Mayer Hawthorne

Mayer Hawthorne’s Dreaming Made Me Lose My Mind!

I’ve not heard of Mayer Hawthorne before today. But to be honest working down in the Retroist Vault means I’m surrounded by about 100 years of retro culture. I find I have no real need to venture up to the surface. Which is the only way I can explain to you how I missed Mayer Hawthorne’s song entitled Dreaming as well as his 2011 album, How Do You Do.
Mayer Hawthorne

In addition to missing Mayer Hawthorne’s album, not to mention Dreaming of course. I also had no idea that he had a music video for it. An absolutely astounding piece of work by Ross Harris featuring Showbiz Pizza’s The Rock-afire Explosion!

I’m not ashamed to admit that many joyful tears started to fill these old eyes watching this video. Not only that, friends. But the video also sneaks in some vintage swag from Showbiz Pizza in regards to the one and only Billy Bob Brockali.

Having pointed that out – Mayer Hawthorne’s video for Dreaming. Also includes the likes of Fatz Geronimo, Mitzi Mozzarella, Beach Bear, Looney Bird, Rolfe DeWolfe and Earl Schemerle, and of course Dook LaRue. Who I must say appears to have an admirer in the video.

For my first Mayer Hawthorne song, I cannot think of a better way to hook me. Granted the song itself is fantastic – has kind of an Electric Light Orchestra vibe to it. Furthermore I think it’s safe to say that Mayer must have been a Showbiz Pizza kid too. There is just too much love shown for the characters of The Rock-afire Explosion for this not to be the case.

[Via] Vevo

Now that you’ve enjoyed Mayer Hawthorne’s Dreaming. Take a moment and listen to The Rock-afire Explosion‘s tribute to the late great Davy Jones.


This video comes courtesy of the The Rock-afire channel and was uploaded after the passing of Jones in 2012. So…you are seeing a new show of sorts!

Along Comes a Woman…And Indiana Cetera!

Despite how I feel about Peter Cetera’s attitude toward his former bandmates Chicago (if you don’t remember, Exhibit A is a good place to start), It is hard to not love his music, or Cetera’s contributions to their success as a group.

Feeling otherwise would rock my credibility as a Chicago fan, and we can’t have that!

The Era of Cetera…

By the early 1980s, Peter Cetera was no longer the Peter Cetera of the 1970s. He had slimmed down, cut his hair, and was taking more of a confident stance in his songwriting. He even released his first solo effort in 1981, a self-titled album that was met with commercial failure. I’ll assume it had something to do with critics only seeing him as part of Chicago. And not only were the changes happening with him, times were a-changing for Chicago as well (oh yes they were). The band was paid by CBS/Columbia in 1980 to leave the label after declining sales and that unfortunate Chicago 13 album failed to garner the earlier successes they had. Donnie Dacus was out, Exhibit A was destined to be forgotten (again, easy to click if you need reference), and Bill Champlain was in by 1981.

You know how I feel about him too, and trust me, it has nothing to do with the music. Because the music is awesome.

In 1984, amidst a rejuvenated success, a new contract with Warner Bros. (oooh, another story for you to read by clicking this!), and David Foster’s mad producing skills, Chicago 17 was guaranteed to be huge!

How huge, you ask?

It was their biggest selling album, all the released singles charted in the top 20, and two words: David Foster (Related: This, this, and this! Oh, and THIS!). By this time Chicago was firmly establishing themselves in reinvention (leaving the gritty behind, and moving on to the power of ballads), finding their voice all over again, and proving those critics who believed they were done in the late 1970s so very wrong.

The fourth of the four charting singles from this album (aside from “Stay the Night,” “Hard Habit to Break,” and “You’re the Inspiration”) was a track from side two, the oh-so-fun “Along Comes a Woman,” which sees Cetera not only singing the lead, but also starring in the video as the dashing hero.

And Along Comes Something Different…

“Along Comes A Woman” was a video that saw Chicago in a different (and kinda cool!) light. If this was part of reinvention, then it was a fun way to do it.

I’m wondering if anyone knew the changes that were coming after this single was released…

Anyway, “Along Comes a Woman” was the fourth and final single released from Chicago 17, and dropped on February 4, 1985. It peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, and even spent time on MTV. It was clearly released at a time when music videos were a big deal, and was a huge departure from some of the previous music videos Chicago had done.

We have our dashing hero, “Indiana Cetera” (my labeling, of course), who is on the run from some baddies who want what he has.

But he’s good at hiding himself – and the valuable stuff.

Indiana Jones had boulders, Peter Cetera had mud.

But along comes a woman…

And some cameos by those three crazy guys in the horn section…

I seriously lol’d over James Pankow and Lee Loughnane ganging up on Walt Parazaider.

There’s Mandatory Horns…

Indy Cetera being forced to hand over the goods…

A Casablanca costume change…

Cetera gets the girl…

And loses the girl…

And along comes some guys…

I guess he got arrested?

And despite that turn of events, this was a funny and well-done music video. Different is not always a bad thing, and the acting from the horn section really makes this video funny. Cetera shines, but if you’ve seen James Pankow, Walt Parazaider, and Lee Loughnane perform live, you wouldn’t be shocked by anything you’ll seen here.

