Archive for October, 2008
As Oingo Boingo would say… Who do you want to be today, who do you want to be?”
I’m going to be a comic book villain created by my kiddo. She named her The Mist of Doom.
Tell us who you’re going to be today. Have fun everyone!
I was whistling this legendary cowboy song the other day while running errands in my mini van. This isn’t a Halloween tune but it is about ghosts riding through the sky, a devils herd, and hearing mournful cries. The eerie chorus is haunting, yet catchy at the same time.
My favorite version has always been the Vaughn Monroe hit of 1949.
I was surprised to find so many different versions of the same tune. Turns out their was at least 50 adaptations, many of them all from 1949. Burl Ives did a rendition which makes me think more of Frosty the Snowman than ghosts.
Here’s Elvis rehearsing the song in 1970 at the MGM soundstage.
Another one by the Toy Dolls, showing off their radical 80′s shades, and killer drum beats:
And for all you comic book lovers out there, the rock cover by Spiderbait from the movie Ghost Rider starring Nicolas Cage.
Deborah Harry did a trance version you can listen to on her website: http://www.deborahharry.com/music/ghostridersinthesky.mp3
I’d love to hear the adaptations by The Doors, The Ventures, and Dean Martin. We can’t forget the one by Johnny Cash. I could sit here all day listening to these variations, watching those red-eyed, steel-hooved cattle thundering across the sky, being chased by the ghosts of damned cowboys. I could, but I have laundry, dishes and dusting to do. Yippee-yi-ya, yippee-yi-yo!
There is always one costume that dominates trick or treaters and holiday party goers each year. Whatever is popular in current pop culture will be the next costume of choice. According to the National Retail Federation we’re sure to see The Dark Knight out and about. I bet the Joker will be making appearances all around town, and Iron Man will be flying into a few parties.
Hannah Montana will be at the door with the usual favorites like princesses, pumpkins, and little vampires. My interest in pirates and my Johnny Depp enthusiasm leads me to the question, “How many Captain Jack’s will be out this year?”
You never know if you might meet the real Captain Jack Sparrow. Don’t be confused by imitations this Halloween season. Check out this documentary footage of the Real Captain Jack, found wandering around a park in Orange County, CA.
So if you do spot a Captain Jack Sparrow on Halloween night it just might be the real one and not an imposter. Be warned!
If you’d like to see more from the people that brought you the above YouTube selection check out www.markedmen.net and www.dusktodawnproductions.com. If you’re interested in becoming an authentic Captain Jack yourself this year, visit www.youtube.com/JantyChattaw for costume making tips.
We interrupt this program of The 5 on Friday to post a very viral video. For someone that grew up with reruns of The Andy Griffith Show, and did homework while watching Happy Days, I have to take a moment to thank Ron Howard for this new video supporting my candidate of choice, Barack Obama.
I’m not one for creepy scary. I like silly scary, more like cute with a dash of scary thrown in. Here are my Top 5 Halloween in Hollywood Favorites:
1. Disney’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
I love Tim Burton’s version, Sleepy Hollow. Johnny Depp playing the role of Ichabod is great fun. I have to admit that my love for this story started with Disney’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow animated feature. With the intensity of Ichabod Crane riding through the hollow, and the catchy tune sung by Bing Crosby, this version of Washington Irving’s classic tale is my favorite.
I didn’t know guests could see The Headless Horsemen ride through Disney’s theme park. Did you?
2. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
I love everything Peanuts, and Charles Schulz was a genius in my book. I’ve always had a connection with Charlie Brown, but this movie is all about Linus and his wishful thinking for The Great Pumpkin. Halloween isn’t the same if I don’t watch the scene of Sally letting Linus have it for ruining her night of tricks or treats.
Yes, the Michael Jackson Video! This video was one of the coolest things back when MTV actually aired videos. Listening to the retro classic will get your Halloween spirit off the wall. Even this wedding party couldn’t resist it:
I know it’s time to rummage through the costume box when I see Elvira’s cardboard likeness standing in a grocery store aisle. Here she is in 1986 showing us examples of good treats to hand out for Halloween:
5. Corpse Bride
Tim Burton collaborated with Mike Johnson to bring this project to life. It was loosely based on the folktale version of an older Jewish story. Johnny Depp provided his voice talent to the role of Victor Van Dort. Another one of Burton’s regular stars, Helena Bonham Carter plays Emily.
One of my favorite things about this movie is the music composed by Danny Elfman. Here is a rendition by talented YouTubers of the beautiful piano duet with Emily and Victor.
What are your Halloween in Hollywood favorites?
Legions of vampire fans are praising the new HBO series, True Blood. You don’t have to be a fan of the undead to find this show intriguing. It’s a well done, smart show, with a modern and original twist to vampire legend.
Since the 1800’s, with the birth of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the vampire genre has spawned generations of books, films, and television shows. Bela Lugosi and Barnabas Collins to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Blade, vampire based stories fascinate audiences.
Do you find yourself eagerly waiting for Sunday night? Have you been bitten by the new HBO series, True Blood? Are you wondering what a bottle of Type O Tru Blood beverage really tastes like?
Leave a comment and let us know if you Embrace the Night?
Foolish mortals, does your Halloween spirit need a revival? Do you wish that ghoulish feeling could last all year long? Are you in need of some groovy music you can shimmy too?
The Ghastly Ones bring you spooky surf sounds from beyond the grave. Learn more about this groovy, or should I say ghouly band. I had a fun Q&A with Norman, aka Baron Shivers, take a look if you dare:
HIH: Who came up with the name? Was there any inspiration from the 60’s horror movie with the same title?
