Looking for some Tush.

There is something to be said for being thrifty in Hollywood. Money rules and cost-cutting is the part of the game that sometimes makes the difference between no movie happening and a greenlight. One of the stumbling blocks we hit with out big shark movie was that the budget needed to be X amount of dollars to get the greenlight. When we finally got it budgeted there they found something else to nitpick about, but regardless of that the dollar rules the day.

A lot of the budgets for film is spent/squandered on rights to music. For example: The Replacements seemed to be less a football comedy and more a collection of pop songs set to football montages. A K-Tel commercial with leather.

Recently I had the misfortune of listening to my wife watch The Bucket List from the other room as I worked on my largely unnoticed Indiana Jones DVD review and something struck me as more than odd. The usage of ZZ Top’s amazing and seminal blues rocker Tush.

Except it wasn’t their version. It was a version that sounded similar but had none of the class and grit and unmistakable production quality of the 70’s original. Here’s a decision that made no sense to me. It’s not it’s a Beatles tune. It’s ZZ Top, a great band (aside from select years in the 80’s) but not one you’d consider the filet mignon of the music royalties world. If you’re going to play Tush in a film it has no bite, no reason for being, unless it’s ZZ Top’s version. The ONLY version. That song is built on pure feel. There’s no fake in that tune, just a trio of greasy bearded (aside from Frank Beard of course) white men with serious chops and genuine blues running through their bloodstream. You can do a pitch perfect cover and it’s still fucked. Hearing this imposter made me wonder:

“How much money did they save with this decision?”

Because whatever it was, it’s not enough. Instead of hiring the living sight gag Sean Hayes [“hey look it’s the gay guy from Will and Grace… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz], use the real song. Or no song.

Typically I glaze over at remakes of tunes having heard them ad nauseum in commercials and films and at middle school keggers but there was something even more disingenuous about this particular choice and I can only assume it’s the band’s blue collar origins and place in the business. The Bucket List is a hollow, weak film on its own rights but this little tiny [in the grand scheme] decision sent it to shitville even more than its gooey maudlin execution.


Now if I could just get a moratorium of Louis Armstrong music being licensed for the next 50 years I’ll be satisfied.

- Nick Nunziata cringes most at the cover of Crowded House’s ‘Don’t Dream it’s Over’. Tragic.

I go, here’s the latest thing I’m adding to the blog. Each day I’ll
have a song, a piece of artwork, a photo, a Mary Worth, or something to
further justify your click and to give the trolls a little more ammo.
Today, another perverted Art Jam between myself and real artist Andrea Rothe. Click the image for ENLARGE

Artwork by Nick Nunziata & Andrea Rothe.