TEEN YOUR ENTHUSIASM (9)
April 26, 2023
One in a series of 25 enthusiastic posts, contributed by 25 HILOBROW friends and regulars, on the topic of heartthrobs from our adolescences). Series edited by Heather Quinlan.
I had crushes all the time. My first was John Travolta/Danny Zuko in Grease. I made my dad take me to see it twice. When Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy storms off after Danny tries to make out with her I thought, “Kiss him! Kiss him, you fool!” Or words to that effect. I was five. A year later it was Mandy Patinkin as Che Guevara, taking a cork out of a bottle with his teeth in an ad for Evita. Stand back, Buenos Aires! I had a type.
As I got older, some of my friends gravitated toward boy bands like Menudo, then New Kids on the Block. My best friend Kerri still loves them. I loved tormenting her with Leper Messiah or Shine on You Crazy Diamond Parts I-IX. Musically, I had a type.
Enter, Mike Patton, stage left. I probably first laid eyes on him in a Metal Edge or RIP article about his band, Faith No More. (“Why don’t they call themselves ‘No More Faith?’” Kerri asked.) I was 16, he, 21. I was chubby and frizzy. He, equal parts angelic and demonic, with long, chestnut hair and abs that young men magically acquire without sit-ups. His voice spanned octaves, he sang in multiple characters, and seemed to live in multiple dimensions.
How to describe Mike Patton aside from “hot guy in a band?” I’m still not sure without tumbling over my words. You might know him from “Epic,” which, as is typical in the music biz — it’s not one of FNM’s best songs, but was their biggest hit.
One of my favorites from that album was Edge of the World, where he whispers like a man who’s praying, croons like Sinatra, then sings the chorus like a snotty youngster making fun of Sinatra. I envisioned the video. Fade In: I’m sitting at a small, round table with a white tablecloth, water in a wine glass (again, I’m a kid), and the room is dimly lit except for a spotlight on me. Mike’s wearing, of all things, a peach tuxedo, and wooing me with his endearments (“Come here my love/I’ll tell you a secret/Come closer now/I want you to believe it”); and his campiness — when he sings “Lay your head on my shoulder/It’s not the point/That I’m 40 years older,” I saw me lifting my head at the big reveal of him in a Frankenstein mask—generally how I saw people 40 years older. Then he would yank it off and show me that angelic face again. Fade out.
I usually direct documentary films, not narratives. Perhaps this is an example why. Needless to say, my fantasy never really took place. Except for one bit. Years later I was telling my friend Ian that my dad had agreed to let me see Faith No More with Voivod and Soundgarden at The Ritz, then reneged at the last minute. (I was 16, a girl, and this wasn’t Grease.) Ian, who’s my age, told me his mom let him go. But being a mensch, he got us VIP tickets to see Faith No More play at Brooklyn’s Williamsburg Waterfront. It was a beautiful July 5th evening, no humidity, gorgeous sunset. Suddenly, the band started playing Peaches & Herb’s “Reunited.” Then Mike Patton strolled onstage, wearing the peach tuxedo of my dreams.
TEEN YOUR ENTHUSIASM: INTRODUCTION by Heather Quinlan| Adam McGovern on ANDY GIBB | Crockett Doob on DREW BARRYMORE | Kathy Biehl on THE MONKEES | Josh Glenn on SHAUN CASSIDY | Catherine Christman on ELI WALLACH | Carlo Rotella on VALERIE BERTINELLI | Miranda Mellis on EDDIE VAN HALEN | Paul Finnegan on KIM WILDE | Heather Quinlan on MIKE PATTON | Mariane Cara on NKOTB | Mimi Lipson on ARLO GUTHRIE | Gabriela Pedranti on GUSTAVO CERATI | Michele Carlo on MICHAEL JACKSON | Ingrid Schorr on PAUL McCARTNEY | Carolyn Campbell on ROBERT REDFORD | Erin M. Routson on JOHNNY KNOXVILLE | Amy Keyishian on JIM MORRISON | Fran Pado on TONY DEFRANCO | Krista Margies Kunkle on LUKE PERRY | Lucy Sante on FRANÇOISE HARDY | Lynn Peril on DANNY BONADUCE | Jack Silbert on CHERYL TIEGS | Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons on CHRISTIAN SLATER | Cynthia Scott on LEONARD WHITING | Elizabeth Foy Larsen on OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN.
