Monday, September 01, 2014
Cult-TV Theme Watch: Rockers
Rock and roll is here to stay. It will never die.
And proof of that grand statement may just be that rock-and-rollers have appeared for decades on cult-television programming.
Often, famous rock musicians play themselves on hit (or non-hit...) series, and even stick around to perform a hit or too.
Famous rock musicians have appeared on sci-fi and horror programming include Paul Williams, on The Hardy Boys (1977), in the episode "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula," Boy George in the A-Team (1983-1987) story "Cowboy George", and the late Laura Branigan in an episode of Automan (1983) called "Murder MTV."
And the great KISS guest-starred on an episode of Chris Carter's Millennium (1996 - 1999) titled "Thirteen Years Later."
Other cult-tv series have featured stories focusing on the rock and roll milieu.
In "Space Rockers," an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979 - 1981), for instance, Buck (Gil Gerard) investigates music promoter Lars Mangros (Jerry Orbach) and the popular rock band, Andromeda because of a connection between the rock music and youthful rioting.
And "Rock and Roll Suicide," an episode of the short-lived Otherworld (1985) sees two teenagers from Earth -- Gina (Jonna Lee) and Trace (Tony O'Dell) -- bring rock and roll to an alternate dimension where it hasn't been invented yet.
Very soon, the two teens become celebrities to the teenagers of the other world, and enemies of the state to concerned, establishment "moralists." In short, "Rock and Roll Suicide" is a perfect encapsulation of rock's history on our world.
Another short-lived series, Dark Skies (1996), also features a tale of rock and roll. In particular, "Dark Day's Night" involves the Alien Hive attempting to send a signal during the Beatles' famous performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Occasionally, rock stars have also been villains on superhero programming.
On Sid and Marty Krofft's Electra-Woman and Dyna-Girl (1977), a villain called "Glitter Rock" threatens the world, and on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993 - 1996), an aging rocker, Lenny Stoke (Michael Des Barres) develops a sound weapon in the episode "Wall of Sound."