And along comes a music video…that you can watch by hitting play!

Uploaded by Hasse Hammarlund

I had heard this song because of the “Greatest Hits” album Only the Beginning, but I hadn’t seen many of Chicago’s music videos aside from “You’re the Inspiration” (which everyone has seen). Of the ones I’ve seen, this one is by far one of my favorites music videos. The acting is a bit silly, but you’re laughing too much to notice how hokey it really is.

At least the group got to have their fun, but reinvention happened not long after, as Peter Cetera exited the group in June 1985, ending the Cetera years. The next era was yet to come, but what great way to end this one.

And along comes an outro…

If you haven’t already noticed, Allison loves Chicago. She writes about it often (did you see all the hyperlinks along the way?). If you like what you see here, whether it is about Chicago or any of the other things she’s written about, you’ll love her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her antics from Retroist and Allison’s Written Words on her blog’s Facebook page, and she’s also on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

And along comes a swift exit…

Mouth and MacNeal…And Their Trippy Music Video

European Howdy Doody puppets. Two people dressed like 1970s Muppets. A guy who looks like the human version of Sweetums from the Muppets. Children. Dancing. Two Muppet references in one paragraph.

I don’t smoke anything, but I’m convinced I had my one millionth contact high from what I just watched.

I was at my boyfriend’s the other night. We were on our laptops while watching TV, just chilling after a nice dinner out.

And then he wanted me to see this You Tube video.

Give him some credit, I’m usually the one digging these esoteric finds up.

What he showed me was the 1972 song/video “How Do You Do,” by Willem “Big Mouth” Duyn and Maggie McNeal (born Sjoukje van’t Spijker). I don’t need any further reason to believe the 1970’s weren’t the ultimate drug fest they prove to be in retrospect. I’ve seen the catalyst.

There is so much happening in this video, I don’t want to believe it is real.

Crowds…

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All ages allowed. No discrimination here!

European Howdy Doody…whom Mouth promptly dumps alcohol into the mouth of…

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Mouth and MacNeal feeding some woman lying on stools, as spectators…spectate and sing along.

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These people…

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And more crowds!!  These lovely people get up and start doing the dance of the Satanic Ritual…I mean, they’re jumping up and down, while cheerfully singing “Na-na-na-na-na-na! This is what I’m living for!”

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Didn’t anyone ever tell these kind people that groupthink is a dangerous, dangerous mentality?

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But who cares? This is what they’re living for!

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And the puppet has stolen her soul.

But this is what she’s living for!

If this is what passed as Europe’s highest form of entertainment in the 1970s, I’m beginning to understand the “Trololo” phenomenon/fascination/fetish/horror.

And if you really think I’m going to let you get away without seeing Exhibit Number 1…my boyfriend didn’t let me get away, and you’re not getting off easy.

Torture. This is what I’m living for!

Uploaded by fritz51177…because Fritz can!

This is what he’s living for!

Ok, I’ll stop!

Allison was swept up in the whole “Trololo” fascination of the early 2010s (thanks to Family Guy), and she has listened to it countless times. She even used to listen to it on Tuesday and refer to the day as “Trololo Tuesdays.” She didn’t even know this song (or group) existed until this past weekend. This is what she’s living for…you reading her other stuff over on Allison’s Written Words, following her blog on Facebook, and finding her on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

So sing “na-na, na-na, na-na-na-na-na-na!” and revel in the glory of 1970s European Awesomeness. Which is like 1970s Awesomeness, but European!

 

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Living. Catch the enthusiasm!

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto…Toys

One of my favorite hobbies (aside from writing, of course) is making music videos featuring clips from movies or television shows, set to songs we all know and love. I’ve been doing this for about nine years, starting with a Phil Hartman tribute I made in 2007 (it’s not uploaded anywhere). Between 2013 and 2015, I made three separate music videos for the show Stargate SG-1 and submitted them for Creation Entertainment’s music video contest. I won the first two times, and just when I thought three times was the charm, I didn’t win last year. A year later, I’m still surprised.

Uploaded by Allison Venezio

It was hilarious, at least in my opinion.

Last night, I was working on my Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday videos, when one of my great ideas struck me. I hadn’t made a music video in a while, and I had Mr. Roboto by Styx primed as the theme song for the week’s videos, so why not expand upon that and feature clips from all the Robot Toy commercials from 1001 Classic Commercials?

So, um, this happened.

Uploaded by Allison Venezio

The commercials featured in this video are for The Ding-A-Lings, Robot Commander, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, and The Zeroids. I think you’ll agree the song timing and some of the visuals really worked well together. If you’ve ever had a moment where everything clicked and reacted with very loud (and very geeky) jubilation…oh, that’s just me.

If you’d like to see some of my editing skills at work, check out my You Tube Channel!

And if you’d like to see ALL of my Stargate SG-1 videos, click play below! There was a moment of excited geeking out in all of these videos. You’ll see why!

Allison loves to experiment with music and video to make creative and quirky music videos. She especially loves making Stargate SG-1 videos, but has also worked with other clips, and even made a 49-second music video as an “experiment.” If you like her work, you can find her at Allison’s Written Words. You can also follow her blog on Facebook, and find her on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

Colonel Jack O’Neill is her favorite music video subject.