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December 11, 2011 1:25 PM   Subscribe

What is Pink Lady? In Japan they are remembered for a string of pop hits in the 70s, but Americans might remember them either from their disco single "Kiss In The Dark" or from an attempt to sell them to the US market in 1980 via a short-lived NBC variety show Pink Lady & Jeff (TVParty summary) with comedian Jeff Altman. (Opening). The show featured their Japanese hits, UFO, MONSTER (a bit more rock and roll), and SOS along with US hits like Boogie Wonderland, McArthur Park and the occasional guest star. (with encore) Also, Roy Orbison. Sadly, the show failed to break out and the two returned to Japan for a series of farewell concerts and retrospectives. Much, much more available at this charmingly retro, utterly exhaustive fan site devoted to them. Or just read the recaps.

Bonus from their last concert, Pink Typhoon, a cover of In The Navy
posted by The Whelk (33 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
I actually watched this back in 1980.
posted by cropshy at 1:43 PM on December 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


Kids, whenever any old timer waxes nostalgic about all the great, awesome, incredible music produced in the 1970s, simply remind them that the decade ended with stuff like this.
posted by three blind mice at 1:43 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


But then came the 80's which were a million times worse.
posted by jonmc at 2:00 PM on December 11, 2011


I actually watched this back in 1980.

Uh ... me too.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:04 PM on December 11, 2011


But then came the 80's which were a million times worse.

No, then came the 80s which were fueled by MTV and had some of the best music ever. (Also some of the worst... but every age has best and worst in a healthy mix.)
posted by hippybear at 2:19 PM on December 11, 2011


Every era had its share of bad music.

although, yea, the '80s were pretty dreadful.
posted by octothorpe at 2:23 PM on December 11, 2011


I remember watchIng this, too. UFO is actually a pretty cool song, IMHO.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:26 PM on December 11, 2011


The Super Sentai "Monster" is fantastic.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:36 PM on December 11, 2011


My junior high school MGM (Mentally Gifted Minors) program took us on a field trip to a filming of this show at NBC. I realize, on consulting the Wikipedia page, that this was the debut episode. (We never saw guest stars Blondie, unfortunately.) To warm us up, Jeff Altman told nasty jokes about Leon Spinks, after which the girls tried to sing "You've Got A Friend" phonetically over and over and over again. I remember Jeff Altman saying something about a hot tub, and feeling dirty all over. We were encouraged to applaud and cheer with gusto. Although the details are cloudy now, I will always remember this as one of the most unpleasant, uncomfortable experiences of my life.
posted by Scram at 2:37 PM on December 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


Pink Lady and Jeff was 1980? Another case where my memory failed me. I would have sworn that was 1976 or 77.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:40 PM on December 11, 2011


Ugh, I remember the hot tub. They portrayed Jeff's relationship with Pink Lady as if they were his concubines. Super creepy.
posted by cazoo at 2:43 PM on December 11, 2011


Mitsuyo Nemoto (Mie), incidentally, was more recently an intermittent member of the Japanese heavy metal band Animetal - a gag band who did heavy metal covers of anime TV show theme tunes (Sailor Moon): when she performed with them they rebranded as Animetal Lady.

Keiko Matsuda (Kei), meanwhile, does reunion tours with Mie as Pink Lady, keeps a busy schedule and has a really adorable kitten.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:02 PM on December 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sooo..... not the apple then?
posted by pompomtom at 3:10 PM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


What is Pink Lady?

1-1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz applejack
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz grenadine (preferably homemade)
1 egg white
posted by Splunge at 3:14 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Great. Over 30 years of successfully blocking out this memory...down the drain. Sometimes I hate the internet.
posted by JaredSeth at 3:29 PM on December 11, 2011


Also, the idol band Pink Lady inspired a female wrestling team called Beauty Pair, who subsequently inspired Haruka Takachiho's Dirty Pair light novels, a trans-dimensional version of whom appeared (work with me here) in Chris Claremont's Excalibur during the Cross-Time Caper. Excalibur also teamed up with Spider-Man, who also teamed up with the Autobots in the Transformers comic (creating huge continuity issues).

The Autobots were commanded by Optimus Prime, who was merged with a young Japanese woman in the frankly controversial storyline Kiss Players. Later in that storyline, three humans and three Transformer microcassettes form an idol band. And one of those microcassettes, Rosanna, is a lady. And pink.

