Night Flight on IFC: Episode 12!

By on October 26, 2018

“Night Flight” was the most radically fun, nostalgically cranium-bursting cable TV program of all time, originally airing in the ’80s (and syndicated shows aired during the ’90s) during the wee hours on Fridays and Saturdays on the USA Network. Now we’re back on the IFC channel — and we’re now on at a new time, 1am east coast/10pm west coast, but as always be sure to check your local listings for time/TV channel location.

Tune in once again each weekend (check your local listings for the right time) to see a mash-ups of clips from rock movies and documentaries, concert films, experimental short films, weirdo kaiju monster flicks, computer art films, campy ’50s sci-fi serials, banned cartoons, and loads of music videos that MTV wouldn’t dare show.

We’ve had an online presence for a few years now with Night Flight Plus, our streaming subscription “channel,” which is where you can find all the above and more, supplemented by full-length streaming titles we’ve added from our content partners, including fellow cultural insurrectionists MVD Video.

Tune in to see why VH1 called us “the single greatest rock omnibus program ever aired” and Brooklyn Vegan named us “the most consistently weird and awesome thing on cable television in the ’80s.”

Read more below about our twelveth “Night Flight Highlights” episode (“Art Pop & Rock Muses”) on IFC — the cable network describes these episodes as “A fever dream of classic clips including iconic rock stars, animation, and heavy metal music, a trip back to the boundary-pushing music and videos of the 1980s” — and be sure to sign up for Night Flight Plus to watch more classic episodes of the original ’80s, available on Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

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Adam Ant stars in Drop Dead Rock, a campy mid-’90s music biz farce from the co-director of the Beastie Boys‘ “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.”

In the 18-minute “Making Of” documentary that comes with the DVD of Drop Dead Rock, director Adam Dubin says he “wanted to make a 60’s movie about an 80’s rock star in the 90’s.”

Debbie Harry’s extended cameo turns out to be a pivotal plot point since it turns out Spazz-O’s actually worth more alive than dead.

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When she was asked if she’d based her portrayal of record company executive on anyone she’d met at Chrysalis Records, Blondie’s label, Harry said: “No… just on everybody I’ve ever met in the entire industry.”

Buy Drop Dead Rock on VHS!

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Reba Merrill is an Emmy award-winning journalist, speaker and author of the book Nearly Famous: Tales From the Hollywood Trenches, which you can find on Amazon and on her website.

Ms. Merrill has traveled the world interviewing nearly a thousand A-list celebrities and legendary movie stars, from Hollywood’s hot new celebrities to the silver screen’s biggest box-office draws in over five hundred films.

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Some of her own personal favorites include her interviews with Johnny, Depp, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Harrison Ford, Denzel Washington, Jack Lemmon, Jimmy Stewart, Meryl Streep, Cher and Whitney Houston.

She has hosted four talk shows, two in Phoenix, Arizona — “Reba” and “Good Morning Arizona” on ABC — and two in San Diego, California — “Sunup San Diego” on CBS and “That’s Life” on Cox Cable, which garnered her an Emmy Award as well as a Cable Ace Nomination.

Based on the body of her work, Ms. Merrill was elected to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 1993, and more recently the British Academy of Film and Television Arts/LA (BAFTA). She has been a working member of SAG/AFTRA since 1969. She currently sits on the leadership council for AIDS Project Los Angeles.

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Here’s more about Nearly Famous: Tales From the Hollywood Trenches

Reba Merrill packed her dreams of stardom away at the age of seventeen when she walked down the matrimonial aisle. Marrying the man of her mother’s dreams, Reba never imagined that thirty years later she would have the chance to make her own come true.

However, her journey was anything but smooth. Nearly Famous: Tales From the Hollywood Trenches is the captivating and incredibly honest story of a woman’s journey as a ’50s-era good girl who played the game by the rules of the times, only to end up divorced, destitute and responsible for two little girls.