Garrett “Dr. Lehos” and I wrote a bunch of names down and The Ghastly Ones stuck because it just had a cool spooky vibe to it but not too over the top. It came from an Andy Milligan film of the same name from 1968. It’s a pretty bad movie but we dug the spirit of the film, plus The Lively Ones was, and still is, one of our favorite surf bands from 60’s. The Deadly Ones was already used by a novelty band in the 60’s, so The Ghastly Ones was perfect.
HIH: When I hear the word Surf band I think of music from the Ventures. Hearing Cemetery Surf, I think of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion theme song with its ghoulish lyrics and 60’s sounds. What made you want to incorporate the silly scary?
Growing up I really loved The Munsters and religiously watched Creature Features on late night TV. Both shows had a surfy sounding theme song and the idea clicked in my head to make the first real spooky surf group. The Deadly Ones was a novelty band that played instrumentals with groans and screams on top and several bands including The Ventures played around with spooky songs but no one had even done an all horror surf band, so The Ghastly Ones were born!
HIH: There’s an event in the summer called Tiki Oasis. You played there this year and it sounded like a wild time. I’m fascinated by the mixture of tiki themes mixed with zombies. Can you give us an idea of where this mix came from?
Zombies and Tiki go hand in hand. Besides there being a famous tropical drink called the Zombie, Tiki imagery has always been steeped in mysterious island rituals and Voodoo practices but in a very romantic and idealized way. In the old days many restaurants and bars had this theme and the tradition carries on today.
HIH: Can we purchase the single you did for the SpongeBob Scaredy Pants episode?
We don’t have that single for sale but we get asked about SpongeBob a lot. We really enjoyed creating music for that show. We just contributed music for another animated film called Los Campiones de La Lucha Libre. It’s from the creators of Mucha Lucha.
HIH: You’ve been together since the mid 90’s. Has your band changed at all since then?
The biggest change was the addition of a permanent keyboard player, Dave aka “Capt Clegg”. He’s been on all of our recordings since day one but he joined our band officially in 2006. Other than that, we’ve been incorporating some more Davie Allan style fuzz numbers and recently we’ve been on a Japanese Instro kick. There were these cats in the 60’s, Yuzo Kayama and Terry Terauchi that did some amazing Ventures style instros but with a very aggressive guitar tone that we really like. We’re doing a tribute to them in January at Deke Dickeson’s Guitar Geek Festival here in the LA area.
HIH: What is one of your favorite late night monster movies?
Wow, that’s a very long list! For starters anything by Mario Bava, Black Sunday, Black Sabbath, Kill baby Kill. Hammer films and the original Universal Horror films of the 30’s and 40’s are great. Horror of Party Beach is a big fave, Beach Girls and the Monster, Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster, and the Santo Wrestling films are non-stop fun too. This list could go several pages.
HIH: In 2007, you performed for the first time in Japan, and on the East Coast. Was there a big difference between those audiences and your California fans?
The Japanese fans were amazing. They love to go nuts over there. A mosh pit started at one of our shows but it wasn’t violent, just kids having a great time. We love to see people out there moving dancing and jumping around, not just staring at our every move.
HIH: What’s next for The Ghastly Ones?
More grave-diggin’, fuzz-fueled, reverb-drenched, brew-injected, hearse-powered skullduggery at a location near you!
For some hip, happening and haunting tunes go to:
“Baron Shivers” Drums and Vocals
“Dr. Lehos” Lead Guitar
“Sir GoGo Ghostly” Bass
“Captain Clegg” Organ
I’m off to a pumpkin patch today to choose a pumpkin worthy of Halloween carving. Ultimately the kiddo will get the final choice but I’ll help decide the carving design. When I was young there was Happy, Scary, Angry, and Surprised Jack O Lantern. These days, carving a pumpkin goes from traditional to elaborate.
According to Wikipedia, the carved pumpkin was a symbol of the harvest in North America before becoming an emblem for Halloween.
The poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who was born in 1807, wrote in “The Pumpkin” (1850):
Oh!—fruit loved of boyhood!—the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
I’d love to check out this year’s The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze in New York. The blaze of 4,000 carved pumpkins is a glowing art walk in the historic Hudson Valley.
If you’d like to create interesting pumpkin art check out:
Television is the first truly democratic culture – the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want. - Clive Barnes
Sadly, I have a strange addiction to bad reality TV. You know the kind that includes strategically casting people to live in an abstractly decorated house ?
Usually these shows are scripted, edited and give the illusion that we’re watching through a little peephole also known as the boob tube in our living room. Which leads me to the other ingredients that make a good, or should I say bad, reality TV series.
Boobs, booze, and contest earnings!
Many of the most entertaining shows are created with a super structure of clever rules. Throw in a bunch of nice looking or even shocking individuals wanting to be famous, add a fully stocked bar, and you have a recipe for mass chaos.
VH1 came out with their Rock of Love Charm School this week. I checked out the sneak premiere on Vh1.com and I have to admit I’ve got to tune in next time. Like I said, it’s a strange addiction. I never said I was proud of it.
I didn’t watch the first Charm School, but I did watch a couple seasons from the Rock of Love series with Brett Michaels. I also had a fascination with The Osbourne’s. This season, Sharon Osbourne, wife and manager to Rock n Roll legend Ozzy, is the host and final judge of Charm School 2.
If you don’t mind bad reality TV, you can view the supertrailer for Rock of Love Girls Charm School by clicking here.
Be honest, is there anyone else out there addicted to bad reality TV, anyone? Come on, there’s got to be at least one of you!
Because of my bad hair day situation, I’m taking a little break. I’ll be back soon with fun interviews, and more trivial dribble.
Feel free to browse the archives. Read one of my very first interviews with writer Arvid Nelson here.