Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I guess if I were one of those lowbrow teenage types I used to see back when I was ten and my dad would sneer at 'em 'n tell me that if I ever ended up that way I'd get my ass plastered all over the wall, I'd go buy some LSD and head out to where this movie would be playing. More often than not at some rundown Youngstown Ohio theatre that's now probably all boarded up or sells porn dvd's. I mean, who else would a film like this have been aimed at other'n the addled flotsam of early-seventies self-conscious hippie kids, the kind who went wild only to turn into such L7 specimens that the parents they rebelled against sure seem rather swinging in comparison!

But in all, GET DOWN GRAND FUNK 'r whatever you wanna call it's rawther fuh-nee if I do say so myself, 'specially when you consider that the bulk of this film is a late-sixties documentary about Spring Break at Daytona Beach narrated by Billy Joe Royal with special guest appearances by the Swinging Medallions, Spooky Mike Sharp and the Tams. Pretty much outta-date stuff for the heady early-seventies "relevant" scene, but still enjoyable considering the bountiful footage of alla them gals in their bikinis and feminine hairdos who actually look like they don't smell bad. Lotsa innies too! As an attempt at a mondo film, at least this has a realistic enough documentary look 'n feel to it that reminds me of my own kiddiehood, even if the only time I experienced gals in swimsuits and college guys goofin' off in front of 'em was at the local swimming pool and I was too busy buying candy bars to care!

Ya gotta credit Barry Mahon for taking this "outdated" produce and adding some Grand Funk footage from a Florida club that he personally filmed while throwing in some weird psychedelic effects and bizarre segues, and then re-packaging this flick as if to suggest that it stars Grand Funk in order to sucker in the aforementioned acid freaks and other casualties of the day! The results can be staggering when you go from shots of gals lying on the beach to a hand squeezing an egg or a candle exploding a water-filled balloon, and I'm sure even the dorkiest kid in the class coulda told you that there was a world of difference between the Swinging Medallions and Grand Funk, but then again was anybody really expecting the results to coalesce into some new art form guaranteed to win buckets of trophies at Cannes? I've always believed in grabbin' the moolah and runnin' as fast as you could with it myself.

As for the Grand Funk footage, the early psychedelic scene with the still closeups of the various Funksters, some gal and a toy doll with wavy lines all over the place was definitely a reminder of just how lousy that whole post-psych trip could get, and a whole lot more irritating than the good dated Daytona footage which at least recalls truly halcyon days anybody with a conscious could enjoy. However (now sit down for this, for it is a surprise!) I did get a kick outta watching the group doing "Into the Void" in their own knucklehead, thud it out way. Believe-it-or-not, but I've come to love early-seventies knuckleheadedness whether it is being done by some megahyped act like Funk or some of those obscure English neanderthals whose single sides are being  re-released as we speak, and even jaded up the wazoo me can cheer on the feedback gronk of this music even though Mark Farner ain't exactly my idea of a rock & roll superman the way fellow Detroiters the MC5 and Stooges most certainly are. Let me reiterate it...I enjoyed 'em the same way I can appreciate other early-seventies hard rock acts that happen to pop up on a youtube playlist or via somebody's email, though it's ain't like I have to go out and buy their wares which I wouldn't do in a million years! And besides, I will give kudos (in part) to 1971 Farner 'stead of the creature that actually released that horrific cover of "Loco Motion" and of course "Bad Time To Be In Love", two of the more nerve-grating moments in mid-seventies AM decay if you dare ask me.

Heavy doody thanks be to Bill Shute for sending this unsolicited (for as you know, solicitation is a crime, especially if I ask him for Rebecca and the Sunnybrook Farmers burns!). Sometimes I get the idea that Bill's putting me on shuffling off Grand Funk videos my way, yet perhaps he is as serious about it as he is sending me that Herschell Gordon Lewis nudie cutie thing I wrote up a week or two back. Either that or he's reliving his own past as a teenage reject who went to rundown theatres in Colorado watching films along these lines totally outta his gourd on nutmeg and Seven Up! Well, it's better'n what I was doing at the same time, though then again the most action I got in the early-seventies was getting a huge hunka flesh ripped outta my kneecap while trying to keep my dog Sam from licking the gouge before my mom could get home!

1 comment:

Bill S. said...

I'm you WANT a burn of Rebecca and the Sunnybrook Farmers (which I can do for you---I have it), or is this an ironic request and something you actually DON'T want? My enquiring mind wants to know!
As far as the films I send, just consider it my own personal drive-in, located somewhere outside of Hermitage/ the tradition of the Lakeshore Drive-In in west Denver. You can pick up one of those "Coffee Stirs" at the Corral before the show (just not the fried mushrooms)...
Wait till you see the double-barrelled double-bill that is coming in your next package...two films from the 63-64 period. I'll leave you in suspense....
Glad to have the blog back in the classic twice-weekly form. I actually look forward to checking in twice a week! Either you've got an exciting blog or I've got a tedious life...or maybe both!