Nov 122010

Here’s an important question that never got settled thanks to Townspeople getting passionately hung up on the legacy of a subpar Clash album. Maybe today we can get back to the initial question Townsman sammymaudlin posted. Or maybe we’ll get hung up on something else.

This post initially appeared 7/29/08.

Go in to about 1:45.

I offer “Twirl The Mic,” as in “REM Twirled the Mic on Can’t Get There From Here“.

Can you top that?


  40 Responses to “We Need the Rock Music Equivalent of “Jump The Shark””

  1. sammymaudlin

    OK. I sense that you feel you can’t top “Twirled the Mic”. I understand. It is intimidating.

    I’ll offer up a few more to show you how easy, fun, and painless really, it is to make an ass of yourself.

    “Hire Ron Wood”
    “Duet with Kiki Dee”
    “Dance In The Streets”
    “Rock the Casbah”

  2. BigSteve

    “Record a covers album”

  3. Well, when I saw Daltrey’s face on the YouTube screen capture, the first idea I had was “released Face Dances.”

    Then I started to watch the clip. I don’t think that interviewer is Jim Ladd (too photogenic), but he kinda sounds like him. So how about “interviewed/championed by Jim Ladd”?

  4. Also, I strongly dispute “Rock in the Casbah” as a pejorative.

  5. sammymaudlin

    I strongly dispute “Rock in the Casbah” as a pejorative.

    Fair enough. The eventual term should not be in dispute. Just as we can all agree that when Fonzie jumped the shark it was really effing bad.

  6. 2000 Man

    I think it should be an album or song, and the band should have been considered generally great. It’s still The Clash, but Rock the Casbah is okay.

    Cut the Crap, however is a shark jump of mammoth proportions. I would have no qualms saying “The Who really Cut the Crap about half way through By Numbers, and they would never return.”

  7. sammymaudlin

    I had “Cut The Crap” was on my list and I actually think it sounds great and insulting. I took it off though as it felt unfair as it is sort of universally not accepted as a Clash album.

    More on Cut The Crap here.

  8. hrrundivbakshi

    How about “ditched the makeup”?

  9. 2000 Man

    It still says The Clash on the cover. If it had said anything else, I’d agree, but Clash fans have to live with that one, and their die hards have to own it. I think it’s the perfect example. It’s the After M*A*S*H of rock n’ roll.

  10. hrrundivbakshi

    We may be drifting off topic here, but I’d also like to stand proudly behind “Combat Rock.” I think that album is every bit as good, if not better, than “Sandinista.” I truly believe most slags against it are rockist nonsense.

  11. BigSteve

    Combat Rock may have a few weak songs, but certainly fewer than Sandinista. Straight To Hell is definitely one of my favorite Clash tracks.

    Getting back to the original thread, the mention of B.A.D. makes me think “add a DJ/turntablist” might be a good suggestion.

    Also “bring in Don Was to produce,” though T Bone Burnett or Mitch Froom would also work. (I should admit that I’ve liked some, even most, of the work by all of these producers.)

  12. sammymaudlin

    Don’t get started on Combat vs. Sandanista. I love Sandanista beginning to end. Its an experience. Combat does very little for me.

    I hear you 2K and we’ll keep it on the list. In that vein I’d have offer “Squeezed” as well.

    I do really like “ditched the makeup”.

  13. alexmagic

    I was going to suggest some variation of “took off the make-up” like HVB, too.

    Giving it some more thought, though, isn’t the musical equivalent of having jumped the shark already a “Fat Elvis” period?

  14. sammymaudlin

    isn’t the musical equivalent of having jumped the shark already a “Fat Elvis” period?

    Indeed but I sense there are Elvis fans here that would file a dispute.

  15. Perhaps this is already covered by “Squeezed” but what about “Revisited” as in to carry on without the one essential, irreplaceable member of the band, al la Credence Clearwater Revisited? Sort of the mirror opposite of Cut the Crap.

  16. There may have been smaller “jump the shark” moments for them, but the 11 minute disco remix of “Here Comes the Night” by The Beach Boys off of L.A. seems the right mixture of trying to appeal to what’s popular at the time, cheese, and all around ridiculousness.

  17. sammymaudlin

    There are some good ones here.

    But the only one that I’d really get behind is “Cut the Crap.”

    Is this the one?

  18. BigSteve

    The only problem with Cut the Crap as the rock equivalent of ‘jumped the shark’ is that, if you say “REM really cut the crap after they left IRS,” it seems literally to mean that they got better. The expression kind of forces you to use air quotes.

