Belinda Carlisle vs. The Wendigo

I was waiting for House to come on and I saw two things that disturbed me.

One: My first year in college, there was a band called The Go-Go's that was just breaking out with a song called "We Got the Beat." They played my college gym and there were about 50 people there. I literally stood a foot from Jane Weidlin, taking pictures. I'm sure she remembers me because as I was rotating my camera for a portrait shot, my elbow slammed into the boom on her microphone, which caused the microphone to make a noise like *POOMP* as it bounced off her teeth. At any rate, my budding photography career was cut short by a giant bouncer with a missing neck, and The Go-Go's went on to become quite famous, whereas I did not.

So what does that have to do with what disturbed me tonight? It is simply this: As I was sitting in front of the television lacing up my sneakers, I discovered that one of their songs has been gang-raped by Papa John's Pizza. Apparently everyone in Papa John's entire pizza-making organization goes around singing "We got the Meat" at the top of their lungs. First, I wouldn't recommend going around singing that to anyone, let alone complete strangers, and second, it made me very sad for a few reasons. (a) I hate when I am obviously a target market (b) Belinda Carlisle must need cash, and (c) I can't stand unoriginal ad agencies whose best and brightest shot is reworked lyrics on an old, classic song. They should be castrated with jagged pieces of broken 45rpm records.

The other thing that disturbed me: There's a big black chick on Idol with a pretty damn fine voice. The only thing is, her name is Mandisa. What the hell kind of name is that? Mandisa? It sounds like some sort of evil Indian Death spirit that you talk about in hushed tones around a fire while grooving on Peyote buttons.

"hear me speak, my son...when the wind howls from the east and the moon is full, do not venture beyond the light of the sacred fire...for on those nights, The Mandisa hunts...and comes for you."

Or maybe something that fights Mothra in one of those old black and white Godzilla films.

I dunno. It also could be that it's a little too close to "Vin Diesel." I keep picturing him standing in the shower singing Chaka Kahn songs.

Aw jeez. Now I'm gonna have nightmares.


  1. Finally someone says what I have been thinking...about these commercials that rip off songs that I love and then associate in my head with a stupid, Stupid, STUPID visual of something being sold. I am so easy it's disgusting!

  2. "They should be castrated with jagged pieces of broken 45rpm records."

    Even I have to admit that's good, it's really good, and you know I sorta hate you (partly because I am old enough to remember what a broken 45 looks like).

    Mandisa is the only one who actually sang well. At least I think so, as an offspring who shall remain nameless puked repeatedly in the middle of that show.

  3. Been lurking for a while now, great blog! Now, onto the business of commenting...

    Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere" has been forever ruined for me by a commercial, can't remember which one though.

    Mandisa, hmmm. I don't watch the show, but doesn't it seem like weird names are abundant around there? Fantasia, Constantine, Bo?

  4. I bow at your feet...forever your servant. So okay, "We Got the Beat" came out when I was about 11, but truly original marketing seems to be nonexistent. They have stolen from every genre and generation to hawk mostly useless and definitely overpriced crap made overseas. I too was disturbed to hear that at Papa John's they've "got the meat". Of course, we have also had to sit uncomfortably through "These bites are made for poppin'" as well. Not that Nancy Sinatra's song was all that great or anything. It seems that Belinda and the Go-Gos are all in need of some money these days since I also heard "Vacation" and "Heaven on Earth" used in commercials. It seems that the agency that pushed this music theft started worked on those Mitsubishi commercials. It seems to have picked up since then. Of course, when I hear "We Got the Beat" I still envision the gals playing in that fountain from the video. I still want to do that before I die...

  5. At least it wasn't "we beat the meat."

  6. or we eat the meat.
    Am I the only one who thinks Jessica Simpson can't sing? But "these bites were made for poppin'" absolutely pushed me right over the edge.
    What happened to originality and creativity?
    I am also not impressed with all the remakes of classic movies.

  7. LMAO! SO true doc and ag! Can you imagine? I agree with the low quality of remakes. And Jessica probably can sing, but she's a bit in love with herself, just like Britney and the rest of the teen queens. When you sell tickets to a show and then lip-synch 3/4 of it because you need to dance through the choreography...surely that deteriorates what little talent you started off with? That's why I'd rather see no names in a dive bar where the beer is cold and the company is warm. Can't hide there...

  8. Jessica probably can sing, but she needs to get rid of the "marilyn monroe" breathiness (is that even a word?). But maybe blowing out instead of in is what caused Nick to vacate.
    I refuse to see the new version of Willy Wonka. Not that I don't like Johnny Depp, but come on! how can they remake such a classic and expect it to top Gene Wilder's performance?

  9. yeah depp just looks...creepy.

    And using zepp to sell a caddy is sacrilege.

    1. I used to think the same about that Caddy commercial, but them I realized...people that were LZ's original audience are probably old and rich and driving Caddys now, so it works out, in a depressing sort of way.

  10. Depp is so totally Edward Scissorhands, not W.W.

    If they ever remake Wiz of Oz, I will lose my freakin' mind.

  11. Every cool song ever written has been ripped off for an effing commercial these days. It's a tragedy.

  12. You know what makes me sad in my pants? That Blondie's "One Way Or Another" is now being used to sell Swiffers.

    Sad Sad Sad.

  13. Oh, btw...We Got The Beat came out on the radio when I was in the 7th grade. Dude.

  14. Yeah, I'm old. I was 19 when that song broke. But I don't act it, so there's that.

  15. actually, I don't know that it is always a case of "selling out" when those songs are raped by the commercial industry. I think that there is a time limit on copy rights when they can become public domain. Same with books and movies. I know that Peter Pan is one exception to the public domain law. They passed the law in England that the copy rights for the book will never expire and the proceeds will always go to the orphange that has recieved them since it was written.

  16. P.S.
    Johnny V, I LOVE your column!!! I should have put this first before sounding like a "Know It All Tool"! I have been reading your column from front to back since I discovered it about a month ago. I couldn't post a comment for a while and even have a list of past posts that I want to comment on. I don't know if you actually read comments on past posts but some of them are sooo funny and just hit me in the right spot. I also have e-mailed them to a lot of friends and family, they are so funny and in are family we have a similar sense off-the-wall humor! I recently lost a close friend of mine and there have been times lately that your posts have been one of the few things to bring a smile to my lips. Thank You, for being "there" and bringing some much needed light in the dark

  17. I do read all comments, even on old posts. Thanks for reading!

  18. PS - it takes a reallly long time for music to become public domain. For works published after 1977, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. However, if the work is a work for hire (that is, the work is done in the course of employment or has been specifically commissioned) or is published anonymously or under a pseudonym, the copyright lasts between 95 and 120 years, depending on the date the work is published.

  19. Vin Diesel singing Chaka Kahn songs???

    That would give me nightmares too!