Monday, July 27, 2009

Bad Sax: It Happens

You're grooving—you're in tune and the rhythm is right. Then: BOOM, bad sax solo. It happens to everyone, especially to audiences in the 80s.

This clip, originally entitled "The Lost Boys Buff Guy Playing Sax," (before being yanked for copyright infringement) describes the scene perfectly. A well-oiled, very muscular and gyrating Tim Capello is indeed playing sax in this cover of I Still Believe (originally performed by the non-buff group, The Call), to the delight of young Corey Haim and hundreds of whooping Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk extras.

Capello slaughters another solo at the 2:52 mark of Tina Turner's One of the Living, part of the juggernaut of terrible music videos spawned by Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. If I had to describe this brief solo, it would be along the lines of, "Boop Boop BWEEEEE! BWEEEEOOOEEEEOOOOEEEE!!! BEEE BEE BEE BEEEE!. In my musical opinion.

St. Elmo's Fire is perhaps the most earnest, worst movie ever produced for potential mass consumption. Rob Lowe is ultra pretty as bad-boy Billy Hixx. And he's honking away in a very sleeveless new-wave bat-appliquĂ© shirt with his band, Billy Hixx and The New Breed. His tortured solo—edited here for the full, glorious effect—can seemingly only be interrupted by his wife's indication of infidelity. That's the kind of heightened drama St. Elmo's Fire is known for. I paid a dollar to see it and that was overpriced.

Side-note: The New Breed was an actual 80s mod band from San Francisco. My roommate went out on a few ambiguous "dates" with the drummer. This was going to be their big break but the movie tanked so bad that we never heard from The New Breed again. Bummer. The drummer got a five-second coke-snorting scene with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore so it wasn't a total bust.

Waverly Film's "Sax Master."

They're also responsible for "Cartwheelin'" and "Floating Head," so I wouldn't take this too seriously.

It's been several years since Mike Diva Productions shared this with the world but for sheer impetus, not much bad sax can top "Sexy Sax Man Careless Whisper Prank feat. Sergio Flores." Shirtless, shiny-pants-with-suspenders-wearing Flores with his manly mullet, endlessly (and badly) repeating the George Michael hit solo within SoCal's (which might as well be Anywhere, USA's) bland consumer environs is an absurd little masterpiece of awkward weirdness. Anyone who's been enveloped within the dreadful pop muzak loops that is our constant reality while shopping in public can appreciate what's going down here. Just the right dose of obnoxious theatrical pizzazz. Hail.


el space vato said...

The 1980’s did seem to have a fascination with the saxophone, you’re right about that. I feel, even more importantly the fascination with synthesizers. Eegad! EVERYTHING was “synthed” back then.
Genius again, Lisa!

Lisa Mc said...

I had to actually stop listening to the radio for a couple of years during the 80s because I couldn't take the synth-pop any more. I blame the suddenly affordable technology for the glut of high-pitched synthesized string sections we suffered through. And that leads us to techno...

Lisa Mc said...

And thank you El Space Vato. I wish I could put "genius" on my resume. Or more specifically: genius of useless information.