Playtex Gentle Glide Tampons Wants You To Know All The Dirty Details About Weird Al Yankovic

Someone apparently used a VHS to record an episode of VH1 Behind The Music, including commercial breaks, as it aired on cable TV in 1999. The episode focuses on Weird Al Yankovic and treats us to interviews with Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo), Dr Demento, Doug Feiger (The Knack) and The Weird One, himself.

Many years later someone attempted to transfer the video cassette recording to digital. It seems to have been captured at slower and glitchy frame rates. The contrast is low so everything is grayed out. The sound quality is basic to bad. You can probably find the DVD in a public library if you really want. The YouTube title says “High Quality”. This is a lie.

Still, this beast is watchable and entertain. It helps if you are a fan of His Weirdness. Furthermore, it’s fascinating because of the commercials. It’s like a time capsule.

Do you think a Tampon or a maxi-pad could feel like a diaper? Do you remember what it feels like to wear a diaper? Well apparently this was a huge problem in 1999 and it needed to be addressed on VH1. Watch for the commercial in the video.

But why would a feminine hygiene product manufacturer want you to know about Weird Al? They didn’t. At the time there was a pretense that the companies running advertisements during live broadcasts were sponsoring the content that it interrupted. This was a carry-over from old time radio and early television.

We cover Yankovic a lot around here and his music is always in rotation on the live stream. We’ve even created a T-Shirt design in his honor. Order one today!

-Wacky Alex

“Money For Nothing / Beverly Hillbillies” by Weird Al Yankovic (from UHF)

May 15th is International Family Day. It was founded by the United Nations in 1994. What better way to mark the occasion then with a song about the Beverly Hillbillies? The poorest and most rural family imaginable becomes fabulously wealthy by a lucky strike. Hooray!

Weird Al included the music video in the 1989 movie UHF which he co-wrote and starred in. The film is now considered a cult classic and everyone should check it out. The song is a parody of “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits and the recording features guitarist Mark Knopfler.

-Wacky Alex

“The Lovecats” by Melody Mendis (originally by The Cure)

Another Saturday, another Caturday. Here we have a lovely jazz-pop rendition of a gothic new wave hit for The Cure. I love this version by Melody Mendis and we play it all the time on FunHouse Radio.

The album that this song was released on is called Love & Madness. It features a number of great cover versions and is worth checking out. -WA

“The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum” by The Fun Boy Three

It’s hard to write about this one because the lyrics say it all. Let’s face it. Well meaning people around the world are currently being manipulated by lunatics.

The phrase is thought to originate in a 1919 remark by Richard A. Rowland about the founding of United Artists. It may have been an allusion to Edgar Allan Poe’s The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, published in 1845.

I found the music video for the 1981 version by Fun Boy Three. The video is passable but the audio sounds low-fi and mono. It appears that it was recovered from a vhs tape of a live broadcast. This is all the record label seems to have at the moment. Perhaps the original film has been lost.

We play the 1981 version, but the song has been recorded many times. The 2019 version by The Specials is much more true to the rock-steady ska style and has flashy modern production. I almost want to reverse engineer the EQ curve and apply it to the original track.

Take a moment to do The Ska today, Rudy. It feels good.

-Wacky Alex

“Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft” by The Carpenters

A Canadian Progressive Rock band called Klaatu first recorded this song back in 1976. The band had named themselves after the alien visitor from the classic science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still.

“The idea for this track was suggested by an actual event that is described in The Flying Saucer Reader, a book by Jay David published in 1967. In March 1953 an organization known as the “International Flying Saucer Bureau” sent a bulletin to all its members urging them to participate in an experiment termed ‘World Contact Day‘ whereby, at a predetermined date and time, they would attempt to collectively send out a telepathic message to visitors from outer space. The message began with the words…’Calling occupants of interplanetary craft!'” (John Woloschuk, member of Klaatu)

Our “Song of The Day” is the version by The Carpenters recorded in 1977. The crew on the sessions consisted of 160 musicians. The song appeared in the top ten charts in both the US & Canada. The full length version of the song is longer than 7:00 minutes. Even cut down to just over 4:00 for radio, that is a very long runtime for a charting single.

Today is National Space Day! We celebrate it on the first Friday in May. Ponder the mysteries of the universe with us for the rest of the day on our live stream.

-Wacky Alex

NOTE: The image on the top of this page is a still from the movie The Day The Earth Stood Still, 1951.

“Framed” by Cheech & Chong

Today is Cinco De Mayo. Despite being Mexican in origin, the occasion is celebrated mostly in the United States. It’s become something like a Mexican St Patrick’s day. Just like St Patrick’s Day, you get to drink alcohol while trying on someone else’s culture; or perhaps celebrating your own.

In the nation of Mexico the yearly occurrence is hardly an occasion to celebrate. To them it’s about as exciting as Founder’s Day is to Americans. Have you even heard of Founder’s Day? It’s on November 28.

So in a way, the holiday itself has been “framed”. Enjoy the track!

Can you think of other occasions on our calendar that are excuses to drink and play ethnic?

-Wacky Alex

“Vienna Calling” by Falco

When is the last time you got on the telephone and made a voice call to someone other than your parents or grandparents? When is the last time you called your best friend?

According to this 2018 op/ed, it’s time we brought back the telephone call.

Today is National Telephone Day. Make this long overt-due calls today. You have a good excuse now. And if your calls go straight into voicemail, play them this song and tell them to call you back.

For some reason this version has a flute line in places. This did not appear on the original 7 inch single.

If you want to buy the phone seen in the photo above, you can find it on amazon.

Have a great day. Go make those calls!

– Wacky Alex

“White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane, “live” on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

From what I can tell, the vocals are live. I think the music however is from the studio recording. The rest of the band is pantomiming. Things like this were common in the 60s and remain so today.

Next time you watch a singer on Saturday Night Live, ask yourself if the band is really in the mix. Chances are that they are not. Sometimes the performance looks and sounds truly live, but the band is just pantomiming to a recording they made on the same exact stage the day before. I’ll save the ethics conversation for later.

I am fairly certain that Grace Slick is really singing live to the audience here. In fact her performance is sublime.

Happy Easter! Follow the White Rabbit!