Friday, June 29, 2007


No flash in the pan, the pan-shaped Frisbee was born 50 years ago when the Wham-O company bought a toy called the "Pluto Platter" from inventor Walter Morrison.
Yes, in 1957 after they poo-poo'd "Platter" and re-named the glider after the plates flung for sport at the Frisbie Pie Company, the toy really took off.
You can fling a vinyl copy of the first "Flash and the Pan" album, too. Flying Frisbees decorated the cover of the auspicious Aussie debut album, which yielded a demi-hit with "Where To, St. Peter."
A strange alloy of 60's rock and 80's synth and disco, the band offered Dylanesque lyrics robo-recited as much as sung, atop keyboard dominated music. The choice track is "Lady Killer," with its obscure but mordant lyrics, tasteful synth, near-disco percussion (no wonder Grace Jones was a fan) and in this case even some cheesy Bee-Gee-esque backing vocals.
Intended as a one-off (hence the jokey name), nobody expected much from this odd outgrowth of The Easybeats, but the guys kept tossing out quirky vinyl, just as Walter Morrison flew the "Whirl-o-Way," the "Flyin' Saucer" and "The Pluto Platter" in the sixteen years before Wham-O made him rich by manufacturing the "Frisbee."
Flash and the Pan made six sardonic and strange albums before disappearing into the oblivion they expected after the first one. More like a boomerang than a flung frisbee, their albums all came back on CD. Vanda and Young's stuff might not amuse their Easybeats or AC-DC fans, but if you're a slightly strange music devotee, listening to the Flashes might brighten up your pan.

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furrball said...

Oh, for crying out loud, the song was called "Hey, St. Peter"! Get your titles right!!

Ill Folks said...

Thanks for catching that.

Somehow a line from an Elton John song fogged me.