Writers: Rivers Cuomo
Producer: Ric Ocasek
Released: September 7th 1994
So I have an enormous confession to make right off the bat, I was all prepared to say I wasn’t that familiar with Weezers song’s but absolutely loved Teenage Dirtbag, there is a flaw to my thinking as all you audiophiles know… Teenage Dirtbag was in fact written and performed by Wheatus. Very embarassing and another good reason to do suitable research before writing your blog entry (although I’ve declared it now so I still look a bit of an idiot, however I will lay blame firmly at the door of nationality). I can be forgiven slightly though as they both belong to the ‘Power Pop’ genre of the late 90’s early 00’s. Anyway can I garner some street cred back by saying I’ve heard of Buddy Holly?? Ok I’ll get my coat…. lets listen to the track….
I know I have listened to Weezer’s music before, I think my ex-brother-in-law use to listen to them a lot when we were all in high school together. I am also pretty sure the band at my favorite local dive bar (“The Dublin Pub”, for all your Portlandites) plays Weezer cover songs regularly. All of that being said, I would have to conduct some proper YouTube searches to remember what they actually sing, something about “Beverly Hills” springs to mind. While I can’t remember their individual songs, a name like “Weezer” is difficult to forget. I am curious to know if I do recognize this particular song, I am assuming so if it has made this list. The name “Buddy Holly” doesn’t bring a chorus to the forefront of my memory; in fact all it makes me recall is that the real Buddy Holly died in a plane crash with Ritchie Valens many years ago….
It is not shocking to say that I have in fact heard this song before, as soon as the chorus hit I remembered it clearly. I am glad to be watching the music videos on YouTube for this particular top 500 list as well. As soon as I saw that this video had over 15 million views I knew it deserved a spot on the list. The video itself is brilliant, modeling itself as part of a “Happy Days” show. (I wonder if Brit Boy has even heard of Happy Days and the “Fonz” before, did this show make it across the pond?)
I also found the video during my research and I agree that the video was excellent and was really “stand out” for 19 years ago. To digress I have indeed heard of the Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, and I have seen maybe a couple of episodes. However it really stands out in my mind for two main reasons the first was the infamous “jump the shark” episode. For those of you who aren’t aware of this, to quote wikipedia:
Jumping the shark is an idiom created by Jon Hein that was used to describe the moment in the evolution of a television show when it begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery, which is usually a particular scene, episode, or aspect of a show in which the writers use some type of “gimmick” in a desperate attempt to keep viewers’ interest.
The phrase jump the shark comes from a scene in the fifth season premiere episode of the American TV series Happy Days titled “Hollywood: Part 3”, written by Fred Fox, Jr., which aired on September 20, 1977. In the episode, the central characters visit Los Angeles, where a water-skiing Fonzie (Henry Winkler) answers a challenge to his bravery by wearing swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket, and jumping over a confined shark. The stunt was created as a way to showcase Winkler’s real-life water ski skills.
The second reason was from Fonz and the Happy Days Gang a cartoon where the gang traveled through history in a time-machine, with the Fonz’s dog Mr. Cool… Maybe my reference points are not the wholesome American answer you were looking for but at least I’d heard of it 😉
Regardless, the Happy Days spoof is a great fit with this song. It has the feel of something from the 50’s, yet I also have memories of dancing along to this song and singing aloud with a beer in hand when I was in my 20’s. It definitely has an ageless feel to it, and I imagine it crosses many social classes. I must say the lyrics themselves leave something to be desired, but when a song has a great beat and is easy to sing along to, who really cares…
Another great song with undertones of Nirvana and Sonic Youth, not surprising as they all belonged to the same alternative rock stable created by David Geffen (DGC records). All be it not as guttural and earthy as Nirvana they have that distinctive baseline, associated with that genre. The lyrics all be it not particularly meaningful are very catchy and have you singing along after the second chorus.
Oo-ee-oo I look just like Buddy Holly
Oh-oh, and you’re Mary Tyler Moore
I don’t care what they say about us anyway
I don’t care bout that
It is a very happy song and does have me smiling while I listen and type, even if the suggested undertones are about a nerdy couple getting picked on by a gang of youth’s, but resolute in being themselves.
This makes me wonder if Buddy Holly and Mary Tyler Moore really did date, according to Google they did not…. So alas, this is really a song about nothing. But if you want to sing out loud in a drunken stupor with a bunch of other bar flies and bounce up and down, this is your song. (I should also mention, that Weezer did in fact sing “Beverly Hills”, and in case you were wondering that video is based at the playboy mansion, and Hugh Heffner even makes a few appearances with some of his “bunnies”.)
I think I was a little lacking in my research, playboy bunnies you say…. hmmm… maybe I need to be more thorough next time……
Hey Mr Cool…….