Wednesday, September 20, 2006

YouTube Gems: Eddie Vedder, Pete Townsend, and FEAR

So yesterday I totally glossed over International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Shiver Me Timbers!) and blurbed the Who's latest. I was talking to a co-worker who saw them last night at Madison Square Garden, and she raved about the show. This led me to an article about Townsend playing a surprise acoustic set at Joe's Pub last week after they taped a Letterman appearance. Which led me to this little gem:

Amazing that pretty much everything can be found on YouTube, except maybe the punk band FEAR's performance on Saturday Night Live on October 31, 1981, which I don't think ever aired a second time.

Oh wait, I just found it. Amazing that this ever aired. Check it out!

This is the wikipedia entry about this performance:

The Saturday Night Live affair

Their most famous performance was on the 1981 Halloween episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Donald Pleasence. The band was booked at the insistence of John Belushi who was a huge fan. Belushi initially offered them the soundtrack for his major motion picture Neighbors. The movie studio eventually forced Fear off the project and to make up for it Belushi got them the spot on SNL. Among the politically incorrect nature of Fear's songs, the band's appearance included a coterie of dancers, several of whom had been contacted for the event by both Penelope Spheeris (another avid Fear booster) and Henry Rollins (contrary to popular belief however, he was not at the taping himself); among them were Belushi, Ian MacKaye, Harley Flannagan of The Cro-mags, and John Brannon of Negative Approach, causing destruction of the set. During rehearsals the director wanted to prevent the dancers from participating, so Belushi offered to be in the episode (it had been many years since he left SNL) if the dancers were allowed to stay. [2] The end result was the banning of all punk acts for a decade, and the eventual shortening of Fear's appearance on TV. The songs they performed were "I don't care about you," "Beef Baloney," "New York's Alright...If You Like Saxophones," and as the band begins to play "Let's Have a War" the audio and video fade into commercial. Historical moments were Lee singing "f*ck you" away from the microphone, saying it's great to be in New Jersey (the audience booed), and the lyric "New York's all right if you're a homosexual."

In today's overexposed (literally) environment, some of the bands antics may seem juvenile and no big deal, but in 1981, this was quite controversial. I still remember watching this as a fourteen-year old, astonished at what I had seen.


Benjie516 said...

Yeah!!! Freaking FEAR!!! Truly a Holy Grail video clip if ever there was one. I've been trying to find this one forever.

I only saw part of this one live because I was out trick or treating.

FEAR is the number one hardest hitting one-album wonder ever.

Chris Roberts said...

wish I could see this video of fear, know where? I can't find it

Bill Cohen said...

Clicking on a Wikipedia link for "Fear on SNL", we are transferred to YouTube and a message that says "this video is not available in your country". How appropriate. The video I originally posted is no longer available. Amazing how NBC and its legal team can stifle and "vanish" video from a 27 and 1/2 year-old clip that only a few people even remember existing. Considering the preponderance of crud on YouTube, it's astonishing this video is unavailable.