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Author Topic: I think I've found the Beach Boys most cringeworthy TV appearance.  (Read 16645 times)
Rocky Raccoon
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« on: May 14, 2014, 11:22:14 PM »

Miming to "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" (why???) at some sort of Super Bowl festivities in 1987.  It turns into a comedy skit in which an old lady drives through the crowd, break dances on stage in front of the boys and then attacks Mike Love at the end.  This had me scratching my head for several reasons.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=al74EMyIATg

But kind of interesting that they performed this song as it is obviously a recording, perhaps this was supposed to be their next single at the time.  After the moderate success of California Dreamin', another cover would make sense.  Wonder why they never did anything with it, aside from the fact that it's not that great.  I know it was a part of their setlists though at that time.
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2014, 11:50:29 PM »

Miming to "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena" (why???) at some sort of Super Bowl festivities in 1987.  It turns into a comedy skit in which an old lady drives through the crowd, break dances on stage in front of the boys and then attacks Mike Love at the end.  This had me scratching my head for several reasons.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=al74EMyIATg

But kind of interesting that they performed this song as it is obviously a recording, perhaps this was supposed to be their next single at the time.  After the moderate success of California Dreamin', another cover would make sense.  Wonder why they never did anything with it, aside from the fact that it's not that great.  I know it was a part of their setlists though at that time.
As bad as their judgement could be at times, I can't imagine LOLFP was ever considered as a single for them in the 80's. Seeing this clip, though, I finally figured out where that group shot on the picture sleeve of Happy Endings came from.
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2014, 11:52:22 PM »

Because the Super Bowl was played at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena that year ?
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 12:57:21 AM »

That "old lady" beating up on Mike is Ruth Buzzi as her character "Gladys" from the old Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In show. Her shtick was always expressing righteous indignation by attacking the offender with her purse...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_FM-RvLONU
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 01:17:52 AM »

Yep, the great Ruth Buzzi. God bless her for buying into the bit, but even she can't save this nauseating performance. I feel bad mainly for Carl; he doesn't seem to be enjoying himself very much up there. Brian has a great look on his face at 2:40-- "what the hell am I looking at here?"

If you didn't live through the eighties (or were too young to remember) and think it was a real cool time, watching this alongside Up with People's performance at Super Bowl XX in Miami should disabuse you of that notion once and for all. Life in Ronald Reagan's America.
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2014, 01:22:13 AM »

2:40  LOL

"Uh...Hey guys, is this supposed to be happening?"
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2014, 02:48:11 AM »

 LOL
Carl looks like he was getting into the Superbowl song at the start.

So, uh, is Mike wearing pants or pyjamas (or a hybrid, given it's the '80's)?
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 03:07:11 AM »

That "Superbowl" song in the intro...I won't even say it. We all know.   LOL

Welcome to mid to late 1980's network TV "specials", the only thing missing from this one besides entertainment value is a guest walk-on by Scott Baio and a Care Bears dance number "for the kids..."
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2014, 03:12:31 AM »

.
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 03:13:30 AM »

Since "Kraft" sponsored it, they could have saved the show by dumping a vat of melted Velveeta processed cheese on host Patrick Duffy at some point.
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 03:27:00 AM »

.
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2014, 03:40:33 AM »

Most cringeworthy TV appearance ? Simples.

The entire 7/5/81 gig on the Queen Mary at Long Beach CA. Watching on TV from his hotel room on tour, Carl, when asked, said simply "it was painful".

No, Carl - it was shocking. Excruciatingly, toe-curlingly, buttock-clenchingly awful.
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2014, 03:56:54 AM »

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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2014, 04:46:02 AM »

No.

[sigh]

If you care to read what I actually posted - something some folk tend not to do that much in there here parts, it's becoming apparent - you'll discern that I was upbraiding Carl for saying the performance was merely "painful" when in fact it was utterly atrocious.

Prior that this, I'd posted that the most cringeworthy performance was the entire 7/5/81 show. Thus - best sit down, it's a tricky concept to grasp, but, I feel, worth the necessary effort - I was applying the term "cringeworthy" to that show. At Long Beach, the band most decidedly supplied all the cringeworthy elements by the simple act of getting up on stage and performing like a bad cover band, and having Adrian Baker aboard sure didn't help.
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2014, 05:04:03 AM »

Brian has a great look on his face at 2:40-- "what the hell am I looking at here?"

Worth watching just for that moment.  LOL
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2014, 05:05:11 AM »

*Sighs*
*Shakes head*
*Mutters*
*Wearily draws self up from table*
*Takes long hot shower*
*Goes to sleep disappointed with the world*
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Sheriff John Stone
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2014, 05:39:59 AM »

Most cringeworthy? That was one of the best!

