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Fish Heads was only half the story
February 11, 2010 5:23 PM   Subscribe

Although best known as an actor, Bill Paxton's extracurricular dabbling has been previously discussed on the blue, however...

...what you may not know is that during the mid-1980s, he was a member of a band called Martini Ranch. Members of DEVO, Cindy Wilson (of the B-52's), Bud Cort and Judge Reinhold also collaborated on their only album. They made two videos, the first of which had cameo appearances by Anthony Michael Hall and Michael Biehn, and the second was directed by longtime collaborator James Cameron (you may have heard of him). It remains the only video Cameron has ever directed.
posted by geckoinpdx (67 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bill Paxton-themed pinball game by Ben Heck. (WIP)
posted by jabberjaw at 5:26 PM on February 11, 2010


i assume you mean the only music video cameron has ever directed...

the 80s were a truly bizarre time.
posted by nadawi at 5:26 PM on February 11, 2010


I'm proud to say I remember both of these songs fondly and was able to sing along. Thanks, KROQ!
posted by The Tensor at 5:31 PM on February 11, 2010


Talented man.
He's always going to be "Mr. Pig knuckle...Having trouble with your hog leg, there?" Severen.
Near Dark. Come for the Tim Thomerson, stay for the Bill Paxton.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:31 PM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


I started reading this post and thought it was an obit. Jesus Christ, that scared me.
posted by brundlefly at 5:33 PM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Shouldn't this go in the Atlantic "Jobless Future" thread?
posted by darth_tedious at 5:35 PM on February 11, 2010


Everyone seems to have forgotten Bill Paxton's debut as a director back in 2001: Frailty. A disturbing and scary thriller, I don't know why it wasn't a big hit or why he hasn't made another one. It's an impressive little film.
posted by zardoz at 5:43 PM on February 11, 2010 [11 favorites]


From Wikipedia in re: your title: "Fish Heads", a novelty song by Barnes & Barnes whose music video was directed by and starred Bill Paxton

O.M.G. I heard this song one time when I was like 10 and it has stuck with me ever since. (Oddly, it was on Kids America, not Dr Demento. Have we ever had an FPP about KA? That show ruled.)
posted by DU at 5:49 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


And half of Barnes & Barnes was Bill Mumy? brain = asploded
posted by DU at 5:51 PM on February 11, 2010


And half of Barnes & Barnes was Bill Mumy? brain = asploded

I can't wait to see what happens when you find out that Mumy and Miguel Ferrer (among others) used to perform at comic book conventions as Seduction of the Innocent.
posted by The Tensor at 5:57 PM on February 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


bill paxton needs his own absurd tumblr page stat
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:01 PM on February 11, 2010


O.M.G. I heard this song one time when I was like 10 and it has stuck with me ever since.

Glad to know I'm not the only one. Before YouTube and the advent of EVERYTHING being on the interwebs, I was starting to think it didn't exist and was some sort of hallucination in my head that I couldn't shake.
posted by evilangela at 6:03 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


i'll start: Bill Paxton Looks Concerned In A Hurricane While Italian Hardcore Plays!


something like that
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:05 PM on February 11, 2010


Game over man! It's James Cameron's Firefly!
posted by Artw at 6:08 PM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Thank you, zardoz. Your comment prompted me to put Frailty in my Netflix queue. That was a really good movie.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:11 PM on February 11, 2010


Bill Paxton is always the cheater step in "Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon".

Kevin Bacon was in Apollo 13 with Bill Paxton who was in every movie with everyone ever.
posted by madajb at 6:15 PM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Bill Paxton Eats A Caramel Apple in the 1300s
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:16 PM on February 11, 2010


That second video was like seeing one of James Cameron's fever dreams. Awesome.
posted by Prospero at 6:20 PM on February 11, 2010


Just here to dump a little more man love for the guy.

Remember him in a small role in Terminator? I wonder if the video was before or after?
posted by porpoise at 6:27 PM on February 11, 2010


Ok, it's probably in the links somewhere but a cursory search didn't show me. During the early 80s I swear I used to watch a TV show or something that used the "fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads ... eat them up ... yum!" song. What was that?
posted by pelham at 6:37 PM on February 11, 2010


Listen to Dr. Demento?
posted by m0nm0n at 6:43 PM on February 11, 2010


Holy shit, was that Rick Rossovich, a.k.a. Slider from Top Gun? I think I just got 80s movie star bingo!
posted by albrecht at 6:45 PM on February 11, 2010


The Martini Ranch EP is one of the few records I hung on to after liquidating my vinyl collection. Great tune.

