Long live rock, I need it every night

Monday, July 28, 2008

Devil Music

Hey, remember when Satan was big? It seems like the Lord Deceiver used to be everywhere in rock music. Now that rock has wussified to the point where we're "rocking out" to such wimpy-assed bands as Fleet Foxes, Beezlebub has moved on to other things.

I don't even think Lucifer's involved in heavy metal, anymore. Sorry, I forgot about Black Metal. But the exception proves the rule, doesn't it? The Prince of Lies used to dominate the 1980s, just like the Los Angeles Lakers. Now He's been marginalized to Scandinavia. Bummer. We could all use some blood drinking, orgies, and sacrifices these days.

I bring this up because I was reminiscing with my older sister a few weeks ago. We didn't get along so well but we did share some good times in front of the television, and one of our favorite shows was CHiPs. One classic episode we loved was "Rock Devil Rock." CHiPs always dealt with the big issues and this episode was no exception. Here's the clip:

Now, that clip is ten minutes long, and I realize most of you don't have time to watch it, so I'll summarize the best parts for you:

  • 0:00 - 1:30: Intro to show with clips previewing the episode. Satanic rock star "Moloch" played by Donny Most, better known as Ralph Malph on "Happy Days." Moloch paints his face, like Kiss. Guest appearance by Elvira. Ponch and John shown enjoying their off time. At 1:09 John is shown playing volleyball on the beach while wearing a Speedo. Cool theme music. Shows today need better intro music. I could be tempted to watch "Grey's Anatomy" if it had a good theme song.
  • 1:30: Moloch is playing an outdoor concert. Here's a unique twist--he drives his car behind the stage, jumps out, and starts the show. His car is a hearse with "666" painted on it. First song--"Devil Take Me". Sample lyrics: Moloch was "born to sin", and "heaven's the pits." Provocative stuff.
  • 3:10: Pro- and anti-Moloch protestors trade insults while the chick CHiP and others try to keep them separate.
  • 4:25: Moloch ends first song, drinks gas, breathes flame. This dude's for real.
  • 4:54: Wait, Moloch just jumped in his hearse and took off. Only one song? And where's he going, anyway? Regardless of his reasons for leaving, Ponch and John have to escort him because he has a lot of enemies due to his love for Satan.
  • 5:50: Moloch's shyster manager and assistant chat about Moloch, who they see as a "rising young star." The assistant looks like Sacklunch, with a tight jewfro and beard.
  • 6:20: Moloch pops a cassette into the car stereo. It's the new hit song "Devil Take Me," by Moloch. I bet most bands listen to themselves when they're alone. But wait--the music stops, and an ominous voice breaks in--"MOLOCH MUST DIE..." Brakes fail, smoke fills car, Moloch panicking, etc, etc. We've all been there.
  • 7:46: Ponch, after seeing the car fill with smoke and accelerate past him, with Moloch's screams trailing behind it, pulls up to Moloch's passenger window and asks, "what's the matter?" Hmmm.
  • 8:48: Ponch executes a textbook pull-up-beside-an-out-of-control-vehicle-on-your- motorcycle-and-climb-in-the-vehicle-while-your-gay-partner-holds your-riderless-motorcycle-and-then-pull-the-other-driver-out-and put-him-on-your motorcycle-then- you-also get-on-the-motorcycle rescue. Shit, that was close. Added complication--Moloch's flowing tunic almost gets caught in the motorcycle gears, which could result in a Jayne Mansfield all over the interstate.
  • 9:15: Car runs off the road, explodes. Dude, Moloch could have been killed.
  • 9:28: Moloch exhibits signs of post traumatic stress.
I'll search for the rest of it and post it later. But to return to my original point, see how big Satan used to be? This show was on prime time. Now look at you, devil. You're nothing.


Jumbo Slice said...

The clip is hysterical. Looking back at that show the acting and production is horrible. And the story is ridiculous. He sings one song and the concert is over? What sort of rock star dives his own car? I especially liked when the car exploded after it came to a stop.

Jimbromski said...

I forgot to add one fact--date episode aired:

October 31, 1982.



Jumbo Slice said...

You have to find the rest of this episode. I must know what happens to Moloch.

Jimbromski said...

In the preview, in the beginning of the clip I posted, you can see Moloch shredding in the studio, then Ponch grabs his microphone, tosses it aside, and jumps over Moloch. The microphone then explodes.

So that's a teaser--the attempts on Moloch's life continue and they include the booby-trapping of his microphone.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Jumboslice, had a known you wanted to know Moloch's fate, I could have retold it on Saturday. It's not fresh in my mind, but any time a beloved HAPPY DAYS cast member crossed over to another show, we were riveted. Plus, we were die-hard CHiPs fans. I liked the one where CHiPs covered Battle of the Network Stars.

That Grossie Grossman, what a card.

Steve said...

The absolute best part of CHiPs episodes was the end of the episode, when the video would suddenly freeze with the characters mid-laugh or mid-cry or whatever, flash some credits, then start playing again for a second, then freeze with more credits, etc etc.

You just don't see that type of visual risk-taking anymore on TV.

Jimbromski said...

Super Zoe, did you really see this one? I thought I was the only one in America watching.

Note that even though Ponch is a loose cannon/renegade-type, it's precisely his unorthodox methods that allow him to rescue Moloch.

Jumbo Slice said...

Steve is right. I specifically remember one episode where Ponch was singing in a night club (why? I have no idea) and they did the mid-laugh freeze frame on each character. So cheesy.

Anonymous said...

To Hell With The Devil, that's what I say.

Anonymous said...

Of course I was watching! For example, in your synopsis I would have said, "Bonnie, played by the blonde beauty Randi Oakes" because Randi Oakes was my hero. She was pretty, got to bust snotty teenagers in vans AND was married in real life to Dr. Gonzo Gates.

Note: MURDER SHE WROTE also liberally used the mid-laugh freeze frame, but not as artfully as ChIPs. They were really the pioneers.

Anonymous said...

Moloch! we are here-