Oingo Boingo’s final album came out in 1994. For the album, they dropped the “Oingo” from their name, leading to jokes about how in another few years they’d simply be “Ngo.” The album moved away from the synth- and brass-heavy sound that had been their SOP, as Danny Elfman applied the lessons he had learned in his side career as a film composer. Songs include the opener “Insanity,” a blast of heavy social commentary, “Mary,” the story of a small-town girl who wants more, and a rocking cover of “I Am The Walrus.” Whether or not it was intended as a final statement, it works beautifully as one. The final track is Oingo Boingo’s magnum opus, their Abbey Road medley, a 15-minute epic called “Change.”
Mowrer and I saw the band in Seattle when they toured for this album, and even in the 100-degree July heat, even though I hadn’t heard the album yet and only knew a couple of the songs, it remains the best concert I ever went to. Mowrer, that rat-bastard, saw Boingo again the next year, when they gave a series of farewell concerts at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, the site of their legendary Halloween concerts.
Between Danny Elfman’s second act as a film composer (he’s done quite a few movies you probably saw), and permanent hearing damage from all those years on stage, it doesn’t look like Oingo Boingo will ever get back together (at least not with Danny at the helm – in recent years, some Boingo alumni have been performing a Boingo tribute with Battlestar Galactica composer Bear McReary on vocals). But if you haven’t seen the concert video Farewell, or heard the companion CD, I highly recommend it. This was a band that went out at the top of their abilities.
Which leaves only Hot Tomorrows to discuss.
One would think that, big Boingo fans that we are, if there’s a whole movie featuring both the Mystic Knights AND Herve “King Fausto” Villechaize, that predates Forbidden Zone, we would know about it. And yet, there I was, reading this Playboy article about director Martin Brest, and practically buried near the bottom I read:
His AFI thesis film grew into 1977’s Hot Tomorrows, a black-and-white indie that transplanted members of The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo (including Danny Elfman) into a noir dreamscape, complete with musical numbers. The film played the New York Film Festival, Brest’s macabre sense of humor charming critics for the first time (New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael praised the film’s take on life and death, describing the surrealist exercise’s sharp writing as “a good, broad burlesque-house joke”).
I realize that the point of the article is Brest’s falling fortunes, post-Gigli, but I still can’t help but feel like they buried the lede.
On the plus side, there’s nothing I love more than a hunt for obscure media. Why, this’ll be just like hunting for Forbidden Zone in the early 90s, I thought! But with the advantage of the internet! So imagine my surprise when I go to canistream.it, and turn up nothing. I figure if it ever got a release in any form, it’ll be on Amazon. Nothing. Ebay? Zilch. YouTube? Just a handful of clips, of which this is the most substantial.
I’ve found two torrents from the early days of p2p, which haven’t been seeded since the first Bush administration. Even Seattle’s legendary Scarecrow Video doesn’t have it, and there is nothing they don’t have.
So we’re putting out the call to our faithful Sub-Basementeers. If you have a copy of this movie, or know someone who has a copy, or can verify that a copy has ever existed, we need to hear from you. Contact us on Twitter or Facebook, or email us. You’ll be doing a fellow Boingo fan a huge service.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our visit to the Oingo Boingo Treasure Chest Of Lust And Mortal Sin. If this is your first time here, check out the Archive for more fun! And follow us on Facebook and Twitter, to be the first to know when we present our Salute To Mike Nesmith’s Hat!