Pelham: You're thinking of SNL.
posted by Manjusri at 6:46 PM on February 11, 2010


Turkey Television, pelham? I remember it being on there.
posted by droob at 6:51 PM on February 11, 2010


I miss NIGHT FLIGHT.
posted by Hammond Rye at 6:51 PM on February 11, 2010


er, NIGHT FLIGHT
posted by Hammond Rye at 6:52 PM on February 11, 2010


Wow. I own Holy Cow on CD (bought as a cutout in '90 or so if I remember correctly), and am pretty sure I know which box to go to and lay my hands on it. Now I have to dig it out just to rip it. There's a decent cover of 'Richard Cory' and several bits of better-than average 80's new-wavey pop.

And apparently the CD has been reissued.
posted by pupdog at 6:54 PM on February 11, 2010


I can't talk right now, I got the wife and the kid in the car with the poodle.
I hate that damn dog.
posted by Ratio at 6:58 PM on February 11, 2010


Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen!
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:58 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's got Lance Hendrickson, and a monkey. Lance Hendrickson, with a monkey. And a blonde female bodybuilder in leather, but really, the appeal is the monkey, with Lance Hendrickson.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:03 PM on February 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


.“Cry not, Paxton. There will be time for tears when we feast on the carcasses of the gods,” I pushed open the glass doors to the office just slightly too hard. They shattered as they rebounded off the walls.

“Lament, women! Rejoice, men! We have come!” I roared

posted by Sebmojo at 7:06 PM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


FYI, that's Hurt Locker director and Cameron's ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow as the leader of the sexy cowgirls.
posted by Rangeboy at 7:11 PM on February 11, 2010


Game over, man. Game over.
posted by norm at 7:18 PM on February 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I keep waiting for Bill Henrickson to drop a bunch of GAME OVER! GAME OVER MANs! Maybe this season, with the political scheming, my dream will come true.
posted by xmutex at 7:33 PM on February 11, 2010


That Cameron video is Paxton's "Thriller", isn't it.
posted by Red Loop at 7:51 PM on February 11, 2010


I keep waiting for Bill Henrickson to drop a bunch of GAME OVER! GAME OVER MANs! Maybe this season, with the political scheming, my dream will come true.

Quoting Aliens whilst watching Big Love is one of my favouretest things ever. "They're coming out of the goddamn walls!" see's a lot of action when it comes to scenes involving masses of women in prarie dresses.

Remember him in a small role in Terminator? I wonder if the video was before or after?

Films with Bill Pacton and Michael Biehn in are also awesome, because you can play "That's Hudson, he's Hicks!"
posted by Artw at 8:13 PM on February 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's got Lance Hendrickson, and a monkey. Lance Hendrickson, with a monkey. And a blonde female bodybuilder in leather, but really, the appeal is the monkey, with Lance Hendrickson.

If the monkey is so great why don't you put IT in charge of making the video?
posted by Artw at 8:16 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


How 'bout a nice greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?
posted by JaredSeth at 8:17 PM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Quoting Aliens whilst watching Big Love is one of my favouretest things ever. "They're coming out of the goddamn walls!" see's a lot of action when it comes to scenes involving masses of women in prarie dresses.

This could really be an awesome drinking game of sorts. I'll have to rewatch Aliens before the next Big Love.

Heck you could do any Paxton line relevant to the current scene in Big Love. I'm sure Chet had a few timely things to say about the political implications of polygamy or about pretending to be someone you are not.

Or not.
posted by xmutex at 8:28 PM on February 11, 2010


Remember him in a small role in Terminator? I wonder if the video was before or after?

Terminator was 1983. The "Reach" video says it's from 1988, after Terminator, after Weird Science (he was Chet), after Aliens, after Near Dark.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:47 PM on February 11, 2010


Bill Paxton in the video for New Order's Touched by the Hand of God.

If you look closely you will realize that the band with the poofy 80's Bon Jovi type hair is actually New Order.
posted by Skygazer at 9:00 PM on February 11, 2010


or why he hasn't made another one.

Do you mean "why hasn't he directed another film"? If so - he has.
posted by MikeMc at 9:02 PM on February 11, 2010


Oh dear Lord Jesus, this ain't happening, man... This can't be happening, man! This isn't happening!
posted by bwg at 10:01 PM on February 11, 2010


Bill Paxton in the video for New Order's Touched by the Hand of God.

And Kathy Bigelow directed it.
posted by Skygazer at 10:03 PM on February 11, 2010


Bill Paxton is the only person to be killed by an Alien, a Predator and a Terminator.
posted by Brainy at 11:00 PM on February 11, 2010 [16 favorites]


It makes a lot of sense that James Cameron's only music video is a nearly 8-minute long post-apocalyptic Western pastiche set to new wave music.
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:10 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is there anything you can't do, Bill Paxton?
posted by saul wright at 12:42 AM on February 12, 2010


Is there anything you can't do, Bill Paxton?

