Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gonks Go Beat (DVD, 1965)

Tonight's Netflix: Gonks Go Beat.

Youths from Beat Land and youths from Ballad Isle hate each other and hold a yearly contest for best song, overseen by an A&R man-from-Oz. Our galactic policeman is sent to Earth to reconcile Beat Land and Ballad Isle, on pain of being exiled to the world of gonks if he fails. He succeeds by deliberately re-creating Romeo and Juliet with two renegades and rigging the contest to give them the only "HIT".

Alas, the hybrid beat-ballad song is 99.999997% ballad and distinctly wimpy. (You can tell which island I would have lived on, can't you?)

It was a terrible movie for its time, but like many terrible movies it's a shiny gem now. How can one dislike seeing arch-Thelemite Graham Bond grooving on the organ in a movie that features still pictures of rotund cuddly toys as the emblem of eternal punishment?And Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, and a drum battle that features 7 drummers (Baker and Jimmy Page-level session drummer Bobby Graham included) arranged by Mike Leander? I mean, Mike Leander!

Also, Lulu. And the Nashville Teens. And far fewer gonks than you might imagine.

Good times.


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