It only seems like the 80's were that long ago...

It only seems like the 80’s were that long ago…

Happy Monday to everyone out there!  I hope you’re ready to get your earworm on, as it’s time to blow the cobwebs off another fantastic 45 that deserves another play from the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  After three weeks of going all Dutch on you, this time DJ Scratchy is going to flash back to a time when the only country on earth was a place called Pangea.  Well, OK, the song isn’t actually that old… but don’t tell the Sponkies, because they’re completely fascinated by the whole concept of dinosaurs making music!  And you’re about to become spellbound by a little 80’s video magic yourself…

dusty vinyl

Around this time last year, you may recall I was using Mondays to deliver my Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time… and I was about a third of the way through my countdown.  I mention that not to make those of you with elephant memories once again groan about my shitty taste in music, but because had I not forgotten about it myself when I constructed the countdown, today’s song would have likely slotted right around that #20 rank.  It comes to us from a man who was actually once in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the world’s largest drum kit… former Renegade member Luis Cardenas!

He's also listed as having the World's Most Tiger Themed Drum Set.

He’s also listed as having the World’s Most Tiger Themed Drum Set.

Despite being a bengal enthusiast and even owning his own pet tiger, Luis instead turned to dinosaurs when he wanted to make the video for his 1987 remake of Del Shannon’s “Runaway” one that would make a lasting impression on viewers.  For the short few months this song managed to remain in the collective American consciousness… he actually succeeded.

Let’s see… take a crazy ass drummer obsessed with tigers and throw in some mind-blowing for its time CGI stop motion animated dinosaurs all jamming out in a junkyard to a 60’s song redone in 80’s pop metal style.  You just can’t improve on that recipe for MTV success.  Only they actually did, by adding none other than an appearance by the legendary Donny fucking Osmond…

Oh shit! I want no part of Donny Osmond when he's pissed like that...

Oh shit! I want no part of Donny Osmond when he’s pissed like that…

And even the original artist Del Shannon shows up to break up this makeshift concert between tiger man and his prehistoric friends!

I'll bet Freddy Mercury was just as mad when Vanilla Ice stole his music...

I’ll bet Freddy Mercury was just as mad when Vanilla Ice stole his music…

And if you think this video was only a triumph in the mind of one demented squirrel who loves freakshows like this three minute masterpiece, think again.  Cardenas’ label Allied Artists not only claims that it was the first one million dollar video ever made, but they even released a documentary of the making of this video!  Yeah, sorry Jacko, but “Thriller” isn’t all that special now, is it?  You just got one-upped by a world record drummer with a tiger fetish!

Errrrrr, nevermind.

Errrrrr, nevermind.

Join me and the ponies next Monday as we dig up another lost classic from the Jurassic age…


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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28 Responses to Dino-mite!

  1. who opened the crypt were this song was buried? It was hardcore somehow… even for the crazy 80’s. btw: the play button of the video eggs-actly covered Luis’ eye … so he looked like the twin of Pete Burns from Dead Or Alive LOL

  2. Um…well, there’s five or so minutes I’ll never get back, lol. Apparently I must have changed the channel before this video aired, ;-). Wow. Dinosaurs…ohh wee.

    • I think your first sentence pretty much sums up most of my Monday music posts! I think this video capitalized on the stop motion animation trend that the California Raisins made huge at the time…

  3. How did I manage to miss this one? Not that I’m too worried about it as I much prefer the original by OLD DEL. However, the dino addition certainly made it more…..well…..dinorific???????


    • For a very brief moment in time, this was like the biggest thing on MTV. Only unlike Thriller and Money For Nothing and Sledgehammer… this one had zero staying power and was forgotten very quickly… probably because 1987 was the year MTV started going off the rails by airing crap other than videos.

  4. He was just a baby when he made this video. Fun stuff. Thanks ES.

  5. fanrosa says:

    I find it hard to believe that:

    1. You suckered me into yet again thinking that I had the song figured from the title and was ready for Don Was

    2. That someone other than Neal Smith has the record for largest drum kit (look him up….)

    3. There would be a version of not-Jovi Runaway that I would prefer over Del Shannon, but this actually comes close with the ? and the Mysterians type vibe

    4. That I never saw this (or blocked it out) BITD

    5. That Donny Osmond was actually a good sport prior to White ‘n Nerdy…

    • 1. That song is a fringe lost hit… though one I might feature at some point anyway just because it’s a lot of fun. At least you weren’t expecting Jermaine Jackson…

      2. I did look him up, and wasn’t surprised when I saw who he played with. I’m going to assume Guinness, like Wiki, is never wrong…

      3. I figured you would pan the song, so that it rates even almost as good as Del rates a YAY from me!

      4. Those who remember the 80’s… yada yada yada,,,

      5. This was right before Donny made his big late 80’s comeback. I’m sure his agent put him up to it…

  6. The guy looking out of the window bore an uncanny resemblance to an asshole to whom I was married — long, long time ago. It gave me the creeps. The wreckage of our past is always floating around somewhere, ready to bang into us at the most unlikely times … But that one, yoicks.

  7. Trisha says:

    I must not have watched MTV much in 1987 because I don’t remember this and I would think that a drummer with crazy eyes, a tiger-themed drum set and a video with dinosaurs would have left some impression in my mind.

    • The funny thing is, the only two things I recalled before I looked this video up (And it was a challenge since I didn’t even remember Luis Cardenas’ name) were the fact that there was a cover of Runaway from 1987 that I really, really liked at the time, and the guy yelling from the window who my mind always remembered as Mickey Dolenz since MTV/NIckelodeon were in their big Monkees revival phase. I didn’t remember the dinosaurs, the drum set, or even know Donny and Del were in the video! I guess just remembering the video existed puts me ahead of everyone else!

  8. Thom says:

    OK, pardon me for being a buttinsky, but I have to add another to your list…”Ma Belle Amie” by The Tee Set, which hit Top Ten on Billboard in 1970 and was their only hit. They were on the same label as Shocking Blue and the George Baker Selection, all from the Netherlands. Baker’s group was not really a one-hit wonder, as they had 2 Top 30 records, Little Green Bag and La Paloma Blanca. I couldn’t stand the latter one.

    • Holly says:

      I bought the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack way back when for “Little Green Bag”. 🙂

    • I think Krox’s source, which I also used for my Dutch tribute, missed The Tee Set (Knew the song, didn’t know they were Dutch)… and that song definitely fits in with weird but wonderful (and utterly underplayed) songs to come out of The Netherlands. Thanks for expanding my musical knowledge, TBone!

  9. My son is a fantastic drummer and I love to listen his compositions. This was a fun post, I wish I could gift my son a tiger themed drum set.

  10. Holly says:

    Seeing Donny Osmond gave me a “Soldier of Love” earworm.

    OK, not really, but awesome song, right???

  11. gentlestitches says:

    This was big here and the 80s were good but the modern instant gratification when it comes to music is THE BEST! Us poor wee hicks had to wait all week to watch a 20 minute episode of COUNTDOWN and pray our fave video would air. Thanks to Molly Meldrum it always was! What a guy. He put aussie music on the map AND treated us with what was abroad. Now we can use youtube or spotify or anything! I always loved Dinos. 😀

  12. draliman says:

    Hilarious. And at the same time, oh good God. Who came up with that idea?
    I preferred the original, video or no video :-). Still a good song, though.

    • Well, don’t you know the song’s all about dinosaurs playing in a junkyard? I mean, the video theme was obvious! It just needed those black bars on the top and bottom to make it more 80’s…

  13. Whoa…Luis and his video is one ‘different’ kind of guy/remake.

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