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Reba Merrill interviewed Mark Hamill circa the release of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (photo courtesy of R. Merrill)

Her experience ignited a fire that has fueled her determination to never be dependent on anyone else again. The result has been an amazing career in entertainment, from Emmy award-winning talk show host to in-demand Celebrity Journalist.Reba has sat opposite the biggest stars in Hollywood, responsible for telling their stories… But at what cost? In her very revealing, pull-no-punches memoir, Merrill offers an insider’s look at achieving fame and success in the entertainment industry and the price that comes with it.

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Night Flight’s Bryan Ferry Video Profile features nearly a half-dozen classic ’80s-era music videos by Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry — including “Avalon,” “Angel Eyes,” and Ferry’s “Slave to Love” — interspersed with candid vintage interview segments between Lisa Robinson and Ferry.

Watch the profile — which originally aired in 1985 — on Night Flight Plus.

Our Bryan Ferry Video Profile begins with the video for “Avalon,” the title track and the second single released from Roxy Music’s eight and final studio album, released in June of 1982. The track was a Top Twenty hit in the UK, and for three consecutive weeks it sat alone at #1 on the UK Singes chart.

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Avalon takes its title from the mythic island where the legend of King Arthur’s sword Excalibur is forged.

It’s the island where King Arthur was taken to recover from the battle wounds obtained at the Battle of Camlann from his illegitimate son Mordred.

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Now, imagine Ferry and members of the band and their girlfriends partying in Ferry’s posh penthouse suite. It’s four o’clock in the morning, and Ferry — his tuxedo shirt undone, his tie untied — is wearily admitting “I’m so tired.”

Ferry and his lover are too distracted to focus their attention on each other, but furtive glances and lazy smiles continue to be exchanged. Lyrically, Roxy Music’s “Avalon” successfully attempts to capture that same soft-focus after-party afterglow, recovering from their battle wounds.

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The video — co-directed by Ridley Scott and Howard Guard — was filmed at Mentmore Towers, a grand 19th-century country house in Buckinghamshire, England.

Ferry’s then-current girlfriend, the future Mrs. Ferry, actress Lucy Helmore, makes an appearance. She wears a medieval helmet and holds a falcon (both images also appear on the album’s cover art, designed by Peter Saville).

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The video also features actress Sophie Ward, and Ferry shows up wearing his white dinner jacket and carrying a red long-stemmed rose, like a fucked-up ’80s version of “The Bachelor.”

Avalon‘s arrival in late May of ’82 signified that Roxy Music had once again gone for a more adult-oriented sound, almost new age-y in its mellowness, with lush synth-drenched orchestrations and arrangements which really set them apart from much of the bouncy new wave music being released at the time.

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Buy “All You Need Is Love”

“Let’s Stick Together” was Ferry’s biggest solo success in 1976, and a cover of Wilbert Harrison’s forgotten R&B single from 1962, a self-penned tribute to marital fidelity.

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Harrison’s song failed to chart until Topanga Canyon’s Canned Heat re-tooled it into “Let’s Work Together” in 1970.

Ferry preferred Harrison’s original, though, and in the spring of ’76 he decided to cut his own version at Air Studios in Oxford Circus with some old musician pals, including Chris Spedding (guitar), and King Crimson’s John Wetton (bass) and Mel Collins (saxophone, replacing the original single’s blaring harmonica).

By July ’76, Ferry’s “Let’s Stick Together” had climbed to #5 in the fifth week of its ten-week run on the UK charts.

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The video — shot in the Rainbow Room on the top floor of the London-based fashion store, Biba — featured Ferry’s then-girlfriend Jerry Hall, a towering Texan model whose yelps helped give the song its gimmicky hook.

Hall would later leave Ferry for Mick Jagger, who later wrote the Stones’s song “Miss You” about Hall. Ferry wrote his song “Kiss and Tell” about her as well.

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Dr. Ruth & Bianca Jagger

Night Flight is excited to announce that we’re adding sex therapist Dr. Ruth‘s video library to our Night Flight Plus channel.

