So it’s Sunday night, and the weekend’s winding down. I was relaxing, doing a little channel surfing on the ol’ Aquos when I landed on an episode of the Simpsons from 2002 called “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation”. It’s one of my favourites. It’s the episode when Homer goes to a rock and roll fantasy camp. For me, it was the best of both worlds: rock and roll, and tv. (And speaking of the best of both worlds, I have two songs by that title, one by the late, great Robert Palmer from his 1978 album “Double Fun” and the other by Van Halen, or “Van Hagar” if you prefer. Each great songs in their own right. But I’m getting off topic…)
The Simpsons episode features cameos by Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Lenny Kravitz and Brian Setzer. One of my favourite lines is when Mick, sitting at an adding machine, turns to Keith and says they need to find a cheaper brand of oatmeal for the camp. Priceless.
So this episode got me thinking about music on tv, going back to the days when Muchmusic was just an idea on paper. These were the days of classics like American Bandstand, Soul Train, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, and The Midnight Special. Later there was NBC’s Friday Night Videos, Solid Gold and in Toronto there was Toronto Rocks, Citylimits, and the CBC had Good Rockin’ Tonight. I’m sure I’m leaving out some.
One memory that stands out was in 1975 when on an episode of American Bandstand, Dick Clark aired the video for Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. I can still remember thinking how incredibly cool it was. Music videos had of course existed for years before that, but in my opinion I think it was this video in particular that launched the music video generation.
(BTW: I saw Queen live in 1982 and even got to meet drummer Roger Taylor when I was working at a radio station in Montreal. My brush with greatness!)
What are your memories of music on tv? Anything really special stand out?
Bonus Post! “The Shuffle Report”
To continue on a theme from the last post, here just for fun are the last 10 songs I’ve listened to in shuffle mode on my iPod at the time I wrote today’s post (no editing):
1. I Had A Dream–Ray Charles (The Birth of Soul, Disc 3)
2. Reason To Believe–Bruce Springsteen (Nebraska)
3. Is She Really Going Out With Him?–Joe Jackson (Two Rainy Nights–Live)
4. Take Me To The Pilot–Elton John (Here and There–Live)
5. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)–The Beatles (Abbey Road)
6. No No Song–Ringo Starr (Photograph–The Very Best Of)
7. Strange Days–Matthew Good (In A Coma)
8. Mr. Soul–Buffalo Springfield (Retrospective)
9. Dark Angel–Blue Rodeo (Five Days In July)
10. Here To Stay–Pat Metheny Group (We Live Here)