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#1
Old 08-28-2014, 03:35 PM
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Animal House - why did John Belushi destroy the guitar?

Was John Belushi a hater of folk music? Did he hate the guys singing? What made it so bad? The music performance or just a shitty song?
https://youtube.com/watch?v=NqpNQ9AJYgU

It's actually supposed to be slow and cloying. I can't think of a more irritating and despised folk song. I love folk music but not this song.

Joan Baez's attempt. It sets my teeth on edge just like that guy in Animal House. Too damn slow! Get some tempo woman!! Allegro or at least Moderato! Never sing this song lento or adagio.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=arxSEgNoR8k

Doc Watson did it too. Much better, faster. But its still pretty irritating.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=UAUwOYKwarw

Last edited by aceplace57; 08-28-2014 at 03:37 PM.
#2
Old 08-28-2014, 03:37 PM
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Remember the Great Folk Music Scare of the '60s?
#3
Old 08-28-2014, 03:44 PM
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That shit almost caught on!
#4
Old 08-28-2014, 03:44 PM
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I like some of the 60's folk. Diamonds and Rust, 500 Miles, City of New Orleans, and many of these on the top 100 list.

It's the pretentious and cloying crap that I can't take. I can remember cheers in the theater when Belushi smashed that guitar.

Last edited by aceplace57; 08-28-2014 at 03:45 PM.
#5
Old 08-28-2014, 03:46 PM
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I get the feeling Belushi's character is one who wants to rock out. You could recreate this scene with 00s whiny indie rock to the same effect.
#6
Old 08-28-2014, 03:50 PM
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Because the guy was the typical college dick who brings a guitar to a party to try to pick up girls.

And the song sucked.
#7
Old 08-28-2014, 03:50 PM
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1. Charming Guy with the Guitar was surrounded by adoring females. Who weren't surrounding and adoring Bluto.
B. This was Bluto, remember? I'd class this incident as one of many entries on his "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time" list. That is, if a "list" can come in volumes I, II, and III.
#8
Old 08-28-2014, 03:55 PM
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Ok... look at Belushi's character. They are at an "Animal House" party with beer being thrown motorcycles ridden up the stairs etc. And there in the middle is a guy with a sweater around his neck who obviously brought a guitar to this party singing a dippy song and a bunch of the girls swooning over him.

Didn't quite fit in with the type of party Bluto wants and he thought it was annoying. Smashing the dweeb's guitar is the only logical reaction. After all... he said "sorry."
#9
Old 08-28-2014, 04:01 PM
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Because it's Frat house and nobody invited Stephen Bishop anyway.
#10
Old 08-28-2014, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spud View Post
Ok... look at Belushi's character. They are at an "Animal House" party with beer being thrown motorcycles ridden up the stairs etc. And there in the middle is a guy with a sweater around his neck who obviously brought a guitar to this party singing a dippy song and a bunch of the girls swooning over him.

Didn't quite fit in with the type of party Bluto wants and he thought it was annoying. Smashing the dweeb's guitar is the only logical reaction. After all... he said "sorry."
Yeah, I'm thinking imagine you're an "Animal House" and you're throwing this rocking no-holds-barred type of party, and there's some douche sitting with a guitar playing, I dunno, Jack Johnson tunes or whatever. Wouldn't you want to smash his guitar into bits?
#11
Old 08-28-2014, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Jeff View Post
B. This was Bluto, remember? I'd class this incident as one of many entries on his "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time" list. That is, if a "list" can come in volumes I, II, and III.
That's pretty much it- it just seemed like a good idea... and he seemed sincerely sorry seconds afterward.
#12
Old 08-28-2014, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Lukeinva View Post
Because it's Frat house and nobody invited Stephen Bishop anyway.
I'm impressed that you recognized him. He is an accomplished musician deliberately hamming it up in Animal House.

