Friday, January 10, 2014

The Better Half, November 1972

It's time to get far out over at the space-o-delic Tomorrowland Stage! An invisible crowd has gathered to enjoy the hard-rockin' sounds of "The Better Half". Tell me that you can see the giant fox and giant cat... I'm not crazy, am I? AM I??  The wooden boy is obviously providing backup vocals.

The best detail is the lone kid who just had to get out there and let his freak flag fly! It must have been weird for the musicians to play to a big empty area, though I'm sure most people were sitting and eating just out of camera range.


Nanook said...

I think on a previous Tomorrowland Space Stage sighting, I rattled-off a list of some of the "band names" used over the years. I don't believe The Better Half was among them. Where did Entertainment come up with these God-awful names-?? Disney, at its squeaky-cleanest. Rock out, kids-!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Whatever happened to Sunshine Balloon? Hey, that kid out on the dance floor reminds me of the little boy with the neck problem in the dance sequence of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Hopefully, you know the one I'm talking about without any further explanation.

Oh how I wish I could step into these photos and listen to the band while enjoying a Lunar Burger and a glass of Space Mist. Then I would hop aboard the Carousel of Progress and ride it over and over again until they kicked me out.

Anonymous said...

Very groovy! I think that little boy is trippin' on some of that Space Mist.

Was this also called the Rainbow Stage? Anybody remember Papa Doo Run Run?

Bill in Denver

Melissa said...

This set of pictures is brought to you by 1970’s Orange!

Man, were things orange in the 1970’s or what? I guess Tomorrowland wasn’t immune; then again, Tomorrowland already had a lot of blue, and blue and orange are complimentary on the color wheel. Howard Johnson had that figured out. Even Foxy McFoxerson had it figured out with his orange fur and blue cape, the big old stage door Johnny.

I love that pop-up Tomorrowland stage and its use of negative space SO MUCH that I don’t even mind its floor and panels being decked out in shades of coppertone, harvest gold, burnt sienna, and every other shade of cat-vomit orange and yellow the 1970’s had to offer. If I remember correctly, when I was a wee lass even M&M’s only came in different shades of brown, orange, and yellow. (And maybe green? I was pretty wee.) Again, the earth tone swirly tile on the ground makes me think of those mosaics around the Land pavilion at EPCOT.

The Better Half even got costumes and a sign to match! They kind of look like The Butter Half, amirite? AMIRITE? I do love the singer’s outfit, though. Kind of looks like the figure-skating costumes of the day. I’d still wear those white boots, but I’m a weirdo. I’m guessing they got their name by being half of a bigger band that broke up. At first I thought the lady on the far right in the burnt-orange vest pantsuit and ruffled pirate blouse was part of the band, but then I remembered it was the 1970’s, and you didn’t have to be show folk to walk around Disneyland in a burnt-orange vest pantsuit and ruffled pirate blouse.

I love that kid. The different drummer to whose beat he marches just happened to be sitting in with The Better Half that day. Speaking of The Better Half, who could forget their greatest hit, “There’s a Wooden Boy Behind Me?”

There’s a wooden boy behind me
I go everywhere he goes
There’s a wooden boy behind me
Why he’s there I wouldn’t knows
Ain’t nobody who can wail
Like that boy Pinocchio

stu29573 said...

Ok, musician nerd moment: I think the bass player is actually playing a Hofner 185. The Hofner 185 (or Artist Bass) was the German answer to the Fender Jazz Bass. I happen to have a 1964 model that I love! Reasons I think its a 185 and not a jazz are that it has four nobs instead of two and the headstock is a slightly different shape. Hofner is best know, of course for the 500/1 "Beatle Bass" played by a certain guy named Paul. (I have one of those too....brag brag...)

Melissa said...

Wait, wait, wait. November 1972?

You know who else was in the park, wearing yelloe-orange and 1970's earth tones and being all mellow in November 1972, don't you?

That's right.

Tom said...

Wow, that girl got around. Like the hitch hiker guy in the twin towers picture.

Stu, I had a Hoffner 5001 copy for a while. Traded it for a Rick 4001.

The 70's had way too much grooviness for it's own good. It's no wonder the 80's had to use full on neon colors to cover it all over.

K. Martinez said...

I love this stage. Elevating the ordinary to extraordinary was something you found at Disneyland.

The stage in these photos is actually the "Tomorrowland Terrace" stage. The "Tomorrowland Stage" was the place located between "Flight to the Moon" and the "Character Shop" where the Kids of the Kingdom would usually perform.

@Melissa - When the Space Mountain complex opened in 1977 there was orange everywhere. There was orange "brick" patterned walkways, ramps and flooring throughout the entire complex including "The Space Place" restaurant. The orange and other "Sun" colors actually added a warm feel to the place that lacks in the current Tomorrowland.

Melissa said...

So, it was kind of like "Spice Mountain."

stu29573 said...

Tom, the Rick tis a noble beast! Good choice!

stu29573 said...

Tom, the Rick tis a noble beast! Good choice!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I have also wondered if the "different bands" were often the same people with a different name. They always seemed to be three or four guys with a female vocalist.

TokyoMagic!, they went on to be more famous as a little band called Black Sabbath. And I know exactly which Charlie Brown Christmas kid you mean!

Bill, any idea what a Space Mist tasted like? Was it fruit punch of some kind?

Melissa, since I particularly love orange, I am OK with the color of the day. All the way back to the 1939 colors of orange and blue, which is still an awesome combo. Don't forget about the red M&Ms! Imagine all of the costumes that needed to be available for the different bands... scores of 'em! I still like a good ruffled shirt - for formal occasions, of course. That kid grew up to be a hippie, you just know it!

stu29573, I was going to ask if the Hofner was what Paul McCartney played, but you answered that already. I know nothing about bass guitars, but I know plenty about the Beatles!

Melissa, this photo is from the same series as sad/glad Linda!

Tom, didn't George play a Rickenbacher (sp?)??

K. Martinez, you are right, I wrote the wrong name. Oops. I still remember the orange brick (or tile?) walkways in tomorrowland! Are they all gone now?

K. Martinez said...

@Major - Yes, the Space Mist was basically fruit punch with a Tomorrowland themed name. I only remember it being served at the Space Bar/Lunching Pad located under PeopleMover/Rocket Jets platform. I used to buy it there from time to time.

As for the orange brick flooring, I'm not sure if there are any remnants of it left.

stu29573 said...

Yes, both George and John sometimes played Rick six strings. Paul switched to a Rick bass around the Sgt. Pepper days (he had totally switched by Magical Mystery Tour)

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, thanks! Somehow with a name like "Space Mist" I would expect it to be a strange greenish color (like lime-aide), but it sounds like it was the usual pink/red.

stu29573, thanks for the Beatle info!