By David Pescovitz at 1:22 pm Mon, Jan 24, 2011
Grand Mixer D.ST. is scratching on the B-side of Fab Five Freddy's "Change The Beat." Don't miss the shot of Michael Jackson and date Brooke Shields in the front row.
all your keytar jokes are belong to Herbie Hancock
correction: dude’s name is Grand Mixer DXT.
Not in 1984.
it’s all good as long as you don’t call him “GrandMaster”!
He’s not even playing the keytar there. He’s keytar-syncing :-(
Hard to believe that’s the same guy that gave us this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfsnVYVd3iI
How are you sure? Hancock mastered these instruments quickly and was one of the first jazz players to do so.
And why is it so hard to believe that a legendary jazz musician made a ground-breaking experimental pop record? I know it was panned by critics, but the people sure liked it.
Do you remember anything about “live” music on TV shows in the mid-1980s?
Eh, he’ll always be “D St.” to me.
Herbie Hancock has been badass through several decades.
With Miles Davis in 1963: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_whk6m67VE
Funky and abstract with Mwandishi in 1971: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lTimyz9T7k\
Straight-up funky with Headhunters in 1975: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lTimyz9T7k
Bonus for the vintage keyboard heads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6QsusDS_8A
He’s one of the few remaining genuine titans of jazz and he’s still going strong. Big ups for some Herbie on a Monday afternoon.
these vids are very nice
“What is that sound? That zigga zigga, where is that sound coming from?” -Mix Master Mike
The music video for Rockit is one of my all-time favorites.
What b-boy crew is dancing in the video? Rock Steady? Nice mix of popping and breaking.
The future was so close back then!
I remember seeing an exhibition with those very robots in it at about that time. Tim Hunkin, aren’t they?
Herbie ain’t really playing: 2:59 or so
He is most certainly playing for real. That’s a completely improvised solo. The video rate is bad and it makes it look weird. It is definitely not ‘key-syncing’. Listen to the original recording and you will see that this is a completely different version; he was just playing really fast and this low-quality video does not do his hands justice.
The natural progression of the Avant-garde jazz movement…keytars
The robots are Jim Whiting’s
My wife just walked through the room
Me: Hey Boing Boing’s got a Herbie Hancock live at the 1984 Grammies video up. I’m not sure why but…
Her: Because it’s AWESOME!
Saw it live on TV and taped it. Took it in to show and tell the next day, because of the moonwalking. I was 12 and in 6th grade. I must have watched it 300 times. (Watch , rewind, watch, rewind).
OMG!! He may be keytar syncing but… but its the almost mythical David Company’s Clavitar!
The documentary Scratch (as Paco posted) cites this performance as the inspiration for many a turntablist of my generation (early to late 30s). I remember seeing this when it aired and being mesmerized by the scratching. I immediately set about trying to destroy my parents’ turntable. They were not amused.
Years after college (mid-90s, probably), I found out that Herbie Hancock was some kind of enormous jazz legend going back decades. And yet Rockit was my only exposure to the guy’s work.
I fear I am not alone.
I guess I never followed up on the guy because he sounded to my unseasoned ears like a lesser clone of Harold Faltermeyer. Which wasn’t really my thing.
All to my shame now.
I always loved the exotic and innovative music video (which this stage performance echoes). The video is far more interesting than the stage show:
Some time after its release I found out that the directors were my favorite art rock guys Lol and Kev (earlier of 10CC)
who released my all time most loved concept album, “Consequences” (with a stunning guest appearance by Sarah Vaughn).
If you have a few hours free, enjoy that album! My favorite line from the album… “It’s not a good sign when goldfish commit suicide” (delivered by Peter Cook).
Here he is a year later at the 1985 Grammys with Stevie Wonder, Thomas Dolby and Howard Jones. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZEGHnAxEpo
Nice. This is right about the time Kraftwerk stopped being insanely good. The torch had passed.
Nah, Electric CafÃ© came right after this. I strongly suspect there was cross-polination going on.
Only saw it the one time, back when it first aired. Seared Into My Brain. Don’t need to watch it again, but I will.
If you do a brief search, it’s possible to find a great interview from 1985 Musician magazine with Herbie Hancock and Wynton Marsalis together. Summary: Wynton thinks Herbie’s foray into pop is utter crap, but he can’t outright say it, because, well, Herbie is Herbie, and he’s sitting right there. It’s a pretty interesting read if you’re so inclined.
This was around the same time Jan Hammer broke out with his Miami Vice electronic stuff; another heavy jazz guy (e.g. John Abercrombie “Timeless” 1974), although less famous, dipping his toe into a world of new toys and sounds.
And remember, kids, to embrace your keyboard heritage.
Dont miss julio Iglesias as well , front row before Brooke and Michael
Thanks for the great flashback. Everytime I listen to this song I remember watching this performance in grade school music class. I haven’t seen it since and it was still just as fantastic. I wish more of my 80s memories were the same.
Wow, this was an incredible performance.
Also, Jabo Sparkes on drums…?
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