Saturday, 23 August 2008

Teenage Rebellion / Mondo Teeno

Teenage Rebellion, aka Mondo Teeno released in 1967, was a cheapo documentary about the "Now" Generation. Written and directed by Norman T. Herman and using footage from The US, Italy, Sweden, France, Japan and England, this (not in the least bit exploitative) expose of crazy teenage global goings-on, lifted the lid on such heady topics as Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll and of course go-go dancing and surfing.

Film director Burt Topper provided the deadly serious narration including such classic lines as "Across the country, every Friday and Saturday night, they gather in the temples to perform ceremonial dances to a rhythm that seems to reach back in time. It's called the beat."

The soundtrack for the masterpiece that is Teenage Rebellion was composed by California's former lieutenant governor, Mike Curb, the man who not only brought us Burning Bridges from Kelly's Heroes, but also The Osmonds - but let's not dwell on that. Curb was to his credit president of Verve Records where he not only signed Tony Bennett but also worked with such jazz greats as Jimmy Smith, Stan Getz, Chet Baker and Wes Montgomery.

Teenage Rebellion's title track is a great piece of frenetic lightweight psychedelia while the hoedown-style orgy track is bizarrely inappropriate in the extreme. On A Young Girl's Mistake there's some cheesy baroque stone-age synth with a some head-banging pic-tic-a-poc drum machine. But it's the sample friendly extracts featuring Burt Topper's solemly intoned exposes of the world of drugs - (check out the Henry Mancini meets Jean Jacques Perrey cue), prostitution and .....gasp....homosexuality, that are the cream on the cake and an absolute hoot to boot. Remember kids, "Just Say No!"

On the subject of drugs, no responsible household should be without A Child's Garden of Grass. Released in 1971 by Elektra Records, A Child's Garden of Grass parodies those well meaning public information documentaries of yore and informs us with its tongue firmly in its hash brownie stuffed cheek, about the fascinating science, history, and culture of marijuana.

And if that's not enough, there is always King Kandy's delightful Original Notion (sic) Picture soundtrack to Acid Beach Party which combines surfing, psychedelia, garage and beat poetry plus a man called Cleff Brock in one irresistably trippy package. Check out King Kandy's far-out website where you can find out more about this mind-expanding release and the sound of Chad Valli.

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