Friday, January 07, 2005

Mouth Band Revival

One of the most improbable fads to ever occur was the short-lived Mouth Band craze of the early 80's. I fondly remember frosty fall evenings when my friends and I would gather around a flaming garbage can outside an office building in downtown Fresno and sing mouth-band renditions of 80's adult contemporary hits. We did an instrumental mouth-band version of "Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong" that drew crowds every time.

One of my good friends, for convenience I'll just call him Potsy, did a world class mouth-guitar solo.

Anyway, I was thinking that it might be sort of cool to try a 21st century, online mouth-band jam. To my knowledge, this has never been tried before.

So, I'll take bass. You guys just join in whenever you start to feel the groove. OK, here we go!

Boom bop boom boooom -- Boom bop boom boooom -- Boom bop boom boooom -- Boom... bop...

... Guys? ... Hello?

... Is this thing on?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've got cymblas....ching crash

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D5k is in the house.

How Mouth Bands Saved America

Nothing says "mouth band" like the mid 70s wunderkind "Chilliwack" made famous in the award winning motion picture, "Rocky." If you're brain is not already inundated with their magical urban rhythms and harmonies (all "a cappella"), then maybe this will spark your memory: "Rocky" (Sly Stallone)is making his way back to his depressing apartment in depressing south Philly. He probably just got through training with his new dog Butkis, or beating some dead cows at Shamrock Meats. Anyway, he passes a group of young go-getters gathered around a flaming garbage can (sound familiar Crapples?). They're dressed in the typical urban garb of inner-city hooligans circa 1976 (gloves with the fingers cut out, hooded sweatshirts covering Chachi-esque sleeveless tees, tight Angel's Flight polyester slacks, powder-blue leisure-suit jackets . . . with the sleeves cut off, etc.). Anyway, who wouldn't be frightened by this motley crew. Well, Rocky's not frightened of course, but most humans would be. For those of you who haven't studied filmaking, "Chilliwack" represents the street people, Rocky's people, and they are giving him the only thing they got left to give . . . (remember the "misery index" is through the roof in the mid 70s). They're giving Rocky their encouragement. And what says "go beat the crap out of Apollo Creed" more than a soothing south Philly mouth band, the direct descendent of Doo Wop.

One can't help wonder if their was a mouth band or two in Sly Stallone's own early days in south Philly, perhaps a mouth band that inspired him to beat the crap out of his personal Apollo Creed, a mouth band that saved him at the time that he was a nobody, a bum, writing his semi-autobiographical "Rocky."

That begs the question, who was the personal "Apollo Creed" for Sly Stallone? Who was the one who kept him down, who told him he was a bum and that's all he'd ever be? Who, you ask? I'll tell you who . . . yes, you guessed it . . . Frank Stallone (, the Roger Clinton of the Stallone family. The sythesized, disco-tized, "anti-mouth band."

Cheers to mouth bands, for saving America in 1976, and here's to their inevitable comeback. Cheers to Chiliwack. Cheers indeed.

All my best.

11:54 AM  
Blogger crapples said...

DK5: Actually it was Frank Stallone who sang in the street-corner mouth band in Rocky. The song is "Take You Back". Chilliwack was the early 80's Canadian band who sang that song called "Whatcha Gonna Do"... or something like that. I don't remember.

But I'm sure it was Stallone Jr. in Rocky.

Speaking of Frank Stallone: You're right that he is one of a long list of people who have tried to build a career based on the excellence of their siblings. The list includes Frank Stallone, Billy Carter, Michael Penn, Roger Clinton, David Limbaugh, Jim Belushi, Billy Baldwin, and, most recently, Ashley Simpson.

None of them, except Belushi, have ever achieved notoriety independent of their more talented brothers and sisters. (Of course, Ashley Simpson wasn't a failure until just a few weeks ago, but it looks like her career is in a tail spin at this point.)

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D5k in the house:

What? Are you actually saying that Frank Stallone was the mouth band singer in the movie "Rocky?" I cannot accept that, sir. Frank Stallone is a hack, and that music was world class. Frank doesn't even sing a cappella. Frank wouldn't know Doo Wap from Mountain Dew. Frank is a total Ashley Simpson/Brian Doyle Murray/Tito Jackson/Randy Schwartzenegger. This is preposterous!

-Peace, out.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! That was quite a heated exchange!!!

9:00 PM  

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