Chris “Manimal” Holmes. The mere notion that this guy and his car made it out of the decade alive is a miracle in itself. We’ve all heard the tales told from the heavy metal bible about the original W.A.S.P. guitarist. The guy was a living, breathing, nasty wildebeest both on and off the stage. I mean, Blackie Lawless discovered Chris posing inside of a Hustler magazine in a section for the ladies called Beaver Hunt. Under his photo were the words “rock ‘n roll animal”…
Needless to say, we all know the real manimal of W.A.S.P. wasn’t Blackie. As much as I love the guy, he was only playing a character on stage. Chris Holmes on the other hand, was a 6’6″ bonafide hellraiser whether he was shredding a guitar, shopping for produce or burning rubber down the Hollywood 101 freeway in his 1987 Pontiac Firebird.
Who could forget when Uncle Chris put his Firebird up for sale on Craigslist a few years ago. The veteran mean-man didn’t attempt to clean up the car or hide any of its crustiness. Warts and all, the ’87 Bird was sold and lord only knows what innocent victim purchased it and blew it up the following day.
More fascinating and frightening though, is imagining all the trouble Chris and his beloved ‘Bird got into during their day. Again, the fact that he and the ‘L.O.V.E. Machine’ survived the decade in one piece is astonishing and head-scratching if you’ve heard about the multiple DUIs, arrests, fights, divorces, blackouts, mopary and so on.
To honor this iconic pairing, TNUC rented a late-eighties Firebird and took to the streets each night for a month straight, road-testing songs in attempt to gather up the best anthems for ripping down the boulevard in a Chris Holmes state of mind. Enjoy at your own risk…
***Pre-orders for a limited run of cassette tapes will be announced soon***
A note from the author: We STRONGLY urge listeners to experience their 1st listen to this mixtape on the road. Don’t give it the background music treatment while you do other stuff on your computer or dare I say it…cell phone. Yuck. Give this deadbeat tape the power it deserves. Get in your vehicle and turn it up. Do it for TNUC. Do it for Chris. Do it for your country. Do it for P O N T I A C.
*Huge thanks to my compadre Dan Gray for hearing my artwork idea for this tape and knocking it completely ‘outta the park!
Sometimes you wake up on a sunny, spring day and all you crave is a nice drive to an abandoned insane asylum.
So last weekend we did just that.
In the town of Medfield, Massachusetts lies a slowly decaying campus of brick buildings that made up what was the Medfield Insane Asylum. The property took 4 years to build and opened in 1896. This hospital was different from many others of its kind because it was constructed to a “cottage plan”, meaning that it would be made up of multiple infirmaries and wards, offing different levels of care instead of just one large one building tending to every patient.
In 1914, the name of the facility was changed to Medfield State Hospital, a decision made by the superintendent who thought that calling it an asylum portrayed a sense of hopelessness and isolation. The hospital saw its most patients during the 1930s and 1940s. As the decades progressed, less and less patients were admitted any many were approved to leave thanks to new, effective medicines. By 2003, buildings had reached serious despair and there were less than 200 patients left.
The eerie atmosphere of this place was felt during the entire visit, but never so much as towards the Northern part of the property where we discovered extremely tall, fenced-in areas. This appeared to be an area for patients of the “exited wards” who were not allowed to roam the grounds freely. There were old rotting benches and non-working electrical alarms at the gate entrances.
For those interested in making the trip, the site is currently open to the public for visiting. There are over 30 buildings so you’ll have plenty to check out. There are signs posted all over the place to keep out of the buildings, which I assume are decaying away and for this reason it was painful not to get a glimpse inside. I kept imagining what the interiors looked like, boarded up for the last 20+ years. Especially the basements, attics and crawl-spaces. Good lord.
Medfield State Hospital has been used as a filming locations for Shutter Island, The Box and The New Mutants. That’s nice to know, but I couldn’t help thinking of the future TNUC photo-shoots that are most certainly going to be happening at this beautiful abandoned site.
I feel a rumbling in the air lately. People are starved. They need a release. As I walk the beach dunes every night I hear the distant cry of “WE WANT IT HARD. WE WANT IT HEAVY”.
Really though, I think Uncle T speaks for a majority of us who are sick of the watered down, ‘neutered norm’ of today. Of course I’m talking about dating apps, hashtags, memes, streaming music platforms, staring through your phone during a concert, short attention spans, round cars, cheap fame, “influencers”, TV apps, grocery delivery services…the list goes on. Are you nauseous yet? I digress.
