Jheri Curl June: Cameo’s “Candy”

William Shakespeare once wrote, “Be not afraid of jheri-curl: some are born jheri-curl, some achieve jheri-curl, and some have jheri-curl thrust upon them” (note: I may be misremembering this quote). Cameo, founded by the inimitable Larry Blackmon in 1974, belonged to the latter category: they started out as a straight-up funk band in the P-Funk vein, but by the mid-’80s they were jheri-curl as all getout…even if Blackmon was more likely to rock a fade. “Candy,” from their 1986 album Word Up, is a great late-’80s example of the style–plus, as a bonus, it has one of the most demented music videos I’ve ever seen.

Look, I don’t even know where to start here: the way the video begins with a slow pan across a city scene and then lingers on Blackmon’s codpieced crotch; the repeated shots of the singer leaping into the frame, getting closer and closer until you can practically count the individual hairs on his moustache; the stocky guy in leather flamboyantly putting his hands on his hips and mouthing “you’re so dandy.” But I know exactly where to end: that indelible image, right before the guitar solo, where a massive Blackmon stomps Godzilla-style into the middle of the street and wiggles his codpiece, while the people below seem more concerned with slowly marching in a circle than with the very real possibility of being crushed to death by Larry Blackmon’s balls. But hey, I guess if you gotta go, that’s one way to do it. Cocaine’s a helluva drug.

Playlist as always is below the jump; we’ll see you soon!





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