Quote:
he was discovered by Art Garfunkel in 1976 and had been working for a music publishing company where he wrote songs for Chaka Khan, Barbra Streisand, and The Four Tops. His debut album "Careless" not only beget the hit songs "On and On" and "Save It For a Rainy Day," but also went gold and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

However, Stephen achieved his greatest success composing songs for a handful of movies which include "The China Syndrome," "Roadie," "Summer Lovers," "Tootsie," "Unfaithfully Yours," "Micki & Maude," "The Money Pit," "The Boy Who Could Fly," "Heart & Souls," "How to Deal," and "The Hitcher." "Separate Lives," Bishop's terrific theme song for the film "White Nights," was especially well received: the duet between Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin was a #1 Billboard chart hit and was nominated for an Oscar.

Last edited by aceplace57; 08-28-2014 at 04:08 PM.
#13
Old 08-28-2014, 04:12 PM
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I had no idea that such an awful song was, like, a real song. I just assumed for the last few decades that a clever National Lampoon writer came up with the most stupid lyric ever, about cherries with no stones and chicken with no bones.
#14
Old 08-28-2014, 04:18 PM
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Steven Bishop wrote and performed Dream Girl for the Animal House soundtrack.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=GHN0gkfSpfs

Pretty good attempt at recreating that Frankie Valli sound from the 60's.
#15
Old 08-28-2014, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
I had no idea that such an awful song was, like, a real song. I just assumed for the last few decades that a clever National Lampoon writer came up with the most stupid lyric ever, about cherries with no stones and chicken with no bones.
Hey, give the man credit. It's hard to be a songwriter AND a geneticist conducting forbidden experiments at the same time.
#16
Old 08-28-2014, 04:29 PM
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Because it's funny.
#17
Old 08-28-2014, 04:40 PM
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He was also friends with John Landis - he's been a "charming" character in four John Landis movies:
Quote:
Has appeared as an actor in four films - all directed by John Landis - where his character is labeled "Charming". In The Kentucky Fried Movie, he plays the Charming Guy, in Animal House, his character is the Charming guy with guitar, in The Blues Brothers, he plays a Charming Trooper, and in Twilight Zone: The Movie, his character in Segment #1 is Charming G.I.
#18
Old 08-28-2014, 04:41 PM
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The Riddle Song, with these banal lyrics:

I gave my love a cherry without a stone
I gave my love a chicken without a bone


The River Song has these banal lyrics:

Everybody knows catfish got no scales
Everybody knows cotton comes in bales


but unlike the Riddle Song it's not stupid
#19
Old 08-28-2014, 04:54 PM
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Geek trivia: On ST-TNG, when Q traps the crew in a medieval simulation, Worf similarly smashes Geordi's lute and says, "Sorry."
#20
Old 08-28-2014, 05:39 PM
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To elaborate:

1) In The Kentucky Fried Movie, Stephen Bishop appeared in a tiny role in a fake porno movie called Catholic High School Girls in Trouble. They used an ancient dirty joke in that scene. Bishop is standing there, trying to look suave. A big-boobed blonde approaches and says, "Show me your nuts." Bishop responds by making weird faces and sounds.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=lENb6OzabPs

2) As we've discussed, he was "Charming guy with guitar" in Animal House.

3. He was Charming state trooper in The Blues Brothers.

4. And, in The Twilight Zone, he was the Charming G.I. He's one of a group of soldiers tramping through a rice paddy in Viet Nam. At one point, in an allusion to the ending of Animal House, he whines, "Man, I wish we didn't kill Lieutenant Niermeyer."

Last edited by astorian; 08-28-2014 at 05:40 PM.
#21
Old 08-28-2014, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post
4. And, in The Twilight Zone, he was the Charming G.I. He's one of a group of soldiers tramping through a rice paddy in Viet Nam. At one point, in an allusion to the ending of Animal House, he whines, "Man, I wish we didn't kill Lieutenant Niermeyer."
I thought he used the verb "frag"?
#22
Old 08-28-2014, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by astorian View Post
4. And, in The Twilight Zone, he was the Charming G.I. He's one of a group of soldiers tramping through a rice paddy in Viet Nam. At one point, in an allusion to the ending of Animal House, he whines, "Man, I wish we didn't kill Lieutenant Niermeyer."
NIEDERmeyer.




