The Baby Boomer Beat: When Clothes Made the Band

Rock on George. One time for Ringo...

Baby Boomers came of age in the 1960's and 1970's, and the music they danced to was the pulsing backbeat of a generational party that lasted for two decades.

But this was no come-as-you-are-party.

Just as Baby Boomers experimented with new ways to experience the worlds of politics, protest and pills, they also dared to push the limits of fashion and in doing so became, perhaps, the wackiest dressed generation since the Elizabethan era.

Nowhere was this more evident than the rock bands of the day, who in turn inspired their fans to dress even wackier.

Yet, the clothing some of these acts wore was often organized around some kind of theme. These weren't just strange looking outfits but rather a group-supported costume; a uniform that helped to establish the brand of the band.

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
They were around for a long time but the band was arguably a one-hit wonder with Wolly Bully.

But the Bangles could have used those outfits for Walk like An Egyptian 20 years later.

Paul Revere and the Raiders
In these outfits they would be the darlings of the Tea Party today, don't you think?

Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
It takes a brave group to embrace a Civil War theme to sing love songs.

The Temptations
This group started out in suits and ties, then by the late 70's all that changed, radically.

Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells
Hey, let's face it. The song Lady Marmalade absolutely demands outfits like these.

The Beatles
Somehow we're thinking just a few years before this video was made, the Beatles, in their black leather jackets and duckbill haircuts, would have laughed and said rude things if they'd seen this band on the telly.


Star Wars Auditions: Snake Plissken Meets Laverne's Shirley

Stars Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

- Released in 1977
- First film of a double trilogy
- Produced with a budget of $11 million; earned $460 million in the US
- Winner of 7 Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor (Alec Guiness) and Best Film

A New, New Hope

The first Star Wars film, later titled, A New Hope, might have been a very different movie with a different cast. Take a look at how the film might have turned out with an alternate approach to casting.

Kurt Russell as Han Solo
Kurt Russell would later get his chance to play a Han Solo-like character in the Escape From New York series.

Cindy Williams as Princess Leia
Cindy Williams actually turned in a pretty good audition here. She seems to get the idea of campy drama.

Robby Benson as Luke Skywalker
Robby comes off a bit too much like...well...Robby Benson.

Andrew Stevens as Luke Skywalker
Andrew Stevens doesn't seem to be sure whether he auditioning for Star Wars or Hamlet. Geez! Chillax, dude...


To the Batcave: TV's Batman Auditions

Before Christian Bale, George Clooney, Val Kilmer and Michael Keaton, Adam West was Hollywood's definitive Batman.

The ABC TV series, Batman, premiered in January 1966 and ran for over two years.

Different from virtually every TV show before or since, Batman, for two seasons at least, aired twice a week in half-hour segments, connected by a cliff-hanger scene reminiscent of the old 1940's movie serials.

Adam West and Burt Ward were cast as Batman and Robin and for awhile the show was a campy cult hit.

Though West and Ward seemed like naturals for this over-the-top mashup of action and humor, they weren't the first choices for the roles.

Lyle Waggoner almost snared the role of Batman.

Maybe everything worked out for the best though. Within a few years he was a member of the comedy ensemble of the popular and iconic Carol Burnett Show.

Anyway Lyle kind of got his shot at TV superhero stardom after all when he co-starred with Lynda Carter on Wonder Woman in the 1970's.

Take a look at Lyle's audition for Batman and compare it to that of Adam West.

Who would you have chosen?