Jan 302014
 

I was thinking about going retro on musical acts during halftime. What I mean is that which acts of the past would have made great Super Bowl halftime shows back in the day, if the powers that were had some imagination. For example, I bet that Sam & Dave would have made a great half-time show in the late ’60s and Issac Hayes in the early ’70s.

Unless you have a really good memory or have already taken a look at this list of past halftime show performances, it’s hard to conceive of just how unessential the halftime show used to be. In the early years of the Super Bowl through 1990, halftime shows typically centered around a marching band or some stock middle-America performance troupe, like Up With People.

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  28 Responses to “Scheduling Super Bowl Sunday’s Retro Halftime Shows”

  1. BigSteve

    Superbowl IX (January 1975) was held in New Orleans at the old Tulane Stadium. I was in my last year at Tulane at the time, but I can’t say I remember anything about that. In any case it would have been the perfect time for The Meters to have been the halftime band. They were just coming off their best album, Rejuvenation, and its best-known songs — “People Say” and “Just Kissed My Baby” and “Hey Pocky A-Way” — supplemented by a classic like “Cissy Strut,” would have been a great halftime show.

    I now see that what actually happened was a “Tribute to Duke Ellington” with Mercer Ellington and Grambling State University Band, which is better than average for Super Bowls of that era.

  2. misterioso

    I have to vent some negativity here. Dear God, I hate the Super Bowl as “entertainment package.” Welcome back to a Celebration of America at Its Worst! Thanks for being with us!

    I probably have said before that the only two halftime shows that have ever justified my spending the time to watch them were U2 and Prince. (Oh, and Up with People makes three.) I will pass this year, and merely hope, after the fact, to hear about some sort of apocalyptic weather event to put the Red Hot Chili Peppers out of my misery once and for all.

  3. The first Super Bowl I can remember watching was the 1975 game between the Steelers and Vikings, so I would have liked to see some of the big stars of ’74 — Steve Miller doing “The Joker, The Hues Corporation doing “Rock the Boat,” Joni Mitchell doing a “Help Me,” and then close with Righteous Bros. “Rock n Roll Heaven.” That would take up about the right amount of time.

    P.S. A girl I went out with (circa 1988) was in Up With People in 1982 and she performed at the Super Bowl in Detroit, where they performed a fantasic a salute to 60s music. Six years later, she was still pissed that the Super Bowl was in Detroit, instead of some place warm. She had a great voice, smoked, drank, and was a born-again Christian to boot. I’d like to say I can recognize her in the video below, but there are just so many beautiful girls with early 80s hair that I can’t spot her in this video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4mTTigqTSA#t=47

    With all the talent around here, I wonder if any RTHers ever did a stint in Up With People?

  4. cherguevarra

    This is a tangent (bad habit, I know, sorry) but a while back I came across a performance by the band Hunters and Collectors playing at the “Grand Final” of the AFL (where A stands for Australia…). Apparently one of the songs on their last album had become a football anthem and they had reunited to perform at halftime. They are a curious band, to me, with early raw material, some produced by Conny Plank, that is tribal, punky and somehow fits the mad max, intense, machismo that I imagine was required of late 70’s, early 80’s pub scene in Australia where bands had to be loud and raw or else they’d be out on their asses. Later, they seemed to be a more conventional bar band, playing standard blues-based (blues hammer) rock with simple, easy chord progressions. The fervor was still there, but the sound was much more conventional, maybe even bland.

    ANYWAY, so here is the band, reunited again, playing the big halftime show. I have my own impressions of this video – not sure how into it the crowd is. The band is miming (save the singing). The staging seems so minimal, almost pathetic. Maybe not almost. I find the whole thing curious.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmZILWw255w

    • Fascinating, cher! First of all, tangents are welcome in the Halls of Rock. No need to apologize. I remember this band. They always seemed to fall between the cracks of U2 and INXS. I think I dated a girl once who liked them. She’d pull out her Hunters and Collectors’ record now and then, and I’d think, “OK, I can deal with this if we’re going to end up making out by side 2.” But enough of my pathetic mid-’80s love life. You want hardcore, focused musical content, right?

      Bands playing county fairs play on more elaborate stages. That was hard to take. Also, what’s with their big game being played during the middle of the day? Don’t those people know how to milk a spectacular event and make fans wait until nighttime on a Sunday night with a workday looming?

  5. I can’t be the only one who thinks it would be hilarious for them to bring Morrissey out, right?

    He’d walk off the stage two minutes in because he’d smell the dead pig flesh of the ball.

  6. BigSteve

    I don’t know what marketing genius thought matching Bruno Mars and RHCP was a good idea, but this could be even more of a train wreck than previously thought — the Peppers have announced that they’re going to cover Dazed & Confused during the halftime show. WTF?

  7. I’m going to rectify a past oversight in Super Bowl halftime entertainment scheduling.

    Super Bowl XI…the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California…1977…Fleetwood Mac and a “referee” with a first-down chain take the stage. The ref measures off the distance between Stevie and a line of coke. Then the band launches into “The Chain” from its new album, Rumours.

  8. cherguevarra

    1967… Los Angeles… the Doors? Three Dog Night? Mamas and the Papas?

  9. BigSteve

    1983 … Los Angeles … X? Black Flag? Minutemen?

  10. In the early ’70s, during the first ’50s revival, a halftime show extravaganza could have featured Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Fats Domino reprising their showdown in some ’50s revival concert film I saw when I was a kid.

  11. diskojoe

    Would that film be this one (which was mentioned in Marshall Crenshaw’s Hollywood Rocks):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_the_Good_Times_Roll_(film)

  12. It didn’t happen, but North Carolina in the late ’80s could have (wouldn’t have) been cool jangle pop groups (Connells, dBs, Let’s Active, etc.).

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