DEAD!
#23
Old 08-28-2014, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
Geek trivia: On ST-TNG, when Q traps the crew in a medieval simulation, Worf similarly smashes Geordi's lute and says, "Sorry."
https://youtube.com/watch?app=de...&v=YKiAhTbpL4Y

Also, Worf is not a merry man.
#24
Old 08-29-2014, 04:30 PM
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It's a puzzle song. Like a test. Bluto has an alternate approach to tests. (Stealing answers at best. Not taking tests seems to be his thing in order to have no GPA: all courses incomplete.)

Somebody's posing a question. "Solve" by breaking guitar. Simple enough for a future US Senator.
#25
Old 08-29-2014, 05:58 PM
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Some men just want to watch the world burn.
#26
Old 08-29-2014, 07:15 PM
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Why? Why not?
#27
Old 08-29-2014, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
I had no idea that such an awful song was, like, a real song. I just assumed for the last few decades that a clever National Lampoon writer came up with the most stupid lyric ever, about cherries with no stones and chicken with no bones.
Complete lyrics.

It's the same sort of concept, more or less, as "Tell her to find me an acre of land / between the salt water and the sea strand," etc. Or, this.

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 08-29-2014 at 08:07 PM.
#28
Old 08-29-2014, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian View Post
Remember the Great Folk Music Scare of the '60s?
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
That shit almost caught on!
I sometimes think the Dope is the only place on the internet where there are people who remember that. I'm wrong, of course.
#29
Old 08-30-2014, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Knowed Out View Post
Because it's funny.
'Zactly!
#30
Old 08-30-2014, 03:26 AM
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Interesting. I always thought it was glaringly obvious why he smashed the guitar. The guitar player is a pompous douchebag. He has a little groomed moustache and perfectly styled hair. He wore a turtleneck sweater to a toga party. He's hamming up the song like there's no tomorrow, and seems insufferably pleased with himself and how handsome he believes himself to be. Smashing the guitar is the perfect response.

Trivia: I heard that Belushi was just supposed to grab the guitar and smash it, but it didn't break on the first try, so he had to kind of go on a rampage and keep hitting it, which of course made the scene even more funny.
#31
Old 08-30-2014, 09:33 AM
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I hope it was a prop guitar he busted up. I've always thought there was something inherently wrong with destroying musical instruments. That's why Pete Townsend and I weren't on speaking terms for decades.
#32
Old 08-30-2014, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
I sometimes think the Dope is the only place on the internet where there are people who remember that. I'm wrong, of course.
In guitar geek circles, it is referred to that way, even though most vintage acoustic dealers love the music of the day. It was a time when a lot of old acoustics were getting modded - pickups added, refinished, archtops replaced with flattops, psychedelic additions, etc. Not unlike the Eddie Van Halen-ification of electrics in the 80's, when wonderful old Strats and Les Pauls were routed for locking tremolos.
#33
Old 08-30-2014, 11:07 AM
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And, of course, the two quotes together are a set from Martin Mull's Sex and Violins.
#34
Old 08-30-2014, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Paintcharge View Post
Because the guy was the typical college dick who brings a guitar to a party to try to pick up girls.

And the song sucked.
And the guy was WAAAAY off-key. It's as if Belushi was putting the guitar out of its misery.
#35
Old 08-30-2014, 11:54 PM
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The more I see this movie, the more I wonder why we are supposed to identify with the Deltas.

Not that anyone else in the movie is much better than them, but they're pretty damn vile.

Why shouldn't they all be expelled?
#36
Old 08-31-2014, 07:40 AM
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Dude, sometimes a funny movie is funny. I wouldn't overthink a movie like Animal House.

