September 17, 2007 6:24 PM   Subscribe

Hi, Dad, I'm in Jail. Earth to Doris.
Two brief videos made for Was(Not Was) by Christoph Simon, which aired on Liquid Television.
posted by klangklangston (52 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
you borked the second link.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:25 PM on September 17, 2007

That last link is a double.
posted by Poolio at 6:26 PM on September 17, 2007

Should go there.
posted by klangklangston at 6:26 PM on September 17, 2007

Shit, I flagged this as "breaks the guidelines" instead of formatting error. Now the mods will think I'm a crank.
posted by puke & cry at 6:26 PM on September 17, 2007

posted by cortex at 6:33 PM on September 17, 2007

He still think's you're a crank, he was just too polite to say so.
posted by eriko at 6:34 PM on September 17, 2007

I thought that hi Dad bit was so cool 25 years ago.
posted by longsleeves at 6:49 PM on September 17, 2007

I really liked that album. Haven't thought about it in years. Thanks!
posted by gingerbeer at 7:02 PM on September 17, 2007

"Say hi to mom.... from jail!"
I've always liked this because it reminds me of the Dead Milkmen and the Smokin' Banana Peels EP (also produced by David and Don Was).
posted by horsemuth at 7:03 PM on September 17, 2007

"This" meaning the song, and not my bolded quote from the song, which I just enjoy on its' own.
posted by horsemuth at 7:06 PM on September 17, 2007

Our college radio station frequently played a PSA with the "I'm in jail!" song as the background. Somehow it became a theme for me and my friend while traveling through India. Nice to know where it came from.
posted by rouftop at 7:39 PM on September 17, 2007

I am not on nearly enough drugs for this. Be right back.
posted by tehloki at 7:52 PM on September 17, 2007

This only reinforces my belief that Liquid Television was the best thing MTV ever did.
posted by hupp at 7:58 PM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

"Hello dad... I'm in jail!" Haven't thought of this since high school but it's as fresh as ever. Classic, thanks for this.
posted by escabeche at 8:00 PM on September 17, 2007

Wow, that brings back memories.

Maybe it's along the same line, maybe it's not part of the motif, but I had to go find Family Man after watching Hello Dad.

Spoken word for disaffected youth. Freudian suburban dystopia. These scared the crap out of our fathers like gangsta rap never could.
posted by djeo at 8:18 PM on September 17, 2007

This only reinforces my belief that Liquid Television was the best thing MTV ever did.

Hear, hear. Beavis and Butt-Head and Aeon Flux and Stick Figure Theatre and Winter Steele and Dog Boy and The Adventures of Thomas and Nardo...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:19 PM on September 17, 2007

the second one was sublime in a bukowski fashion...
posted by es_de_bah at 8:22 PM on September 17, 2007

This only reinforces my belief that Liquid Television was the best thing MTV ever did.

Thirded. Although I'd throw in a vote for 120 Minutes, and MTV2 when it first started. The latter was like a completely unorganized public access channel that would show utterly random music videos and had a particularly cute/wacky veejay whose name I forget. M2 was great, though I have no idea what it's like now.
posted by zardoz at 8:28 PM on September 17, 2007

My dad loved "Hi Dad, I'm in Jail". He made me put it on a tape for him. "Hi, dad, happy birthday! From jail!" got him every time.
posted by churl at 8:38 PM on September 17, 2007

I used to record Liquid Television and I watched those shows until the tapes broke.

"Hi Dad" wasn't my favorite, but man did it ever get stuck in your head.

They played that when I went to see Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation. The audience was pretty silent when it was finished, save for one guy saying "o..............k".

Rejected also screened, after which the audience totally lost their shit.

posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:39 PM on September 17, 2007

"Mah schpooon is too big."
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 8:43 PM on September 17, 2007

I, too, love “Hi, Dad, I'm in Jail”.

I bought Born to Laugh at Tornadoes when it came out, based on a critical recommendation I saw in, of all places, Playboy. I always loved that album and I was the only person I knew who had it. I'd play it for people and they usually didn't like it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:47 PM on September 17, 2007

From WikiPedia:
Born to Laugh at Tornadoes (1983) introduced even more guest musicians, including Ozzy Osbourne rapping over electro, Mitch Ryder belting out a techno-rockabilly number, Mel Tormé crooning an oddly beautiful ballad about asphyxiation, and an abstract funk piece called “Man vs. the Empire Brain Building”. The band were shortly dropped from their record label for being too difficult to classify.

Though I don't know why it says Man vs. the Empire Brain Building is "funk". If I recall correctly, it's mostly tuba and some percussion and is very new music-y. Kinda got me ready for Laurie Anderson, who I hadn't discovered yet at the time.