Pink Elephants all the way down.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:54 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


As I whine about the current state of popular music, at least I can be comforted by the fact that Katy Perry and Ke$ha don't have a prettu fucking racist network prime time variety show.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:47 PM on December 11, 2011


yet!
posted by The Whelk at 4:52 PM on December 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some friends of mine memorised all the dance steps to UFO and Monster when they were little girls, and one sure-fire way to get a karaoke-box rolling with delight is to put one of those songs in. Naturally, having spent so much time learing the dance moves, they know all the lyrics, so they don't need the screen to help. They'll stand in front, face the "audience" and, well, become Pink Lady.
posted by Metro Gnome at 5:02 PM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


God bless Sid and Marty Krofft for branching out into variety shows and giving us some of the most wonderfully showbiz-tacky television ever. Between this, The Brady Bunch Hour and Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters (Quick! Who was the "dumb" one?) they sure did put a lot of lip-synching acts onstage in front of incongruous backdrops.

Taken at face value, which is easy to do since you really can't take 'em any other way, these shows can be enormously entertaining. Especially if you're in the right mood and/or you've got the right stuff to enjoy before watching. No matter your mindset, though, you'll always feel the need to wash the sleaze off immediately when Jeff Altman starts making swingers' jokes with Mie and Kei.
posted by Spatch at 5:19 PM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


the frankly controversial storyline Kiss Players

He wasn't kidding.
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:26 PM on December 11, 2011


This MeFI post actually solved a slight mystery for me. I had a very vague recollection of some TV show with attractive asian women on it right about the time I started to notice girls. (I would have been about nine at the time.) I never could get any further than this airy, time-lost memory.

So, thanks!
posted by tcv at 7:08 PM on December 11, 2011


In reality, they were about 25 years too early. Today, with a little goth and some school girl outfits, they would have been a hit.
posted by tomswift at 7:51 PM on December 11, 2011


the outfits in MONSTER are like pre-retro nostalgia.
posted by The Whelk at 8:04 PM on December 11, 2011


Isn't most of the 70s pre-retro at this point? Retro would be 80s-90s if the pattern holds.
posted by hippybear at 8:07 PM on December 11, 2011


The nostalgia gap is supposed to be 20 years, but most of the 90s were suitably embarrassed enough by the 70s that they tried to skip over it all and feel nostalgic about the 80s. By the time "That 70s Show" came around with two years left in the 20th century it was too late, and we'd lost our pop culture timing forever.

Stay tuned for I Loved That Decade Wait Which One Did You Ask Me About Again on VH-1.
posted by Spatch at 8:46 PM on December 11, 2011


I thought it was more the power rangers like outfits worn in Monster which where old hat genre tropes in Japan but most Americans would have seen that kind of look in the early 90s and with the subsequent popularity of Japanese pop culture, so you end up in this kind of unmoored from time nostgalia for the viewer not hip to all the cultural cues and callbacks.
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 PM on December 11, 2011


That and it's catchy and campy and fun.
posted by The Whelk at 8:52 PM on December 11, 2011


Oh man. I saw these two on a few variety shows in the spring and summer but I had no clue they did a US tv show back in the day. I'm kinda ashamed to admit how much I enjoy Pepper Keibu.
posted by azuresunday at 9:31 PM on December 11, 2011


I actually had to dance to UFO at the Japanese-language summer camp sponsored by Concordia. I can still hear the whole song start to end. The lyrics are particularly amazing. Chikyuu no otoko ni akita tokoro yo~
posted by taursir at 11:08 PM on December 11, 2011


Is Feed Me's pink lady a nod to this?
posted by poe at 11:28 PM on December 11, 2011


Wasn't Pink Lady just one of the prime-time shows slaughtered by NBC during its massive 1979-80 culling of its prime-time lineup?
posted by stannate at 8:06 AM on December 12, 2011


although, yea, the '80s were pretty dreadful.

I don't know, man. The DC hardcore scene was in the '80s. Black Flag is from the 80s. Metallica did their best work in the 80s. The Smiths. Husker Du. Sonic Youth. The Pretenders. I could go on for ages; the point is I think the 80s were pretty good actually!
posted by Mister_A at 7:44 AM on December 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


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