RECKLESS.

Top Gun: The Motion Picture Soundtrack is without question one of the best soundtracks of all mankind. It rocked me to my core in 1986 and even three decades later, the brilliant onslaught of songs never ceases to amaze. It still holds up amazingly and hasn’t lost a shriek of power. Tracks like ‘Danger Zone’ by Kenny Loggins, ‘Mighty Wings’ by Cheap Trick, ‘Take My Breath Away’ by Berlin, ‘Hot Summer Nights’ by Miami Sound Machine and the ‘TOP GUN THEME’ by Harold Faltermeyer & Steve Stevens make up just one-half of pound for pound one of the best of the decade.

So TNUC has always wondered, could one additional track have made this album the absolute #1, undisputed, heavyweight champion soundtrack of all soundtracks?

Well the Gods answered my question, or I should say Metal Gods, because in 1986 heavy metal legends Judas Priest were approached by Top Gun producers to include the song ‘Reckless’ in the film. The movie executives loved the song and thought it fit perfectly with the high-octane thrills and adrenaline aspect of the film. Listen below and picture those mig-28 fighter jets in action.

The song was set to be played during the closing credits, however the deal sank after producers insisted the rights to the song would go directly to the Top Gun soundtrack, meaning the band would have to cut the song out from their forthcoming album, Turbo. The band members also thought the movie would flop (!) so they declined and the deal was off.

It’s a damn shame, because nobody in their right mind would pass on a Judas Priest face-ripper showing up in classic like Top Gun.

We can’t end this article with all this adrenaline pumping through the veins after listening to ‘Reckless’. Let’s cool down with a scene that I’ve watched literally seven thousand times since 1986.

THE BEACH HOUSE.

Sometimes all it takes is a stunning piece of artwork to lure me right in.

Such was the case with the new album from Repeated Viewing simply titled THE BEACH HOUSE. That blood red stormy weather, the skull reflection on the water and the phantom in the upstairs window. All it took to captivate Uncle T.

‘Repeated Viewing’ is the soundtrack/synth project of Scotland-based recording artist Alan Sinclair. As legend has it, these 9 tracks were inspired by a deserted house Alan found during a hungover morning walk along the beach near the filming location of 1973’s The Wicker Man.

An actual film version of THE BEACH HOUSE doesn’t exist, which at first seems like a bummer, but it does present you with the opportunity to lay back, stare at the album artwork and fantasize your own plot.

My story takes place on the beautiful-but soon to be tragic shores of the Salton Sea. The year is 1955 and Billy Davenport throws the wildest parties on the entire shore at his beautiful new house on the shore. The “Salton Sea” is Southern California’s newest desert oasis destination, a must-visit location for tourists, celebrities and the like. Billy’s house and accompanying cabanas are always filled to the max with scantily clad ladies, weekend warriors and anyone wishing to party with the elite.

If you know anything about the real Salton Sea, you already know the story of it’s imminent demise. As years passed, the ecological disaster started to really kick into gear, with salinity levels reaching so high that no wildlife could survive. The once pristine, beautiful oasis in the desert became a smelly wasteland. Billy’s neighbors pack up and abandon their homes. Properties are left to rot. Hundreds of dead fish wash up each day on the beach. The stench is too much for people, especially in the boiling desert climate.

Everyone except Billy Davenport. Billy ended up taking so much acid during 1968, his mental state was far beyond bringing back to life. His friends tried their damnedest to get him to leave the Salton Sea, but his drugged-out antics and brutal stubbornness caused violent outbursts which resulted in people giving up on him. Even some of the Manson Family members he’d become acquainted with during the summer of ’68 wouldn’t associate with him now. Billy spent his days wandering up and down the shores of this disgusting wasteland, stark naked, screaming gibberish while completely dehydrated and eating nothing but dried out, salty fish.

Fast forward to 2019. It’s been presumed for decades that Billy Davenport is long deceased. Authorities confirmed he had died in the desert and buzzards or desert animals had picked his body clean.

But as anyone knows who’s been to the Salton Sea, the area attracts plenty of artists, photographers and curious folk who like to visit the area to discover it’s weirdness. Some of the dilapidated houses also still remain (to some degree).

Over the last year there have been several disappearances with kids driving to the area from outside cities and not returning home. At the same time, bizarre reports have been surfacing at the county sheriff’s office. Some talk about a soft glow coming from the upstairs window of one of the houses on the shore. Others have made similar statements, along with violent screams heard reverberating over the water. The strangest reports though, which come from several different people, are sightings of a naked man apparition roaming the desert. Since the climate of the Salton Sea can have it’s effect on people, locals believe it’s nothing more than a mirage. But is it?

