An entire Cannon episode centered around an obscure T. Rex song
More proof that Cannon was cooler than your average crime show.
Cannon might not strike you as the hippest show on the block. After all, it is a mystery show about an overweight middle-aged detective who drives around in a boat-sized, baby-blue Lincoln Continental you might find parked outside an early-bird buffet special in Boca Raton. His ride did have a cool carphone, though. And thugs learned quickly to not mess with Frank Cannon, who dispensed karate chops like mints.
If you need further proof that Cannon was secretly the hippest series of 1970s television, look to "Hard Rock Roller Coaster." The title alone sounds like a KISS track. But it was a much deeper rock legend that stole the spotlight in this season-two case. The entire script centered around the lyrics to a deep T. Rex tune.
A bona fide Beatles-level sensation in early-'70s Britain, Marc Bolan never reached the same level of rock stardom in the States. T. Rex essentially was Marc Bolan, the glam rock pioneer who shaped the sound and style of David Bowie and, more than a decade later, '80s metal. To Americans, T. Rex is mostly known for "Bang a Gong (Get It On)," which reached the Top 10 in 1971. It was his only major hit in our country. Over in the United Kingdom, meanwhile, his first ten singles all reached the Top 5.
You might recognize "Children of the Revolution," as it has been used in movies like Moulin Rouge and Billy Elliot, not to mention commercials for milk.
The point is, "Baby Boomerang," a cut buried on Side A of T. Rex's 1972 album The Slider, was an obscure song for a mainstream television show that aired just months later. It had to have been written and filmed not long after the record hit shops.
In "Hard Rock Roller Coaster," a zonked-out man is blabbering nonsense. "Mince pie, dog-eye, eagle on the wind," he keeps muttering. These were the lyrics to the second verse of "Baby Boomerang." Cannon has to call a hip radio disc jockey to figure that out. How many viewers would have gotten the reference? Or even realized it was a real song after the explanation?
Take a listen to the track below. And then imagine William Conrad singing it into a carphone.