Sunday, October 27, 2013

That Time When The Go-Go's Presented An Award To Marvin Gaye

A while back I wrote that Belinda Carlisle, the Forrest Gump of '80s pop, managed to cross paths with just about every one of my favorite musical artists at one point or another. Well, even I would not have guessed that she, nor any of the other Go-Go's for that matter, would have ever had an encounter with Marvin Gaye, given that a) he was about twenty years older than they were, b) was a soul music legend, and c) died in 1984. But then I found this clip of the Go-Go's presenting Best Soul Single at the 1982 American Music Awards.

First of all, did you know that there's something called the American Music Awards? From Wikipedia:
The American Music Awards, (AMA) is an annual American music awards show, created by Dick Clark in 1973 for ABC when the network's contract to present the Grammy Awards expired. Unlike the Grammys, which are awarded on the basis of votes by members of the Recording Academy, the AMAs are determined by a poll of the public and music buyers.
Really? So a network lost the rights to the Grammys, and decided to make up its own awards show, just based on ... whatever? Hey, sounds just about as prestigious and legitimate as the real Grammys if you ask me. Any excuse to put a bunch of unscripted musicians together in front of a camera on national TV is probably a good one, I say.

Case in point: see the Go-Go's decked out in all the colors of the rainbow! Belinda looks luminous in bright green, Jane is rather foxy in darker green, Charlotte just got off work as a stewardess in pink, Kathy just shot Professor Plum in the Study with a revolver in red, and Gina means business in a black suit. And Belinda really knocks it out of the park with her corny scripted banter [Edit: the full clip is no longer on YouTube]:

No offense to Aretha Franklin and Evelyn King, but as soon as Gina reads Marvin Gaye's name, you know this contest is over. Listen to the seismic wave of sheer erotic energy that erupts across the audience once the camera cuts to Marvin Gaye. He's like sex on a stick. A thousand rappers with a thousand hos couldn't even exude one crumb of this man's sex appeal. Even when he's just sitting there chewing gum, he's chewing it so sexily. However, I believe at this point the membranes of his nose were so worn out from coke usage that he was sleeping in hotel rooms set up with a special air filter in order to breathe comfortably. Perhaps as an alternate method of usage, he also fell into the habit of rubbing his gums with coke. In other words, Belinda, you may have met your match.

For his part, Marvin Gaye seems to grab the award from Kathy's hands while thinking, "Who the hell are these puny little white chicks?" More likely, he probably wasn't thinking about anything in particular and probably had no idea where he was. Perhaps sensing the coke theme, the producers even cut to a random shot of Stevie Nicks applauding in the audience. Don't worry, Marvin: your musical legacy may fade with your passing, but your cocaine legacy will live on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"He's like sex on a stick. A thousand rappers with a thousand hos couldn't even exude one crumb of this man's sex appeal."

Sometimes, one comes across a sentence (or two) so sublime that they bear repeating.