Smooth Music Jesus made me do this
July 1, 2015 12:24 PM   Subscribe

An oral history of Yacht Rock.

And in case you need to catch up on your Yacht Rock...

1. "What a Fool Believes"
While Michael McDonald struggles to prove his worth to his Doobie Brothers bandmates, Kenny Loggins attempts to heal his friendship with Jim Messina.

2. "Keep the Fire"
Loggins and McDonald square off against Hall and Oates in a back alley songwriting duel. When tragedy strikes, a young Christopher Cross (Justin Roiland) reminds everyone of the power of extremely smooth music.

3. "I'm Alright"
Harold Ramis and Steve Perry tempt Loggins to the hard side.

4. "Rosanna"
Steve Porcaro concocts an elaborate plan to get Michael McDonald singing backup on a Toto track. (Includes footage from this SCTV sketch.)

5. "Believe in It"
Michael Jackson's unholy partnership with Eddie Van Halen threatens to destroy smooth music for a generation.

6. "Big Rapids" Gary's Tales of Significant History: "The Seed Drill"
While peasant William Anderson struggles to prove his worth to his liege lord, flautist and agricultural pioneer Jethro Tull attempts to heal his friendship with Jack-in-the-Green, a fertility spirit.

7. "I Keep Forgettin'"
McDonald makes a wager with Loggins over the performance of his new single. Ten years later, Warren G and Nate Dogg hit McDonald with their car.

8. "Gino (the Manager)"
1975: Doobie Brothers producer Ted Templeman (Dan Harmon) has a portentuous dream about a hirsute seal who wears the crown of smooth music. The next day, he's introduced to a young man named Michael McDonald...

9. "Runnin' with the Devil"
When Templeman refuses to produce Van Halen's debut album, David Lee Roth curses him to experience extreme pain whenever he hears McDonald's voice. Kenny Loggins loses his TransAm keys.

10. "FM"
Steely Dan gets into a blood feud with the Eagles.

11. "Footloose"
When Jimmy Buffett abducts Kenny Loggins, only Michael McDonald and James Ingram (Wyatt Cenac) can rescue him from the Parrothead compound. Jason Lee guest-stars as Kevin Bacon.

12. "Danger Zone"
Giorgio Moroder comes to earth seeking smooth music to save his homeworld. But does the fire of smoothness still burn in 1985?
posted by Iridic (26 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
people oft wonder what people used to do before the internet. Yacht Rock covers most of it, I figure.
posted by philip-random at 12:34 PM on July 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


Wow, I would have said it was at least a couple of years older than 2005. I think that means I'm the one who's older than they think.
posted by rhizome at 12:40 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


"What do 30-year-olds do? I feel like it's time I get into Steely Dan."

OMG I love this.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 12:42 PM on July 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was thinking at first that this was an oral history of, you know, actual yacht rock with Michael McDonald interviews, etc. I was hoping that they were going to mention the channel 101 series. But this? This is better than I could have dreamed.

Also, holy crap 10 years.
posted by sleeping bear at 12:43 PM on July 1, 2015


I think the time has finally come for my "The Oral History of Oral Histories" series to commence.
posted by item at 12:44 PM on July 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think the time has finally come for my "The Oral History of Oral Histories" series to commence.

[Raises pistol to head with trembling hand]
posted by ryanshepard at 12:47 PM on July 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


philip-random: "people oft wonder what people used to do before the internet. Yacht Rock covers most of it, I figure."

Coke and boats! Coke and boats!
posted by boo_radley at 12:47 PM on July 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


greatest thing ever. The end.
posted by C.A.S. at 12:48 PM on July 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


"I want to say it was, what, June? Late June, let's say. And item posted this comment saying it was time to try an 'Oral History of Oral Histories.' I didn't think much of it at the time, but that was how it all started. That was the beginning. Christ, we were so young."
-Iridic, quoted in An Oral History of Oral Histories of Oral Histories of Oral Histories of Oral Histories of Oral Histories.

posted by Iridic at 12:52 PM on July 1, 2015 [19 favorites]


McDonald makes a wager with Loggins over the performance of his new single. Ten years later, Warren G and Nate Dogg hit McDonald with their car.

