Sunday, February 28, 2010

Six Degrees of Fish Heads

This is not a timely entry - the chain of events and songs-in-my-head described herein happened months ago, but I've been wrestling with how to present the tale. Unfortunately, I'm not skilled enough in web design to give you the presentation I had envisioned, which would have involved the linking of images in a flowchart to their relevant examples somewhere on the World Wide Web. Instead, please draw your attention to the two-dimensional flowchart below. Click on the image to enlarge it so's to maximize legibility.

Now in linear form, with links: A while back, a Facebook friend of mine, Lia, wrote on my wall to let me know that Del Shannon's "Runaway" was in her head. (I always appreciate hearing what songs are in your heads, dear readers!)

 The clavioline* bridge in "Runaway" led me to get the Lost in Space theme song stuck in my head. Well, one of the Lost in Space theme songs.** From there, I was inspired, while still on YouTube, to look up Billy Mumy, who played Will Robinson on Lost in Space. I'd heard at some point or other that he'd become a musician, in a career trajectory not unlike Brandon Cruz, another sixties child star who went on to front several irreverent punk bands. Some of you out there may have known this already, but in fact, Bill Mumy was one half of the art-wave/novelty duo Barnes & Barnes, most famous for this Dr. Demento staple:

 And there you have it. This, in sum, is how my friend Lia led me to get "Fish Heads" stuck in my head, and to make the realization, for the first time, that little Billy Mumy was responsible for it. If only I had mad web design skills and could have conveyed this convoluted story to you when it was still au courant. Shouts out to Lia! Artist (Runaway): Dell Shannon Year: 1961 Rating: Warm Artist (Lost In Space Theme): John Williams Year: c. 1967 Rating: Warm Artist (Fish Heads): Barnes & Barnes Year: 1978 Rating: Luke Hot * No, I did not know the name of this instrument until embarking on this tangential internet search ** The other Lost in Space theme song goes like this.