1971 Called…

Cidu Bill on Dec 13th 2012


Do we have to file a Geezer Alert on this one as well, or will most of the non-AARP readership get it?

Filed in Bill Bickel, Brevity, Guy & Rodd & Dan, Hey Geezers! Comics!, Paul McCartney, comic strips, comics, humor | 42 responses so far

42 Responses to “1971 Called…”

  1. DPWally Dec 13th 2012 at 02:37 pm 1

    I got it because my father had a Wings album, which I scratched extensively but superficially when there was dust caked around the needle and the needle skated all over the record before I could catch it.

    Age 45, but Wings had mostly vanished by the time I was old enough to know what I was listening to. I probably wouldn’t remember them if it wasn’t for the dust incident. Non-geezers would only recognize Wings if they were curious about the non-Beatles songs in McCartney’s Olympics performance.

  2. DPWally Dec 13th 2012 at 02:40 pm 2

    And a second geezer alert for the store where the angel, who might be Dick Tracy’s ghost, is buying music in a mysterious square format.

  3. Paperboy Dec 13th 2012 at 02:40 pm 3

    I’ll bet more whipper-snappers know the “It’s A Wonderful Life” reference than the Paul McCartney and Wings reference. (But it’s a clumsy set-up; why would he be buying the record if he’s not a fan? -”No,I’m not a fan. I’m a hipster and I’m going to listen to it ironically”)

  4. pepperjackcandy Dec 13th 2012 at 03:06 pm 4

    I actually facepalmed. It took me a minute, mostly because I heard “Band on the Run” the other day, so the lyrics were fresh in my mind and I thought there was something in them. But I got it finally.

    I’m 46, and I catch some geezer references, but not all of them, which I think makes me an early geezer.

  5. Kamino Neko Dec 13th 2012 at 03:16 pm 5

    Paperboy -

    A gift.

    Checking out a new band, despite not being a fan of the lead or his previous band before.

    A joke.

  6. John Small Berries Dec 13th 2012 at 03:53 pm 6

    The angel is Clarence, from “It’s a Wonderful Life”. He’s tired of trying to help that whiny George Bailey in order to get his wings; however, according to the movie’s mythology, every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings. He’s therefore gone to a record shop with an old-fashioned bell on the door. As another customer is entering - and therefore ringing the bell - Clarence is getting his Wings.

  7. James Schend Dec 13th 2012 at 04:02 pm 7

    I’m 34. I didn’t get it.

    There’s a 90s sitcom titled ‘Wings’ that might have made the same joke non-geezer though. Assuming the author knows that you can buy TV series on DVD now, which… given this strip maybe he doesn’t.

    (Look at the clerk and his suspenders– I think time stopped here somewhere around 1982.)

  8. Judge Mental Dec 13th 2012 at 04:53 pm 8

    I still REGULARLY get people trying to pass off the “You mean Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?” line. I always resist the urge to tell them that stopped being funny 35 years ago, I even on occasion get people claiming that they recently heard their clueless young neighbor, niece, co-worker etc. pose the question earnestly. Perhaps back in 1980 they may have run into a youngster that had heard of Wings but not the Beatles, but it would be virtually impossible to find such a person now. When I hear a person make such a claim I will just give my knee a snap and say “Oh those crazy whippersnappers. They sure love Paul McCartney and Wings”

  9. fj Dec 13th 2012 at 04:56 pm 9

    I think that would be 1973 called…

    My initial interpretation was that Clarence had chosen as his “earn his wings” task helping Paul rejuvenate his reputation with rock critics: a daunting task given the rather cold reception that the first two Wings albums received, but still better than helping George (Bailey, that is, not Harrison or Martin). Of course, that’s far too convoluted, but it actually makes more sense as a setup than Clarence buying a CD when he’s not even a fan…

  10. James Pollock Dec 13th 2012 at 05:03 pm 10

    McCartney was on Saturday Night Live last year (I think, or maybe the year before) and they gave him three slots for musical performances instead of the usual two. One of the songs he did was “Jet”. So it’s not just is Olympics performance (which I didn’t see) that needs explainin’.

  11. NitricAcid Dec 13th 2012 at 05:16 pm 11

    The same joke was made in the Simpsons at least ten years ago.

    Clarence: I sure earned my wings back there.
    Homer: A-HA! You are an angel!
    Clarence: No- each time I help a family, I get a Paul McCartney CD.

