Thursday, February 10, 2005

Watts, Who and Issac (Washington, Not Hayes)

One of those talking heads in Wattstax looked terribly familiar. I didn’t pick up on it the first time around, but by the second or third sweep I realized it was Ted Lange, better known as Isaac Washington from Aaron Spelling’s The Love Boat. He’s playing himself in 1972, just another brother shooting the shit in some Watts diner.

Wattstax has more to offer then Ted Lange (who soon found work as Melvin the Pimp in 1973’s Trick Baby) -there’s hilarious and trenchant commentary from Richard Pryor, long before his freebasing explosions to the face, excellent performances by Rufas Thomas, The Staple Singers, Issac Hayes and an absolutely smoking club performance by Johnnie Taylor.

Also watched The Who: The Kids Are Alright, a 1979 documentary made almost entirely out of old concert footage (most of it is fantastic- from their mod beginnings in the mid-60’s to their manic arena rock performances of the 70’s), guest appearances, television interviews and a sprinkling of new footage recorded for the documentary in, presumably, 1978, not long before Keith Moon’s overdose. Total blast to watch, especially the footage of John (Boris The Spider) Entwistle skeet shooting his gold records with a Tommy Gun. There’s also some wonderful behind the scenes studio footage of the recording of the song, Who Are You, where we get to see the band recording everything from background vocals to handclaps.

Lastly, we’re off to California for the next 5 days. Mt. Tam, we’re all over you come Saturday.

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