Don Was has produced a great many records by a great many very successful artists.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:51 PM on September 17, 2007

Wow, I saw "I'm In Jail" once about ten years ago and it knocked me on my ass. Searched for it even in the early days of ut00b and didn't find it -- thanks!

Killer work. All art should have the combination of excellent aesthetics, not too much polish and a strongly socially aware theme -- and a visceral punch.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:14 PM on September 17, 2007

EB: No, it's funk meets experimental music of the sort you describe. And it includes references to Pontiac commercials ("Drive your car across the sky") and such, as well as a repetition of, "I walked the line with Johnny Cash." It makes absolutely no sense, but is pretty funny.

The song on which Ozzy does vocals has the best title, by the way: "Shake Your Head (Let's Go to Bed)."
posted by raysmj at 9:16 PM on September 17, 2007

Oh my GOD! Thank you!

For a few years in the late '80s and early '90s, Was (Not Was) was THE coolest band on the planet. Bar none. Then they just sort of walked away from it.

The title passed to Morphine until Mark Sandman's tragic death in 1999.

At that point it was taken up by Brazzaville. But they seem to be losing focus as well. David Brown has moved to Barcelona, and their last album was released only in Russia. (Fortunately, there is an Internet...)

But, like King Arthur, Was (Not Was) has apparently been sleeping in a cave somewhere, waiting for that moment when they're needed the most to return and lead the people. Check out these live performances from The Jazz Cafe in London, in May of this year. Fantastic stuff.
posted by Naberius at 9:22 PM on September 17, 2007

I remember seeing this along with Sally Cruikshank's Don't Go In The Basement (earlier mefi link) on some weird early 80's late night music television show that pre-dated MTV. Needless to say, it made quite an impression on my young impressionable mind.
posted by cazoo at 9:26 PM on September 17, 2007

Oh wait, if this was created in 1988 I must be mistaken, unless there was a time when MTV was actually interesting.
posted by cazoo at 9:31 PM on September 17, 2007

Loved, loved, loved Liquid TV. Also Amp when it came out later. Oh the memories.
posted by zap rowsdower at 9:31 PM on September 17, 2007

Was (Not Was) may have been a strange favorite band for a 10 year old in suburban atlanta, but there I was in 1989 listening to their tapes on my walkman over and over and over again. I think I got into them via Walk the Dinosaur when I was 9 only to get What Up, Dog? and find out that Walk the Dinosaur might have been the weakest track on that album. Soulful r'n'b covers and tributes mixed with bizarre avant noise-critiques of the Reagan era for whatever reason clicked with me and soon Was (Not Was) had replaced Bon Jovi as my favorite group. This is also a time I was walking around in denim jacket with a bunch of Keith Harring buttons arranged on it like military insignia. Alas, I soon dropped the Wases from my rotation in exchange for MC Hammer and it took me a good 15 years to be that hip again.

While writing this, I realized I haven't listened to What Up, Dog? or Are You Okay? in at least 10-15 years and, scanning their track listings, I can instantly recall pretty much every song on both of those albums. I know what I need to go hunt down now.
posted by thecjm at 9:38 PM on September 17, 2007

Speaking of awesome animation, remember MTV's The Oddities: Maxx and The Head?

If only Adult Swim would mix it up with something akin to these to fill the holes where they stuff crap like "40oz Mouse."
posted by zap rowsdower at 9:46 PM on September 17, 2007

whoops - "12 oz Mouse"
posted by zap rowsdower at 9:49 PM on September 17, 2007

You know, when I was a teenager "Hello Dad" was pretty f'ing awesome. Then I got into a car accident a block from my parents' house on father's day, and had to call him to come over and help me deal with it. From that day forward, I couldn't hear the song without thinking about how palpably depressed he was that I was calling him on father's day to say "hi, dad, I just totalled my car." Of course, it could have been worse; at least it was my car, and not my fault -- someone else I knew got drunk, stole his dad's car and crashed it into a tree on father's day.

Now that I'm a father, however, this song is even more depressing for me, although I didn't know it until just now. Two hours ago, I was sitting next to my 2-year-old son at Art's Deli in Studio City CA, and I was making him laugh by pretending to eat his face while he made me laugh by shoving french fries into his mouth like walrus tusks and shaking his head back and forth. The thought of him ending up the kind of person who (a) might be in jail someday, (b) would not consider that a personal failure, and (c) would delight in telling me how all those years raising him was a complete waste of time...man, I almost cry thinking about it.

you live, you change, I guess. I'm still glad you posted the link, though, as I'd never seen the video.
posted by davejay at 9:54 PM on September 17, 2007 [4 favorites]

"Should go there ."
posted by klangklangston at 9:26 PM on September 17

Next time you're in the neighborhood, you can. Used to be one of my favorite spots for breakfast. Terriffic biscuits, down home red-eye gravy, and they made their own jams; people drove in Sunday mornings from miles and miles away.
posted by paulsc at 10:04 PM on September 17, 2007

What up, dog?

