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It's Not a Big Motorcycle, Just a Groovy Little Motorbike
April 7, 2010 7:06 PM   Subscribe

You might dismiss Little Honda by the Hondells as an infectious by-product of Grey Advertising's legendary 1962 "You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda" ad campaign. It's actually a Brian Wilson original, later recorded by The Beach Boys, and shares an eerie connection with the Jan & Dean classic Dead Man's Curve. Perhaps its the essence of youth and innocence captured by this corny little composition that inspires Yo La Tengo's contemporary covers.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
shares an eerie connection

I'll say: Glen Campbell.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:46 PM on April 7, 2010


"Hello Dublin! We're Yo La Tengo. We're going to do a little song here that Chinese Jet Pilot seems to think is "corny" but which Faze thinks is better than any song we ever wrote, or for that matter, better than about 87 percent of all the songs written in our generation or later. Faze, of course, is right about most things, so right after we do our crappy version of this great song, we're going to go out and kill ourselves. Thank you.... Uh-one, uh-two, uh-three..."
posted by Faze at 8:04 PM on April 7, 2010


Little Deuce Coupe! You don't know what I got.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:07 PM on April 7, 2010


The original sounds so very much like the Beach Boys that I always thought the Hondells were a sock puppet. The ad campaign was brilliant. Didn't know about the Jan & Dean connection, though.
posted by jet_silver at 8:09 PM on April 7, 2010


Oh yeah, and any discussion of influential musicians whoring themselves for Honda scooters would be incomplete without this.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:11 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Also, also, also, also.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:15 PM on April 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


That Hondell's video was one of the best things I've seen on the internet all day. This is really a nice post. I never woulda guessed, an interesting Metafilter post on "Little Honda." Always liked the Beach Boys version, thanks for the backstory.
posted by marxchivist at 8:19 PM on April 7, 2010


This Beach Boys Lost concert stuff I keep running into on Youtube is pretty goddamn fun to watch.
posted by marxchivist at 8:25 PM on April 7, 2010


I actually heard the YLT version first, and it's still my favorite.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:01 PM on April 7, 2010


One of my friends said she saw a baby at the post office yesterday who looked exactly like Ira from Yo La Tengo. Perhaps a new theme blog is in order?
posted by Houyhnhnm at 4:04 AM on April 8, 2010


Peripherally related; in 1970 I watched the concert movie "Woodstock" in a theater in Tokyo. When Sly and the Family Stone were singing "I want to, I want to, I want to take you higher!" the English and presumably Japanese subtitles claimed he was singing, "A motor, a motor, a motorcycle Honda, will take you higher!" Honda's marketing tentacles penetrate deeply my friends.
posted by Standeck at 6:42 AM on April 8, 2010


One of my friends said she saw a baby at the post office yesterday who looked exactly like Ira from Yo La Tengo. Perhaps a new theme blog is in order?

I've always thought he bore a striking resemblance to Garry Shandling.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:03 AM on April 8, 2010


This may come as a shock, but The Hondells were basically a studio band put together around a gimmick, and the gimmick was Honda. Their album also had songs called "Hon-da Beach Party" and "Haulin' Honda."

later recorded by The Beach Boys

According to Wikipedia The Beach Boys version had already been released on All Summer Long, which makes the cover the same year a little strange.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:34 AM on April 8, 2010


It's a great little song, by the way. I'm surprised, however, that Honda didn't just ask Brian Wilson to rewrite "Help Me, Rhonda" as "Help Me, Honda" instead.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:00 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


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