Monday, January 7, 2008

"Silver & Black Attack" Music Video Running Diary

One of these days, I'll get around to explaining my long, strange relationship with the Oakland/Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders. But, for those of you who've wondered why I don't show them as much love as the A's, here ya go.

The year was 1986 and in the wake of the Chicago Bears' Super Bowl Shuffle song, sports teams were cranking out these posse cuts like hotcakes. The Los Angeles Raiders released their own brand of awful audio and there was no way I was passing up this blog fodder in a barrel:

00:07 – Free safety Vann McElroy(!) is carrying the Raider banner into the video shoot! And, he's running. If memory serves, all that's missing is the receiver ten yards in front of him with the ball.

00:20 – Dig those '80s special effects, baby. Pretty sure this was the first recorded "double split-screen effect". Like a game of futuristic four-square.

00:31 – The first "Al Davis" reference and we're barely 30 seconds in. He hadn't yet become one with the undead, so I'm surprised he's not on the song.

00:46 – And, the first solo verse goes to…Howie Long! 20 years later he'd be WWE Champion!

01:00 – Howie "loves to sit on those runnin' backs". I'm ready to crown this the greatest music video ever, but it's still early.

01:07 – Marcus Allen's on the m-i-c. After "Allen's my name, off-fense is my game", we're going to go ahead and say that Howie is a bit more "street". This should surprise no one.

01:21 – Marcus sounds a lot like Magic Johnson here, right down to the odd way he's screaming every word, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he's wearing microphone.

01:23 – Whoops…don't blink or you'll miss Allen's "this is how the white girls I date dance" impression!

01:31 – Marc Wilson! Raiders back-up QB Marc Wilson! He doesn't get a solo, but it's definitely him. I imagine him today in one of those old-timey unattached bath tubs still trying to Brillo pad-and-Borax the shame off his skin.

01:45 – Next up is our old tight end Todd Christensen. Those of us who remember him are in shock that he waited this long to say something. Not to scare anyone, but we're almost two minutes in and the white guys have a 2-1 lead in solos. It's still early.

02:06 – OT Henry Lawrence and…

02:14 – …an AWESOME shot of the infamous sledge hammer tape job on his hands.

02:31 – Jim Plunkett! Jim Plunkett! By gawd, Jim Plunkett! It would take another two decades for Public Enemy front-man Chuck D, 68, to pass Plunkett as the oldest to ever record a rap song.

02:40 – In our first "who invited Dan Akroyd" moment of the evening, 3rd string quarterback Rusty Hilger (#12) can be seen briefly. Fun fact: In 2006, Hilger was accused of stealing three million dollars from client escrow/operating accounts of US Credit Management Inc. in Irving, Texas. Royalty checks winding down, Rusty?

02:45 – Hey, it's that '80s music staple "the out-of-place guitar solo". Right on time, guy. Oh, and did you bring Messrs. Synth and Saxophone? Can't get enough of them. Wait…is that Matt Millen in a wig and pretending to play the axe?

03:05 – Pretty sure it was and, as an added bonus, he's next to flow. That backwards hat was actually a few years ahead of its time as Ken Griffey, Jr. was a good four or five years away from really popularizing it among athletes. Before the gigantism set in.

03:07 – Millen uses "turkey" in its 1970s Good Times derogatory sense.

03:27 – Raiders CB Lester Hayes was my favorite player growing up. His entire career was built upon a super-adhesive called "Stick 'Em", which he coated himself with before games. The league eventually banned it and Hayes was never the same player. He also had a well-documented stuttering problem, so it's with great love and admiration that I say there's no way in hell that's his own voice here.

04:00 – There appear to be a limited number of sunglasses to go around. Furthermore, it looks like the team agreed to let Allen, their best player, wear a pair throughout, while everyone else just passed one of the other six pairs of shades to the next guy over every 15 seconds or so.

04:10 – It's LB Rod Martin's time to shine. Career highlight: three interceptions in Super Bowl XV or this? You decide. By the way, we've reclaimed the lead in solos: Blacks are up, 4-3.

04:30 – Hall of Famer Mike Haynes makes it 5-3 with about two minutes to go. A quick check of proves, much to my surprise, that "frustrater" is actually a word. As a former journalism major, I plan to appeal.

04:57 – A (very) young Greg Townsend continues to lurk in the background. Someone better get him a solo. Quick.

05:13 – And, after more than five minutes of successfully identifying even the most obscure Raider in this dimly-lit setting, I finally have to cheat and look up the name of #60, OT Curt Marsh. He's as smooth as a man on the flying trapeze. BTW, it's now 5-4.

05:32 – Head Coach Tom Flores is on the mic! Now, don't go thinking you salvaged any credibility by not appearing at the video shoot, Tom. And, way to single-handedly sabotage the Mexican rap movement before it would go on to eventually fail on its own. We'll call it 5-4-1.

06:20 – It's still going. Jesus, what is this, Freebird?

06:40 – And, we're out.


that mexican guy said...

The fact that this gem has escaped my grasp for so many years is inexcusable. Can't thank you enough Cam for taking me back to a time when men could wear mustaches and Jemm was, truly, outrageous.

Great fucking clip.

Anonymous said...

I remember this video well. In fact, I'm certain that there were some local TV stations, citing "thousands of cards and letters", that played this video for like a week straight on their newscasts.

Of course, that was back when "sports" were featured on local news. I'm old.

that nicka said...

Holy shit. This is unbelievable.

Rod Martin and Curt Marsh are fucking hands down the best I will not entertain debate on this...they both sound like they could be inserted into Rapper's Delight without anyone batting an eyelash.

And the guitar riff in the beat(not the solo) absolutely rules.

castro said...

I was thinking the same thing as That Nicka. The similarities in the wooden cadence of some of these guys and some of the so-called "legends" of rap is fucking scary.

Equally scary is how enthusiastic these guys look. Did they really think in 20+ years we'd NOT be mocking this? Hell, in 20 minutes?

That Bootleg Guy said...

I have seriously watched this video a half dozen more times since i got home from work and it would've been more if the unnamed defense contractor hadn't blocked YouTube.

I've already found a bunch of other moments that I missed the first forty times. For example, check out Marcus Allen (#32) anytime he's not doing his solo. His hand gestures are friggin' priceless.

I'd write more, but I've gotta watch it again.

Joe Reid said...

Gold, Cam'ron. Pure gold. But seriously, I hate Todd Christensen so much.

acctgsean said...

AJC...your boy Mex was telling me about this post during lunch. I won't be able to see it until I'm home, but I thought you might wanna know that youtube also has the PHENOMENAL "Let's Go Mets" video from 1986, which is pretty cheesy by itself, but at around the 1:45 mark, it's off the charts. Joe Piscopo! Shirtless Doc Gooden! Seriously, you must see this.