Yacht Rock solved one of the deep abiding questions of my early 20s.

Thanks, Yacht Rock!
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:54 PM on July 1, 2015


This is so great, I haven't seen these in years, I remember loving them so much-- like the guys who made it I'm a fan of this kind of music but also recognize how absurd the whole scene seemed to be.

I remember watching this on Real Player! It wasn't on YouTube, or maybe YouTube didn't exist yet? Or I was just dumb?
posted by cell divide at 1:00 PM on July 1, 2015


I love Yacht Rock so much. Sheer genius.
posted by Nevin at 1:05 PM on July 1, 2015


I like a lot of this stuff, but don't have any particular emotional attachment to it beyond this one:

Every year on Labor Day weekend for about as long as I've lived in Chicago, I've gone to a party two friends of mine throw that has: 1) A pretty goddam great cover band of this kind of stuff 2) them DJing even more of it 3) an open bar. The kicker: It's on an actual goddam boat.

But wait: 2 or 3 years after I started going, the dry docked Historicalâ„¢ boat they'd been renting for it stopped letting non-members of the harbor association or whatever rent space on it.

Solution: Just switch to renting out one of the actual dang sailing party boats that do circles around Navy Pier all the time.

People do "dress the part," and some even come in slightly more elaborate things, but none of the enjoyment of the music is ironic. It's always a very lovely vibe even before everyone gets completely plastered. The weather's been beautiful every year I've gone to date and I end up with pictures like these: 1 2 3 4

Obviously Labor Day weekend is a common "end of summer" marker for people, and it is for me too, but of the parties that tend to happen that weekend, I usually end up weirdly emotional at that one in particular. Also drunk. But not too drunk. I've got another party to go to after the boat one.
posted by sparkletone at 1:07 PM on July 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Man, Steve Huey is still completely hilarious.
posted by koeselitz at 1:09 PM on July 1, 2015


For those in the Boston area, the Loyal Nine in East Cambridge has been hosting Yacht Rock Sundays with tasty food and thematically named cocktails to go along with a smooth soundtrack.
posted by Jasper Fnorde at 1:29 PM on July 1, 2015


For those in the Boston area, the Loyal Nine in East Cambridge has been hosting Yacht Rock Sundays with tasty food and thematically named cocktails to go along with a smooth soundtrack.

A bulimic's dream!
posted by item at 1:33 PM on July 1, 2015


Holy shit, re-watching this a decade later, there are so many familiar comedy faces in it that I didn't know back then. Look at baby James Adomian!
posted by saladin at 1:38 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


The best thing about the series is that it accurately captures the true evil of Dan Ankroyd.
posted by drezdn at 1:58 PM on July 1, 2015


Metafilter: I didn't think much of it at the time, but that was how it all started.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 2:05 PM on July 1, 2015


I had a non-speaking background role in Yacht Rock and I consider it one of my greatest achievements.
posted by TheClonusHorror at 3:13 PM on July 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh god, the one with Jimmy Buffet... must rewatch...

Relevant Crap From The Past tributes:
Yacht Rock, Part 1
Yacht Rock, Part 2
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 3:27 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the time has finally come for my "The Oral History of Oral Histories" series to commence.

Yes. I have been wondering if it is time to declare Peak Oral History. This Yacht Rock thing is a clear signal.
posted by thelonius at 4:01 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Whining about "oral histories" is the new "is this something I'd need a television to understand?"
posted by koeselitz at 4:39 PM on July 1, 2015


Having now watched this, Drew Hancock really nailed John Oates.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:10 PM on July 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I bristle at the thought of Steely Dan being lumped in with Yacht Rock, but it was deeply satisfying to watch Donald and Walter beat the Eagles with bats.
posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 7:17 PM on July 1, 2015


I totally agree oozy rat. But that "FM" chapter was surely one of the most inanely hilarious things I've ever seen on the interwebs. ("OK, "Take 597") to McDonald in the studio -- great stuff.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 7:46 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


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