the other night, i was watching some nostalgia-drenched show on kued (the local pbs affiliate) featuring all the great(est?) performances on the ed sullivan show. it was part of their bi-yearly pledge drive.
(related: my brother volunteered last week to answer phones during the pledge drive. according to him, all the donations he took were from woman who were at least 65 years old. so my question: is pbs scamming retired widows out of their social security checks?)
(also related: last year, around this same time, kued showed a different episode of keeping up appearances every night for like two months. that show is amazing. seriously. so stream it on your netflix queue, making sure to move it ahead of any of those bullshit hb0/showtime shows everyone’s all about these days. the first season is a little slow, but once they replace rose with an older, sexier actor, every episode is a gem. twin peaks is the only tv show better, in my opinion (or imo or even imho, but i worry that including the h for humble makes the option stated categorically un-humble).)
back to the rock-n-roll hits: for some reason, (i’m guessing microphone technology) most of the performances (like the animals, the mama and the papas and that lady that sang “downtown”) were all lip-synched which, in many ways, is way better watching than an actual “live” performances. after some so-so performances, this song came on:
right then, i re-memoried this movie idea i had years ago. it was a tommy james bio-pic with some bill and ted inspired time-traveling.
it starts with a young tommy james desperately trying to write a hit for his struggling band. he’s depressed and on drugs, possibly contemplating suicide. then rufus shows up in the phone booth and the two of them travel to suburban america circa 1987 (maybe even san dimas). tommy james, still in a drug and time-travel induced haze, stumbles into a high school house party. parents are out of town. there’s alcohol, drugs and seven-minutes-in-heaven everywhere. on the hi-fi system, one song fades out and another begins. tommy james catches the first words sung by tiffany (children behave / that’s what they say when we’re together) and immediately knows that this is it — this is the hit he’s been searching for. he furiously writes down the lyrics and chord changes, finds rufus and returns to 1960-something. he shows his band, the shondells, his new song. “this is dope,” the bassist says, “like something from the future.” (did dope mean cool in the 60s or just drugs and/or stupid?) they record the song and it’s an instant hit. the end.
it turns out that the tiffany video for “i think we’re alone now” was partially shot at the ogden city mall (rip). i wonder if my older sister was at the concert featured in the video.