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
Keeping on course with the TNUC 10 Year Anniversary celebration, now seems like a good time to ease the seat back and listen to some of Uncle’s most prized choices of audio euphoria. Songs that helped build the foundation of this place back in 2009 and inspire a decade of debauchery.
In this first installment of TNUC THEMES, we’re going back to the very beginning. Some of these you might have heard 100 times, but since they’re of ultra-importance in the lineage of TNUC, I’m not leaving them behind. Sink in and listen. (Download links included!)
How could we NOT begin with the quintessential Tangerine Dream track from one of the classic scenes in Risky Business. It’s the gateway song for so many synth fiends, soundtrack lovers and Tangerine Dream freakazoids. It’s still the dreamiest track to ever exist and I put it high on the shelf above everything. You’re also a liar if you proclaim to have not fantasized about a train ride with lady of the night, Lana. The version you’re hearing now is an extended, slicker rendition the band released in 2008.
1) Tangerine Dream – Love On A Real Train (2008)
The great thing about an instrumental version of this track is that it allows YOU to be Frank Dux (Jean-Claude Van Damme) running around Hong Kong from the cops just like in Bloodsport. Download the track, then drive out to your nearest “Chinatown” or “Little Tokyo” and have a friend play it on a boom box while you run around the city and cause a scene. You won’t regret it.
2) Paul Hertzog – Steal the Night (Instrumental)
Lovelock (disco side project of Steve Moore from Zombi) cooked up this scrumptious edit of Pino Donaggio’s ‘Telescope’ from the Body Double soundtrack that he ended up calling ‘Pino Grigio’. Steve took a perfect slice of suspense and erotica and turned it into something truly hypnotic. This is one of Uncle T’s most played tracks while he floats around the pool with a spicy drink and the torturous sun turning his skin the color of a perfectly cooked hot dog.
3) Lovelock – Pino Grigio
During the early days of the Valerie Collective, a phantom by the name of Stephen Falken (one half of The Outrunners) would pop up from time to time to deliver a stellar song or mixtape. To this day his whereabouts, an actual photo or any personal information about Professor Falken remains a complete mystery. This mystique has always been part of his allure, the other big part being the music. When it comes to Falken tracks, the magic is in the simplicity. Similar to the Tangerine Dream formula, ‘Shadow of the Wind’ has that dramatic build and celestial spirit (without going overboard) that keeps you coming back for repeated listens.
4) Stephen Falken – Shadow of the Wind
If readers of this site have enjoyed the more lustful, steamy side of TNUC, it’s all thanks to Uncle T hearing this track years ago. Nothing is steamier and more tender to the senses than the saxophone eruption at 0:32 seconds into this song. It’s like being whisked away to a private isle with Vanity circa 1985 and a cold box of Zima.
5) Black Box – Ghost Box
Have I beaten this one to death yet? Nope, not even close. If someone had a gun to my head and demanded I had to pick out one flaw about this song, it’s the sad fact that it wasn’t used in an action movie. This track aches and beckons for use in a car chase scene or even better, playing inside a foggy nightclub with Italian model-looking babes dancing with Dolph Lundgren-looking men in trenchcoats. Time for a new TNUC video, perhaps…
6) Pamela Stanley & Paul Parker – Stranger In A Strange Land
† † †
Thanks for listening. Plenty more TNUC THEMES on the way!
A cigarette dangled from Uncle T’s lip as he was finishing his last rep on the weight bench. Suddenly a recollection struck him that made the bar drop down to his chest, followed by a scream of agony. Seconds later his pain turned to joy as he realized that IT’S 2019 AND THIS YEAR COMMEMORATES TEN YEARS OF TNUC.
It’s hard to believe this website/blog/sacred temple has existed for an entire decade. What started out as a goddamned Myspace page eventually turned into our own desert island of music, film, culture, mixtapes, videos, obscurities, oddities, hijinks and pure adrenaline.
I’m seriously honored to have been your host (and #1 Uncle) for this long.
When I started TNUC it was nothing more than a simple visual feast. Thrown together were a few cryptic movie images, scantily clad hardbodies and what people in the 1980’s dreamed the future would look like. As the years progressed, the beast grew bigger and thus it needed more to eat. Videos. Mixtapes. Characters. Fictional Universes. It never stopped and rarely did it slow down. There was always something to chew on. I might not posses the sheer quantity of articles like other sites, but it’s honestly only because I hold out for quality paraphernalia that fits this Land of TNUC. The last thing I wanted was for this place to turn into a never-ending scroll of “news” you could find at 7,000 other places across the internet. Blah.
Breaking it way down, I hope UncleTNUC.com has been a little paradise you can escape to from some of the harsh realities of today’s culture.
OK, now it’s time to party. I’d like to spend a good amount of 2019 remembering and cherishing the highlights of this 10 year escapade. For the next couple articles, let’s begin by revisiting some of the key musical moments that inspired what became T N U C.
THE OUTRUNNERS – BLAZING SPEED AND NEON LIGHTS WITH YOU (2007)
This is the one. If there was a singular moment that I distinctly remember giving me chills and kickstarting my nostalgic psyche into overdrive, it’s hearing this song and watching this video. Those thick synths, the pulsating bass and accompanying visuals awakened something inside of me. This sent Uncle T on a Miami Vice binge, acting and talking like Sonny Crockett and hunting down all the synthesizer bliss I could get my hands on. Pretty soon I’d discover an underground movement coming out of a corner of France called Valerie (more on that later).
The Outrunners branded themselves as “the future sound of the past” and my God is that an accurate way to describe this sound. It just seemed so authentic compared to everyone else. I was already a fan of established groups like Daft Punk, Justice and Kavinsky, but while those artists dipped their toe in the water with this style, The Outrunners dove in face first.
Listen to those synths. It’s like cool little breezes coming through your window while driving to The Babylon Club with Manny Ribera.
♦ ♦ ♦
Ten years of TNUC. Ten years of passion, glory, power, seduction and pizza. Whether you’ve been following us since 2009 or you’re a brand new disciple, serious thanks for supporting and stay tuned for much, much more!
I know what some people are thinking. It’s Christmastime and why aren’t we doing something on Home Alone or Silent Night, Deadly Night? That’s because as great as those masterpieces are, it’s getting a little predicable and over-saturated on the internet these days. Let’s change gears for a minute instead.
On December 26, 1982, one of the greatest animations drifted onto our living room TV sets. I’m talking about the adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, the story about a snowman coming to life at midnight, featuring the musical spectacle of a song, “Walking In the Air”.
The half-hour special is told through pictures, music and has no dialogue, aside from an introduction by the late-great David Bowie. Check that out below.
People new to The Snowman might be thinking it’s a little light in the loafers for TNUC content. Sadly you couldn’t be more mistaken. If there was one word to describe The Snowman it would be PURE. Telling a story without words is a feat in itself and somehow they not only were successful in doing that but through music and drawings delivered a more impactful story than most big budget projects fail to do. For the past twenty something years it’s remained one of my favorite television specials to revisit. I urge every TNUC disciple to curl up with a warm winter cocktail and watch The Snowman.
“This attic’s full of memories for me. We spent all our summers by the seaside, and in the winter at home, by the fire, frost on the window, and snow. Snow. I was always making snowmen. One winter, I made a really big snowman. I got a scarf from him. You see, he was a real snowman. That winter brought the heaviest snow I’d ever seen. The snow fell steadily all through the night. Then when I woke up, the room was filled with light and silence, and I knew then it was to be a magical day.”