I recently used the Stray Cats’ “Rock This Town” as one of the videos I sometimes show as part of my blog (see below), and the second time I watched, I saw this Mommy holding her little daughter and dancing to Mr. Setzer’s Rockabilly music.
Those two just touched my heart, and I began wondering about them: Who they are, where are they today and is their relationship today just as wonderful as what I was seeing on the video?
Here’s the link. Enjoy, and watch for the lady in the purple top holding her little girl and those two cuties just having a ball together.
I know what you’re saying to yourselves: “Too much time on your hands, Bro’! Ya need to get out more!”
But if you’re saying that, then you’d be missing the point!
Meaning that I can still observe, assimilate data and conjecture/draw conclusions from that observation.
If anyone knows who those two are, please just tell me that the happiness they shared during the filming of that song - endured.
Nobody famous. This was from Fridays, a short-lived SNL imitator mainly notable for launching Michael Richards’ TV career.
The same year this was filmed, SNL had a group called Fear as its musical guest. Fear was a punk band, and SNL relied on getting its audiences off the street. They didn’t get many punks with mohawks, purple hair or safety pins through their cheek in this manner and had a lot of trouble finding NYC punks who wanted to be in their studio audience, so for Fear, they actually sent a bus to DC (which had a very enthusiastic punk scene) to round up some camera-friendly moshers for the studio audience. It made for okay TV visuals, but the guests did about ten grand worth of damage to the studio, and Fear disappeared soon after.
Anyway, the Stray Cats had a vaguely similar reputation at this point in their careers; maybe Fridays had to bring in an audience in the same manner? Mom and kid may be traceable yet! I think Paul Miller directed this segment; he’s still active and directs stuff with Kathy Griffin and Comedy Central Presents. If anybody knows the story, he’d be the guy.
Fear didn’t disappear. They released albums about every 5 years or so up until 2000, and Lee appeared in a number of movies.
Stray Cats (no “the”, please) didn’t have a rep at all in the US, and not much of one in the UK, where they really honed their act and began recording. True, their brand of rockabilly was still a new thing, and the producer’s might have “imported” people with a certain look (I don’t know, but I’d be interested in knowing), but they never had a rep that was anything like Fear’s. Stray Cats didn’t spit on crowds, call them fags and pussies, or bash anyone over the head with their instruments. None of the guys had Lee’s, um, sense of humor or innate abrasiveness.
I will say that both bands put on great shows. Saw Fear 3x, SC 2x. I’ve seen BSO more times than I can count.
Quasi, you should write Mr. Miller and see what he remembers about that. It would be interesting reading.
I went home and watched this last night. And then I watched some other Stray Cats videos. And then I wondered where my Stray Cats LPs were, the Japanese imports I special-ordered and kept the obis even though I don’t speak Japanese. Gee, I guess I still like me some rockabilly!
Seeing that video brought back some memories. Before they were Stray Cats, they were the Tomcats, a local Long Island bar bad (Heckle & Jeckle’s, TKs Place, other Massapequa area bands). Same sound, though, and the same look. Their fans were, then, very non-trendy, non-fashionable. Setzer’s brother (whose name I forget now) was the future rock star. He played in a band called the Bloodless Pharoahs, who had something of a following in downtown Manhattan clubs. They have since faded into oblivion. There was no rockabilly revival yet, but out on the Island, people loved the stuff. I must have seen them a hundred times. There were a few other bands in that scene. I remember the BMTs especially. I think their guitar player (Tommy Byrne?) is now in Billy Joel’s road band. There must have been other bands – just can’t remember them at the moment.