Aug 132012

It's a long way from the RTH Sizzler.

  • Madness, “Our House” on a trailer. Blur cover marching band. Color-coded dancers around dinner tables. WTF?
  • Pet Shop Boys. Now that’s what I call stage presence. <– Internet sarcasm alert.
  • Parade of athletes enters. Every single one is recording it on their camera or phone or iPad. Not wanting to offend the paying sponsors, Olympic committee says “Put tape over that Apple logo!”. Later, when singers are parading around in Bentleys celebrating money, Olympic committee says “Put tape over that Bentley insignia!” because BMW is paying for this.
  • Lennon, “Imagine,” first with cliché child choir, then John on jumbotron. Yes, I cannot help tearing up when I see and hear it. At least they didn’t let some jerk singer “fix” the lyrics like that other time.
  • George Michael, “Freedom.” Not a fan, but the song has a good groove.
  • A quick Bowie hits/fashion montage, then celebrating British “Fashion” with the song on tape. It seemed to be the extended Fripp solo version. Disappointed not to see a surprise visit by the man himself. The whole sequence was the most incongruous of all. Parade of gold-dressed supermodels on the runway. Suck it, stupid athletes, you are too fat for the runway!

  21 Responses to “La La Londinium”

  1. cliff sovinsanity

    Did you not catch Ray Davies singing Waterloo Sunset ?? That was one of the best parts of the show. Watched it live, but I’m
    not sure if they aired that segment on NBC.
    This is the only video I could find of the performance. At the 1:15 mark.
    Anybody know who’s playing guitar?? It kind of looks like Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs…

    Trig, were you being sarcastic when you commented “didn’t see that coming” about the tightrope Wish You Were Here recreation? The commentators on CTV said Twitter nearly blew up after that happened with people not knowing if the fire was part of the show?
    Our CTV commentator also said “the Olympics can bring 200 countries together, but couldn’t reunite the Gallagher brothers onstage”.

  2. trigmogigmo

    No sarcasm intended there. I got the WYWH album cover reference as soon as the flames broke out (and then the NBC announcer mentioned it) but hadn’t been expecting it at all until the handshake commenced! Very nice.

    NBC missed some things for sure. I didn’t hear about Ray Davies, but I think there was a mention on RTH … not the opening ceremony? There were numerous commercial breaks on NBC, and the entire Who segment was absent from the main program, so I don’t know what else there was. I saw my DVR had recorded a separate segment, and it had Ryan Seacrest saying “well that was a great show with great music blah blah blah”, with background shot of people filing out of the stadium, and then he says “but it gets better, here’s the The Who” and it cut to a darkened stadium from some time earlier, opening notes of “Baba O’Riley”.

  3. trigmogigmo

    Just watched the Ray Davies link. Nice. Now I wonder what else NBC omitted. I think my summary hits everything they aired minus Kaiser Chiefs doing “Pinball Wizard”, which was decent.

  4. ladymisskirroyale

    Great write up, trigmo! Thanks for the details as I wasn’t able to watch it.

    I heard that NBC edited out quite a bit of both the opening and closing ceremony. Did you see Darcey Bussell of the Royal Ballet during the closing ceremony? From the one still I saw, it looks like she was carried aloft…and then what? Thrown into the Olympic cauldron? Sacrificed to the Gods of Rio? Not sure but the one photo looked very…atypical ballet.

  5. Way, way, WAAAAAAY too much hair to be Bonehead. And in keeping with the parlance of the host, I am still abso-effin-lutely gobsmacked at the performance of “Wonderwall.” I’m filled with hate and rage and rising BP just remembering it again. And viewing it last night sent my family for cover.


  6. trigmogigmo

    It appears so (editing down etc., not a sacrifice into the cauldron!). Here’s a summary I found just now when searching for Darcey Bussell. (That part was not in the NBC airing.)

  7. So a bunch of sun-freaks can resurrect Tupac to stomp a desert stage but the entire forces of the British Empire couldn’t manage to hologram Queen Freddie’s LiveAid performance? Well what the hell good is royalty then?


  8. I can’t think of a better adjective than to say the whole thing was very American. A total Disneyification of everything that has to have more, More, MORE. 30 Superbowl halftimes in a row. If only they had the Queen do a rapping granny segment. Go ahead and pick out the various random 45 seconds segments that were passable, but were really only worthwhile as a guessing game of “hey, look who it is now.” Programmed for A.D.D. children. Booooooo!

  9. ladymisskirroyale

    I hope the Russian Grannies are invited to Rio!

  10. I barely watched the Olympics this year, and I completely missed the opening and closing extravaganzas. I hate that stuff. The Brits seem to wheel out more cheese for these types of events than even we can muster. Or maybe their cheese suffers from being so less diverse. Do the English have different genres with distinct socioeconomic and geographic roots, the way we have country, R&B, etc?

    We were on vacation when it started, then I never got into the flow. Plus, any time I did turn it on they were playing volleyball, which in all forms (men/women/5 v 5/2 v 2 on the beach/bikinis/no bikinis) strikes me as a sport that should have red plastic beer cups sitting around the boundaries. It’s like asking me to take slow-pitch softball seriously. I can’t do it.