    Speaking of which, at my local hipster coffeehouse last night I saw a flyer for a gig by a Huey Lewis & the News tribute band. That whole gig would have to be played in air quotes.

  19. sammymaudlin

    I agree with BigSteve. We may have to table this discussion until we get some better options.

    I’m not mad at everyone, just disappointed.

  20. Mr. Moderator

    Combat Rock kind of sucks. The Clash manages to ruin all but one of the best songs on the album with some embarrassing display of…I don’t know what they had in mind during Strummer’s Spanish yelping on “Should I Stay or Should I Go”, for instance. The cover shot alone was a jump the shark moment. The only good song on that album that the band did not ruin is the moving “Straight to Hell”, which they later managed to spoil by including an added verse and some more Strummer yelping on the version included on that Clash on Broadway box set. Man, now I’m getting steamed thinking about the added measures of rhythm guitar in “Rock ‘n Roll” and the restored middle eighth in “Sweet Jane”…

  21. I vote “Went Disco” McCartney, Kinks,Bee Gees, Stones, Grateful Dead. Kinda the same as “Did a remix album” in a later era

  22. Mr. Moderator

    Jungleland2, that’s an EXCELLENT call for both decades!


    peep it!

  24. mockcarr

    “Got a Perm”

    “Looked up from their toes”

    “Took their Rock Opera to Broadway”

    “Had one too many Olivers.”:

    “Applied an extra point to their guitars”

    “Ordered the Clams” would be pretty good for music in general, i.e., you ask for all the mistakes/or you do something risky which will quite probably make you sick later on.

  25. hrrundivbakshi

    “Married Cher”

  26. How about “Licensed their Catalog”? Selling out to the ad-man is a pretty common danger sign that your songs are primarily a dollars and cents concern from here on.

    I kind of liked the direction of “Made a Remixed Disco Covers Album” as well.

  27. misterioso

    Tough one. A few things come to mind, which I will not explain unless necessary.

    1. “Quit The Faces”
    2. “Lost Their Religion”
    3. “Checked Into the Hotel California”

  28. If Elvis is the first rocker who “jumped the shark,” in musical terms, maybe we use a term that relates to his initial fall from grace, like “Col. Tom got to him/her/them.”

  29. cherguevara

    I disagree with Michell Froom and T Bone there. I think better would be Was or Rick Rubin.

  30. cherguevara

    When I read, “married Cher,” I was actually thinking “married Yoko.” Although, maybe “Married Linda” is better.

  31. cherguevara

    Actually, maybe just “got married” works. Or “quit drinking/drugs.”

    How about “choked on a sandwich” or “choked on vomit.”

  32. mockcarr

    “Replaced their blood”

    “Had a meeting with Scorsese”

  33. mockcarr

    “Are Reality TV”

  34. pudman13

    “rockist?” What is that? All I know is I rushed out to buy COMBAT ROCK the day it was released, and after two songs was ready to assume the whole thing was just a joke. “Know Your Rights” doesn’t even sound like a real song. I hated that album from day one and recently revisited it to see if maybe it was just a case of misguided expectations, but I still found nothing to like–no songs that stuck with me, no experiments that excited me, just wall to wall tedium (including “Should I Stay Or Should I Go,” which sounds insultingly like a non-punk band lamely attempting a punk song.) Even the one song I remember liking back in the day, “Straight to Hell,” did nothing for me this time around. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds this album a big steaming pile, defined perfectly by the flushing toilet that was removed from later pressings. The only nonsense I can picture is someone trying to defend an album that begins with “Know Your Rights.”

  35. pudman13

    How about “grew a goatee?”

  36. cherguevara

    Fired Keith Levine.

  37. alexmagic

    This gets us back to my 2008 suggestion that the “Fat Elvis” period/phase is the pre-existing, instantly understood musical equivalent of jumping the shark.

    Note that maudlin’s worry that Fat Elvis Fans would come out of the woodwork to argue against the idea didn’t happen, even as the Clash debates raged.

    I’m surprised, in retrospect, that nobody threw out a Chinese Democracy variation, and that there hasn’t been a Sammy Hagar/Gary Cherone/Wolfgang Van Halen take on the idea yet.

  38. misterioso

    You make a good point: there is an elegant simplicity in simply “Hagared.” Except that I would argue VH actually Hagared before Hagar even joined the band: still, this should not disqualify the usefulness of the term, nor prevent its being applied to David Lee Roth, as in: “Roth had already Hagared by the time he put out Eat ‘Em and Smile.”

  39. sammymaudlin

    Fired Keith Levine


  40. The first thing I thought was that the Lennon Pass could be repurposed here.

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