Wednesday, July 23, 2008

bubblegum: special k for the kidz


and don't forget to floss.

For a brief period between 1969 and 1970 Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz's "Special K" productions very nearly came to dominate the charts and pollute the critical faculties of children everywhere.

Remember the awful 1910 Fruitgum Company ? How about Joey Levine and Kris Resnik's evilly Machiavellian Ohio Express ? Damnation bound and throwing up cartoon sparks. The very sound of their "Simon Says" is almost enough to drive you into the far corner of a rubber room without the aid of a straight-jacket.

Steve Dworkin, staff writer for Special K recalls:

"In 1969 I was a staff writer/producer at Super K Productions.
I had written "Bring Back Howdy Doody" as a joke, not expecting Kasanetz and Katz to go with it. At one point, K and K sent my partner Gary Willet and myself into the studio to record as many "bad" records as we could in one day, including "Bring Back Howdy Doody."
The session was... a tax writeoff."

"Bring Back Howdy Doody" later scored a hit for Lt. Garcia's Magic Music Box - under the pseudonym The Flying Giraffe - for K & K on the Bell label. The first recording undertaken at A-1 Studios in NYC, on which Dworkin was directly involved, had been intended for consumption in its original indigestible backward form but
was reversed under the instruction of K & K and found a home on the b-side to 1910 Fruitgum Co.'s nauseating smash, "Indian Giver".

You may recall the hit was later covered by the Ramones, NYC's junk gourmets of the Special K fad diet.

It should have all died there and then, of course, as the Bubblegum generation graduated first to amphetamines and later heroin in an attempt to erase the Special K experience and lose themselves to merciful oblivion, but 100% proof distilled evil - as we are now aware - is as prone to mutation as a t-virus. It may slumber for years like a sleeping curse, but allow it the opportunity and it will jump trains quicker than a hobo on the trail of spilled meth.

Watch out. Mr. Burns is back in business.

Credit to WFMU and The Bubblegum University.

1910 FRUITGUM COMPANY: WOW WOP (REVERSED) from "Indian Giver b/w Pow Wow" 45 (Buddah) 1969 (US)

STEINSKI: SIMPSONS REMIX from "Steinski's Simpson Remixes" MP3 (WFMU, New Jersey) 2005 (US)

SIMON SAYS: AAARGH!

6 comments:

Peewit said...

oooh, donuts!

fun songs for the end of term down here. Thanx

ib said...

Glad you approve, peewit. Is it end of term down south, now ? The discrepancy between the holidays always gets me confused. Have a good one!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the Steinski mp3!

ib said...

You're welcome. Cool or what ?

Jon said...

The pictures are very bad for my diabetes. My friend, Steve Millen, who was a leather clad mohawk wearing punk absolutely loved bubble gum music. Also remember an early interview with the Talking Heads. When someone asked David Byrne what he listened to, he didn't pause before answering Disco and Bubble Gum. Easy to hear once you know to listen for them. My heroine, Joan Jett did a great version of Indian Giver.

ib said...

Bubblegum is good. I have a sweet tooth myself. I have always loved crazy cheap confectionery with a zillion harmful additives. For some reason, I long ago discovered they tend to be manufactured in Northern Ireland. I once worked in a sweet factory. There are a lot of stories from that stint, although it was very brief and a long time ago.

Joan Jett is great. I saw you'd posted a version of "Cherry Bomb". I loved the Runaways. They should've been bigger, but isn't that always the case ?

I had an eye test recently, and the optician checked for diabetes. Fortunately, I'm still in the clear for now - but my liver has taken some beating over the years. I still drink, but not excessively.

Well, I'm not in Dennis Hopper territory anymore.

Indian Giver is actually a pretty cool song. I wondered about my using "nauseating" as an adjective earlier. I'll confess I was probably just playing the tone up for the post. Disco - and funk - is up there with my list of vices too.