Sept. 12, 2008
David Naughton - Makin' It The thing about flashbacks is that they're not always pleasant or welcome, as was the case this week. I was lazy and a little bit tired on Wednesday, which was brought on by a bout of insomnia the night before. I was, therefore, loafing on the sofa in the afternoon, flipping through channel after channel of television mediocrity, until I hit paydirt: Meatballs! Hot damn, I saw that at the movies in its original release! I remember thinking it was hilarious, even though it's obviously low-budget and fairly predictable. (This movie did not hold up well, and Bill Murray's Tripper character seemed pretty annoying from my old age perspective and without chemical assistance.) I tuned in about halfway through, so I missed some good stuff, but I did catch the dance scene. This flick is from 1979, so, of course, the dance music is heavily disco based. AAACK! And that song: Makin' It. It's by that guy who used to dance around in a vest and sing "Be a Pepper, drink Dr. Pepper!" (He was also the dude who turned into a werewolf in An American Werewolf In London, which would, I guess, be his greatest career success. And, funny, he's still working, and he can't seem to escape the wolf thing; he was in a movie called Big Bad Wolf in 2006.) I remember hearing Makin' It on one of the two radio stations I listened to in Guam. Yes, there was more than one, even on an island that's only about 200 square miles. There was an FM station that played the big hits of the day along with some AOR stuff, and a decent AM station that played a good mix of rock, folk, and country, including some progressive music. Anyway, Makin' It was all over that FM station, as they were prone to running a song into the ground, and I kind of liked it at first. It was catchy. But then that Pepper guy got a little too full of himself and thought he was Mr. Pop Star on American Bandstand. Oh come on! Get over yourself, already! After that, I'd flip over to the AM station to escape the disco. I could catch Rickie Lee Jones or The Band on that station, and unlike Rod Stewart or The Stones, they hadn't been sucked into the disco black hole. Neither Meatballs nor Makin' It has aged well, but at least the song doesn't make me want to smash the speakers any longer. It's still kind of catchy, in a cheesy disco kind of way. So get out your white disco suits and your platform shoes, friends, and shake your butts.