Thursday, July 26, 2007
Punk rock Quincy
Among certain circles, there is a piece of art whose power reverberates to this day. And that piece of art is the infamous "punk rock" episode of "Quincy M.E" where Jack Klugman blew the lid off of the sinister punk rock movement, a drug and rage-fueled musical cabal that threatened to destroy every value our country ever dared to hold dear.
The episode, chillingly titled "Next Stop, Nowhere" first aired on December 2, 1982, and as someone once said on a website I no longer have bookmarked and therefore cannot properly credit, "a stunned generation has been picking up the pieces ever since." The episode had Quincy investigating the murder of Zack, a street punk who was killed while attending a show by the band "Mayhem" at the Ground Zero Club. Poor Zack is stabbed with an ice-pick in the neck while "slam-dancing" to Mayhem's incendiary classic "I Wanna See You Choke." Some choice lyrics from this sly condemnation of bourgeois society are as follows (the third line was unintelligble, sorry):
Get a job for the man
Go on and break down if you can
(something something ) like his face
there's no garbage like the human race
I don't know why you try
You know you're gonna die
It's all just a joke
I wanna see you choke
Printing more of the lyrics would merely cause you to break down and sob as you realize the stunning hypocrisy of your life, so I will spare you. Plus, it was difficult to transcribe them, as the audio quality was quite poor.
Here's a montage of scenes from this slab of cinema verite' / documentary / time-capsule:
As you can see, the "punks" are terrifying in their authenticity. One imagines the casting director simply used giant nets to capture a real-live punk audience from a Dead Kennedys or Black Flag show, transported them to the set, and filmed them in all their feral glory, paying them in drugs, safety pins and make-up for their time.
At one point Quincy talks to a female punker and tells her "I'm with the Coroner's office." Her reply? She says she's heard of his band and likes them. My goodness.
At the end of the episode Quincy, having cured society of punk rock, is dancing with a square white lady who earlier in the show described punks as "like soldiers fighting in some insane war." Anyways, as they shuffle their old bones to the mellow sounds of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Quincy asks "why anyone want to listen to music that makes you hate, when you can listen to music that makes you love." Hmm. Why indeed, Quincy?
Appparently "CHiP's" had a 2-part punk rock storyline as well. More on this later.