CURVE YOUR ENTHUSIASM (3Q2023): PIZZA PURISM | BOY BANDS | THE ’86 METS | LOVE ISLAND UK | LIVERWURST | & 20 other reconsidered enthusiasms. TEEN YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2Q2023): ANDY GIBB | VALERIE BERTINELLI | KIM WILDE | ARLO GUTHRIE | MIKE PATTON | & 20 other heartthrobs from our adolescences. DOLLY YOUR ENTHUSIASM (1Q2023): WE FOUND IT | TOGETHER AGAIN | SUNDAY MORNIN’ COMIN’ DOWN | BAD CASE OF THE BLUES | FANCY | & 20 other Sixties (1964–1973) Country records. KILL YOUR ENTHUSIASM (4Q2022): LT. TASHA YAR | JOYCE SUMMERS | COL. HENRY BLAKE | MRS. LANDINGHAM | ALEX KAMAL | & 20 other TV deaths. BLURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (3Q2022): LEFT-CORNER BRICK | JOY IS RESISTANCE | THE FUTURE IS PASSÉ | EVERY MINUTE AN OCEAN | SHUT UP, HE EXPLAINED | & 20 other apothegms to live by. KOJAK YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2Q2022): ARK II | WKRP IN CINCINNATI | BUCK ROGERS | THE WHITE SHADOW | POLICE WOMAN | & 20 other Seventies (1974–1983) TV shows. KICK YOUR ENTHUSIASM (1Q2022): KUILL | CATO | COSMO | TRIXIE | VOLSTAGG | & 20 other sidekicks. NERD YOUR ENTHUSIASM (4Q2021): TIME | THE POST OFFICE | ARDUIN | DOUBT | SUMMATIONS | & 20 other nerdy passions. SWERVE YOUR ENTHUSIASM (3Q2021): WARHOL’S WALT WHITMAN | 70, GIRLS, 70 | TYRAEL’S MIGHT | SHIRATO SANPEI | THE LEON SUITES | & 20 other never-realized cultural productions. FIVE-O YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2Q2021): DARK SHADOWS | MANNIX | GET SMART | THE ADDAMS FAMILY | I DREAM OF JEANNIE | & 20 other Sixties (1964–1973) TV shows. FERB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (1Q2021): STEVEN UNIVERSE | TOP CAT | REN & STIMPY | SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER | DRAGON BALL Z | & 20 other animated series. CARBONA YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2020): “Sex Bomb” | “Going Underground” | “Soft South Africans” | “Typical Girls” | “Human Fly” | & 20 other Seventies (1974–1983) punk singles. KLAATU YOU (2020 weekly): ZARDOZ | METROPOLIS | DARK STAR | SINS OF THE FLESHAPOIDS | SOLARIS | & dozens of other pre-STAR WARS sci-fi movies. CONVOY YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2019): THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE | ROLLERBALL | BLACK SUNDAY | SORCERER | STRAIGHT TIME | & 20 other Seventies (1974–1983) action movies. SERIOCOMIC (2019 weekly): LITTLE LULU | VIZ | MARSUPILAMI | ERNIE POOK’S COMEEK | HELLBOY | & dozens of other comics. TUBE YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2018): LOONEY TUNES | THREE STOOGES | THE AVENGERS | ROCKY & BULLWINKLE | THE TWILIGHT ZONE | & 20 other Fifties (1954–1963) TV shows. WOWEE ZOWEE (2018 weekly): UNISEX | UNDER THE PINK | DUMMY | AMOR PROHIBIDO | HIPS AND MAKERS | & dozens of other Nineties (1994–2003) albums. KLUTE YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2017): THE KILLERS | BANDE À PART (BAND OF OUTSIDERS) | ALPHAVILLE | HARPER | BLOW-UP | & 20 other Sixties (1964–1973) neo-noir movies. #SQUADGOALS (2017 weekly): THE WILD BUNCH | BOWIE’S BAND | THE BLOOMSBURY GROUP | THE HONG KONG CAVALIERS | VI ÄR BÄST! & dozens of other squads. GROK MY ENTHUSIASM (2016 weekly): THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF LUNCH | WEEKEND | MILLION YEAR PICNIC | LA BARONNE EMILE D’ERLANGER | THE SURVIVAL SAMPLER | & dozens more one-off enthusiasms. QUIRK YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2016): “Tainted Love” | “Metal” | “Frankie Teardrop” | “Savoir Faire” | “Broken English” | & 20 other Seventies (1974–1983) new wave singles. CROM YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2015): DARKER THAN YOU THINK | THE SWORD IN THE STONE | OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET | THIEVES’ HOUSE | QUEEN OF THE BLACK COAST | & 20 other Thirties (1934–1943) fantasy novels. KERN YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2014): ALDINE ITALIC | DATA 70 | TORONTO SUBWAY | JOHNSTON’S “HAMLET” | TODD KLONE | & 20 other typefaces. HERC YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2013): “Spoonin’ Rap” | “Rapper’s Delight” | “Rappin’ Blow” | “The Incredible Fulk” | “The Adventures of Super Rhyme” | & 20 other Seventies (1974–1983) hip-hop songs. KIRK YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2012): Justice or vengeance? | Kirk teaches his drill thrall to kiss | “KHAAAAAN!” | “No kill I” | Kirk browbeats NOMAD | & 20 other Captain Kirk scenes. KIRB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (2011): THE ETERNALS | BLACK MAGIC | DEMON | OMAC | CAPTAIN AMERICA | & 20 other Jack Kirby panels.