Koko B. Ware – Piledriver
We’re on a construction site with a crew that includes Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Sir Oliver Humperdink and Superstar Billy Graham. First, Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart drive through the site in a pink Cadillac before Hulk Hogan whips his massive hose out and slops site foreman Arnold Skaaland with his cold, wet, creamy… concrete. Elsewhere, Vince McMahon wolf-whistles at a pair of girls in hot pants, and Billy Jack Haynes fails to eat an apple. And all this while Koko belts out the sort of lyrics every man in the world can relate to – how love “feels just like a piledriver.”
Honky Tonk Man – Honky Tonk Man
Honky Tonk Man drives around ‘Honkywood’ in his pink Caddy, then hits a club for a live performance -with Jimmy Hart on backup vocals– in front of an enraptured crowd (later revealed to have been paid off by Honky himself). Elvis who? A classic, classic pro wrestling entrance theme.
Rick Derringer – Demolition
Rock! Demolition’s kick-ass theme blasts out over a montage of Ax and Smash destroying a bunch of jobbers, inter-cut with black and white stock footage of aeroplanes on fire and mindless explosions, which makes me think Michael Bay might have had a hand in this.
Rick Derringer & ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund – Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo
Okerlund is Professor Peabody, music appreciation expert. Nerdy teacher Miss Brooks explains today’s lesson will cover Beethoven, but once the lights go out, Peabody switches into a dimestore Bill & Ted glam rock outfit, all neon colours, long blue wig and space-age silver shades, and delights us one and all with a blast of 50s-style rock ‘n roll drenched in 80s synthesizer and guitar tones. Hulk Hogan makes a cameo here as Derringer and Okerlund’s bass player, although I can’t confirm if this was before or after James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich tried to “recruit him into Metallica”. Miss Brooks of course lets her hair down, strips off, and starts grooving on her desk, as was commonplace for impromptu jives back in the 80s. You young ‘uns have no idea what you missed.
Robbie Dupree & Strike Force – Girls in Cars
Guilty pleasure time now with the synth-rock/power-pop strains of Girls in Cars, a song that sounds like it was probably left over from a Dupree album session and donated to this throwaway tie-in compilation record that those crazy wrestlers were putting together. Legendary WWF music guy Jim Johnston at least tries to explain that when asked about the video, Strike Force (Rick Martel & Tito Santana) just kept talking about girls, so there’s your tie in. Not sure if they specifically requested all the shots of Dupree in his white Miami Vice suit, strangling his guitar on the beach for an audience of seagulls.
Slick – Jive Soul Bro’
And now for the overtly racist portion of the tape as Slick, a black pimp, walks around Fat Albert’s ghetto while chomping on a watermelon and eating a bucket of fried chicken. Catchy tune, although I do have to ask – what the hell was up with that little monkey on a tiny pedal-bike?
Vince McMahon – Stand Back
Megalomania running wild! Vince McMahon’s personal “fuck you” to every wrestling promoter in America encapsulated in a three minute pop-rock song, although the video itself is dedicated to Andre the Giant, which still works well enough.
WWF Wrestlers – If You Only Knew
And now for the big finale as the entire roster (and I mean, the ENTIRE roster, we’re talking everyone from Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and the Million Dollar Man down to Sam Houston, Outback Jack, Steve Lombardi, Barry Horowitz and Killer Khan) call each other out. Who knew the WWF was responsible for the entire culture of diss tracks? It’s just too bad all those rappers caught up in the east coast-west coast feud felt they had to settle their differences with guns rather than in a wrestling ring on pay-per-view.
Summary: Kind of a tough tape to sum up really. You want wrestling matches? Nothing like that here. You want a sampling of the best music 1987 had to offer? Go buy Michael Jackson’s Bad, the best-selling studio album of all time, instead. You want to get nostalgic and chuckle yourself silly watching pro wrestlers in pop videos? GET ALL THIS! A fun enough 40-minutes if you were a fan of the era, but nothing you couldn’t just bring up on YouTube in about thirty seconds nowadays. And one final note: all the videos here were actually produced by Joel Watts, son of Mid-South/UWF promoter ‘Cowboy’ Bill Watts, Joel having been responsible for a lot of that promotion’s music videos and hype packages.