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October 26, 1980 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-10-26
This is a tabloid page

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Page 2-Sunday, October 26, 1980-The Michigan Daily
Electronic amphetamines


The Michigan Dbily-=-'Sundc

Can't sleep? Ever? Got the TV
Jones? Someone elses' problems got
you on the couch instead of in bed? The
million-and-one multiplying pressures
of the modern world are here for good.
There's not going to be any let up-so
forget about things getting easier or
less complex. There is life after mid-
night on TV-and that's the best relief
you'll ever get for free. Consolation in
black and white or in color; more
satisfying than a one night stand; safer
than sleeping pills and cheaper than an
For the couple of bucks it costs to
refurbish that old black and white with
an antenna that will bring in UHF, you
get Channels 50 and 62. This means af-
ter-midnight movies until dawn. Forget
about Tom Snyder (a.k.a. Mr. Rogers
with a sex change operation), reruns of
Charlie's Angels, and The Love Boat.
The late-night fare on the network af-
filiates is only a repeat of the same pap

that they run during prime time. Only a
seriously ill individual would subject
themselves to reruns of The Jeffersons,
Maude, or Police Woman at any hour.
Sure it might be some small solace to
find a Kojak, Untouchables, or even
Barreta rerun-but Barney Miller?
Why isn't there someone out there in
big-time TV land who understands that
when you're lonely you can't count on
anybody to be there to pour out love 24
hours a day, 7 days a week except that.
little electrical box. Sure, Channel 2
might throw something decent your
way on a Saturday night like Devil
Doll, a movie from 1936 starring
Lionel Barrymore as a vengeful
escapee from Devil's Island who opens
a doll shop of live shrunken humans
with nasty habits. But the remainder of
the week they give you Marcus Welby,
M.D., or made-for-TV movies. Most
nights after 2:30 a.m. it's only static
and test patterns.
Channel 4, like Channel 2, offers a

late horror movie on Saturdays. The
title of the show, Saturday Night Dead,
is the best thing about it. The rest of the
week it's Tom Snyder every night until
2:00 a.m., followed by a half hour show
You can't count on any-
body to be there to pour out
love 24 hours a day 7 days a
week when you're feeling lone-
ly except that little electrical
called Classroom where they discuss a
wide variety of topics from cell
mutation and disease to the Roman
Empire. Nothing like a lecture series at
2:00a.m. (Zzz...).
Over at Channel 7 they offer a movie
that runs to 3:30 a.m. on Saturdays,
then they sign-off with the news. At

you want
to show your
.stop in and see us.
We have more Michigan items
than you ever believed existed.
From baby bottles and playing
cards to sweatsuits and Stetsons,
we've got it all.

least they show plenty of Vincent
Price's Edgar Allen Poe send-ups, even
during the week, which is to their
credit. , Mmmm . . . how about
Premature Burial, where Price lifts
what he thinks is a cup of poison to find
that its filled with maggots and worms
Most nights Channel 50 runs a 12:30
movie that's a winner. Bogart, Henry
Fonda, Bette Davis, Fred Astaire,
Ginger Rogers, Cary Grant and more,
all in their prime-perfect entertain-
ment in black and white until 2:30 a.m.
Channel 62 gets their religious
programming out of the way and
then-somebody at that station loves
you, baby-they give you movies,
glorious stuff-the best classics and the
best junk, all the way until sunrise. At
4:00 a.m., your eyes looking like a road
map for a major metropolitan area,
you can turn on Bela Lugosi in The Cor-
pse Vanishes. At 5:30 a.m. you can
move the TV into the kitchen, put on the
coffee, fry a couple of eggs, and watch
Boris Karloff work out as a Chinese
detective in Doomed to Die. You want
culture? A Pulitzer Prize winning
double-bill like the 1940 adaptation of
Thorton Wilder's Our Town and Street
Scene, a story of Manhattan tenement
life directed by King Vidor, is normal
fare. Channel 62 is what your barten-
ders are watching when they get off
work. If you live on a hill in Ann Arbor,
you won't have any trouble picking it
up. If not, the cable or an auxiliary an-
tenna will clean away the snow.
There is life after 2:00 a.m. on local
TV. Sure, the choice gets slim and
you've only got what Channel 62 offers
after 4:00 a.m. Hey, but that's not so
bad-you could live in one of those
nasty countries where the state runs
both channels and everything shuts
down at 11:00 p.m. Then you're forced
to read a book or listen to things that go
bump in the night. No commercials for
collections of "all your favorite recor-
ding artists, all your favorite hits for
only $9.98," or nine piece electric wok
sets, or Mr. Belevedere-"We do good
work,"-over there, pal. Be happy, in-
somniacs and lat'e-night workers. You
too can be enchanted, lulled and
carressed by your tube.
Jim Robins doesn't know where
he lives, but occasionally his
articles show up at the Daily.
Supplement Co-editors: Mark
Dighton, Anne Gadon
Art Director: Maureen O'Malley
Technical Assistants: Mark
Coleman, RJ Smith
Contributors: Gordon Barry Jr.,
Owen Gleiberman, Jane Han-
stein, David Harris, Dennis Har-
vey, Karen Heiman, Michael
Kremen, Reed Lenz, Jim Robins,
Jeff Yenchek
Sales Manager: Kris Peterson
Sales Representatives: Joe
Broda, Randi Cigelnik, Barbara
Forslund, Alissa Goldfaden, Sue
Guszynski, Eric Gutt
Business Manager: Rosemary
Cover photo/design: Maureen
Models: Karen Hyena, Continen-
tal Jukebox (compliments of
Make Waves)

