American Graffiti!

By Gary: “This post will just be an ‘indulge Gary’ Post.  I will discuss a Rock Group, that most people have never heard of, a Movie that everyone has seen and everything that surrounded that wonderful George Lucas creation in 1973. 

The line behind the movie was “Where were you in 62” and for anyone of my generation, of course the movie was “American Graffiti” and it brings back a ton of memories.  The movie was the total creation of George Lucas / Director & writer, produced by Francis Ford Cappola and, supported by the “Fantastic Fifties Music”, how could it miss?  Well it did not miss and gets a 97% approval rating by “Rotten Tomatoes” and 5 Stars from the NY Times and a NY Times Critics pick.  If you do not remember all of the movie, see it again and look for the stars that you missed, like Harrison Ford & Suzanne Somers.

American Graffiti (1973) and Harrison Ford
1973 / Official Trailer /
Harrison Ford /
Absolutely the most hilarious scene, the police car /
The Drag Race /

Remember without American Graffiti, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley would not have existed.

The Rock group that was used in the movie, was one, that at that time I was not aware of.   They were college students from the University of Colorado in 1969 and Mick “Flash” Manresa kinda gave the group it’s name, “Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids”.  I am well aware that they have only placed one song on the BB top 40, in 1976, but I just love this group, mainly because of the music they play.




Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids



Fish & the Fins from Happy Days / Young Blood /
1973 / At the Hop /
1973 / Snowball Dance /
1973 / Water Balloon Prank /
1973 / Wolfman Jack /
1973 / Richard Dreyfuss/Ron Howard and Suzanne Somers in the 57 T Bird /
Dancin’ on a Saturday Night /A cover by the Canadian Group, Bond / which was big hit in Toronto /
American Graffiti
I do appreciate everyone’s indulgence and I am aware that this is far from mainstream, but I do enjoy both the movie and the group.
Formed in Colorado, USA in March 1969, Flash Cadillac And The Continental Kids were one of several bands to parody 50s rock in the wake of Sha Na Na. The original line-up comprised University of Colorado students, Kris ‘Angelo’ Moe (keyboards, vocals), Linn ‘Spike’ Phillips III (d. March 1993; guitar, vocals), Mick ‘Flash’ Manresa (guitar, vocals), George Robinson (saxophone), Warren ‘Butch’ Knight (bass, vocals) and Harold ‘Marty’ Fielden (drums). They began to gain popularity within the music industry after moving to Los Angeles in 1971 where they met pop svengali Kim Fowley. Line-up changes saw Manresa and Fielden replaced by Sam ‘Flash’ McFadin (d. 31 August 2001, Colorado Springs, USA; guitar, vocals) and John ‘Ricco’ Masino (drums). The latter was the first in a line of several drummers, including Jeff ‘Wally’ Stewart and Paul ‘Wheaty’ Wheatbread. The band went on to make successful appearances in the movies American Graffiti and Apocalypse Now, and the television series American Bandstand and Happy Days. Their promising 1973 debut contained respectable readings of rock ‘n’ roll favourites. A second set, No Face Like Chrome, contained material indebted to 50s, 60s and 70s styles and was probably reminiscent of Britain’s pub rock scene. Although they enjoyed three minor US hits with ‘Dancin’ (On A Saturday Night)’, ‘Good Times, Rock & Roll’ and ‘Did You Boogie (With Your Baby)’, the band, with saxophonist Dwight ‘Spider’ Bement playing an increasingly important role in their sound, had faded from the national music scene by the late 70s. Now known as Flash Cadillac, they set up their own recording studio near Colorado Springs and continued to tour on the summer fair circuit, sometimes with a full symphony orchestra, as well as producing and performing music for the syndicated oldies radio show Supergold. Both Phillips and McFadin succumbed to heart attacks, the former in March 1993 and the latter in August 2001.

4 responses to “American Graffiti!

  1. Gary:

    My wife and I remember this movie well, had just been transferred to NB and saw it at the Sussex drive-in with 3 kids aged 4 to 10 in the back seat.

  2. What a great movie ! Ive watched it over and over and have never gotten tired of it. I will never hear Green Onions without it taking me back to the drag race scene at the end of the movie. I still have the original lp and would NEVER part with it.

  3. Pingback: Rock and Roll Movies Part 1 | Russ & Gary's "The Best Years of Music"

  4. If a movie ever defined life in the early 60’s, this is it.

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