  12. Colleen Dec 13th 2012 at 07:15 pm 12

    It took me a moment, but I got it. 34.

  13. yellojkt Dec 13th 2012 at 08:22 pm 13

    Judge Mental,
    I really was 16 before I knew Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings. They were HUGE in 1977.

  14. Kilby Dec 14th 2012 at 03:13 am 14

    I had no problem with the “Wings” part, but I had no idea who George Bailey is (I’ve never seen the movie).

  15. Proginoskes Dec 14th 2012 at 04:29 am 15

    @ Kilby (14): You never heard of “It’s A Wonderful Life”? They run it to death every year at Christmastime. (It actually flopped as a movie, and only gained popularity once it was shown on TV every year.)

    And no, I’m not AARP-aged. Mom is a big Paul McCartney fan. (She even cut off one of her legs so that she’d look like Heather Mills.)

  16. MollyJ Dec 14th 2012 at 08:40 am 16

    My kids were fed an early and steady diet of Beatles tunes from birth. They can recite large chunks of Help, Hard Day’s Night, and Yellow Submarine. And It’s A Wonderful Life has been a part of their Christmas since early childhood.

    Having said that, I ran this comic past my 16 year old, and he didn’t get it. Somehow his Beatle education had missed out McCartney’s later band being called Wings. He knew the song Band on the Run, of course, but not Paul’s band’s name.

    Parenting fail?

  17. ANDREA Dec 14th 2012 at 08:45 am 17

    Here’s one from yesterday that falls in the same ‘geezer’ category -

    (I wanted to send this in, but haven’t the foggiest how to do so.)

  18. The Bad Seed Dec 14th 2012 at 08:48 am 18

    Yeah, I (age 49) got the Wings reference but missed the George Bailey reference, having never seen the movie.

  19. Morris Keesan Dec 14th 2012 at 09:01 am 19

    ANDREA, to send something in for the site, just email it to comicsidontunderstand at gmail. Bill used to have a page explaining the site policies, including how to submit things, but I can’t find a link to it.

  20. Dan W Dec 14th 2012 at 09:08 am 20

    I’m 26. Don’t get it.

  21. ANDREA Dec 14th 2012 at 09:12 am 21

    #19 - Thanks!

  22. Rasheed Dec 14th 2012 at 09:30 am 22

    I’m 34, FINALLY watched all of It’s a Wonderful Life last year, (agony!) and made the family sit through it (more agony!). I probably wouldn’t have picked up that Band on the Run WAS Wings. And to me, George Bailey is the actor that played Captain Harris in all those Police Academy movies.

  23. Kilby Dec 14th 2012 at 09:50 am 23

    @ Proginoskes - I am certainly familiar with the title of the movie, but never having watched it, I had no clue as to its contents. I try to avoid watching schmaltzy Christmas gunk (Miracle on 34th Street being another prime example). Thankfully, neither of those two movies shows up that often on German TV; on the other hand, viewers here are subjected to Little Lord Fauntleroy virtually every year. Unfortunately, engaging Alec Guinness does not necessarily ensure that a movie will be good, or (in this case) even tolerable.

  24. padraig Dec 14th 2012 at 10:44 am 24

    Well, I thought it was a videotape of the classic silent film “Wings”, so I out-geezered all of y’all.

    Uh huh. Uh huh. Y’all just got Osterized, Brylcreemed, AND Burma Shaved.

  25. Powers Dec 14th 2012 at 11:00 am 25

    35. Moderately big Wings fan. (TV show and band both, for that matter.) I own Wingspan: Hits & History, the two-disc compilation of McCartney’s 1970s work both solo and with Wings.

    Even so, it still took me a bit to get it.

  26. Keera Dec 14th 2012 at 12:52 pm 26

    I laughed but for the wrong reason: I remember the 70’s.

  27. Keera Dec 14th 2012 at 12:58 pm 27

    Kilby @23, schmaltzy Christmas movies are the one thing that I look forward to! I just love a heart-warming cry. Any flavor of “A Christmas Carol” and “*batteries not included” and I am well on my way to Kleenex’d bliss. If I were still in the States, I’d also be hearing Clarence get his wings over my nose-blowing.

  28. Scott Dec 14th 2012 at 01:24 pm 28

    Real geezers stopped listening to him after Let it Be.

  29. DPWally Dec 14th 2012 at 04:22 pm 29





  30. Boise Ed Dec 14th 2012 at 08:02 pm 30

    Thanks, John Small Berries. I got the Wonderful Life reference (I’m 66), but I just figured that the record must have some bell-ringing on it. I hadn’t noticed the shop door’s bell.