    I also caught a bit of a high diving competition. All I can think of when I watch that stuff is, “God, I hope he doesn’t hit his head on the board! That would be terrible television.” They’re all so good it’s like watching professional bowling. Who finishes with a 300, who finishes with a 299, and who finishes with a 297? Someone needs to suck, now and then, to make a sport compelling for me. By “suck” I don’t mean crack open his skull.

    I do have some comments on the fashions from this year’s Olympics, and I don’t care if the threads were made in China, the US of A, or wherever.

    Highly disappointing were the uniforms that the women’s soccer team wore. Soccer players are up there with tennis players in terms of hotness. Seeing the women’s team in those all-blue, formless unis, the kind of thing I’d expect issued for a Catholic middle school gym class, was a major letdown. Thankfully they were able to perform just fine in those plain, monochromatic duds.

    Along similar lines, I didn’t recall field hockey ever being an Olympic sport. The game I watched was pretty exciting, but how can they have Olympic women’s field hockey and not dress the teams in plaid, plaited skirts? The uniforms were a step up from whatever kids might throw on in May for an after-school game of street hockey.

  11. misterioso

    I caught about 30 seconds of this brilliant use of megamillions, in which the Pet Shop Boys drove around wearing pointy hats. Or something. I don’t know if it was very American or not but I definitely agree that it was like one long horrendous Superbowl halftime show, with “horrendous” being more or less a given. I was wondering when this sort of absurdity became de rigeur for Olympic openings and closings.

  12. mockcarr

    I stayed awake long enough to see the Who Are They? but not the Who.

  13. It was absurd to have a sportscaster commentary going on simultaneously. Sports commentary is a holdover from radio broadcasts, and because sometimes the action is confusing. Do you need it for singers and dancers??

    (in hushed golf commentator tone “It sounds like Hamlet is contemplating the purpose of his existence. Let’s see if he can pull himself out of this rough patch.”)

  14. ladymisskirroyale

    “Do the English have different genres with distinct socioeconomic and geographic roots, the way we have country, R&B, etc?”

    Really, Mod. Is this a rhetorical question? HAPPINESS STAN, if you are out there, could you help me, please?!

    Although there are the big, crappy BBC radio channels, there are regional stations and pirate radio. There is the North vs. South divide, and all sort of regional specialties: Northern Soul, the Madchester explosion, Coventry and Ska, Birmingham and Synth, Bristol and Trip Hop, etc. Certainly different social groups have embraced their own sorts of music (see Mods, Rockers, “Rude Boys” with Ska, “Chavs” and Techno).

  15. I’m not the biggest sports/Olympics fan to begin with but here’s my take:

    – The relentless coverage of the two women beach volley ball players was really annoying. I think they showed every single one of their games and totally blew off a number of other sports. I realize it’s all about ratings but beach volley ball is to Olympic sports as Hooters is to fine dining. What’s next, Olympic Car Chase? So much hype about a ratings-targeted, made-up sport…

    – I can only muster up so much national pride for the men’s basketball team. How much enthusiasm can you drum up for Goliath when he whups ass on David?

    – The next time gymnastic floor exercises are on tv, turn down the sound and listed to this: It’s a household tradition in Casa de la CDM. It’s from National Lampoon’s That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick album. There’s no video and the audio is not really safe for work.

  16. ladymisskirroyale

    But they do mention The Arab Spring. So politically, you’re on sure footing.

  17. I was surprised to see Beady Eye perform Wonderwall too. I guess they tried to get Noel up there too, but, like Kate Bush, that wasn’t happening.

    My wife was charitable saying the song “sounded a bit off.”

  18. I was throwing it out there, ladymiss, but it wasn’t meant as a rhetorical question.

    Many years ago, sure, ska was a musical movement specific to a certain group of people in England. Ever since white punks got their hands on it, it’s just one of many retro fanboy subgenres, like rockabilly in the US. Same goes for Mods and Rockers – that’s so long ago and it was always a subculture to begin with.

    I’m asking whether the English have distinct mainstream genres of music, the way we have million-selling country artists that millions of Americans have never heard while at the same time we have million sellers in other genres that fans of the other genres haven’t heard. I know we’re a much bigger country and all that, but England’s mainstream sense of “musical diversity” seems to stretch from Elton John and Queen to George Michael and Annie Lennox on another to Blur and Oasis on yet another boundary. Seal and Spice Girls fit in here somewhere too – and there there are those “daring” darlings who make a stink for 2 months. Who was the “sassy” girl from a year or two ago? I think she’s already doing reality shows and weight loss ads.

    I know England’s a much smaller country, but I think a similar US extravaganza would be way more extravagant, featuring more incredibly popular entertainers that 3/4 of the audience doesn’t know jack about. I’m not saying this is better, but God Bless America.

  19. 2000 Man

    My friend calls them The Two.

    I couldn’t watch that. I think the opening and closing ceremonies are for people that don’t like sports. Or music. But they like TV.

  20. trigmogigmo

    So true. All the more so when they can’t even read their notes right — “Annie Lennox … she’s sold 80 million albums … also, of course, a famous member of The Eurythmics.”

    “Liam Gallagher … also, a famous member of The Oasis.”

  21. misterioso

    LMKR, I have also heard rumors that they have their own currency and some areas have indoor plumbing! Plucky little devils.

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