Nope, nothing.

He can even stroll up to a twister buck naked and chuck a bottle of booze at it, and the bottle will never touch the ground.
posted by bwg at 3:38 AM on February 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I still get Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman mixed up.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:48 AM on February 12, 2010


It's now very clear where James Cameron stole the idea for Avatar from.
posted by panboi at 4:52 AM on February 12, 2010


Paxton nailed Paul Reiser's wife during a tornado

Pullman pulled a Dylan Thomas in front of The Fresh Prince and The Fly
posted by pupdog at 4:54 AM on February 12, 2010


I miss that Bill Paxton. Come back to us, Bill! The weird of America need a hero like you!
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:08 AM on February 12, 2010


Bill Paxton is the only person to be killed by an Alien, a Predator and a Terminator.

Lance Henriksen.
posted by Shepherd at 6:08 AM on February 12, 2010


I thought he was the host of The Soup many moons ago?
posted by stormpooper at 6:28 AM on February 12, 2010


Lance was never killed by an Alien. First, he was a ROBUT so he couldn't be properly killed. In any case, all the Alien did to him was render him not very functional, but he could still talk. He was finally "killed" when Ripley bashed him to "death" with a blunt instrument.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:51 AM on February 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Bill Paxton was also featured on the cover of The Chet EP by Corrupted Morals.
posted by battleshipkropotkin at 7:57 AM on February 12, 2010


I don't know if we can really describe some of this stuff as extracurrcicular, assume by "curricular" you mean his work as a Hollywood actor. Prior to that, he was a set dresser, and a lot of these projects originated around that time. Acting, at that moment, would have been extracurricular.

I know it's sort of pedantic, but I like his early career course. It's sort of fun to imagine the time in Paxton's life when he was dressing sets, and meeting Hollywood weirdos, and offering to direct and star in their music videos, and it just sort of all snowballed from there.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:44 AM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bishop doesn't get killed by an alien.
posted by Artw at 9:20 AM on February 12, 2010


(or what ROU_Xenophobe said)
posted by Artw at 9:21 AM on February 12, 2010


ROU_Xenophobe : Lance was never killed by an Alien.

I fucking love the fact that I've had this very same (albeit somewhat more heated) conversation with people.

It should be noted, just for the sake of doing so, that Lance and Bill were also both vampires who died trying to kill that one dude from Heroes.
posted by quin at 10:03 AM on February 12, 2010


Brainy: Paxton is the only person to be killed by an Alien, a Predator and a Terminator.

Three terrifying creatures from the deep recesses of man's worst nightmare.


And three wives on Big Love.

Hmmmm....

Huh




?

Well..um.

.....

Nahh....that's crazy. I've barely watched the show, but those three wives on Big Love couldn't be a response to those three ultra-phallic-like monster metaphors, could they?

/plate of beans over think-gasm.
posted by Skygazer at 11:11 AM on February 12, 2010


The APC is not a Dodge Charger. Similar lines though.
posted by Artw at 11:16 AM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pulling some crap in front of the white car: Mark Motheresbaugh???
Under the striped Parasol: Sigourney Weaver?? (she seems tall enough)

Man, I Love the 80's...
posted by djrock3k at 11:48 AM on February 12, 2010


Man, I Love the 80's...
posted by djrock3k


Me too. And here's a song from back when living in that present was fetishized and celebrated and it made you feel like a complete nihilistic badass, and not like jumping off'n a bridge.
posted by Skygazer at 2:00 PM on February 12, 2010


>>>Does that make any sense?
posted by Skygazer at 2:07 PM on February 12, 2010


Truly bizarre: From the Wiki, "Paxton was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of Mary Lou (née Gray) and John Lane Paxton, who was a businessman, a lumber wholesaler..."

I was trying to find something called Paxbond glue a couple months ago. It apparently came from Paxton Lumber in Fort Worth. What a weird personal connection.....
posted by Doohickie at 3:05 PM on February 13, 2010


Wow. I own Holy Cow on CD (bought as a cutout in '90 or so if I remember correctly), and am pretty sure I know which box to go to and lay my hands on it.

I actually still have not just the CD, but the longbox it came in. It's in a separate room from the Max Headroom Show episode with the "Labouring Man" video, in order to prevent the accidental creation of some freakish '80s singularity.

The "Reach" video finally got a commercial release on a Sire Records retrospective set a few years ago, making it eligible for inclusion in the IMDB. Someone needs to get that added...Cameron's "Director" section is a little thin.
posted by Lazlo at 5:47 PM on February 13, 2010


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