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Legs & Co do Jonathan Richman
October 13, 2010 5:24 PM   Subscribe

Two minutes of worlds colliding: Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers' Roadrunner and Egyptian Reggae, as interpreted by house dance troupe Legs & Co. on Top of the Pops.
posted by item (31 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Very nice, though I must admit my favorite Legs & Co. moment was their interpretation of the Sex Pistols.
posted by scody at 5:36 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I can't find a clip of them doing 'Pretty Vacant', only clips of two crap post-Rotten songs.
posted by item at 5:38 PM on October 13, 2010


The Egyptian Reggae clip is what my dreams look like every friggin' night. Victor Buono is usually laughing in the background, and I'm dressed up as Robin.

As to 'Roadrunner,' I'm glad Legs & Co. kept their fingerprints off my imagination by a) not using either the iconic John Cale or the original Kim Fowley productions and b) accepting that there's not much else to be done other than shake back and forth and chew gum while dressed as an Australian's nightmare.
posted by Kinbote at 5:45 PM on October 13, 2010


No dancing, but I've always loved the Sex Pistols "cover" of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers' Roadrunner.

I donno the words!
posted by R. Mutt at 5:47 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Holy shit, someone found a way for me to be interested in Jonathan Richman!
posted by Greg Nog at 5:56 PM on October 13, 2010


I donno the words!

"do we know any other fuckin' people's songs we can do?"
posted by scody at 5:58 PM on October 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Expected them to break into Sister Ray lyrics, since it's exactly the same riff and I keep expecting "I'm searching for my mainer," which seems like something they'd be more likely to know..
posted by Maias at 6:15 PM on October 13, 2010


It's a bit sad that the best dancing in either clip is that of the pantomime camel.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:15 PM on October 13, 2010


Hey, that steering wheel is on the wrong side!
posted by layceepee at 6:26 PM on October 13, 2010


i really like the way that totally didn't work - it says something about the integrity and completely personal nature of richman's work. the shit is just highly resistant to appropriation of any kind - parodic or appreciative.
posted by facetious at 6:30 PM on October 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Expected them to break into Sister Ray lyrics, since it's exactly the same riff and I keep expecting "I'm searching for my mainer," which seems like something they'd be more likely to know..

The lyric is '...searching for my mainline'. What's a mainer? A resident of Maine? What would they be more likely to know that than? To quote Richman: 'I'm so confused'.
posted by item at 6:40 PM on October 13, 2010


Whoa... The Solid Gold Dancers, except British.

The Intarwebz; where your youthful mistakes will never, EVER die.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:41 PM on October 13, 2010


That dancing camel is the silliest and best thing in the world. More of that, please.
posted by swellingitchingbrain at 6:46 PM on October 13, 2010


back a little further in time, Pan's People take interpretative dance to new heights...

my mate's elder brother claimed to have gone out with one of them, but i never verified this. at the time i remember being more excited by marc bolan. i was always a bit disappointed when they came on, and legs and co were even worse. and then there was, um, ruby flipper...
posted by peterkins at 6:56 PM on October 13, 2010


They cut the last minute off of Roadrunner, which is probably the best of the entire song... unreal.
posted by inthe80s at 7:08 PM on October 13, 2010


What's a mainer?

It's a Mondegreen.

Those videos just reminded me of how desperate we were for decent entertainment back in the late 70s. And even a nice Jonathan Richman song would be put back into media packaging that was the exact crap we were running away from.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:23 PM on October 13, 2010


Damn. I want to see them do Pablo Picasso. No, really.
posted by gamera at 7:50 PM on October 13, 2010


Almost as good as The Juul Haalmeyer Dancers.
posted by ovvl at 7:53 PM on October 13, 2010


I liked Legs & Co, but for me Pans People were better.
posted by Webbster at 8:23 PM on October 13, 2010


i really like the way that totally didn't work - it says something about the integrity and completely personal nature of richman's work. the shit is just highly resistant to appropriation of any kind - parodic or appreciative.

