|Directed by||William Dear|
|Written by||Michael Nesmith|
|Produced by||Michael Nesmith|
|Distributed by||Pacific Arts|
Elephant Parts is a collection of comedy skits and music videos made in 1981 by Michael Nesmith, formerly of the Monkees. Nesmith produced the video through his company Pacific Arts. Elephant Parts is one hour long with parody commercials and comedy sketches, and features five full-length music videos, including the popular songs "Rio" and "Cruisin'", which featured wrestler Steve Strong and Monterey-based comic "Chicago" Steve Barkley.
There are various comedy sketches between musical numbers: The most notable sketches are "Elvis Drugs", "Neighborhood Nuclear Superiority", "The Tragically Hip" (which was the inspiration for the Canadian band the Tragically Hip and was featured as a pretaped sketch on a season six episode of Saturday Night Live ), "Large Detroit Car Company", "Mariachi Translations", recurring comic blackouts that ended with the catchphrase "Just to prove a point!" and several series of bits with a lounge singer and a pirate, as well as a game show called "Name That Drug." The musical videos include "Magic", "Cruisin'", "Light," "Tonight" and "Rio." Director Bill Dear said they were doing "music videos before people even knew what they were... we approached them as mini-movies.... We always tried to tell a story and we looked for a lighter interpretation."
Throughout Elephant Parts, Nesmith makes fun of his own works, with segments including a parody of his song "Joanne" called "Rodan", and comic promos for his albums Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma and Live at the Palais . Although Nesmith's solo career is punned or highlighted, he does not make any reference to or mention of the Monkees.
Elephant Parts won the first Grammy in the Music Video category. Billboard's review said it was "the cleverest exercise in original video programming to date."
Two related series were PopClips for Nickelodeon, which premiered in 1980, and Television Parts for NBC in 1985. Nickelodeon's parent company, Warner Cable, wanted to buy outright the PopClips copyright to be expanded into an all-music video channel, but after Nesmith declined the offer, Warner Cable started work on what would become MTV.
The title Elephant Parts refers to the parable of the blind men and an elephant where each man comes to a different conclusion about what an elephant is due to them touching only one part.
Elephant Parts was released on VHS (stereo) and Betamax (mono) in 1981.It was ninth on Billboard's Top Videocassette Sales for 1981.
It was later released on LaserDisc and CED and was the third best-selling video laser disk in 1982, behind Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind .
When Elephant Parts was first released on LaserDisc in 1981, Nesmith recorded an esoteric commentary track which did not describe the content of the video. Later, Nesmith recorded a new commentary track which does describe the content, included as part of a DVD version released in 2003.[ citation needed ]
Canadian band the Tragically Hip took its name from the eponymous sketch in Elephant Parts.
Robert Michael Nesmith is an American musician, songwriter, actor, producer, novelist, businessman, and philanthropist, best known as a member of the pop rock band the Monkees and co-star of the TV series The Monkees (1966–1968). Nesmith's songwriting credits include "Different Drum".
The Monkees is an American rock and pop band originally active between 1966 and 1971, with reunion albums and tours in the decades that followed. Their original line-up consisted of the American actor/musicians Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork with English actor/singer Davy Jones. The group was conceived in 1965 by television producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider specifically for the situation comedy series The Monkees, which aired from 1966 to 1968. The band's music was initially supervised by record producer Don Kirshner, backed by the songwriting duo of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.
George Michael Dolenz Jr. is an American actor, musician, television director, radio personality and theater director, best known as a vocalist and drummer of the 1960s pop-rock band the Monkees.
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The Grammy Award for Video of the Year was an honor presented to recording artists at the 24th Grammy Awards in 1982 and the 25th Grammy Awards in 1983 for music videos. The Grammy Awards, an annual ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards, are presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. is the fourth album by the Monkees. It was released on November 6, 1967, when the Monkees were exerting more control over their music and had started to play many of the instruments themselves, something that their record company had previously forbidden. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. sold more than three million copies and was also the band's fourth consecutive album to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard 200.
