Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Attention Deficit Delight, Vol. 9: Memphis Wrestling Music Videos

Fabulous One Steve Keirn enjoys a spot of wine and a high-brow magazine.
Fabulous One Steve Keirn enjoys a spot of wine and a high-brow magazine.

Fabulous Ones, Wimpbusters, and Handsome’s ode to Mempho.

I was in Portland, Oregon, at an event last week and found myself in conversation with some people from outside the South. Somehow the topic turned to the Jerry Lawler feud with Andy Kaufman from Memphis wrestling in the early ’80s. Well, when I say “somehow” I mean it was because I was involved in the conversation. Nobody really knew what I was talking about, including the thin, twenty-something, mustachioed barista who claimed he didn’t have a TV growing up, but they were fascinated by the scenario.

If they somehow weren’t familiar with the Lawler/Kaufman feud, which gained national notoriety on the David Letterman show, beyond Memphis television, obviously they would not know about the Fabulous Ones. Lucky, they.

Growing up in the early ’80s in Oxford afforded me the opportunity to watch Memphis wrestling on television. For some reason, my friends and I liked a duo called the Fabulous Ones, who were put together by Jackie “The Fabulous Fargo” Fargo. They were supposed to be glamorous pretty boys, and because it was the golden age of MTV, they, like many wrestlers, wanted in on the music video world. So, the wrestling broadcast would, between matches, air poorly produced music videos featuring wrestlers.

Of course, Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Hart would actually record their own songs and make videos, but for those wrestlers without musical talent, it was evidently acceptable to just pose to the tunes of popular hit songs of the day.

With that set-up I give you this harrowingly bizarre video starring the Fabulous Ones, featuring footage of them in the ring and enjoying the opulent lifestyle of a Fabulous One. Shirtlessness and homoerotic themes dominate. The song is “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” by the Gap Band. Just imagine that Dirk Diggler and Reed Rothchild had gone into wrestling instead of pornography, and after a long day of wrestling and posing shirtlessly in a barn they just want a nice bubble bath and to kick back and read Architectural Digest while wearing a lady’s silk robe. Click play and sit back as Stan Lane and Steve Keirn, the Fabulous Ones, drop a bomb on your sensibilities:

 

When you regain your breath, here’s another—the inevitable Fabs video for “Sharp Dressed Man”:

 

Wait, apparently someone named Big Daddy actually wrote and recorded a song for them specifically, called “Go Fabs Go.” It is one notch below awful. The video is just wrestling footage, with Lance Russell commenting over it:

 

The best Memphis wrestling music video ever was “Wimpbusters” by Jerry Lawler. If you disagree, you are a wimp, and I will bust you:

 

Yes, grown men made their livings doing that. Handsome Jimmy Valiant was from up north, but Memphis became his second home. He loved it so much, he recorded perhaps the greatest original song ever associated with the Memphis wrestling scene:

 

BONUS:

This isn’t a music video but I’m gonna shoe-horn it in here anyway. Before Lawler became a good guy, he was a “heel” in the ’70s. That was his positioning at the time Adam West of Batman fame rolled into town to appear at a boat show and found time to stop by the Memphis wrestling studio—and perhaps a liquor store on the way—in his Batman cowl and gloves, with a track suit. Enjoy as Batman gives the Super King advice on how to be a better human being:

 

— Tad Wilkes, tad.wilkes@hottytoddy.com

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