(Scroll up to stream the album)
Order ‘The Beach House’ LP here

 

SERIOUS PUMPAGE.

With Wrestlemania 35 looming on the horizon, now seems like a perfectly good time to jump inside a time machine with your trusty Uncle T.

In the wrestling world, nothing really tops a perfectly executed promo or backstage “vignette”. The really strong ones are considered sacred ground, with fans reciting quotes or playing clips repeatedly for nostalgia sake and pump-up factor. This was my understanding until I remembered the lost art of MUSIC VIDEOS that promoters often created for wrestlers.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan or wrestling or not. These videos are on a level that all walks of life can appreciate. So get ready to be moved, confused, aroused, frightened, emotionally stricken and downright inspired at the same time from watching these clips of absolute video gold. (Thanks Jason Eisner for reminding me!)

#1
Wrestler: “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Song: Rock Warriors by The Rods
Notes: The late-great Randy Savage was once hospitalized in 1991 after Jake the Snake’s python took a bite out of his arm in a match on WWF Superstars. Savage was told at the time the snake was devenomized but ended up with a 104-degree fever. Savage lived, the snake died a few days later. Anyways, this song rips and it’s perfect for Randy.

#2
Wrestler: Lord Humongous
Song: War Machine by KISS
Notes: Lord Humongous’ character was of course based on the post-apocalyptic psychopath “Lord Humungus” from 1981’s Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. The wrestler was played by over 8 different wresters during his tenure in the ring. Since he always wore a hockey mask that covered his entire face, promoters replaced him without publicly acknowledging it. The character was even played by Sid Vicious for a couple of years!

#3
Wrestlers: The Thrillseekers
Song: Rock America by Danger Danger
Notes: The Thrillseekers were the Canadian duo of Chris Jericho and Lance Storm. All I’ll say this…There’s no better fitting song for a video of two friends laughing it up at the amusement park, playing arcade games, ice skating, throwing snowballs, bungee jumping and riding horses. Just watch.

#4
Wrestler: Nightmare Freddy
Song: Wooly Bully by The Elm Street Group
Notes: Oh, you didn’t know that after Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare in 1991, the child murderer started taking up a new endeavor: wrestling in Memphis as a GOOD GUY. Yes, “Nightmare Freddy”, played by Doug Gilbert actually came to the ring wearing blade gloves and was one of the good guys. Now I’ll stop typing so you can stop reading and watch the video.

#5
Wrestlers: The Fabulous Ones
Song: You Dropped A Bomb On Me by The Gap Band
Notes: This tag team consisting of Stan Lane and Steve Keirn were one of the first teams to adopt the “smug pretty boy” gimmick which many wrestlers are still doing to this day. Denim, bubble baths and farmhand sensuality? THIS ROCKS.

#6
Wrestler: Kerry Von Erich
Song: Here I Go Again by Whitesnake
Notes: We saved the best for last. Hell, the first minute of this video alone could cure depression. But in all seriousness, while it’s hard to mention the name Kerry Von Erich aka “Texas Tornado” and not think of his tragic death at only 33 years old, this video is a powerful two minute and forty-three second testament to the greatness of this man and his legacy. R.I.P. big guy. Enjoy! 

Let us never forget Kerry Von Erich’s only movie appearance, playing a “neo-nazi” prisoner in 1990’s Problem Child! 

MOTLEY CRUE’S MALIGNED MASCOT, ALLISTER FIEND (Part 1).

My favorite band growing up was Mötley Crüe. Hearing “Kickstart My Heart” for the first time was the most explosive shot of musical adrenaline I’d ever experienced. I remember the day sitting shotgun in my older cousin’s Bronco and the hairs on my arms standing up. It felt like the audio equivalent to launching off a wave in the ocean or as Vince Neil belts out, to “skydive naked from an aeroplane”. So before I knew what the band looked like and all the debauchery that came with it, my first love was the music. Both Too Fast for Love and Shout at the Devil are easily in my top 10 “desert island” album list. My fiends I watched their VH1 ‘Behind the Music’ so many times, we made our own version of it with us playing each band member. Oh boy.

