Among my most prized possessions is a videotape containing, in its entirety, the 1978 made-for-TV movie Cotton Candy, directed by Ron Howard (and co-written by Opie and brother Clint). It was given to me years ago by Mark Ridlen, better known to you as Deejay Mr. Rid and a founding member of the first band ever to release anything on the late, great Direct Hit label. For Mark, the film's always held a very special place in his heart -- because, see, he's in Cotton Candy as a member of the band Rapid Fire.
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The movie, about which you'll find much right here and over here, originally aired on NBC on October 26, 1978, and to commemorate its 30th anniversary, because Ron Howard sure ain't, Ridlen's showing Cotton Candy in its ads-and-everything entirety tonight at the AllGood Cafe, showtime set for 8 p.m. Mark and other locals around for the filming will also share war stories from them good ol' days, when Howard filmed all over town -- from Town East Mall to Lower Greenville and in between. After the jump, a look at Mr. Rid and Rapid Fire 30 years ago, and a plea from the former Quad Pi guy hisself. --Robert Wilonsky
From Mark Ridlen:
Before it aired on Oct. 26, 1978, all of the parents of Rapid Fire purchased VCR's to record it. Home recording technology was then a new and wondrous thing.
John Painter's tape has survived with hilarious commercial breaks intact. Since it was never released commercially, I will be showing that version on Wednesday night at AllGood Cafe. If anyone knows how to contact the three M.I.A. members of Rapid Fire, let me know or alert them about this event. Morgan Ferguson, Tad Painter, David Jester -- where are you??