September 1st, 2011

iAm iSaid

Imagine the possibilities of more Dewey Cox

It's a good feeling, going from figuring you'd like something to knowing you liked it. Recently, several friends' enthusing about it paid off and I saw Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, and laughed as I should. I also finished the film figuring I had no need to see musical biopics for a while; this film did what it meant to (at least for the few who saw it; it tanked back in 2007) and deflated much of the pretension and stacked narrative decks of a lot of those films. Though it does make me want more to watch Almost Famous again, since that gets around a lot of the musical biopic problems in a refreshing way.

Plus Walk Hard is funny, in a way that's hard for me to be so I can enjoy other people being funny like that. The Anchorman-style opulent, ridiculous dialogue --

"Honey, I can't build you a candy house! The rain would melt it, it won't work."

"Not if it never rains!"

-- or the intentionally bad casting of the actors who cameo as famous people (I laughed out loud just at the reveal of who was playing Buddy Holly), or that the film found ways to make nudity funnier than it usually is, or how it looks genuinely great, nailing that Walk the Line polish. And that it sounds great, because there's genuine craft to the songwriting -- the songs have catchy hooks and heartfelt emotions even when the lyrics are double entendres (or single entendres) -- and to the singing, because Dewey Cox is played by John C. Reilly, who actually can sing.

Anyway. Good film, worth seeing. Too bad there won't be more of it.

Because here's a what-might-have-been inspired by Twitter chattery last night: if Walk Hard had been a hit, there'd've been the temptation to make a sequel, but the movie seems sequel-resistant. It's a life on film (and by the way, it finds a couple of funny ways to underline that at the very end). But the several songs written for Dewey Cox and the music videos done for some of them, they would've given a way: more songs.

Have the writers, Reilly and the backing band get together every once in a while and bang out a song, plus a low-ish-budget accompanying video, in the style of a certain era, anywhere from 1950s bubble-gum to 1990s Rage Against the Machine-style, and release it. Fill in another you-didn't-know-it-was-there gap in the musical history of Dewey Cox: his Seventies punk song! His Nineties grunge song! (Remember, even the deeply-Eighties Oingo Boingo started sounded a bit like Nirvana by 1994. Dewey Cox could've, too.) Dewey Cox's contribution to a big 1980s song soundtrack! Maybe not something like Beverly Hills Cop or Top Gun, but mmmmmmmmmaybe something like The Legend of Billie Jean. (Oh, God: I just imagined Dewey Cox guest-guitaring for Toto on the score to Dune.) What about Dewey Cox's ABBA tribute? His KISS tribute? His William Shatner tribute? (Nah; too easy.) What about him trying to sound like Brothers In Arms-era Dire Straits? Or him channeling Bjork? Or Kenny G? And there NEEDS to be a 1980s Dewey Cox song with a saxophone. But none will ever happen, because again, the film? Not a success. Oh, well.

Still, this is delightfully horrifying: what would've been Dewey Cox's "Kokomo"?
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    Not actually Dewey Cox: some jazz on 89.1 KMHD
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Whale fluke

SPEAKING OF "KOKOMO"

(As I just was...)

The Beach Boys' "Kokomo" was still getting airplay in 1989, a year when I taped a lot off of the radio, as the Top 40 station I listened to in the D.C. area have the great Donald P. Geronimo and Mike O'Meara doing an especially mad "Morning Zoo" and I wanted to preserve it. One time the taping yielded me a cassette dub of "Kokomo." I had a dual-deck cassette boom box and had learned how to edit by playing one tape and selectively recording and pausing another, so...there was a "Kokomo" that went

Koko...
Bodies in the tropical drink, melting in your chemistry
We'll be falling in the saaaaand
Cock, cock, cock
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    amused amused
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