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PopClips is a music video television program, the direct predecessor of MTV.
"Different Drum" is a song written by American singer-songwriter Michael Nesmith in 1964. It was first recorded by the northern bluegrass band the Greenbriar Boys and included on their 1966 album Better Late than Never!. Nesmith offered it to the Monkees, but the producers of the TV show, who had wide control over the group's musical output early on, turned him down.
Michael Nesmith in Television Parts is a summer TV series run by NBC in 1985. It was a 30-minute comedy-variety series created by Michael Nesmith as a continuation of his Grammy Award-winning video production Elephant Parts, and earlier series PopClips. The first episode was a stand-alone television special which aired on March 7, 1985. The following series premiered on June 14, 1985.
California Music Channel (CMC) is an American music video broadcast television network based in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is one of the longest running local music video television stations in the world. CMC has been broadcasting music videos over the air in the Bay Area since 1982. CMC has grown from an hour-long program to two 24/7 stations with digital simulcast capabilities. The live broadcasts feature on-camera disc jockeys, audience participation, and contemporary music videos. It is owned by CMC Broadcasting Company, Inc. CMC is carried as a Digital Broadcast Network on ten Northern California television stations.
"Flashing Lights" is a song by American hip-hop artist Kanye West. It features Detroit R&B singer Dwele and contains background vocals from Australian singer Connie Mitchell. West co-wrote and co-produced the song with Eric Hudson and released it on November 12, 2007 as the fourth single for his third studio album, Graduation. The single's cover art was designed by Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami. The single received acclaim from music critics and is cited as one of the best songs on Graduation.
"A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You" is a song by Neil Diamond that was released by The Monkees in 1967. Davy Jones sang the lead vocal. It went to No. 1 on the Cashbox Top 100 chart. On the Billboard Hot 100 it reached No. 2, with "Somethin' Stupid" by Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra keeping it from the top spot.
Steven Harold Carr is an American film director, music video director, and film producer from Brooklyn, New York. After studying fine arts on a full scholarship to Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts, Carr founded design firm The Drawing Board with Cey Adam to create iconic album artwork for Def Jam Recordings artists such as Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, LL Cool J and more. Asked to take his vision to film, Carr created groundbreaking videos for influential hip-hop artists from Slick Rick to Jay-Z, and was signed to Quentin Tarantino's A Band Apart Music Video production company in Los Angeles, CA.
The Monkees is an American situation comedy series that first aired on NBC for two seasons, from September 12, 1966 to March 25, 1968. The series follows the adventures of four young men trying to make a name for themselves as a rock 'n roll band. The show introduced a number of innovative new-wave film techniques to series television and won two Emmy Awards in 1967, including Outstanding Comedy Series. The program ended in 1968 at the finish of its second season and has received a long afterlife through Saturday morning repeats and syndication, as well as overseas broadcasts.
The Pacific Arts Corporation, Inc. is a company formed by Michael Nesmith circa 1974 to manage and develop media projects.
Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma is Michael Nesmith's ninth post-Monkees studio album and the third studio album from his own company, Pacific Arts Records & Tapes. To continue developing Pacific Arts' multimedia projects, Nesmith originally developed the album as a "video album". It peaked at No. 151 on the Billboard Pop albums charts. The album was well received with both "Crusin" and "Factions" garnering significant airplay during July and August 1979 on Album Oriented Rock radio stations.
Stephen Cepello is an American artist and a former professional wrestler. As a wrestler, he was best known by his ring names, Steve Strong. After retiring from wrestling to focus on his art career, he was selected to paint the official Governor's Mansion and Minnesota State Capitol portraits of former wrestler and Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura.
"Cruisin'", also known as "Lucy and Ramona and Sunset Sam", is the last single to date released by Michael Nesmith as a solo artist. The song was released in 1979 under Pacific Arts from the album Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma. The B-side of the single was "Carioca". "Cruisin'" tells the story of three individuals who live on the streets of Los Angeles, California and are related by their lifestyle.
elephant parts billboard.