EVIL SQUIRREL: So did you have a great New Years Eve?

SCRATCHY: Eh, probably not.  I can remember too much about it.  Besides, I went to bed early.

ES: Really?

SCRATCHY: Yeah, I know.  But by 9:00, I was sacked out…

ES: That’s hard to believe for a party girl like you.  Heck, even I was up until one in the morning!

SCRATCHY: So you went to bed eight hours before me!  I don’t want to hear it then…

ES: Wait a minute!  Eight hours before….. you meant 9 AM?  Early!?!??

SCRATCHY: Yeah, the days when I could party right into the second week of the new year are obviously over.  Much like this silly countdown, but I guess we might as well finish it now.  Sponkies!

SPONKIE 2: Number 8 is…..

SPONKIE 1: That fat guy!!!!

SPONKIE 2: Bro!  That wasn’t nice!

SPONKIE 1: I mean….. Hung Lo!

A wide path is cleared by the bored spectators to allow Hung Lo to make his way to the front…

FUZZYWIG: So, how many songs are there about eating dog?

CHIP: Dog Eat Dog?


SCRATCHY: Just so you know, my selection of Asian music in my collection is a little lacking.

HUNG LO: Hung Lo not like Asian music either.  Prefer country and western…

ES: Are you being serious?

HUNG LO: Would you like to see tear in Hung Lo’s beer?  Hung Lo is master of Boot Scootin’ Boogie!

SCRATCHY: (Removing Hung Lo’s selection from the envelope) I swear, if you actually picked some shitty country song…. oh for fuck’s sake, we all should have seen this coming a mile away!

HUNG LO: Time for everyone to go through airport turnstile sideways!

The 80’s is a decade in music best remembered for all of its great (and not so great) movie soundtrack hits.  Before there was movies, of course, there was the theater…. and no, I don’t mean Shelf Critter Theatre.  While musicals are chock full of moments where the story breaks out into a flash mob, for the most part, what gets sung in the theater stays in the theater.  And if a show tune was going to become a mainstream hit, it was more likely to happen in the early days of pop music… certainly not in the middle of the 1980’s and definitely not from a play about chess.

Fido wins again!

Of course, that actually happened…. kinda.  In 1984, lyricist Tim Rice and the male half of the group ABBA got together and recorded a double LP that was effectively an album musical called Chess, a story of love, Cold War politics and of course….. chess.  That musical album managed to produce a worldwide hit the following year, “sung” by the “actor” who played the album’s American grandmaster, Murray Head.  It should need no introduction…

The video for “One Night in Bangkok” stayed true to the album, featuring the orchestral introduction “Bangkok,” while the radio hit had a much more conventional intro that incorporated the music of the main song.  Nevertheless, this has to be one of the 80’s quirkier hits and one that is oh so fun to listen to…. even if it is banned in Thailand for all of the rude references to the country it contained.  If you wanted to know about all the fun and interesting references this song actually contains, check them out for yourself!

If you’re lucky, then the god’s a she!

And of course, making the song even more fun and memorable is the fact that it’s almost impossible to mention the city of Bangkok with a straight face…

Insert Beavis and Butt-head laugh here…

We’ll get more kicks below the waistline with another Shelf critter request next Monday…


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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11 Responses to Checkmate

  1. it was a hype!!! and all wanted this fab asian earrings what said whatever they said…. (I wonder what they really said…but I don’t want to know it… bet all people who could read the message got a laughing fit)

  2. As video productions of the day went that was a pretty well done one and I really haven’t heard that song in FOREVER but I liked it and still think it’s fun to listen to. Hung Lo probably got his name after a visit to Bangkok right?


  3. A nice danceable tune that starts the new year/new week out toe tapping and head bouncing. Great and so unexpected flute action. Well done.

  4. ghostmmnc says:

    I like this song a lot, and hear it all the time on the oldies radio station. I’d never seen the video. I had heard it was something about chess, but didn’t know why. 🙂

  5. Thom says:

    Both of Murray Head’s Top 40 appearances came via an “original cast” album for a (at the time) non-existent stage production, the other being “Superstar” from the original recording of Jesus Christ Superstar, in which he sang the role of Judas. The lyricist on both projects was Tim Rice, normally Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lyricist. Rice also collaborated with Elton John on the original songs for The Lion King and on the stage musical Aida.

  6. Thank you Hung-Lo for choosing one of my FAVORITE 80s songs. And a clip from that movie that still makes me laugh aloud, even though the star is dead now. “Ooo. He TOUCHED ME! I guess I got my Christmas goose early!” 🤣😆

    • That was one of those movies that was always on HBO in the 80’s! That line and trying to do that tongue flicking thing were always good for laughs among my family back in the day…

  7. draliman says:

    At last, a critter with some taste. I still listen to “Chess” on occasion (and saw the musical once on stage a long time ago).

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