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RIP Gary Garcia
November 20, 2011 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Gary Garcia, half of the musical duo Buckner & Garcia, died on November 17, 2011 at his home in Florida. The duo is best known for their 1982 top ten hit Pac Man Fever.

Buckner & Garcia also wrote Merry Christmas In The NFL, and the lyrics for the extended version of the WKRP In Cincinnati theme song. They also wrote the Waffle House jukebox songs. (Previously)

The full Pac Man Fever album:
Pac Man Fever
Froggy's Lament
Ode To A Centipede
Do The Donkey Kong
Hyperspace
The Defender
Mousetrap
Goin' Bezerk
posted by hippybear (36 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by spinifex23 at 10:37 AM on November 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


In his memory, they should release the original recording of the Pac-Man Fever album on CD or MP3. The re-recording does not cut it.

C ⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅
posted by SansPoint at 10:48 AM on November 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's why I made sure to link to vinyl rips of the original record. The re-recording is awful.
posted by hippybear at 10:50 AM on November 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


They did a song for GiantBomb a few months ago, Found Me the Bomb, which will now probably be their last recording.
posted by kmz at 11:05 AM on November 20, 2011


For many years after that song was popular I thought that Jerry Garcia was the same person as Gary Garcia. For many years I also thought that Stuart Woody something from the Bay City Rollers was Ron Wood (something about smirks and rooster haircuts, I guess)...
posted by stevil at 11:06 AM on November 20, 2011


Oh man, I forgot he was also on the phone with them during The Big Live Live Show Live 2. He sounded fine then, but of course that doesn't really mean anything. :(

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posted by kmz at 11:12 AM on November 20, 2011


In his memory, they should release the original recording of the Pac-Man Fever album on CD or MP3.

Just strip out the audio at a site like listentoyoutube.com or something. I don't know about Buckner, but Garcia sure as hell won't mind.

Also, .
posted by codswallop at 11:15 AM on November 20, 2011


I loved the Pac-Man Fever album as a kid! The title track was their breakout hit, but my favorite song was "Goin' Bezerk" (but "Do the Donkey Kong" is pretty good too).

RIP Gary.
posted by grog at 11:21 AM on November 20, 2011


Pac-Man Fever and others are available on Rock Band song through the Rock Band Network. Not surprisingly it's a hell of a lot of fun to play and everybody digs it.

So did not know Garcia did the Waffle House stuff, too. That's another little piece of Americana right there. He did well.

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posted by Spatch at 11:23 AM on November 20, 2011


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posted by Faint of Butt at 11:25 AM on November 20, 2011


The 'Pac-Man Fever' single is one of the first records I ever owned.

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posted by box at 11:27 AM on November 20, 2011


I don't know about Buckner, but Garcia sure as hell won't mind.

It was Sony that refused to re-release the originals on CD or give Buckner and Garcia access to the original recordings. I'm sure they wouldn't mind, but I think it would be nice to purchase the new versions too on CD and/or RBN, so the original artists get some compensation.
posted by kmz at 11:27 AM on November 20, 2011


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posted by jquinby at 11:28 AM on November 20, 2011


Do the Donkey Kong was such a rad song. Didn't care much for the rest of their repertoire, but there's something to be said for having at least one song I enjoy immensely.
It was Sony that refused to re-release the originals on CD or give Buckner and Garcia access to the original recordings. I'm sure they wouldn't mind, but I think it would be nice to purchase the new versions too on CD and/or RBN, so the original artists get some compensation.
Yeah, you can easily find a vinyl rip online. It'd be a nice gesture, though, to also buy the re-release.
posted by Redfield at 11:34 AM on November 20, 2011


codswallop Already downloaded a vinyl rip, ages ago. I don't feel guilty, really. I have the original LP. First album I ever owned.
posted by SansPoint at 11:40 AM on November 20, 2011


I think my brother had the whole album; I was already a little old enough to be thinking "this is....a weird idea." But on the other hand I absolutely remember seeing them on Solid Gold when I was twelve and actually thinking it was cool.

