Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The Osmonds are the most underrated band in the history of rock and roll. This is due, in large part, to the band's own reluctance to further explore their "little bit rock and roll" side. I won't waste space telling you that Crazy Horses makes the bulk of Led Zeppelin's catalog irrelevant because, if you made it this far, you already know that. I stumbled upon this jam while looking for Osmond cartoon clips on YouTube. I don't recall this song from any of my Osmonds albums and nobody can identify it in the comments section. Below the video you'll see that I converted the song to mp3 so you can put this neckbreaker into heavy rotation on your playlist.

Every Osmond smokes on this recording. Jay Osmond absolutely punishes the ride cymbal during the breakdown. The ride cymbal had not taken a beating like this since Mitch Mitchell recorded "Manic Depression" and wouldn't be abused as righteously again until Les Binks came to kick the gong around on Judas Priest's "Beyond the Realms of Death." Merrill is up to his usual teeth kicking tricks, sounding like the illegitimate son of Tina Turner and an air raid siren. Wayne and Alan play double leads as if they are posing back to back and legs akimbo on a mountain of smoldering Thin Lizzy records. Donny is Donny: batter dipped and deep fried soul on two rug cutting legs. Just listen!

The Osmonds - The Unknown Jam

“Were going to open up with 'Crazy Horses' just to prove we can still kick 'em in the teeth live.” - Merrill Osmond


I'm 31 years old and I just started (seriously) attending college a couple of years ago. One of the things that professors love to talk about are labels. My History of Rock and Roll professor (pause for snide comments) went on and on about how we are all brainwashed by labels. Therapists believe this too. My shrink calls them "rules," but it's just a matter of semantics. Labels are thought by most people to be a bad thing. If you want to test this theory, just ask somebody the dreaded question: What kind of music do you like? People hate this. Do I answer with artists? Genres? Specific Osmonds?

I would like to relay an instance in which labels helped me immensely. I don't know when it started, but as far back as I can remember my mom bought TV Guide at the grocery store. It was way better than the TV listings that came in the newspaper. TV Guide was much more accurate. The Guide was especially accurate when it came to labels. The labels I am referring to are Nudity, Violence, Adult Language, and Sexual Situations.

The new TV Guide would hit our coffee table around Thursday of each week. After confirming its arrival, I would bide my time until I could be all alone with the movie index at the back of the issue. Using my uncanny ability to memorize text, I would make mental notes of each and every movie that carried the mark of excellence: the R rating. Once those titles were extracted like so many shallow dwelling fish, I would narrow my selections down to the films that bore the mark of the beast: Nudity.

In the newspaper TV listings this label was applied to movies that were on the premium channels, as well as those that appeared on basic cable. The problem with this is that the movies on basic cable were (and are) edited for time and content. TV Guide only focused on the premium channels. This lesson was learned the hard way after getting burned by about five connsecutive weeks of Night Flight, later to become the more egregious trojan horse of false ass kicking: USA Network's Up All Night. I think I got sandbagged by Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama twice.

The TV Guide movie index was responsible for exposing me to such cinematic snack cakes as The First Nudie Musical, the Emmanuelle series, Whore 2, and Night Eyes 3. These films featured soft core stalwarts like Shannon Tweed and Krista Allen, full on porn stars like Marilyn Chambers, and post-prime heroes like Mark Hamill, Marc Singer, and Michael Des Barres. The latter three all starred in Silk Degrees which, luckily, had nothing to do with Boz Scaggs. Now that I think of it, I should revisit Silk Degrees and write a review. I hope somebody dares me to connect The Beastmaster to the lead singer of Silverhead in less than six degrees. I'll do it in one silk degree, thank you. The movie had little steam action, but the cast made it worth while. I mean, it even has Gilbert Gottfried in a starring role. Which brings us back to Up All Night. This is a tight knit community of stars.

I learned that the Sexual Situations tag meant nothing unless it followed the Nudity warning. I learned that, when presented with a Nudity donnybrook on mutliple premies, always go Cinemax. ALWAYS go Cinemax. I learned that films containing the word "bikini" in the title usually contained multiple scenes of bikinis being removed. And though I make hay of all the awesome stars I saw in these films, I knew that name recognition usually meant that there would be limits to the level of awesomeness. When faced with no-names versus celebs, go with the kids with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

If I had written this post many years ago, I would have fashioned it into a big brother's guide for hormonal shut-ins. However, kids these days have the internet. Talk about a frontal lobe snow blower. I can't imagine how severely my 13-year-old Catholic brain would have fried in the world wide wonderland. I probably would have ended up like Leigh McCloskey on the other side of Dawn.

The moral of the story is that labels can be very helpful. Though the label "punk," like new wave and alternative, has been dismissed by some as a marketing tool, I would have never known who The Dictators, Legs McNeil, The New York Dolls, or the MC5 were without it. Without parental advisory labels, I would have never known that the heavy metal equivalent of MAD Magazine was GWAR. Without cartoon character labels, I would have never known how insanely good Count Chocula or Fruity Pebbles were. The list of things that made me happy, yet kept me from getting a girlfriend, could fill a Starfleet command bridge. All of which were discovered because of labels.

So I would like to encourage all the conglomerates and moral kommissars who define subversive art, offensive music, sugary cereals, and softcore porn to continue labeling away like an anal retentive media tech teacher. Without labels I would probably be bored or really into something lame like camping at the river or something. Your obsession with labels has acted as a virtual trail of breadcrumbs that has led me to thousands of hours of bichin' entertainment. Furthermore, I would have never learned how to use these labels without TV Guide and Mom. Thanks for everything.


As a parting gift, I leave you with two track's from Silverhead's 1973 classic, 16 and Savaged. Fittingly, the songs are titled "Heavy Hammer" and "More Than Your Mouth Can Hold." In addition to Michael Des Barres on vocals, Silverhead features Robbie Blunt on guitar, Rod "Rook" Davies on the other guitar, Pete Thompson on drums, and the great Nigel Harrison of Blondie fame on bass. As Robert Pollard would say, "If you don't want it, don't buy it." But if you do like these songs, go find the album and buy a copy. It's really amazing.

"Heavy Hammer" will act as a sort of segue into our next full episode of BAPR, The Strut Rock Primer.