That’s right, we’ve now got Dr. Ruth’s exclusive ’80s vintage interviews with celebrities, rock stars and lots of special guests, plus special excerpts and selections compiled from her cable TV shows which all aired between 1984-1990.

Diminutive dynamo Dr. Ruth Westheimer hosted at least five television shows on the Lifetime cable network in the 1980s, right around the same time that “Night Flight” was airing over on the USA Network.

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We’ve always loved her groundbreaking after-hours TV shows — where she talked frankly about sexual matters long before anyone else was doing it — so much so that we now consider Dr. Ruth one of our extended Night Flight family members.

She’s like an awesome open-minded aunt or that sibling with an easy smile, and we wish she was always around so that we could ask her advice about… well… practically anything.

You can always expect to hear the truth from Dr. Ruth!

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Her show “Good Sex with Dr. Ruth Westheimer” was first launched as half-hour 10pm weeknight show on the Lifetime network back in 1984.

The “Good Sex” show — filmed at Lifetime’s Astoria Studios and co-hosted by always-smiling Larry Angelo — featured Dr. Ruth’s interviews with special guests.

She also answered letters on the air, staged short therapy sessions with troubled couples who appeared with her onstage to talk about their sex problems, and she took phone calls into the studio from the TV audience watching at home.

There were other surprises now and then too, but you’ll just have to watch the episodes to see what happens.

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Dr. Ruth & Anthrax

“Good Sex” proved to be such a popular show that in 1985 that it was expanded to a full hour, nightly, and the name of the show was changed to “The Dr. Ruth Show.”

We’ve got exclusive episodes from both of these shows compiled in our library. We’ve also added shows from “What’s Up, Dr. Ruth?,” which aired in 1989.

We think you’re going to love seeing her New York City studio audiences in all their fashionable ’80s glory: girls and guys in pastels and bright-colored polyester outfits with bulky shoulder-pads, with their big hair teased out or cut into a hi-top fade or heavy metal mullets.

We’ve also got episodes from her “You’re On The Air with Dr. Ruth” TV talk show series, a call-in show which aired in 1990.

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Dr. Ruth & Jerry Seinfeld

We’ll be selecting excerpts from specific shows we think you’ll really enjoy seeing again — or maybe you’ll be seeing them for the first time — which feature odd/humorous exchanges and conversations we think are going to pretty much blow your mind.

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Tony Palmer’s ambitious All You Need Is Love: The Story of Popular Music — the compelling 17-part docu-series, originally broadcast on the BBC during prime-time on Saturday nights, between February 12 -June 4, 1977 — has been available, as of 2008, as a five-disc DVD set.

Here’s an excerpt from our blog post “All You Need is Love: The Story of Popular Music”: Tony Palmer’s 17-part UK TV docu-series (May 22, 2018):

All You Need is Love — patterned on the popular historical British TV series like Alistair Cooke’s America (1972-1973) — begins with the music first made in West Africa before tracing how it evolved down through time as popular music, through Ragtime, Jazz, Delta Blues, Vaudeville, Music Hall, Tin Pan Alley, Musicals, Swing, R&B, Country, Folk and finally Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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Buy “All You Need Is Love”

Here are the titles of the last five episodes — “Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll!,” “Mighty Good”: The Beatles,” “All Along the Watchtower: Sour Rock,” “Whatever Gets Your Through the Night: Glitter Rock,” and “Imagine: New Directions.”

Much like watching original USA network broadcasts of “Night Flight” episodes from 1981-1988 (not to mention our syndicated early ’90s-era episodes), watching all seventeen episodes of All You Need Is Love in the year 2018 is a little like looking at an anthropological artifact trapped in amber, unchanged and frozen in time.

Much of what is included in the series — all 14 hours and 45 minutes of it, in 50-minute episodes — remains unchanged, of course, covering the first 75 years of popular music.

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About Night Flight

Voice of a generation that spoke from 11PM-7AM EST Friday and Saturday on USA Network in the '80s. Back to enlighten and inspire 24/7.