When I first saw what these glammed out barbarians looked like, I really didn’t know what to think. But I loved weird action moves and was starting to dabble in horror, so something about this started to make a lot of sense. These guys seemed like they crawled right out of the sewers of some post-apocalyptic b-movie but at the same time they were total studs. Like they could invade your high school, beat up jocks and steal your girlfriend. I was instantly obsessed. The Crüe were the only band that really sold me with the “this really is who we are” notion. They looked the part and were the part. Sleazy party animals with not a single fuck to give in the world. Straight out of a Mad Max or high-school-exploitation movie. While more shocking bands existed at the time, the difference between those groups and the Crüe (aside from the music) was that Mötley had the most fun and got the girls. Tons of girls.

My bedroom wall became a 100% Mötley Crüe shrine. Dozens of magazine clippings, posters and lithographs took over my bedroom with not an inch of wall space left. I remember opening my eyes in the morning for my paperboy route and seeing my dad staring at this 9’x13′ wall of four guys in make up, fishnet, leather, denim and women’s pants holding guitars, beers and cigarettes. I’ll never forget that bewildered look on his face.

On the backside of my bedroom door was one of those long door posters with the band’s somewhat obscure mascot, ALLISTER FIEND.

I remember laying in bed so many times and starting at this rad bastard, wondering who and what an “Allister Fiend” was?! I owned so much Mötley Crüe paraphernalia and could find virtually nothing on this guy aside from the one poster. Even the album inserts contained not a single drawing or reference to this so-called “mascot” of my favorite band. It drove me bananas. Clearly the band did not hold him in the same regard as say, Iron Maiden did with “Eddie”. But why? He’s fucking rad! I started to question his credibility and that maybe the poster was a bootleg. It also didn’t make sense because Mötley Crüe have always been a pretty transparent band. They wear everything on their sleeve and you’d think something on this guy would have floated to the surface.

Then as I was attending Crüe shows over the years, I started seeing him on fan’s t-shirts…

Still I wondered, was Allister Fiend a mascot “failure”? Or was he just some cartoonish exaggeration of Nikki Sixx with no backstory?

Then many years later I discovered this on the back of a lithograph print:

TO BE CONTINUED…
(Part 2 of this feature will be TNUC’s exclusive interview with the artist who created Allister Fiend!)

LUCK O’ THE BEER WOLF.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We don’t normally have anything remotely interesting to report on this holiday, but my soul got a burst of euphoria this morning when this Coors Light commercial from 1986 featuring our hairy hero BEER WOLF just landed on my desk (thanks Melissa! ). Not only is this the first full-length commercial I’ve seen him appear in, but it’s also the first time I’ve heard him speak!

If you’re unaware of the fun-loving, beer guzzling beast known as Beer Wolf, he was Coors Light’s mascot that the company developed in the mid 1980’s. Just think Bud Light’s ‘Spuds Mackenzie’, but way more obscure, gnarlier, hunkier and he never stops partying like tomorrow is the end of the world. Ol’ BW is into leisure activities like extreme water sports, strutting down the beach and just getting radical at all times.

During his early years, Beer Wolf had darker fur and appeared much more grizzlier, as seen in his St. Patty’s Day campaign.

Uncle T is probably the most devoted disciple to everything Beer Wolf and my collection of BW items is pretty absurd. If you happen to be on Instagram, search the tag #BeerWolfWednesday to see my assortment of incredible nonsense.

Artwork by Beau & Alan Daniels, 1987. (Thanks Chrome & Lightning)

TOYOTAL RECALL.

Douglas Quaid had the wrong dream. Instead of falling victim to the seductive powers of Rekall Inc., where he would end up fighting for his life, all he needed to do was go back in time to a Toyota dealership.

In 1991, Toyota weren’t just selling cars, they were selling action-packed implanted memories! See for yourself in this commercial.

Awfully similar to 1990’s Total Recall, this adventure starts with a clean cut man in great shape and with a perfect haircut. Then, one of Toyota Laboratories’ sultry scientists sends him away on a dreamscape of rock climbing, jet flying and kayaking through wild rapids. He travels from place to place in his vehicle preference, “a Toyota 4×4…the black one”.

Car commercials like this one are the number one reason why I mute the television or fast forward through every car commercial these days. Call this blatant rip-off of a successful science fiction film “cheesy” or over the top, but it’s also just flat out fun. Don’t even get me started on the McDonald’s and Pizza Hut commercials with heavy storylines. I’ve cried.

Don’t upset mutant baby Kuato. 

Big thanks to Nick A. for supplying TNUC with the keys to this commercial. Go follow him on Instagram @yankeecurator for more vintage commercial gold!

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