The Cramps in Bollywood?

February 16, 2009 at 2:33 pm (Uncategorized)

A comment on The Cramps: An Appreciation suggested that although this track wasn’t ever covered by the Cramps, it wouldn’t have been out of place. Can’t disagree with that.  Jaan Pechechaan Ho was recorded by Mohammed Rafi. This video is from the 1966 film Gumnaam. It’s also used in Ghostworld

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3 Comments

  1. Richard S. said,

    A new development: over at my mostly-Bollywood blog (which is what my name links to now since I spend a lot more time there than at my moribund political blog), another, very dedicated Bollywood blogger commented that she heard The Cramps actually had watched a bunch of Hindi films – especially while they were on tour in England – and that “Jaan Pehechaan Ho” was one of their favorites! Personally speaking, the song just made sense to me as something that would fit well on their set list; I had no idea that there really was a connection.

    The conversation had veered to The Cramps when I mentioned that I noticed that a certain Bollywood song/dance from 1958 had ripped off the song “Green Door.” If you know that song, you can recognize it instantly:

    Somebody then asked how I could remember the song “Green Door” so well, and I said it was one of my favorite covers by The Cramps.

  2. fischerzed said,

    Absolutely amazing! Thanks for this.

    I don’t know why people don’t like Bollywood films. At their worst they’re certainly no sillier than most western films, and the music is fabulous.

  3. Richard S. said,

    And as I’ve mentioned lots of times in my Bollywood blog, the social content in Golden Age Bollywood films is actually much better. (I’m not sure the same could be said about Bollywood today, but that’s another matter.) What I love about the Bollywood films of the ’50s, especially, is that there is a lot of socialist content mixed in with all the popular song and dance and the frequent melodrama. This, of course, reflected a strong socialist tendency that existed in the general society right after independence (at the same time that we were going through the McCarthy era). I could have some quibbles with the nationalist and possibly statist edge that also existed, but there is plenty of good stuff about the struggling poor being exploited by the rich (and fighting back, or at least trying to keep their dignity) and lots of stuff about workers’ solidarity. Another nice thing is that the meanest, vilest villains are often landlords :), but that sort of reflects the heavy role that landlords played in a society that still retained feudalistic elements in the rural parts.

    I got into these movies for the great dance and music (and the beautiful actresses, I admit), as well as for conventions of storytelling that seemed very different, and therefore refreshing, compared to the tired “realism” of most western films. But I found out very quickly about the social content when I started seeing the early films directed by Raj Kapoor, then Vijay Anand, Guru Dutt, Mehboob Khan, Bimal Roy, etc.

    I’ve been burnt out on direct political blogging (maybe some comments on some of your other posts would be in order sometime), but plenty of my socialist and ultraleft politics creep in when I’m talking about these films. 🙂

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