I was perusing some of the older articles on my site today, such as the one about Bucker and Garcia. For those of you who don’t remember B&G (or, shame on you, were too young to experience them), they’re the one-hit wonders behind everyone’s favorite video game themed song, “Pac-Man Fever.”
Well, as we can see from this video, they’ve still got the fever.
It clearly is a home video, apparently shot in the home music room of either Buckner or Garcia (although I notice that the plaque on the gold record says “Presented to Mike Stewart). Our heroes are set up with a pair of microphones and appear to be performing the song. Buckner (I’ll assume top billing means he’s the lead singer) most definitely is singing live, but the backing music sounds suspiciously canned, despite Garcia’s keyboard (and miraculously chorus-like backing vocals).
I got suspicious when I realized Garcia was lip-syncing the backing vocals even though Buckner was really singing, and when the guitar solo appeared, note-for-note and bend-for-bend consistent with the original that’s permanently etched into my brain from the 8 billion times I listened to the song in 1983 alone, I finally realized what was going on…
You see, it was fairly common for singles released by Columbia Records at the time to include an instrumental version of the song on the flip side. And that is what was playing in Buckner’s spare bedroom. He was doing karaoke to his own song.