Thursday, December 13, 2012

John Waters' Mondo Trasho: The Soundtrack!

At last, this "gutter film" has a "gutter soundtrack."

Hello, moviegoers!

I'd like to share with you the result of a project I've been working on since the late 1990s at least. That was when I first started getting into the films of Baltimore's one-of-a-kind cult auteur John Waters. In 1969, Waters completed his first feature-length film, a surrealist comedy called Mondo Trasho. It's a dreamlike, almost arty black-and-white film about the misadventures of Bonnie (Mary Vivian Pearce), a vacant blonde "fashion fanatic" who staggers into the path of an oncoming '59 El Dorado Cadillac driven by Divine, the plus-size, cross-dressing star of most of John Waters' films from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Waters couldn't afford to have synchronized sound when he made Mondo Trasho, so he shot 90 minutes of silent footage and then assembled a soundtrack from dozens of snippets of records -- rock, R&B, classical, country, and more -- along with a few bits of dialogue recorded by his actors. The result was an incredible sonic collage that has fascinated me for years. I tried to identify all the songs he used and piece together an unofficial "soundtrack album" one song at a time. I'm still not done with it, but I have a version that is thorough enough to share with the public.

Prologue/Opening Credits
  • "Jack the Ripper" - Link Wray
Bonnie Walks to the Bus Stop and Rides the Bus
  • "Short Shorts" - The Royal Teens
  • Sound effect: dogs barking
  • "Pomp and Circumstance, March No. I" - Elgar
  • "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" - Jo Stafford
In the Park
  • "I'm Following You" - The Duncan Sisters
  • "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" - Elvis Presley
  • "Sitting In the Park" - Billy Stewart
  • "Il Pirata: Oh! S'lo Potessi/Col Sorroso D'Innocenza (Act II)" - Philharmonic Orchestra
  • "Strangers in the Night" - Frank Sinatra
  • "Little Bitty Pretty One" - Thurston Harris
The Shrimping
  • "Sonata for Violin and Piano (1920): III. Moderato" - Isaac Stern
  • "Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)" - Perry Como
  • "It's Almost Like Being In Love (live)" - Judy Garland
  • "See You Later, Alligator" - Bill Haley and His Comets
  • "Ricochet (Rick-O-Shay)" - Teresa Brewer
Divine Enters in the El Dorado Cadillac
  • "Long Tall Sally (live)" - Little Richard
  • "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5." -Heitor Villa-Lobos
  • "Tutti Fruitti (live)" - Little Richard
  • "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5." -Heitor Villa-Lobos
  • "The Girl Can't Help It (live)" - Little Richard
  • "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5." -Heitor Villa-Lobos
  • "Long Tall Sally (sax solo)" - Little Richard
  • "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5." -Heitor Villa-Lobos
The Car Accident
  • "Treat 'Em Right" - Mae West
  • "Riot in Cell Block 9" - The Robins
  • "Treat 'Em Right" - Mae West
  • "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5." -Heitor Villa-Lobos
  • "Treat 'Em Right" - Mae West
  • "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5." -Heitor Villa-Lobos
  • "Treat 'Em Right" - Mae West
  • "Leader of the Pack" - The Shangri-Las
  • Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, First Movement
  • "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" - The Shangri-Las
  • "Why Does Everything Happen to Me? (live)" (aka "Strange Things Happen") - James Brown
On the Run with an Unconscious Girl
  • "I Want You To Be My Girl" - Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
  • "It Only Hurts For a Little While" - The Ames Brothers
  • "I Want You To Be My Girl" - Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
  • "Riot in Cell Block 9"- The Robins
  • "No Particular Place to Go" - Chuck Berry
  • "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive" - Jerry Lee Lewis
  • "Come Go With Me" - The Del-Vikings
  • "Two Faces Have I" - Lou Christie
Shoplifting Shoes from the Thrift Store
  • "Finger Poppin' (live)" - Ike and Tina Turner
  • "Riot In Cell Block 9" - The Robins
  • "Come Go With Me" - The Del-Vikings
  • "The Girl Can't Help It (live)" - Little Richard
  • "Come Go With Me" - The Del-Vikings
  • "Night Train (live)" - James Brown
  • "Slow Walk" - Sil Austin
  • "Marche Slav" - Tchaikovsky
The Laundromat and the First Miracle
  • "Under the Moon of Love" - Curtis Lee
