Halloween Heroes From Ramones, Queen, R.E.M. + Others: Gimme Five

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In recent years, Halloween has become less focused on pondering the eerie and supernatural and more of just an excuse to come up with a good costume for the annual staff party. That could be anything from the traditional vampires and witches to more reality-based (?) choices like pirates and princesses.

Of course, costumed super heroes also seem like an obvious option these days. So, for those people who need a little last-minute push, here are a few super-powered considerations to explore before cutting eye holes in the spare bed sheets and trying to pass as a ghost.

THE RAMONES, “SPIDERMAN” (¡ADIOS AMIGOS!, 1995): In the original cartoon series, Spiderman got one of the coolest super-hero theme songs ever, a crime-noir jazz jingle where we find out that he “does whatever a spider can.” It’s made even cooler by the Ramones, who beat the upscale Manhattan hipness out of it and replace it with their patented Forest Hills backbeat. Actually, this brings up the question: Do people ever dress up like the Ramones for Halloween?

QUEEN, “FLASH” (GREATEST HITS, 1981): Flash Gordon, a 1930s space opera hero not to be confused with super-speedy superhero the Flash, got a feature-film update in 1980, and Queen supplied the theme song named after the titular hero himself. Just like the movie, the song is way over the top, for sure – but it’s probably to be expected in a story with a bad guy called Ming the Merciless. Oh, Halloween costume choices? Based on the film itself, that’s probably pretty much anything at all.

PATRICK STUMP, “WHO’S THE (BAT) MAN” (‘LEGO BATMAN MOVIE’ ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK, 2017): The tongue-in-cheek Batman from the late ’60s TV show bears little resemblance to the reinterpreted Dark Knight found on the big screen here in the 21st century. But the recent Lego Batman movie reconciles these diametrically opposed viewpoints by asking all the right questions and supplying all the right answers: “Who has the coolest gadgets? Who has the tricked-out ride? Who does the sickest backflips? Batman!” Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump probably had a hard time keeping a straight face through parts of his vocal delivery: “You think my muscles are big? You haven’t seen my brain.” Hmmm … there’s probably a costume in there somewhere.

Special Bat-related costuming mention: Watch the video for “Batdance” by Prince, which is much creepier than most of the contemporary Bat-movies of that era. Prince himself would’ve made a great Joker, or Two-Face, or whoever he was trying to be here. Maybe with that purple suit, he was just being himself.

R.E.M., “I AM SUPERMAN” (LIFES RICH PAGEANT, 1986): R.E.M. covers the Clique, a late-1960s pop group with a handful of chart semi-successes to their credit. Turns out that R.E.M.’s lead vocalist Michael Stipe wasn’t too keen on this tune, so bassist Mike Mills made his lead vocal debut – just like Superman, stepping in to save the day. Maybe it’s just nobody wanted to see Stipe in blue tights.

THE WHO, “WASPMAN” (B-SIDE TO “RELAY” SINGLE, 1972): Not really a superhero you say? Think again. In another legendary episode, the story is that once upon a time the Who were traveling on an airplane that was experiencing extreme turbulence. Many passengers, it seems, thought the flight would be their last. To distract the distraught from their imminent demise, drummer Keith Moon dashed up and down the aisles, making buzzing and stinging noises, and thus was born Waspman. Never one to let a chance to play dress up slip past him, Moon’s costume consisted of an improvised cape, and to duplicate the oversized bug eyes of a wasp, a woman’s bra worn on his head. All in a day’s work – and he received the songwriting credit for the Who’s subsequent B-side, as well. On second thought, maybe stay away from this costume on Halloween: It’s the kind of thing only Moon the Loon could get away with.

JC Mosquito

JC Mosquito

JC Mosquito spends most of his day keeping the wolves from the door. When he's not occupied with this pastime, he's interested in all things rock and roll -- which may or may not have died back in the late 1950s, the late 1970s, or the early '90s, depending on who you believe. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
JC Mosquito
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