98j: Bill Paxton / Beck
Fat Albert: Behind the Music
Fat Albert.....Tracy Morgan
Dumb Donald.....Tim Meadows
Paul Oliver.....Bill Paxton
Announcer: It all started in a small junkyard. Eight youths who
wanted to make music. Music with a message. They were led by a morbidly obese twelve-year-old named Albert Thomas Wentworth - better known as Fat Albert.
Fat Albert: One day, we were hanging out in the junkyard, and I
picked up a radiator and then squeezed it like an accordian. Then Russell hit some cans with a stick, and it sounded groovy. We just sang about things like not petting strange dogs, and being nice to retarded people. The next thing we knew, we were huge. Hey, hey, hey!
Announcer: They signed a five-year million-dollar contract. But
success proved to be too much for the gang, and they soon leanred their
was a dark side to fame.
Fat Albert: First time anybody got high was when Mushmouth got hold of some crystal meth. He got so whacked out of his mind, he thought he was the Brown Hornet.
Mushmouth: Iba justba lost controlba. I wasba goneba on crankba, and I bitba Steve Rubellba's thumba offba. [ starts crying ] I'mba lucky to beba aliveba.
Announcer: Things were spinning out of control for the gang, and
caught in the middle of it was their manager, Paul Oliver.
Paul Oliver: The gang was supposed to open for Sly & the Family Stone, and there was no way we could go on. Fat Albert was carrying a gun, Rudy was keeping a tiger in his basement, and Russell was wearing 10-inch knitting needles through his nipples! Then stuff really started to get weird. Dumb Donald pretty much lost his mind - he was uppin' his hairspray, and smokin' his own poop.
Announcer: Here, for the first time, is rare footage of Dumb Donald in the midst of a terrifying drug-induced frenzy.
[ cut to video footage of Dumb Donald in a hotel room with a pair of hookers ]
Dumb Donald: [ running frantic around the room ] No! No! This is all wrong! Get out of here! I'll f--king kill you! [ throws whiskey bottle against the wall ] I love you! [ smashes furniture and scream unintelligibly ] I am Superman!
Announcer: Truly, the gang had hut rock bottom. And then, just
when things couldn't get any worse, Albert had his first attack, at the
age of 13.
Fat Albert: We were singing the song "Don't Steal Candy Bars", when I felt a pain in my arm. The first heart attack was bad.. but the seventh and eighth were really wake-up calls. My life had become like school on Sunday.
Offscreen Voice: How's that?
Fat Albert: No class!
Announcer: But their legacy would prove to be an enduring one. Their use of percussive-found objects as musical instruments would influence the hit Broadway musical "Stomp" and musicians like Beck.
mean, back in '73 when the Junkyard Gang was blown up.. I mean, that Junkyard sound was so definitive. I think it defined me as a musician, because I remember at the time I was working through the summer.. I saved up for three months to get my first trash can.
Announcer: Now Fat albert is healthy, and back playing music under his real name: Albert Wentworth.
Fat Albert: I don't call myself "Fat" anymore. I want people to
focus on my music, and not my serious weight problem. I'm remarried now, to the lovely Marilyn McCoo, and I'm back to doing what I love - eating food and banging on garbage. Hey, hey, hey!
Announcer: And Mushmouth - or Sadmosafa Mushmouth, as he's now known - is doing better than ever.
Mushmouth: Iba went to prisonba for five yearsba, but nowba I'mba outba, and Iba found Allahba I'm acting nowba, and I justba did "Jelly's Last Jamba" at the Starbalightba Dinner Theaterba, in Kansas Cityba.
Announcer: And so things have come full circle for the eight kids from Philadelphia. They returned to what had brought them together - their music.
[ end ]