It was only a matter of time before this happened… before my childhood was dredged up in this way. The stories I could tell you about me and the Yahoo Serious trash classic, ‘Young Einstein’. It resides in a rare category of childhood film that I was obsessed by and watched repeatedly. If you were a child in late 80s Australia, you knew this film. It was a part of that culture like iPhones are a part of this culture. It was pure unadulterated rubbish, but god it was good rubbish. At least it was to my six-year-old brain.
For those of you unfamiliar with this film, I’ll give you a brief synopsis. Comedy genius, Yahoo Serious, had the bright idea to retell the story of Albert Einstein in a completely inaccurate and profoundly silly way. Serious plays the titular, Einstein. He is the son of a Tasmanian apple farmer (Tasmania is the Australian state that looks like a woman’s pubic region) who stumbles across the secret to splitting the beer atom. He goes to the big smoke of Sydney to patent his discovery, falls victim to big city bastards, falls in love with a French scientist with the somewhat familiar name, Marie Curie and oh yeah… he invents rock and roll. Guided my Serious’ inept directorial hand, this film is a slapstick mess worthy of little merit.
None of this stopped the six-year-old me from bestowing implausible amounts of merit upon this dire exercise in cinematic death. Let me relay an anecdote… there is a scene at the end of this film that meant a great deal to me. It is a musical number that was turned into a music video that played on local shows like Video Hits and Rage. It reached a point where I would make my parents record Rage on a Friday night so that when this music video played (inevitably at 3am in the morning) I could fast forward through all the junk the next day and just watch it repeatedly. I was convinced that this song when accompanied by the film, was a divine creation. At school, I begged my teacher to let me ‘perform’ the song to my class. My considerable pluck clearly won the teacher over and I was granted the right to perform the song ans use the art room to reconstruct the idiosyncratic guitar Young Einstein uses. Convinced that I was about to do something special, a few school chums joined me. Together we would build costumes and the guitar at lunch time. For whatever reason, I ensured the product reached Stanley Kubrick proportions. I spent months preparing for this performance, slowly annoying my teacher and school chums who were convinced it was never going to happen. One day, after lunch, the teacher bailed me up and forced me to get the performance over and done with. The fear that coursed through me was without precedent. My co-conspirators and I stood before our class in out costumes like limp noodles. I pressed play on the tape deck, the song started to play, and for the next three minutes everyone had to endure us moping about the stage like b-grade shoegazer musicians strumming at fake instruments without conviction and miming horrible.
When the song stopped, there was no applause. It would seem that I was no ‘Young Einstein’.
And that brings me to the sound of trash for this week. Here’s the fucking song! Though looking back on it, I’m not sure I realistically could have performed it any worse. Look out for a young Georgie Parker as a screaming gal in the crowd. What the hell was wrong with me?