Godspeed, sir. You found your niche and filled it well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:21 PM on November 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've always wondered how artists like this make a living. Surely Pac Man Fever was not enough to sustain his career. Was there session work, club gigs, another career?
posted by jayder at 12:56 PM on November 20, 2011


The sole reason I wanted to get this album as a kid was because I was told there were Pacman cheat paths included. Interesting though, that now bands incorporating video game themes into original recordings, or even doing new arrangements of video game themes, has become an established sub-genre of music. Could these guys have been the first, the pioneers? If they weren't, they were surely the first to hit it big, so kudos to them for that.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:06 PM on November 20, 2011


The first link in the FPP says they did a lot of commercial jingles. They also wrote songs for other artists (On And On, a Top 40 hit for Anne Murray was one). I'm sure the Waffle House gig had some money attached to it. They also seem to have done voiceover work.

This 2002 article suggests that Pac Man Fever made them rich enough to not have to worry about day-to-day survival. The album did sell nearly a million copies, after all.
posted by hippybear at 1:15 PM on November 20, 2011


(Not to mention that the single sold well over a million copies.)
posted by hippybear at 1:18 PM on November 20, 2011


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I had the Pac-Man Fever album back in the day. I was obsessed with the title track, but I thought "Ode to a Centipede" was a good song too.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:55 PM on November 20, 2011


First record I ever bought. When Walmart sold 45s.
posted by sklero at 2:49 PM on November 20, 2011


Same story for me -- I bought the single "Pac Man Fever" with my very own money. I was 12 years old.

It's hard to overemphasize what novelty records used to mean when the only way to break them out was on the radio. With YouTube, it's much easier to get strange and silly music out there.

Strangely, this makes me think a bit about an odd moment I'm remembering in an interview with Simon Cowell, basically he showed a great deal of respect for the people who do novelty records or only ever manage to be one-hit wonders -- in the end it's a business and success is fleeting and random and often it takes some hard work to get to be that one hit wonder.

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posted by artlung at 3:02 PM on November 20, 2011


Oh no, the red ghost got him.

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posted by pxe2000 at 3:49 PM on November 20, 2011


C ⋅ ⋅ ⋅ ᗣ ᗣ ᗣ ⋅ ☼

I picked up Pacman Fever in a used vinyl bin when I was already to old to appreciate it on the 12-year-old gamer level, but no matter how nerdy and borderline annoying the music is, it's impossible to dislike on some level. It's oozing with that uplifting 80s positivity.
posted by p3t3 at 4:04 PM on November 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Going to that great big arcade in the sky (with a pocket full of quarters, I sincerely hope).
posted by bpm140 at 5:16 PM on November 20, 2011


See? Now where's the "Morrowind: Elvesbane II Fever" of today?
posted by rhizome at 5:26 PM on November 20, 2011


I searched before, but I never found a Unicode Pac-Man. Maybe if there's a way to combine a C with a Less Than. C<.
posted by JHarris at 6:06 PM on November 20, 2011


I've got you covered: ᗧ
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:10 PM on November 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


My parents had this album when I was growing up. At the time, it was the only record I had any appreciation for, but I was like 6, so there's that.
posted by wierdo at 6:23 PM on November 20, 2011


So:

ᗧ······
posted by JHarris at 7:24 PM on November 20, 2011


Boo. Sad news...
posted by NormsAndNedums at 7:46 PM on November 20, 2011



posted by furtive at 8:14 PM on November 20, 2011


"Daddy, what happened to Gary?"
"He went to the Maze of Endless Hells where, as a hungry ghost, he torments the souls of dead drug addicts."
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:44 AM on November 21, 2011


They must have retained some societal influence after the 80s: I picked up the album (sorry, just the re-recording) in college, c. 2006.

Reasons why I want a digitisation of the vinyl: listening for someone in the background ordering a pastrami sandwich.
posted by spamguy at 6:39 AM on November 21, 2011


Sad. a friend in school had a cassette copy that we wore out. Froggy's Lament indeed...

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posted by pupdog at 9:04 AM on November 21, 2011


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