SONGS FROM ‘THE POINT’ [Part 1].

35fcd-van

hollywood high

Everyone’s aware of that frisky spot up the hill they call ‘THE POINT’. Even if you haven’t experienced one of these hot nights of your own, you’ve at least heard the stories.

In the event that someone is lost, ‘The Point’ a.k.a ‘The Make-Out Point’ is a somewhat secluded area where you take a loved one or a random steamy vixen during the evening hours in hopes of wrestling around together in your vehicle. The old folks called this act “parking”. The Point usually overlooks a city skyline, cliff or ocean – but it can really be anywhere you want it to be (e.g. under the bleachers on the football field, the roof of your barn, a baseball dugout). After a location is chosen, the real goal is to turn up the heat, so creating the right mood or vibe is crucial business. With a little help from a proper playlist of songs on your stereo, you’ll turn into lord of the thighs in no time. If only there were a certain influential Manimal with a song prescription that would help so many in need…

But wait, THERE IS. In today’s 1st edition of “Songs from The Point”, TNUC presents the top (5) songs that are guaranteed to make you a righteous ruler while sitting in that 4×4, van or muscle car. Today we’re sticking with mostly songs from the 1970s because they’re the most true and blue-blooded. (We’ll move to other decades later).

First though, some ground rules. When it comes to picking songs, don’t choose anything too obvious. NO BLATANT LOVE BALLADS. NO TOP 40. NO STAIRWAY! Deep cuts and hidden gems are the key. Nothing dorky or too progressive though. You need to impress your hellcat. You want chunky riffs that also boogie. You want swirling, celestial guitar solos that sound like they’re being played by long-haired, bong-ripping angels in heaven. Essentially “dad rock”…but not corporate dad who drives a Saab and can’t even build his own campfire. We’re talking about Union Carpenter dad. The one who spends his free time in the garage with the music blaring over a crappy stereo that he refuses to part with. He’s in there doing blue-collar activities like welding some cast iron with his shirt off, engulfed in fumes as a cigarette dangles from his bottom lip.

Ease those seats back, crack some beers and listen loudly under the open sky…

fast times5) Gianni Rossi – Free Wheelin’

Gianni Rossi’s track from the Star Vehicle soundtrack isn’t from the 1970s, but then again nobody knows when it’s from. Plus who could really care about details and release dates as those crunchy riffs and fuzzy synths infiltrate your senses. Good times are mandatory with this song. It’s the perfect kick-off jam. Play this at dusk right when you arrive at The Point. Consider it foreplay.

Moment of Climax: Don’t scorch your shorts just yet.
Preferred ride of choice: 1977 Ford Country Squire.
Link: Buy Gianni Rossi’s ‘Star Vehicle’

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tumblr_nir13rMLY61qf0zeqo1_12804) Sammy Hagar – Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Originally we had a completely different song for our #3 choice but that guitar-stomp pulled me into it’s vicious vortex so hard and then wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. This track simply oozes sex. This is the one you keep humming all week in shop class while thinking about your Saturday night at The Point. Once that 3 o’clock bell rings on Friday, you drive straight over to your Uncle T’s infamous “Devil’s Den”, the place your parents warned you about. There you stock up on all the essentials: cigarettes, tall cans, electric lettuce, a half-empty bottle of Schnapp’s and a few frozen burritos. Then it’s off to pick up Tina and head up the hill to try your action at The Point. Don’t blow it!

Moment of Climax: “But Saturday night, I’ll be checkin’ it out. From the back of my van!” 
Preffered Ride of Choice: Any old van that comes with that little ladder attached on the back.
Buy: Fast Times at Ridgemont High: The Soundtrack

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lanie3) Blue Öyster Cult – I Love the Night

This calls for getting out of your Chevy and sprawling out on the hood. Don’t just climb on the hood like a chubby goon though. Do a radical slide to plant yourself right in the center (without making a dent). Now it’s just you and the lovely lady, under the stars above with Buck Dharma’s astronomical guitar work crooning through the night air. The idea of work, school, bills and deadlines doesn’t exist. When the guitar solo hits it magically synchronizes with the smoke rings you just exhaled above your heads. All is right with the world and there’s nothing you’d rather be doing than holding onto your girl and staring up at the sky. BÖC are one the most underrated rock bands of all time so your significant other will be totally giving you the eye. Pictured above is Lanie from The Stoned Age (1994), who called their record Agents of Fortune “a total fuck album” during one scene in the movie. This song, however, came a few years later on an album called Spectres, but we agree with Lanie.

