Friday, January 8, 2010

The Jan 8-Ball Posse

Elvis Presley, David Bowie and Larry Storch (F Troop's Corporal Agarn) were all born on this day.

Man, those cats could have combined to make a dynamite early 70's movie franchise. Sort of a rockin', druggin', slap stick Odd Couple (the Odd Triplets). Or perhaps a less sane variant on the Three Stooges. Elvis all loaded up with fried banana sandwiches and firearms, the contents of a small pharmacy coursing through his veins; Bowie all androgynified and strung out, his Ziggy mullet flapping in the breeze; and finally Larry picking up the rear in full-out Storch-itude, hanging with Sgt. O'Rourke and the Hekawis busting on Captain Parmenter.

As Cher sang, "If I could turn back time." Indeed. The accompanying music video for her 1989 hit had Sonny's already middle aged gal dolled up in a skin-tight flesh colored outfit dancing on the USS Missouri battleship surrounded by Navy "crew members", the irony of the words seemingly lost to all. Cher attempted to turn back time in Nip/Tuck fashion and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, maybe we can turn back time for our Elvis/Bowie/Storch bonanza with some FX magic of our own.

Larry and Bowie are still with us, so maybe we dispense with the full-on CGI and can option this film series idea with the real-deal codgers themselves, targeting it at the Octogenarian demographic (and the many of us who are Octogenarians at heart). With still just a bit of help from Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic crew. The Marx Brothers meets Cheech and Chong meets the cast of Cocoon. The Three Amigos in Depends (hell, Elvis was wearing Depends in his 30s, so in a way it's a tribute to his memory as much as it is to their advancing years). Grumpy Stoned Men.

We just need an Elvis replacement. Lisa Marie? Nah, too young. Elvis Costello? Perhaps Presley was about more than just a quirky first name. We need an aging, pill popping iconic rock star with a ballooning weight problem and delusions of grandeur. And an enabling posse of hangers on. That shouldn't be difficult. Oh, that's right: this rocker also needs to be alive. That might be more challenging. Christ, grab one of his contemporaries - both Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard are still breathing, kind of, and seem to meet most of the criterion. But still, they simply aren't The Pelvis. Somehow that combination of rebellious sneering rocker, Mama's boy backwoods hick, and pill-popping paranoid batshit loon is harder to find in a single persona than one might think.

Ahh! It seems R. Kelly was also born on January 8th, so let's go ahead and inject some young blood into this would-be celluloid gang. It's now becoming sort of like a cross generational Mod Squad! Though it needs that certain special Peggy Lipton-style lady to truly make it mod. Amber Benson belongs to this special fraternity of "celebs" born on Jan 8 so why not let her in on the fun? Who the hell is she, you ask? Exactly. And in the spirit of 60/70's crime dramas, I'm thinking we want to make this gang more Ironside-like. As luck would have it, guess who else was born on 01/08? No, not Raymond Burr (he's dead anyway), I'm talking about Professor Stephen Hawking.

We've got the makings of a real rock and roll Ocean's Eleven, bent on drunken acid and slap stick high drama with some commercial grade physics thrown in to satisfy the public's insatiable hunger for the hard sciences! Let's call it The Jan 8-Ball Posse featuring "Howlin' Black Hole" Hawking.

We better hurry, though. Storch is pushing 90, Hawking's been living on borrowed time for 40 some years, and timing is everything. I'll start work on a draft treatment for the inaugural romp down 8-Ball Alley and ring up Hollywood at once to start the funding round. Gotta work on my sales pitch, though: "Man, if the kids loved Twilight I can only imagine how they'll eat this up ..."