  31. Cidu Bill Dec 14th 2012 at 08:06 pm 31

    Strange-But-True: My nephew’s middle name is George Bailey.

    Yes, my brother’s a big fan of the movie.

    And a little strange.

  32. Winter Wallaby Dec 14th 2012 at 08:15 pm 32

    Bill #31: I know someone named Samantha who was a big fan of Bewitched and named her daughter Tabitha.

  33. Elyrest Dec 15th 2012 at 12:34 am 33

    Keera - Once again I agree with you totally. I love schmaltzy Christmas movies. It’s the one time of the year that I’ll watch goofy/romantic/fantasy stuff. I think it keeps the little kid in me alive. Right now miracles really can happen.

  34. Joshua Dec 15th 2012 at 03:30 am 34

    @8 Judge: Thank you for noting the implausibility of the anecdote. I was born in 1972. I heard of the Beatles well before I ever heard of Wings. Nobody my age or younger would be likely to say “You mean Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?” because Paul had ended Wings before we started paying attention to the music scene.

  35. Keera Dec 15th 2012 at 06:25 am 35

    Elyrest, that’s exactly it!

  36. Christine Dec 17th 2012 at 01:53 pm 36

    I didn’t know “Band on the Run”, but there was enough other context to figure out that it was Wings. I missed the bell ringing. It wasn’t that difficult, but I’m in my twenties, so maybe I don’t count as a young whippersnapper anymore. (I have also never seen “It’s a Wonderful Life”, but it’s hardly something that you need to see to know references from)

  37. James Pollock Dec 18th 2012 at 04:53 pm 37

    The (more) modern equivalent might be “Did you know that Dave Grohl was in a band before Foo Fighters?”

  38. Morris Keesan Dec 18th 2012 at 05:11 pm 38

    Geezer alert! I suspect that even my parents would have known, in the 1970s (had to look this up in Wikipedia to find out when Wings existed), who Paul McCartney was, and what band he had most famously been in, even though they would probably have been unlikely to have heard of Wings.
    I, on the other hand, have seen the name “Foo Fighters”, but I have no idea who Dave Grohl is, although I infer that he is, or was, a member of Foo Fighters, and may have been in some other band before that.

    (Cross-generational check. My 12-year-old son just walked through the room, and I asked him if he knew who Paul McCartney or the Foo Fighters were, and the answer to both questions was no. But when I told him that Paul used to be a Beatle, he said, “I knew I’d heard that name somewhere.”)

  39. yellojkt Dec 18th 2012 at 05:17 pm 39

    My brother-in-law had no idea Paul Simon used to have a singing partner named Garfunkel.

  40. James Pollock Dec 18th 2012 at 08:38 pm 40

    Geezer alert! Wikipedia answers all questions.
    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foo_Fighters_(band)

    “Over the course of the band’s career, four of its albums have won 11 Grammy Awards winning Best Rock Album four times.”

  41. Elyrest Dec 18th 2012 at 09:16 pm 41

    I have heard the name David Grohl and Foo Fighters, but I couldn’t tell you any music that they’ve done. I had to look up to see the previous band he’d been in - Nirvana. Of course I’ve heard of Nirvana, but the only name I could tell you was Kurt Cobain. I know of him mainly cause he married Courtney Love and then killed himself. I do listen to all sorts of music, but I don’t pay all that much attention to who does a lot of it. A geezer.

  42. James Pollock Dec 19th 2012 at 12:04 am 42

    The target demographic for the joke is “someone who knows the current hot bands but has no idea of the history of the musical genre”. If you remember the greats of the past and have no idea who’s making music now, or worse yet, have had this reaction to news of a new album release: “Wait! He’s/She’s/They’re still alive?!”, then this is a different vein of humor. I couldn’t tell you who’s in the top40 now (and didn’t care much about the top40 at any prior point in history, but that’s a different topic), either. But I’d say 4 “album of the year” grammys puts Mr. Grohl in shouting distance of Mr. McCartney vis-a-vis success-of-new-band-after-leaving-iconic-first-band. Granted, nothing in the Foo Fighters’ catalog compares to Nevermind, but then again, nothing in the Wings catalog compares to Rubber Soul, either.

    Of course, Mr. Grohl appeared on stage with Mr. McCartney on last week’s Saturday Night Live. McCartney got all the billing, of course.

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