Moment of Climax: The solo.
Preferred Ride of Choice: 1970 Chevy Nova
Buy: Blue Oyster Cult’s  ‘Spectres

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vannin wolf2) Uriah Heep – The Wizard

This bonafide classic is for when your night suddenly unfolds into something completely unexpected. As “The Wizard” plays the two of you connect on exotic parallel universes and begin speaking to each other in a new language. You’re finishing each other’s sentences. You talk about the self-sustaining farm you’ll build in a few years. She starts throwing fairy dust into the air as you scramble around on the velvet shag carpet trying to find the last roach to smoke. You come to realize later in the evening that this was the first time you heard Uriah Heep. She was the one who brought this song to The Point and it’s during this moment that you realize this babe might be the certified gypsy queen you’ve been searching for all summer.

Moment of Climax: The entire 3 minutes.
Preferred Ride of Choice: Anything with a warlock mural airbrushed on the side.
Buy: Uriah Heep’s ‘Demons & Wizards’

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35fcd-van1) UFO – Love to Love

Here we go. Forget those played out Zeppelin and Frampton records, all you need is the final track on Side B of UFO’s 1978 opus ‘Lights Out’ and your cute date night will transform into a pleasure odyssey of mass eruptions. Mockingbirds will sing…stars will soar…leather will rip…denim will tear…guitars will wail and strange scents of perfume and welding fumes will drift through the air. This is the one!

Moment of Climax: The grande finale.
Preferred ride of choice: 1978 Dodge or Chevy customized shaggin’-wagon with wood paneling inside and a water bed in the back.
Link: Buy UFO’s ‘Lights Out’

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ZOMBIE TROPICS.

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Confession time.

At least once a week there’s a reoccurring dreamscape I enter where I’m deserted on a tropical island. The weather is perfect, the air is pure and there’s enough food to get by. Thanks to my cunning survival instincts I’m relatively safe…or so I think. What begins as a dreamy picture of paradise quickly turns nightmarish when I find out the island is crawling with brain-eating zombie babes.

The biggest dilemma with being on a beautiful island full of female-only zombies is that I’m torn between leaving or not. It sounds crazy, but even though I’m constantly fearing for my life, there’s something alluring about the whole situation. (At least during the daylight hours.)

From way up in my tiki hut the babes hardly look like rotting corpses who want to eat me. From here they look like lonely bikini-car-wash girls and it makes my loincloth shift around. I know my sense of reality is skewed due to too much sun and if I keep buying into this illusion it will probably get me killed. The playlist on my desert island cassette mix also adds to the fantasy as it echoes through my solar-powered amplifier. The first song on the list is called ‘Sauvage’ from a French synth duo called Christine. This heavy electronic number is jam-packed with everything from steel drum samples to animal mating calls.
 

 
‘Sauvage’ is the first track off Christine’s new EP Ecstatic Sole which came out this week on Mouton Noir Records / Believe Digital. I don’t know much about the musicians behind this project but I’m just relieved they’ve provided me with songs to help me cope with some of these island temptations. You can grab the Christine EP on iTunes or Juno at your earliest convenience.

What else is on my Zombie Tropics desert island cassette mix? The following are some examples.

Turing Machine – Slave to the Algorithm (Lovelock remix)

Here’s a remix that also represents the overall mood during these frequent dream-quests of mine. Lovelock injects an ideal blend of sunshine and darkness in the song with an ominous, lurking beat giving way to waves of synth and jungle-y percussion. It can’t help but make me imagine these living dead babes crawling out of the sand to come for my slaughtering if they ever find my campsite. As light begins to fade on the island, feelings of dread soak my mind as I anxiously cover my tiki fort with bamboo, palms and banana peels to hide from a potential invasion.

Farbror Resande Mac – Quaaludes

Perfect song. Perfect title. Perfect off-shore breeze. Time to grab some headphones and give these lush sounds the listen that they (and you) deserve. This is the track that plays when I wake up in the morning and realize it was all a dream. I survived another night. I’m not one of the undead…YET.

skull island

JUNE’S LOST LEGEND(S) OF THE MONTH: THE CAMERA CREW FROM WAYNE’S WORLD.

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crew
Experts confirm that 8 out of 10 adults don’t know the first names of the hard-hustling cameramen behind our favorite public-access cable television show Wayne’s World, but Uncle T is looking to change those numbers.

Please clench one fist as tight as possible and raise it high in the air for Alan, Terry & Neil – our Lost Legend(s) Of The Month for June!

Rising up from a moldy basement in Aurora, IL, these detention hall veterans never dreamed they’d succeed to the top after such humble beginnings. Thankfully they made the wise decision to drop out of high school when the getting was good because they never would have met local rock n’ roll talents Wayne & Garth, who would end up bringing them on their journey to star-studded success.

