Listen to or download this free MP3 of Youngblood, the song we performed on Happy Days.
It was the summer of 1974, and we were on our way back from one of our endless, nameless tours. (Back then, tours didn't have names.) Late at night, we arrived at the Tiltin' Wilton, our Ozzie and Harriet-style band house in LA's Wilshire District. The script for "Johnny Fish and the Fins" was lying on the pool table which was just inside the front door, making it the first thing we saw when we walked in. It was only at that point that we realized we were actually going to be on the show. That was the good part. The bad part was that we had to be at the studio at 6:00 the next morning and we were exhausted. I fell asleep with the script in my hands. I finished reading it in the car on the way to the studio, terrified, because there where actual lines to be learned. Also, there was the slight problem that none of us were actors.
As it turned out, neither of these things really mattered. Even though the show took only 2 1/2 days to finish, there was always some dead time to learn lines. When needed, we could always be found shooting hoops with Ron Howard in the Cunningham's driveway. He was the only person we already knew, having worked together in American Graffiti. As for the acting, nobody dwelled on it, so we assumed we were doing OK and plowed ahead. The cast and crew seemed to be having a jolly time of it, and we were included as though we were there every week. The general mood around the set was pretty much an all-day practical joke. Director Jerry Paris caught Tom Bosley in a giant butterfly net as he entered the upstairs hallway for his scene with Ape/aka/Spike/aka/Linn Phillips. Just as I started talking to Richie in the kitchen, he stuck his hand through the window, shrugged, and said, "Hey, there's no glass in the window." I think they were most proud of themselves for emptying Mrs. C's refrigerator and filling it with beer. Everyone seemed comfortable to sort of make it up as we went. Jumping on Richie's car and dunking while he parked in the garage seemed like a good stupid thing to do, so it made it into the show.
The show was aired
in September 1975, and was the number one show in the ratings for that
week. Suddenly Johnny Fish and the Fins were better known than Flash
Cadillac and the Continental Kids. Our record company at that time,
Epic, had insisted that we play "Youngblood", because they had decided
that was to be our next single, and it would be excellent promotion.
As it turned out, "Youngblood" wasn't released as a single. That was
the final straw in our troubled relationship with Epic. We wished we
had been allowed to do one of our live show highlights and really put
on a Flash Cadillac show.
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