Soundgarden – Rusty Cage (from the album Badmotorfinger, 1991 A&M) Defined as “grunge”, these four guys predated the genre, forming in Seattle in 1984. This is a heavy song, featuring some great guitar sound from Kim Thayil. I read that he dropped the top E string on his guitar all the way down to B. That is three steps lower than standard. For those of you who are not guitar nerds, it basically means he was playing lose rubber band. Thankfully, whatever he did sounds amazing and this record still kicks ass a quarter-century later. This was one of two of the first CD’s I ever got, the other being The Tragically Hip‘s Road Apples.
Cool trivia – Rusty Cage was covered by the Legendary Johnny Cash on his 1996 album Unchained. The album won the Grammy award for Country album of the year. Cash’s version is stripped down, but very upbeat and has a mean swagger.
“See, I got this problem. Cops don’t like me, so I don’t like cops”
– Clarence Boddicker (Robocop)
Dead or Alive…The “Death of Sgt. Murphy (Robocop 1987) – There are some scenes from films that just stick with you throughout time. This scene is a good example of that. My folks bought a VHS machine in 1987, and the following weekend they promised me I could rent two movies and have some friends sleep over. My friends and I went to the drugstore across the street (not a great selection, but it was close) to pick out the movies. So being eleven year old boys, naturally we chose Predator (Arnold’s sci-fi action gem), and Robocop. Two ‘R’ rated films! Fast forward to later that night, and we were two minutes into the film, and the scene in question comes on. At this point in my life, I’d watched my fair share of horror, but I knew it was not real. This scene left a mark on me because it looked and felt so real (reminder; I was eleven). A gang of thugs, including their leader Clarence Boddicker (masterfully played by Eric Forman‘s T.V. dad, Kurtwood Smith) trap Sgt. Murphy in an abandoned warehouse. After a witty verbal exchange, the criminals open fire on Murphy and use him as a human target. Murphy then goes on to become Robocop, and the gang of thugs goes on to be dead. The word violent can sum this scene up nicely. I still love this film and feel it has stoop the test of time quite well. The 2014 remake was flashy but sorely lacked the acting and heart of the Paul Verhoeven directed original.
Cool fact – Robocop re-cut and submitted to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) 12 times before it could achieve an ‘R’ rating. It was deemed to violent without the changes being made.