Sep 062015

I fell down a You Tube wormhole the other day and hit rock bottom with this clip of Re-Flex better known for their 80’s classic “The Politics of Dancing.” In the video, keyboardist Paul Fishman is either doing his best to rock out between the plastic ivory and ebony or trying his best to upstage the rest of the band. Regardless, his “dancing” is enthusiastic but also rather distracting. I’ve never done any research on the history of the keytar but I’m sure it was invented by a dude who was feeling left out of the action when his fellow bandmates would prowl the front of the stage with guitar and mic in hand.

So, how come no one took inspiration from double-neck guitars to invent a double neck keytar? Just think what kind of animal would be unleashed if our boy Paul Fishman was unshackled and unrestrained by his keyboard stand.



  9 Responses to “Mach Schau! Paul Fishman of Re-Flex and the Limitations of Dual-Keyboard Players”

  1. tonyola

    When I performed live with a showband, I had to juggle playing on 3 to 4 keyboards and often was required to do the split-hands technique as seen in the video. However, I didn’t do much dancing behind the keys because I was too busy really playing rather then finger-syncing to a backing track for a video shoot. While I’ve never seen a double-neck keytar, here’s a picture of one with a double keyboard.

    Re-Flex wasn’t really a bad band as far as ’80s synth pop goes. I have their one real album (The Politics of Dancing) and I enjoy it on occasional listens. But then synth-pop like this is something like a guilty pleasure for me.

  2. It would have been good if he could have mounted a keyboard on each hip.

  3. ladymisskirroyale

    I enjoyed many things about this video: the keyboardist’s classic 80’s dancing (and that he’s wearing the requisite Capezio Jazz Shoes); the “Trying to Locate the Starship Enterprise” look of the guitarist; the “I Belong in the Stray Cats” rolled sleeves and coif of the drummer, the subtle Huey Lewis vibe given off by the lead singer; the fact that many of them are wearing watches. Regardless of the need for a better art director, this is a catchy tune and I appreciate the band’s efforts to get the energy across.

  4. ladymisskirroyale

    And feel free to compare/contrast to this video:

  5. I can’t think about Re-flex (the band) without thinking about this song, either. Duran Duran actually did a couple of interesting singles after this (Do You Believe in Shame, Ordinary World), but this was the worst thing in the world to me at the time.

    Total aside: they now play “Hungry Like the Wolf” when Jason Werth makes a good catch in left field at Nats Park. There is a lot of howling going on and he seems to enjoy the attention he gets for his wolf-like appearance these days.

  6. BigSteve

    That bassist has major male pattern baldness. It makes it look like someone’s dad is sitting in.

  7. cliff sovinsanity

    This is exactly the inside information I was looking for. Does the fact that I had a Casio keyboard in 1987 make us kindred spirits. Come to think of it, didn’t everyone own a Casio keyboard at one point?
    I agree, The Politics of Dancing demonstrates that a synthy 80’s tune can arguably be defensible.

  8. cliff sovinsanity

    I’m surprised no has made mention of the hay. Or is it straw? I wonder if Twisted Sister used the same set.

  9. trigmogigmo

    These videos really do not wear well on a visual level, at all! So much wrong.

    But I agree with Tonyola and cliff about the positive aspects of the music in this case. I have the record on vinyl in a box of to-do . Guilty pleasure, I guess, well I like it!

    I am curious whether the dancing keyboard player was the brains behind the production because there is a lot of neat synthesizer and production ear candy in it. It reminds me of some of that Trevor Horn production sound in little ways. (Propaganda, Art of Noise, etc.)

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