July 11th, 2008

love2

The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo

Here is a long and twisted tale. Perhaps much of the information is of the "Well, duh!" variety, but for me it was a pretty neat little path of discovery of worthless trivia.

When I first met albear, he was living on Pico Blvd in L.A. He would sometimes start singing a song "Pico and Sepulveda." I had never heard it before. Finally he found a version of it on YouTube. The song was originally done back in the 40's. The video that he showed me looked like something out of the 40's, but it also had a modern flair. Al discovered that the clip was from the movie, "The Forbidden Zone" done in 1980. He burned me a copy which I finally got around to watching last night. It is a very bizarre movie to say the least. I can see why it has become a cult classic.

I recognized some of the songs in the movie as coming from the 80's alternative group Oingo Boingo. They were very big when I was going to college. You would always hear "Dead Man's Party" on any Friday or Saturday if you were anywhere near Frat Row. That song was also used in a few movies including Rodney Dangerfield's "Back to School" which also came out right at that time. The lead singer of the group was this funky looking guy with buggy eyes.

"The Forbidden Zone" was directed by Richard Elfman. That last name certainly rang a bell. I wonder if he was related to Danny Elfman who composed LOTS of movie music including the theme song from "The Simpsons." As Johnny Depp is the preferred actor for director Tim Burton, Danny is the preferred musician for his movies. It turns out that Danny and Richard are brothers. It also happens that Danny had a part in the movie. Everything finally came together when I saw that Danny was that buggy-eyed lead singer for Oingo Boingo.

So I did a bunch of wikipedia-ing and YouTubing last night looking at all kinds of weird Oingo Boingo stuff knowing that that lead singer was not just some has-been but is actually now one of the most influential composers in Hollywood. Unfortunately the original "Pico and Sepulveda" movie has been removed. There is a different version floating around now. I did find, however, a clip of Oingo Boing performing on "The Gong Show." It's pretty awesome including a "fursuiter." Have a look!