First of all, yes, the Superbowl was played in Pasadena that year. Hey, they could've asked Jan & Dean to appear. The Beach Boys were still "hanging around" during that period, with "Getcha Back", the Live Aid appearance, MTV videos, and several appearances on Solid Gold, which was a very popular show at that time.

I watched that Super Bowl show that night, and I recorded it (VHS), and I watched it over and over. I was thrilled. Excited. Optimistic. First and most importantly, Brian looked great. In my opinion, that was the best he ever looked. Ever. The white pants, the Hawaiian shirt, the great hair, holding a Fender bass. How could you not love it? I didn't care that they lip-synched it. Hey, they lip-synched "Don't Worry, Baby" in 1964. I thought it was a great version. Mike sounded great and the background vocals, which were newly recorded, sounded fresh as well. Carl was into it, as was the audience who were on their feet and clapping along.

Sure, the skit was corny, but so what. The Beach Boys were always surrounded by humor. The Andy Williams Show, The Jack Benny Show, The Monkey's Uncle, the 1976 NBC-TV special, Full House, the New Leave It To Beaver (cough), and several other TV shows. It wasn't that bad, and Mike was excellent as usual. It was TV appearances like this that kept hopa alive for Beach Boys fans back in those days. As a diehard, you just went through a very trying time (1980-83). Seriously, I can't believe this is being criticized. It has always been a FAVORITE of mine.
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2014, 07:02:35 AM »

I loved Brian's performance here. You don't even need to squint your eyes to see the 1964 Brian bobbin' away with his bass (neck held high). He even has the same hairstyle.

You forget how young they still were in the 80's. Carl was only 41 here, my age.

The only cringe worthy thing was that 'Granny'. Looked like she was having some sort of seizure. I was embarrassed for her.
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2014, 07:18:50 AM »

I think I saw that at some point years ago (I may even have it on VHS somewhere), but that definitely is one of the top awesomely awful group TV appearances. These ones are fun because the guys aren’t performing poorly per se (in this case, they’re miming to a “meh” 80’s re-recording of a Jan & Dean song), to the hilarity is in the awkward nature of the entire presentation and the show as a whole. Even setting aside their “aging dudes in 80’s regalia” look, the entire thing is amazingly and hilariously off. Brian’s “is this supposed to be happening?” look is, on its own, worth watching the entire clip.

I think the band’s Carl-less 1981-82 time frame resulted in musically worse appearances, and had the band looking even more bored, haggard, and phoning it in than at that later point in the mid-late 80’s. However misplaced or misguided, they had a little spunk and enthusiasm left at that stage.

Even worse in some ways than the ’81 Queen Mary show was the circa 1981-82 Carl-less appearance on Dick Clark’s 35th Anniversary show for American Bandstand. The band (minus Carl, but with Brian and Dennis, and Figuroa and Carter) mime to the “Beach Boys Medley” single, thus the odd spectacle of a haggard 1982 Brian Wilson miming to 1966 Carl Wilson on “Good Vibrations” (and missing the cue for the high note). They barely show Dennis, who looks bloated and out of it in the few distant shots you can see. The band clearly hasn’t rehearsed the song changes found in the “Medley”, and at one point when switching over to “Help Me Rhonda”, Al misses the cue and shrugs literally as if “meh, whatever, we clearly don’t care.” Later on, during the “all-star” jam on “Rock Around the Clock” where a bunch of stars take solo turns, Al must represent the Beach Boys, and turns in an awesomely bad guitar solo (after nearly choking on his glass of wine to put it down when Dick Clark calls him on stage). Definitely a mixture of sad and hilarious.
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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2014, 07:53:28 AM »

2:40  LOL

"Uh...Hey guys, is this supposed to be happening?"

Probably the only redeemable moment in this whole fiasco LOL

Thanks for giving us younger fans some context, Sheriff...however it's still fairly unnerving to watch haha.
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« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2014, 08:53:44 AM »

Oh wow, I've never seen that one. This confirms my beleif that at some point prior to that appearance, the Devil came to Mike and offered a deal for another #1 hit if Mike would sell the band's soul.
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« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2014, 09:28:22 AM »

The "is this supposed to be happening?" look:

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« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2014, 09:42:13 AM »

You fellas don't think everything about this including the group's mugging isn't scripted/prompted and rehearsed?
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« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2014, 09:54:32 AM »

You fellas don't think everything about this including the group's mugging isn't scripted/prompted and rehearsed?

Of course. But they were/are all horrible actors, and that Brian look is all Brian. Even if he was told to look "fake concerned", his true awkwardness still comes through. This group's level of awkwardness in these situations is a strange kind of art itself.

This appearance pairs nicely with Brian's tight leather pants performance of "Night Time." Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2014, 10:21:35 AM »

I think 2:40 was not scripted.
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