The year we met in college, sammymaudlin and I developed a drinking game around the mildy popular tv show T.J. Hooker. I assume most of you have played a drinking game based around a tv show at one time or another. There are certain cues based around expectations in plot and character devices that require participants to drink. Newhart, I believe, was a popular game when we were in college, but we felt we were too cool to swig whenever a character on the show said “Bob.” Our game, “Hooker,” did involve swigging down beer or whatever whenever a character addressed the former James Tiberius Kirk, but it had other cues for drinking, such as the obligatory T.J. Hooker lecture to an apprehended bad guy, man-girdle and toupee shots of Shatner, the absence of a rear-view mirror in any cop car, key appearances by young Heather Locklear, any scene featuring the “Boy Romeo” charms of Adrian Zmed, and – most exciting of all – any number of perceived references to Star Trek! A character touching the shoulder of another character, for instance, was a clear reference to Spock’s Vulcan nerve pinch. Hooker closing in with Kirk-like moves on a woman in need was another reason to swig.
I can’t remember all the other potential Star Trek references because I drank away the memories of most, but I do recall our most successful night of Hooker, an episode entitled Vengeance Is Mine, featuring a special guest appearance by Spock – I mean, Leonard Nimoy – as Hooker’s old cop buddy who we learn – SPOILER ALERT – cannot resist the temptation to go rogue! This episode featured swigs and even chugs for not only Vulcan nerve pinches but previously unforeseen mind melds and Evil Spock references! The living room of our frat was packed with almost all of our frat brothers and related partiers getting hammered to this idiotic show. It’s one of my most cherished exercises in bringing folks together over something most people would find beneath them, right up there with how I feel about Rock Town Hall!
But enough about Hooker. Let’s get back to rock bands around which you could construct a drinking game. What bands or albums would best lend themselves to such an exercise, and what might be the first 3 to 5 cues for drinking?
The first band that came to mind for me was Led Zeppelin:
- Soft, acoustic intro as set up for hard-rocking song = swig
- “Scat” interplay between Page and Plant = swig
- Tolkein-inspired lyrics = swig
I’m sure there are a few more swig-worthy cliches for anyone willing to sit through any album by Led Zeppelin with a case of beer. Around what other bands could you see yourself constructing a drinking game?