Also, Was (Not was) live on Sunday Night.
posted by carsonb at 10:06 PM on September 17, 2007

The Running Man Part 1 and Part 2. Probably the most astonishing thing I saw on TV as a kid still in grade school. I remember being awestruck.
posted by deafmute at 10:06 PM on September 17, 2007 [2 favorites]

Can we who man the ship of state deny
It is somewhat out of control


posted by oncogenesis at 10:23 PM on September 17, 2007

Uh, it's not "Hi Dad," it's "Hello Dad." I should know.

I guess I should have posted this.

posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail at 11:31 PM on September 17, 2007 [2 favorites]

posted by ZachsMind at 12:59 AM on September 18, 2007

Thx klang, hadn't ever seen these (I loved that first song, and the animation is the perfect complement). There's a pared-down version of "Out Come The Freaks" I'm convinced I heard on WNYU way back when, that I've never managed to find again...
posted by progosk at 1:03 AM on September 18, 2007

The best video for 'Hi Dad I'm In Jail!' is the last few mins of Pump Up The Volume. Man that film rocked my world back in the back, what a soundtrack... but I'm frightened to go back in case it's all rubbish now. Talk Hard!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:12 AM on September 18, 2007

If i'm not mistaken, it's this 1981 version i mean. Anybody?
posted by progosk at 1:17 AM on September 18, 2007

Ah, memories.

Even before I heard the song or saw the video, my dad would randomly quote "Hello, Dad. I'm in JAIL!"

And once I knew the song, I'd say it when he answered the phone.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:50 AM on September 18, 2007

I was just telling my gf about "Hi, Dad. I'm in JAIL!" Sweet!
posted by Eideteker at 3:55 AM on September 18, 2007

Way late to this, but just want to add to the lovepile for was not was.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:23 AM on September 18, 2007

Oh and churl, my Dad was exactly the same as yours, even laughed at the same line. That and "Say hi to mom...from jail".
posted by Meatbomb at 6:24 AM on September 18, 2007

The first time I saw Hello Dad it just floored me. It's been years since I've seen it.

Thanks for the post.
posted by OmieWise at 6:41 AM on September 18, 2007

Haven't even gone to the linkx and am having a great time remembering it all.


...and zap, your right in spirit, is might as well be "40 oz. Mouse"...
posted by djrock3k at 7:08 AM on September 18, 2007

Just as a little background—I learned about Was(Not Was) from my dad, who used to put both of these songs on mixtapes as filler. Growing up in the '80s in the Detroit area, Was(Not Was) was a family favorrite, up through Are You OK, though I didn't realize until recently that they did a lot of stuff for Ze Records prior (Wheel Me Out, etc.).

In fact, since dad's also a MeFite, I was kinda hoping he'd chime in. Maybe I should email him…

Oh, and about 30% of my one-liners are cribbed from Was(Not Was) somewhere, especially the "Something's burning somewhere, I said. Yeah, it's us, she said," bit.
posted by klangklangston at 11:30 AM on September 18, 2007

and now that you've IM'd me, I read all this and was blissed out remembering all the fine W/NW times. The Dougie Feiger "What was that line you said? Oh yeah, you're unemployed!...I laughed anyway." and of course, Torme'.

So, I'll add that no one mentioned that it was Island Record's founder Chris Blackwell intoning on Man vs. Empire Brain Building.

That lp was just a riot of "let's see who we can get on this" with MC5 alums Kramer and Sinclair, Kiss's Vinnie Vincent, Detroit mainstays and part-time Funkadelics Luis Resto & Marcus Belgrave--and as others mentioned, Ozzie, Ryder, and the unheretofore mentioned drum ace Yogi Horton and everyone's favorite waste of time, Marshall Crenshaw.

Thanks for posting these videos--I'd never seen them. As you know I was against you boys ever seeing that evil MTV instead of spending your time productively at Lili's 21.

I chuckled at those up thread who introduced their fathers to "Dad, I'm in Jail" instead of the other way around or DaveJay who fears (ok, I understood his point) getting "that call" not realizing that it could come from a well-raised son who happened to get into the wrong place at the wrong time.

I remember being glad though, that the night that Ian got you all into that jam-up, you didn't say..."Hello Dad, I'm in jail!"
posted by beelzbubba at 2:30 PM on September 18, 2007

posted by klangklangston at 2:37 PM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

Well, the A2 lock up is noted for its lattes and scones.
posted by beelzbubba at 11:15 AM on September 19, 2007

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