Should Wayne & Garth get all the glory? Maybe, but just as roadies are crucial to a band’s live show, these three bonafide talents shouldn’t be overlooked. Alan, Terry & Neil aren’t ‘behind the scenes’ employees because they bring a lot of spunk, hilarity and heavy metal prowess to the table. They’re not only passionate masters of their craft but true brothers to Wayne and Garth, backing them 100% even during the harsh times. Whether it be a need to get the crew together to invade Gasworks on any given night, or playing tunes on the jukebox at Stan Makita’s Donuts, they’ll be there.

In order to properly profile these bodacious butt-heads, we should probably look at each dude individually.

crew 3Alan!

Right from the start let’s address the elephant in the room. Alan is also “Matt” from Encino Man, the “shooosh”-ing bully who everyone in Encino High’s Class of 1992 loathed so much. Even though he still has the serious beak and his own personal holding company full of fundage, it appears that “Matt” cleaned up his act after being thrown onto the cake table at senior prom courtesy of Link. He dropped the shitty jock attitude and has chosen a new path in life – one that involves a camera rig, surf clothing and a crusty new mop. Way to go Alan! 

One of his memorable scenes is when he’s hanging out on his camera rig, eyeballing Noah Vanderhoff’s (Noah’s Arcade) bimbo wife and tells him “your wife’s a babe”.

crew 4Terry!

Terry is by far the most optimistic of the bunch. Behind his love of heavy metal is also his love for many male figures in the film. In some scenes Terry feels the need to express his emotions, repeating his “I love you man” phrase, which ended up years later inspiring Bud Light to use it for their beer campaigns. During the ‘mega-happy ending’ in the film, Terry says it once more to Benjamin’s right hand man/monkey boy, Russell, who then admits…“and I’ve learned that platonic love can exist between two grown men”.

crew 5Neil!

Neanderthal-ish Neil is the quietest of the three, only muttering a few words here and there. During the awkward scene when Garth is left to host the show by himself, Neil refers to the head-exploding scene in 1981’s Scanners. He’s also left out of the famous ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ car ride scene, but in his place is Aurora’s most unforgettable town drunk, PHIL.

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Pictured center, Phil is technically part of the crew even though he’s too drunk to contribute anything. He works at a body shop during the day and sports a tremendous heavy metal raglan collection. When the boys are filming the show, he pretty much just sits in the corner and keeps drunk. In his defense he’s a pretty small guy so it probably doesn’t take much for him to be intoxicated and hurl so much. Keep it up, Phil.

Since TNUC was originally going to honor Crucial Taunt as this month’s Lost-Legend, we should end with a song from the mega-babe lead singer and her band. The track is called “Touch Me” and it’s sung by Cassandra herself in the film. The following version however is by the band Private Life, who wrote the song for their Eddie Van Halen-produced self-titled album in 1990. Don’t get too excited, the band is decent at best and very corporate sounding…like something Frankie Sharp of Sharp Records would have gone after in a heartbeat. Nevertheless it’s a rare piece of Wayne’s World history, so enjoy the free download.

[Lost-Legend-Of-The-Month is a heartwrenching chronicle of forgotten iconic warriors who were either wiped off the face of the planet for reasons unknown or simply never got the chance to “peak” during their short-lived careers. We cherish these individuals and devote an entire month to celebrate their impact on society. To see the rest of em’, go here.]

THE PIZZA GRAVEYARD.

pizza hut fire

pizza hut fire

What types of emotions run through your soul when staring at this photo of a Pizza Hut burning to the ground? Hatred? Disgust? Sadness? Fear? Laughter? Relief? Freedom? 

It’s an appropriate photo for TNUC to enter the final grieving process for the victims of pizza extinction. Over the years we’ve had to bid farewell to a number of pizza products that have been laid to rest in a little place we like to call the The Pizza Graveyard. Some items are missed by many who long for their return – while others are just too weird and nasty – and should probably just rot and die! Today we count down the top (5) lost pizza products of all time…

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priazzo-shot#5 – The Priazzo from Pizza Hut!

The Priazzo was Pizza Hut’s hot new explosion in 1985. The pizza featured a bottom crust and a top crust with a variety of ingredients stuffed between, then was topped with additional sauce and cheese before baking. The company marketed the Priazzo by making it look like a classic Italian delicacy with commercials (featuring voice-over work by Percy Rodriguez, the horror trailer guy!) depicting old Italy and the legendary story of the Priazzo. Many people claim that this was Pizza Hut at their absolute peak. From all of the restaurant chain’s innovations throughout the decade (both good and bad), the Priazzo is the one people most hope for a return.

Some of us are old enough to remember that Pizza Hut wasn’t always disgusting. Long before they were stripped of their signature red-roof and reduced to being crammed next to the check-out aisle in Target or blended with Taco Bell in junky plazas, the ‘Hut was a pretty respectable pizza chain. Their food didn’t sit under hot lights for 9 hrs before being sold to people. The pizza actually took a little time to cook, which was a good sign of some kind of quality going on. Pizza Hut’s attempt at quality ended up being the demise of the Priazzo. The pies took too long to cook according to the big wigs, so they ripped the Priazzo from the menu and thus began the downfall of the franchise.

crunchabungas

#4 – Pizza Crunchabungas!