  • "Poor Fool" - Ike and Tina Turner
  • "Rite of Spring" - Igor Stravinsky
  • "Holy Holy Holy" - traditional hymn
  • Monologue by Divine
  • Sound effect: bells ringing
  • "Holy Holy Holy" - traditional hymn
  • "The Girl Can't Help It (live) - Little Richard
  • "The Angels Listened In" - The Crests
  • "You Turn Me On" - Mae West
  • "Slow Walk" - Sil Austin
The Cadillac is Stolen
  • "Rip It Up" - Elvis Presley
  • "Slow Walk" - Sil Austin
  • "Riot In Cell Block 9" - The Robins
  • "Treat 'Em Right" - Mae West
  • "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" - The Shangri-Las
  • "Oh Lonesome Me" - Don Gibson
  • "Waddle, Waddle" - The Bracelets
  • "Slow Walk" - Sil Austin
  • "It's Almost Like Being In Love (live)" - Judy Garland
  • "Slow Walk" - Sil Austin
Mink Stole/Mental Hospital Dragnet
  • "Visage" - Luciano Berio
  • "Riot in Cell Block 9" - The Robins
  • "I Got Stung" - Elvis Presley
  • Tosca: "Presto, su! Mario!" - Renato Tebaldi
  • "I Almost Lost My Mind" - Pat Boone
  • "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" - The Shangri-Las
  • "Riot in Cell Block 9" - The Robins
  • "Combination of the Two" - Big Brother and The Holding Company
  • "Tell The Truth (sax solo)" - Ike and Tina Turner
  • "Riot In Cell Block 9" - The Robins
  • Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, First Movement
  • "I Got Stung" - Elvis Presley
The Mental Hospital/Mink's Topless Dance
  • "We're Off to See the Wizard" - The Wizard of Oz Cast
  • "Visage" - Luciano Berio
  • Excerpt from a Judy Garland performance: "Whatever you said, it's all right with me!"
  • "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby" - Little Eva
  • "Visage" - Luciano Berio
  • "Take a Number From One to Ten" - Lyda Roberti
  • Fats Gonder's intro to James Brown 'Live' at the Apollo
  • Take A Number From One to Ten" - Lyda Roberti
  • "What'd I Say (Parts 1 and 2)" - Ray Charles
The Second Miracle: Escape from the Snake Pit
  • "Holy Holy Holy" - traditional hymn
  • Monologue by Divine
  • Sound effect: bells ringing
  • "Holy Holy Holy" - traditional hymn
  • "The Angels Listened In" - The Crests
  • "Earth Angel" - The Penguins
  • "Flying Saucer (Parts 1 and 2)" - Buchanan and Goodman
  • "I'm Blue (The Gong Gong Song)" - The Ikettes
  • "Tutti Fruitti (live)" - Little Richard
  • "Ready Teddy (guitar solo)" - Elvis Presley
  • "Come Go With Me" - The Del-Vikings
  • "Slow Walk" - Sil Austin
  • "634-5789 (Soulsville U.S.A.)" - Wilson Pickett
  • Sound effect: phone ringing
  • Dialogue by Pat Moran and Divine
Getting to the Doctor and Robbing the Cab
  • "Slow Walk" - Sil Austin (overlaid with Divine yelling, "Taxi! Taxi!")
  • "Woo-Hoo" - The Rock-A-Teens
  • "(I Need Some) Money" - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  • Sound effect: dogs barking
  • "See You Later, Alligator" - Bill Haley & The Comets
  • "Come Go With Me" - The Del-Vikings
In the Doctor's Waiting Room
  • "Black And Tan Fantasy" - David Rose And His Orchestra
  • "You Tickle Me Baby" - The Royal Jokers
  • A woman saying, "Help! Help someone!"
  • "Riot in Cell Block 9" - The Robins
  • "Help! Help, someone!"
  • Sound effect: whistle
  • "Comedians Gallop" - Kabalevsky
  • "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" - The Shangri-Las
  • "Help! Help, someone!"
  • "Rumble" - Link Wray
  • "Coronation March" - Giacomo Meyerbeer
  • "Rumble" - Link Wray
  • Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, First Movement
Dr. Coat Hanger's Dreadful Experiments
  • "Trouble" - Elvis Presley
  • "Jenny, Jenny (live - stage patter)" - Little Richard
  • Long stretch of prerecorded dialogue. One of the actors may be John Barrymore. 
    WOMAN: These monsters are going to use me in one of their dreadful medical experiments! 
    MAN: Care for a girl? Ha ha. My dear fellow, I thought you knew me better than that! Ha! My extreme taste for certain pleasures causes me to sacrifice at whatever altars are available. And I often imagine that a girl is actually a boy and use her accordingly.
    SECOND MAN: Let me inspect your veins.
  • "True Fine Mama (live -stage patter)" - Little Richard
  • "Fantasie in F Minor, KV 608" - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • "Flying Saucer (Parts 1 & 2)" - Buchanan & Goodman
  • "Dr. Feelgood" - Aretha Franklin
  • "(You've Got) The Magic Touch" - The Platters
  • "Flying Saucer (Parts 1 & 2)" - Buchanan & Goodman
  • "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" - The Shangri-Las
