When it was announced at our weekly editorial board meeting (editor's note: over cognac & cigars) that Pencil Storm would be doing a new series dedicated to the YouTube rabbit hole, I was totally on board. I often find myself digging through YouTube for hours searching for a lost piece of footage that takes me back in time.
My trip down the You Tube rabbit hole this weekend will take you back to the early 1980's when the ABC television network decided that they would give NBC's Saturday Night Live some competition. Originally ABC had thought they should go head to head with SNL with a sketch comedy series airing on the same night and in the same time slot. After giving it some thought ABC decided maybe the better idea would be to air their late night comedy show a night before and call it Fridays.
Fridays began it's run on ABC in April of 1980 and would last for only three seasons, leaving the airwaves in April of 1982. The premise of Fridays basically followed the SNL concept: sketch comedy with a different guest star and musical act each week.
Fridays really connected with me as I was too young to really appreciate the original cast of SNL that included John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and others. By 1980 SNL was struggling as it had lost all of its original cast members and producer Lorne Michaels had gone on hiatus from the show. The time seemed right for a new kid on the block.
Fridays had a pretty strong cast of characters but for me it was the musical guests that kept me watching week after week. Fridays is notable for hosting the American network television debuts of AC/DC, The Clash and The Stray Cats. At the time of their appearance The Stray Cats didn't even have a record out in America, it would be another eight months before their US debut would be released. Other memorable performances included The Jam, Pretenders, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Plasmatics, Split Enz and many others. The Cars and Devo hold the distinction of being the only artists to make more than one appearance on the show.
Kiss appeared on Fridays in February of 1982 promoting their album (Music From) The Elder. Kiss performed three songs from the album and this would be the only live performance of material from that album for over three decades. This footage was very sought after by Kiss fanatics around the globe and would eventually resurface on the band's Kissology Vol. 2 DVD set in 2007.
Fridays final episode aired on April 23rd 1982 and featured Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder performing "Ebony and Ivory."
There are plenty of Fridays clips on YouTube, below are a few of my favorites. I'm sure you'll discover others that will keep you occupied for a few hours........television like this does not exist anymore.......
Scott Carr is a guitarist who plays in the Columbus, OH bands Radio Tramps andReturning April. Scott is also an avid collector of vinyl records and works at Lost Weekend Records. So...if you are looking for Scott....you'll either find him in a dimly lit bar playing his guitar or in a record store digging for the holy grail.