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
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!)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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)
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!
It’s been said before but I’ll say it again. If you were a child in the late eighties or early nineties, count your blessings. One prime example of how lucky we were was growing up with live-action-martial-arts-superhero gem known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie.
The comics and animated series had been around for years, but the 1990 big screen blockbuster brought things to such a REAL level. It catapulted the Turtle’s story from cartoonish to something gritty and dark. Most people I talk to are still in agreement TMNT: 1990 is not a kids movie. If you haven’t watched the film since childhood, give it a viewing and see for yourself. Sure, it’s packed with silly moments and has action sequences featuring men in rubber turtle suits doing karate, but there’s so much more to this movie. SO much more.
It’s interesting that most of the things I was into as a kid, I still love today. Especially when it comes down to the real impactful stuff, like TMNT 1990. What makes this film timeless is that it didn’t play down to kids and I assume was intended for a much wider audience. It had the visuals, dialogue, atmosphere and attitude of some crimewave action movie you’d catch on TV in the middle of the night but this particular story happened to be about superhero reptiles. There is serious depth to the story and characters, all while never straying from the course of having fun. TMNT is also packed with the most impressive amount of violence in a PG movie probably ever.
As a pint-sized, 5-year old TNUC, when I first heard about the movie I was naturally excited for the mere fact that it was the Turtles and I needed to consume anything that involved my heroes in a half-shell (especially pizza related things). However, up until that that point it had only been the cartoon series and toys.
After seeing the movie, I couldn’t get enough and eventually wore out my VHS copy. Suddenly the world of TMNT felt 10x more lifelike and relatable, as the Turtles faced realistic-looking street gangs, punkers, city life, teen angst and the annoyance of late delivery pizza.
I’ll never forget the visuals that dug deep into my brain and remained there still to this day. Specifically crime-ridden New York City, the sewers, Domino’s Pizza, Casey Jones, underground secret hang outs, Raphael in a trench coat, Raphael’s attitude, that little TV being stolen from the lady’s fire escape and teens smoking cigarettes/skateboarding/gambling and drinking ALL the Pepsi they could handle. This visual feast was something I cherished over and over again. Even small things in the movie like the Foot Clan “wallet snatching” during the opening. My friends and I used to pretend doing this all the time. My folks were probably questioning how impressionable I was.
One staple of the film which I really didn’t sit back and appreciate until years later is the music. You want to talk about depth and drama in this “kids” movie? Have a listen to the amazing score by John DuPrez and prepare for chills.
Now here comes some good news. For the first time ever, the official and complete score to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was released by Waxwork Records this year. Sourced from the original masters, the complete film music by DuPrez has been re-stored and re-mastered. This special release marks the very first time the score has been released on Vinyl or CD.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Original 1990 Score Features:
- The Complete 1990 Score by John DuPrez
- Available For The First Time In Any Format
- New Art by TMNT Co-Creator Kevin Eastman
- 180 Gram 2xLP Colored Vinyl
- Poster Illustrated by Kevin Eastman
- 1990 TMNT Movie Poster Postcard