who works at Arnold's (Fonzie and Big Al, proprietors) sports the spandex pants look that good-girl-turned-bad Olivia Newton-John also wore in Grease. It's almost as if Garry Marshall's kids, the same ones who invented '50s Orkian character Mork, had been put in charge of costume design and historical accuracy as well.

I suppose if Happy Days started in the '50s/'70s, and went on for ten years or so, we can assume that the costumes are now '60s/'80s, hence the down jacket, but I still don't understand why husky Billy Warlock, who played Flip, was wearing a buttoned all the way up puffy down jacket inside the living room for his entire scene, unless Chachi had put into his contract that no male actor was allowed to look thinner than he, the way Lucille Ball did to poor Ethel.

I vaguely remember these late episodes of Happy Days; I just looked online to see how long this show was in production and was suprised to learn it was until 1984, when I was too old to stay home and watch TV. I'm surprised to learn that it's only going to get worse.
According to www.sitcomconline.com:
#209- Chachi's Future (3/2/82)
Chachi dumps his dreams of rock stardom to become a high-pressure salesman.

#224- I Drink, Therefore I Am (1/11/83)
Flip and his friends run down Heather after they have been drinking.

What?!!! I didn't know how hard hitting Happy Days became, but, it's not surprising that I missed Flip's struggles with alcohol and Chachi's rock and roll fantasy; I was busy drinking beer and going to punk rock shows at that time. Hmmm.

bearcatscanna [userpic]

Joanie and Chachi's band

June 2nd, 2005 (04:11 am)

I had the great fortune tonight to catch not only the Johnny Bravo episode of the Brady Bunch, but also the "we can't think of any more plot lines, so we're going to put on a talent show" episode of Happy Days. The best talent was Joanie and Chachi's band, with Joanie singing, Chachi (whom I still think is hot) on the electric guitar and a few guys behind them with trumpets. Laurie-Beth does jazzercise to the musical "stylings" of this band, even though they are singing "Twisting the Night Away" and it would make a little more sense if she did the twist. But, this was the '70s/'50s, not the '50s/'50s, so it was historically correct if everyone had feathered-back hair and bandanas tied around the legs of their jeans. Not even I am sure what decade made tying bandanas around your leg popular-perhaps it was the Scott Baio Decade. Watching this episode of Happy Days was not quite as embarrassing as watching all the Bradys dance awkwardly in matching outfits, but almost.

If you are unfamiliar with the term "jump the shark" you should know that it refers to the point in the life of a popular sitcom where everything goes to hell, specifically the episode of Happy Days where the Fonz jumps over sharks on water skis, wearing swim trunks and a leather jacket. This episode is beyond jumping the shark- it's more like "getting bitten in half by the shark and floating around in the water like a bucket of chum."

Richie, who held the show together had left, and was replaced by Roger, whom if memory serves me, was Mrs. C's extremely bland nephew. Rounding out the cast were Laurie-Beth, who was Richie's wife who stayed stateside when Richie conveniently joined the army and Chachi who was Fonzie's nephew and Joanie's boyfriend. Jenny Piccolo, formerly a great character who was never seen, (a great tv device) became a major player as well. I'm surprised they didn't get a little John Denver looking kid with a bowl haircut and round glasses with the stretching the writers did to come up with this new crop of lameness.

I'm not complaining here; this is the kind of tv I love. The worse, the better. For years I have watched the new fall line-up looking for the show that will be cancelled the quickest, and I believe it is for this reason that I am the only person I know who ever actually saw an episode of Covington Cross, the medieval 90210-ish teen drama starring Ione Skye. I am proud of that.

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