Don’t get me wrong, TNUC isn’t ignorant to modern ideas or progression, but is it too much to ask for some simplicity again? We just want to step into a dimly-lit pizza parlor on a Friday night and sit down at a vinyl booth under a neon chandelier with an ice cold pitcher of Barq’s root beer, then play something for a nickel on the table jukebox. After that, head over to the video rental store across the street and choose a movie in 20 minutes or less. Am I dreaming?
So cut the shit already society. We have enough stuff!
How does any of this relate to 1991’s Hard ‘N Heavy Babes Volume 1 Video Calendar? I’m still trying to connect the dots. Please just bare with me because I know you’ll enjoy Rebekka, Tuscany, Michelle, Karen, Carol, Brittany, Jennifer, Tamara, Tatiana, Sheila, Beckie and Kinjir doing what they do best…strutting their goods to the sounds of a generic (but great) rock band called Loud & Clear!
Each video vixen tells us a little about themselves over the course of this 47-minute tape, like Rebekka who explains that she rides motorcycles because “they’re fast and it’s a lot of power in between my legs”. She also likes to shoot hoops, play baseball and has starred in music videos for both Great White and Huey Lewis & The News.
Tangerine Dream’s music for Risky Business is still my favorite film score of all time.
Every few years it happens. A little time will go by from watching the movie and I end up forgetting how much I love everything about it. Then something jogs my memory and I’m thrust right back into being awestruck at this magic combination of music & film.
Risky Business would absolutely not be the same without Tangerine Dream. It’s also one of those big films of the decade that people shrug off and forget how brilliant it is. There’s a lot more going on than the cliché scene with Tom Cruise dancing around his living room in his underpants. A hell of a lot more.
We’ve covered so many peak moments of movie-music power on this site over the years, but I still swear nothing comes close to TD’s masterful work for this 1983 coming-of-age story. It flows so seamlessly and works better than anything I can think of, with the music in itself being a character of the film. Even with all this power, it doesn’t distract you from the scenes. The dreamy, hypnotizing tracks pull you in and entice the viewer, enhancing the overall experience greatly.
This week TNUC discovered an artist out of Southhampton, United Kingdom called State Azure who does a stunning cover of some of the soundtrack music while staying truthful to the original sound. Check out the live-in-the-studio performances below. *Hopefully you can listen to this at night or in the dark.*
After the 9,000th listen to ‘Love On A Real Train’ in my life, it’s still the most remarkable piece of electronic music I’ve had the pleasure of hearing. Subtle, seductive, emotional, nostalgic, evocative. It could be partly due to it being one of the first synthesizer instrumentals I remember even noticing as a teen, but it struck a nerve and still holds up tremendously.
These two tracks are from State Azure’s all Tangerine Dream covers album called “Dreams” that he released last year. Get that here.
I can’t leave this article without posting my other favorite piece from the soundtrack…..
“Are you ready for me, Ralph?”
With warmer weather approaching and an optimistic tone in the air, I can think of no better time to transport back to 1987 for the MIAMI VICE ACTION SPECTACULAR at Universal Studios Theme Park!
Remember that scene in Wayne’s World when Garth is looking down on the brand new, ultra-polished television studio version of his best friend Wayne’s basement and says “we’re looking down on Wayne’s basement, only that’s not Wayne’s basement. Isn’t that weird?” The crew agrees and Wayne congratulates Garth that what he just said was a haiku.
Four years into the pop culture explosion Miami Vice the TV show, Universal Studios opened the Miami Vice Action Spectacular stunt show. Each performance was an adventure-packed 15 minutes with faux Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs chasing bad guys, dodging bullets, dodging explosions, jet-skiing and power boating to the slick sounds of Jan Hammer’s immaculate soundtrack. Watch the promo video below!
It’s the most ambitious special effects presentation ever designed. Unbelievable explosions. Outrageous pyrotechnics. With over 50 high-tech special effects and stunts in a breakneck-paced 15 minutes, no-one’s ever pulled a stunt like this before! – From “Universal Studios Hollywood Guide”, 1991
Audience members would watch two undercover cops raid a drug lord’s compound while using boats, jet skis, guns, explosions, and even a run-away mine cart. Shown day or night, the show’s finale involved a helicopter on a giant arm that emerged from behind a building, as seen in the photo below.
After Miami Vice (the TV show) was cancelled in 1990, the stunt spectacular managed to survive until early 1995. It eventually became the Waterworld Stunt Show, which if you can believe, is still operating today! With the stunt work of both shows being very similar, I think I speak for everyone in saying that the Miami Vice Action Spectacular needs to come back. Unless I missed something and people are more nostalgic for Kevin Costner’s Waterworld movie?
TNUC has all the respect in the world for stunt performers who do this stuff day in/day out, year after year. What these two actors are able to do physically in 15 minutes in front of a live audience is pretty remarkable. Watch more of the nail-biting performance in this clip.