Smack in the middle of the TMNT explosion saw the release of a number of pizza-related products, one being these little pizza flavored corn snacks that were supposed to resemble pizzas but seriously just looked like Honey Comb cereal. The “pizza” flavor may have been questionable, but the presentation certainly was not. There wasn’t a single self-respecting pizza enthusiast or Ninja Turtle fanatic that roamed down the snack aisle and didn’t do cartwheels and jumping-jacks when seeing this bag on the shelves. The artwork featured the Turtles and their beloved ‘Pizza Shooter’, which many kids had waiting for them at home at the time.

You can bet that if these were still surviving there would be empty bags rolling around like tumbleweeds in the TNUC backyard treehouse. The Ninja Turtles were definitely to blame for so many pizza obsessions over the past thirty years.

The commercial is something to really talk about as well. It features the Turtles debuting in claymation form, done by the guy who created the California Raisins, Will Vinton. Watch that here.

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#3 – L A R G E Mama Celeste!

It’s a simple notion. If you’ve ever been broke, drunk or just acted like a typical 13 year old, then you’ve eaten a Mama Celeste ‘Pizza-For-One’. Let’s also hope that you’ve never forgotten about it in the oven because all it takes is a few hours and they turn into hockey pucks (it still happens at the TNUC lair). But here’s where things get complicated…do any of you remember the option to buy Mama’s LARGE pizzas? For years my only notion of these existing was from repeated viewings of Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead and seeing the packaging during the “who’s gonna get a job?” pizza box toss. It was all myth and speculation, until I saw this commercial.

Still, I’ll believe it when I see it in-person. If any frozen pizza experts can confirm or maybe have some packaging still laying around, send it my way. Until then I’ll keep buying four boxes of Celeste Pizza-For-One’s at a time to meld them into a large version to pretend they are a reality.

keebler

#2 – Keebler Pizzarias! 

The only reasoning behind not manufacturing these delicious pizza chips must be that the Keebler elves hate all of us and enjoy seeing society suffer. I hate to point the finger at a family of happy elves that live in a tree, and who knows why they would harbor these feelings, but I can’t think of any other excuse.

Pizzarias can’t be compared any other pizza-flavored chip because the magical pizza dust coating is something that hasn’t been achieved since, even by Doritos. These heavenly treats were enjoyed by all walks of life – but if you really wanted to reach high performance levels – having a few bags of Pizzarias lined up for your TGIF movie night made you an untouchable beast. Pair that with that sweet plastic smell of a Blockbuster VHS rental tape and you’re pretty much knocking on heaven’s door.

*Big thanks to Matt from Dino Drac for reminding me about these. He’s running a “Snacks I Want Back” feature that we highly recommend checking out!*

Pizza

#1 – McPizza!

Now to the grand finale. During the early 1990’s McDonald’s released the dreaded and controversial McPizza, the ultimate bastard-child of all pizzas across the world. Now hungry customers could enjoy breakfast, lunch AND dinner (and death) at their favorite neighborhood fast food restaurant. Immediately your eyebrow can’t help but raise when you read “Made fresh…and served hot from the oven” on the advertisement. McDonalds knew right from the bat that people were going to automatically assume the worst. Then again even bad pizza can be good enough, given the situation.

The McPizza originally began as a family-sized pizza that was brought out to the table by an employee and placed on a raised rack in the center of the table (see commercial). Later it was scaled down to a personal-sized pizza.

After it’s Canadian run the McPizza spread to US markets but eventually got pulled because the cook time was 11 minutes and people started to grow impatient. In an effort to maintain their “fast” food reputation McDonald’s scrapped the McPizza.

¡¡¡ UPDATE !!! We just learned that as of January of 2015 there are still two McDonald’s franchises that sell the McPizza! Thanks to owner Greg Mills, he’s kept the pizzas burning nonstop at both the Pomeroy, Ohio and Spencer, West Virginia locations.

“According to employee Judy Norman, it’s the same pizza as they sold when she started there 11 years ago and it’s presumably the same that children everywhere enjoyed throughout the 1990s.” says Ashley Csanady of Canada.com.

Wow. The next time you’re even remotely close to these locations during your next cross-country family outing, you definitely need to try the McPizza…at your own risk!

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Honorable Mentions in The Pizza Graveyard:
Pizza Hut’s BIGFOOT
Doritos Pizza Cravers (Doritos x Pizza Hut collaboration)
McCain Ellio’s Turtles Mini Slices

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