Bugs Bunny tortures Daffy Duck throughout Duck Amuck, hilariously, and at the end says "Ain't I a little stinker?" Just think of it like that....
#37
Old 08-31-2014, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
The more I see this movie, the more I wonder why we are supposed to identify with the Deltas.
Because some people like to draw outside the lines.
#38
Old 08-31-2014, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
I wouldn't overthink a movie like Animal House.
Just coming back to say: I posted this and then realized I was on the SDMB. Overthinking is what we do . Heck, we're in a thread overthinking the guitar smashing scene....
#39
Old 08-31-2014, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
Just coming back to say: I posted this and then realized I was on the SDMB. Overthinking is what we do . Heck, we're in a thread overthinking the guitar smashing scene....
Up next... why did D-Day choose to play the William Tell Overture on his throat after riding his motorcycle up the stairs? Was he intending to make people think of William Tell, or the Lone Ranger? Was he identifying with one or the other?

Expect a brief hijack on if the carb on his bike was correct for that model.
#40
Old 08-31-2014, 09:18 AM
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The interior shots of the delta house were made in an actual fraternity house at the University of Oregon. The IMDB trivia section of the movie listing says:


Quote:
The hole John Belushi makes in the wall with the guitar is the only physical damage to the house the movie-makers made during the entire shoot. Instead of repairing it, the fraternity placed a frame around the hole with an engraved brass tag around the hole commemorating it.
#41
Old 08-31-2014, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
I hope it was a prop guitar he busted up. I've always thought there was something inherently wrong with destroying musical instruments. That's why Pete Townsend and I weren't on speaking terms for decades.
Well, Townsend smashed Ricks and Gibsons. At the most, Charming Guy was playing a $35.00 nylon string POS they use to lure you into a making a buy. It probably had an 1.25" action at the 12th fret.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
And, of course, the two quotes together are a set from Martin Mull's Sex and Violins.
At least it didn't start with that fiddle and banjo crap. It started with Seamen's Chantys.

Men!
#42
Old 08-31-2014, 01:45 PM
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Dude, sometimes a funny movie is funny. I wouldn't overthink a movie like Animal House.
What? Overthink? Did you say "overthink"? Nothing is overthinked until we decide it is! Did we overthink when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
#43
Old 08-31-2014, 01:52 PM
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Germans?
#44
Old 08-31-2014, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir View Post
Germans?
Just go with it, man. He's on a roll.
#45
Old 08-31-2014, 07:52 PM
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Chris Miller wrote the original story for National Lampoon and he based it on his actual college experiences at Dartmouth. He filled it out into a book-length memoir, The Real Animal House: The Awesomely Depraved Saga of the Fraternity That Inspired the Movie.

He got there in 1959, I think, when the cool music was black r&b, just like in England. There are stories about the brothers visiting road houses for the real thing. Bluto would have contempt for the 50s folk scene as a matter of principle; a treacly folk song would set him off.

As you might expect, Miller glorifies the frat's behavior and it's worse than the movie. Both look a lot uglier today than they might when you're young.
#46
Old 08-31-2014, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Spud View Post
Up next... why did D-Day choose to play the William Tell Overture on his throat after riding his motorcycle up the stairs?
That was something thrown in by Bruce McGill and John Landis. Landis wanted all the major characters to have a little gimmick so he asked his stars what odd physical thing they can do. McGill's was playing the Overture on his throat.
#47
Old 08-31-2014, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
As you might expect, Miller glorifies the frat's behavior and it's worse than the movie. Both look a lot uglier today than they might when you're young.
Exactly. When I was 9-10 years old, it was hilarious. Now, I really don't see why those guys should be glorified. They really had no redeeming qualities at all.
#48
Old 08-31-2014, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
The more I see this movie, the more I wonder why we are supposed to identify with the Deltas.
Yeah, why would I possibly want to identify with a bunch of guys who drink, have parties all the time, and get laid? Oh, right....
#49
Old 08-31-2014, 11:55 PM
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You can have fun whether or not you're otherwise a destructive, misogynistic jerk.
#50
Old 09-01-2014, 12:08 AM
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It's a movie. Don't overthink it. Forget about the modern cash register with an LED display in that one scene.

Last edited by cochrane; 09-01-2014 at 12:09 AM.
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