  • "Come Go With Me" - The Del-Vikings (overlaid with monologue by John Waters)
Shootout in the Waiting Room
  • "Riot in Cell Block 9" - The Robins
  • "Blue Moon" - The Marcels
  • Sound effect: whistle
  • "Blue Moon" - The Marcels
  • Excerpt from unknown R&B song: "Owwww! Sometimes the going get a little tough!"
  • "He's So Fine" - The Chiffons
  • "Get a Job" - The Silhouettes
  • "Western Movies" - The Olympics
  • Excerpt from unknown R&B song: "Owwww!"
  • "Get a Job" - The Silhouettes
  • "Western Movies" - The Olympics
  • "Get a Job" - The Silhouettes 
  • "Blue Moon" - The Marcels 
  • "Get a Job" - The Silhouettes 
  • "Blue Moon" - The Marcels 
  • "Get a Job" - The Silhouettes 
  • "Blue Moon" - The Marcels 
  • "Get a Job" - The Silhouettes 
  • "Blue Moon" - The Marcels 
  • "Get a Job" - The Silhouettes 
  • "Blue Moon" - The Marcels 
  • Excerpt from unknown R&B song: "Owwww!" 
  • "Get a Job" - The Silhouettes 
  • "Western Movies" - The Olympics 
  • "Get a Job" - The Silhouettes 
  • "Riot in Cell Block 9" - The Robins (lyrics used for the first time)
Bonnie in Peril!
  • "Along Came Jones" - The Coasters
  • "A Fool for You" - Ike and Tina Turner
  • "Along Came Jones" - The Coasters
  • "I'm Moving On" - Ray Charles
  • Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, First Movement
  • Excerpt from unknown pop record: "I almost flipped when she looked my way. I tried to think of the right thing to say."
  • "Remember (Walking in the Sand") - The Shangri-Las
  • "Bertha Lou" - Clint Miller
On the Run with Dr. Coat Hanger
  • "Come Go With Me" - The Del-Vikings
  • "Mars, Bringer of War" - Gustav Holst
  • "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes" - Perry Como
  • "Rescue Me" - Fontella Bass
  • "I Feel Good" - Shirley and Lee
  • "Lollipop" - The Chordettes
  • "I Feel Good" - Shirley and Lee
  • "A Letter From Tina" - Ike and Tina Turner
  • "Angel Baby" - Rosie and the Originals
  • "Kansas City" - Wilbert Harrison
  • "All I Could Do Was Cry" -Ike and Tina Turner
  • "A Letter From Tina" - Ike and Tina Turner
  •  "I Feel Good" - Shirley and Lee
  • "Goodbye to Love" - The Marcels
They're a Twosome Again/In the Pigsty
  • "Rumble" - Link Wray
  • "Ride of the Valkyries" - Wagner
  • "Holy Holy Holy" - traditional hymn
  • "Flying Saucer (Parts 1 & 2)" - Buchanan & Goodman
  • "Catulli Carmina: Chorus/Actus I" - Carl Orff
  • "Maybe" - The Chantels
  • "(You've Got) The Magic Touch" - The Platters
  • "Flying Saucer (Parts 1 & 2)" - Buchanan & Goodman
Back to Reality, Such as it Is
  • "Here I Stand" - Wade Flemons and The Newcomers
  • "Going Out of My Head" - Little Anthony and the Imperials
  • "Surfin' Bird" - The Trashmen
  • "(You've Got) The Magic Touch" - The Platters
  • "Flying Saucer (Parts 1 & 2)" - Buchanan & Goodman
  • Dialogue by Mink Stole and David Lochary
  • "Whole Lotta Shaking Going On" - Jerry Lee Lewis 

P.S. - John Waters did not purchase the rights to any of these songs, so Mondo Trasho cannot be legitimately released on DVD. The cost would be prohibitive. Mondo did have a VHS release in the 1980s, though, and bootleg copies are fairly easy to find.

7 comments:

  1. You're doing the Lord's work, Joe. I'm not sure which Lord, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, if it was Satan's plan to get me hunting through used record stores, then Mission Accomplished, Dark Lord!

      Delete
  2. Incidentally, I find it amusing that I can date that VHS release by virtue of the films associated with both artists. By my reckoning, it must have come out in 1986 or 1987 because the two Divine films listed are Lust in the Dust and Trouble in Mind (instead of anything he did with Waters) and the one Waters film is Pink Flamingos (instead of Hairspray, which it would have been a year or two later).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good eye. It's from 1987. I got my copy when a video store was closing down and selling off its inventory. I guess Roger Ebert's "Betsy" rule was in full effect.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is great. Thanks so much. The organ music during the Dr. Coathanger surgery scene is Mozart's Fantasia in f minor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anonymous! God bless you!

      Delete
  5. Pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, dollars! Money! They're driving me crazy!. Does anyone know the name of the vocal group?

    ReplyDelete