The Jazz Butcher and Sloan covers of Road Runner and Dignified and Old are pretty good.
posted by juiceCake at 8:31 PM on October 13, 2010


Expected them to break into Sister Ray lyrics

Oh, Jonathan does that in another song.
posted by Spatch at 9:07 PM on October 13, 2010


"Roadrunner" should be the song that the Red Sox play after a home win-- "Dirty Water" doesn't work. The Standells were from the West Coast, and the Charles isn't even that dirty anymore. They should even use the version in the video-- I'd love to see 36,000 white, suburban Sox fans sing "I fell in love with Mattapan..."
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:11 PM on October 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


That "Roadrunner" isn't the version I know on the first Modern Lovers album. Where's it from? (Here's where I admit I do not own all five billion Jonathan Richman discs.)
posted by daev at 9:23 PM on October 13, 2010


It was only quite recently that I learned that Joan Jett didn't write Roadrunner. But I think her version is much more interesting
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:40 PM on October 13, 2010


That was OK, but Legs and Co were no Wilson, Kepple and Betty.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:47 PM on October 13, 2010


I don't know about that. I just popped in to say they look much like Wilson, Keppel, and a whole lot of Bettys would look if transported 40 years into the future. That camel was pretty good.

However, the species of the camel in the dance was Bactrian (two humps), while an Egyptian camel -- even a reggae-dancing Egyptian camel -- would almost certainly have been dromedary (one hump). Is a more realistic Egyptian reggae-dancing camel too much for one to expect?
posted by pracowity at 1:38 AM on October 14, 2010


The lyric is '...searching for my mainline'. What's a mainer? A resident of Maine? What would they be more likely to know that than? To quote Richman: 'I'm so confused'.

Maine's in New England, the Modern Lovers had a song called New England?

Maybe?

Also, Jonathan now has songs about Vermeer and Keith Richards. Which are both lovely.
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:04 AM on October 14, 2010


As a Brit who was 18 in 1977 I would just like to say that back then we regarded Pans People and Legs & Co as being on the same level of uncool as our parents. Yes, that bad. So very bad that now, all these years later, I cannot even appreciate these videos ironically. They're every bit as toe-curlingly embarrassing as we found them at the time.
posted by Decani at 4:56 AM on October 14, 2010


I've always loved the Sex Pistols "cover" of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers' Roadrunner .

posted by R. Mutt at 1:47 AM on October 14


A truly magnificent cover, superseded in splendour only by the masterful re-imagining of Johnny B. Goode that precedes it.

Oh fuck it, it's awful. I hate songs like that.
posted by Decani at 5:00 AM on October 14, 2010


Actually, it's both. He says "mainer" and "mainline" if you listen to the song closely, as I have done many, many times. Junkie shorthand exists!
posted by Maias at 12:52 PM on October 14, 2010


Junkie shorthand exists!

Ms. Fiend, I've had it up to here with our suppliers. Can you grab your notepad and take some dictation?

Letter to: D. Man, Straw Hat Pharmaceutical Distribution Services, 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, Harlem, New York.

Dear Mr Man,

As you know, my company has done business with your firm for many years now. However, we really must write and express our dissatisfaction at the length of time that our buyers are being kept waiting at your retail outlets. The first thing that anyone learns when entering into this business is that delays are sometimes inevitable, but this is the era of the mobile phone. Couldn't you call or send a text?

Like you, we're a small firm, dependent on high turnover and low profit margins. The longer our sales representatives are tied up hanging around at your premises, the more business we lose. And the more business we lose, the less capital we have to invest in inventory with you.

As I said, our respective firms have been doing business many long years now, and we've always been happy in respect of the quality and price of the product that you supply. However, these delays in supply are getting to be beyond a joke. Other suppliers have been aggressively seeking our business of late, and unless you can assure me that you'll address this issue as a matter of some urgency, we may well be obliged to explore other alternatives.

Yours, etc.

Lou.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:16 AM on October 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


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