I know that most of you thinl
Motown music as little more than
tificial respiration for a Saturday ni
party about to be drowned in a poc
stale beer and sweat. When the1
starts spitting out foam and the mr
refined guests (law students and 1
ilk) start slipping out the side door,
can be sure that one of your drun
roommates will drop "Baby Love"
the turntable and spear it with
needle. It's almost certain at that p
that all the guests still able to stand
throw off shoes-and caution-
gravitate to the dance floor.
You then sneak out one of those bi
you hid behind the couch earlier in
evening (just in case the keg ran
and cast a bloodshot eye around
room. Just a few sips of beer, until
tongue feels loose enough to sidle '
to that cute-friend-of-a-friend and s
in with the witty repartee. Who kno
You two may start dancing: the s]
the limit.
While I harbor tender memorie
such nights myself-something to l
me warm when I'm old and gra
have to point out that such rude
posure to the treats of Motown does
provide an opportunity for the car
scrutiny necessary for enhanced
A more formidable roadblock in
path is that few members of the MA\
(Massive White Audience) are con
sant with more than a sample of
Motown canon. Oh sure, we all know
words, and the coordinated d.
steps, to the big hits: "Stop! In
Name of Love," "Just
Imagination," "Tears of a Clo
live music, no c

Who can't lip-synch "Bernadette" or
"Heat Wave?" These are the songs that
come to mind when someone talks
about The Motown Sound. These are the
songs that are played on WHNE or
CKLW when you're driving around with
only an AM radio. On the radio, though,
we have to contend not only with the
loose screws rattling around the dash-
board, but also with some resonant
yobbo talking ovet the opening bars,
giving out temperatures in Cleveland,
Toledo, Port Huron, Romulus. As if I
But these few numbers are only the
tip of the iceberg called Motown.
Beneath the surface, we will, if we look
long and deep enough, find an
inexhaustible resource, a treasure that
is rich enough to bear examination and
First, let's try the examination.
Motown has gotten a lot of ink mileage
out of something Bob Dylan quipped to
a persistent interviewer that wanted to
know who was America's living poet.
Dylan answered "William (aka
Smokey) Robinson." That Dylan later
recanted may signal that he was toying
with the interviewer, being his usual
puckish self. But then again, maybe
not. Someone else I know insists that
Smokey Robinson will come to be
known as the "Cole Porter of the Six-
ties." There is something similar in
that lyrical facility both composers are
known for, how casually the rhymes
slip together, "as easily as leaves to a
tree." Admittedly, Smokey hasn't writ-
ten any musical comedy yet, but then
Porter couldn't sing like Smokey does.
One of Smokey's lesser-known works,
"A Love She Can Count On," contains

one stanza which, I think,, makes con-
vincing argument of Robinson's skills
as a songsmith. The early stanzas of the
song speak in general terms about how
much The Modern Woman appreciates
a love steadfast and enduring. In the
third stanza, Smokey gets specific. Fir-
st two lines: "I remember what made
this come to me/The guy next door has
money, you see." (No, he's not rich: he
just "has money"). Next: "He buys his
woman everything." (Oh yeah? Like
what?) "He buys her cars and clothes
and diamond rings." (From the expec-
ted to the extravagent). "Although she
accepts the things he buys . . ." (Now
pause a second: if you or I, lesser poets,
were writing thisong, she would leave
him, right? Not with Smokey.)

sing '
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