Saturday, November 12, 2022

Mini Skirts, Mocking Hippies, and Yūzō Kayama - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Sunchoke"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM started with a cover of The Kinks' All Day and All of The Night as performed by The Knickerbockers. You've heard The Knickerbockers cover another song, The Kingsmen's Jolly Green Giant, on the episode Apricot and if you take a look at their catalogue, most of their songs are covers, with the one major exception being their hit single Lies which could easily be mistaken for a Beatles B-side. 

The group formed in Bergenfield, New Jersey which has consistently been rated as one of the safest cities in the U.S. If that's not exciting enough for you, Bergenfield is also known for being the town where George Gately spent his youth. Gately was a cartoonist that's best known for his comic strip Heathcliff aka the other orange cat that's not Garfield. Around the time The Knickerbockers formed, Gately was kicking off his comic career with a strip known as Hapless Harry.

Following the wordless Harry, Gately started a strip named Hippy, which was a single panel strip that followed the life of a flower child named...well, Hippy. The main jokes in Hippy revolved around how hippies were smelly, or lazy, or stupid, etc. etc. For the most part the comic uses the same formula: a dirty beatnik or hippie says or does something stupid and Hippy reacts in a confused or oblivious manner. 

 

The comic was fairly unfunny and was only published in a small market leading it to become a mere footnote in history. Stripper's Guide, an amazing blog featuring information on various obscure comic strips, has a small article about Hippy and you can find some panels on a Twitter thread by Pop Arena

As the show went on, I played a strange novelty song by Minnie and The Kneebones titled: Me and My Mini Skirt. There is some confusion about the origins of the song because there is another version which appears to be slightly sped up with different background vocals. This version of the song is credited to Karen Young and The Knee Caps. Both versions are silly and reflect the taboos of the era and I can't say which one I prefer. If you want to hear Karen Young's version, I suggest checking out her interesting performance of the song on an unnamed French television show. After watching Young flail and shimmy, if you still find yourself in the miniskirt mood, there's a contemporaneous documentary about the history of the miniskirt uploaded onto YouTube by PeriscopeFilm.

Towards the latter half of the show, you heard a surf instrumental by Yūzō Kayama and The Ranchers named Black Sand Beach. Besides playing guitar, Yūzō Kayama is known for acting in popular films that are collectively known as the Wakadaishō series. The films follow Kayama's athletic endeavors with each film focusing on a different sport. The movies appear to be romantic comedies and there are about 17 including one named Campus A Go Go which follows the protagonist as he not only masters American Football but also horseback riding while simultaneously being a guitar master. I believe this is where Black Sand Beach comes from. The movies have been pretty much impossible for me to find without buying and importing them from Japan or using some hackery to stream from Japan only streaming services. Perhaps one day I'll be able to track them down and if I do, I'll be sure to write some reviews.

That's it for this episode's summary! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through KUCR.org, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


 

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