Cruising through the channels Saturday evening, we ran into a Hee Haw marathon. It’d been a long time since either of us had seen it, so I stopped, to make sure it was as dumb as I remembered. It was! It was a late-80’s episode, and it, uh, sucked: the music was lame, the mega-hick jokes were dumb, the sketches were mercifully short, but still managed to drag – twenty seconds of Minnie Pearl and the poofy-hair bimbos is fifteen too many. But the strange part was a segment where Roy Clark is on stage with his guitar, along with another guy who’s holding a Roland G707 guitar synth:
… on Hee Haw.
Other Guy plays some synth-orchestra sounds. Roy’s all like “WTF?”. Then O.G. plays some kind of flutey stuff, showing off what his toy can do. Roy looks like “Yeah, that great. Do I really have to do this? Yeah? Fuck. OK, let’s get it over with,” and starts Duelling Banjos. O.G. fiddles with his foot pedals for a bit, then joins in with this kind of cheesy synth-Jew’s-harp sound – twang, twang, plink, ploink, twang. It was like two different performances: Roy’s tearing the hell out of that song (wow, was he good); but O.G. sounds like he’s playing the soundtrack to some lame-ass fishing game for NES. Strange shit.
And, speaking of music on TV, MTV is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary Aug 1st. So, VH1 Classic has been showing the first hour of MTV all week. Watching it, I noticed something I’m surprised I never noticed before: Britain was pretty gloomy in the early 80’s – or at least the people who made videos for British bands wanted everyone to think of it that way. I hope it’s cheered-up a bit since then.