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On February 25, renowned actor Bill Paxton died at the age of 61 after complications following heart surgery. While he is best known for his roles in films such as The Terminator, Aliens, Twister, and Titanic, the internet has resurfaced a fantastically strange music video from a late ’70s track that featured Paxton as both a director and star.
“Fish Heads” is a song by former comedy rock duo Bill Mumy (Lost in Space) and Robert Haimer, posing as fictional twin brothers Art and Artie Barnes.
A filmmaker at the time and a close friend of Mumy and Haimer’s, Paxton was chosen to helm the video (it wouldn’t be another four years until Paxton would feature as the Punk Leader in The Terminator) and filled it with what appear to be a fish head birthday party (streamers and silly hats galore), a fish head garden, and an assortment of other disturbing images. The video aired two consecutive weeks on Saturday Night Live in 1980, and became a cult classic thanks to its constant appearance on the Dr. Demento show.
The song’s chorus features sped-up vocals à la The Chipmunks, and its lyric list a variety of things that fish heads are incapable of accomplishing, including playing baseball, wearing sweaters, impressive dance moves, and drinking cappuccino in an Italian restaurant with Asian women.
Despite the song’s obvious nonsense, Barnes & Barnes left us with one piece of wisdom that we could spend lifetimes pondering: “Ask a fish head anything you want to / They won’t answer, they can’t talk.”