Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Halloween Anthem

The Halloween Countdown, Day 3

We're talking, of course, about "The Monster Mash,"* but I'm going to let someone else do the work for me today:

"One of the brightest events in the history of the Chiller Theatre Expo took place that stormy October 2006 weekend when Bobby 'Boris' Pickett took the concert stage with The Dead Elvi and Chiller's favorite son Zacherle, the Cool Ghoul. None of in The Elvi knew at the time that Bobby was very ill. But, like the trouper he was, he proceeded to blast out one of his best performances ever ... if not his best... of his Halloween classic The Monster Mash!"

"Zach, who had covered this tune some 40-plus years earlier, let Bobby do his thing and take center stage. None of us on stage knew that this great performance would be Bobby's last live concert in front of a live ( mmmm...that's questionable ) audience! It was a night to remember not only for the Dead Elvi but for all who attended this now legendary performance!"

- Kevin Clement ("Mr. Chiller")

I especially like Bobby Pickett's line, "This is the song that Elvis Presley, the King himself, once called the dumbest thing he ever heard. So if you're out there tonight listening, Elvis... we're still here!"

Here's another version (with poorer sound quality) from 2005, the first time Zach and Bobby performed together:

"The two gents had both sung the song in the early Sixties — Bobby originated it, and Zach covered it on one of his wonderful horror-themed novelty-tune LPs** — but the two had never sung it together, and yes, it was a fanboy moment par excellence. The wonderful instant of having hundreds of people, all gathered in a college graduation style tent-on-the-lawn, all cheering simultaneously when two senior gentlemen launched into cheesy impressions of the immortal Karloff was oddly touching, as Zach was 87 and Bobby was a mere 67, but both of them could rock out with the best of them (taking a page from their role model, the immortal Boris). Both men had a ball pleasing the assembled fandom with this once and future anthem for the holiday, that Pickett's obit-writers took care to point out is one of the only records in the history of records (!) that ever hit the Billboard Top 100 in three separate years (once in '62, twice in the Seventies)."

* Though there are several other contenders. I'll get to those later; I promise.


No comments: