BlobFest 2014: An Exclusive Stream of Kris Yeaworth’s “One Night in ’57”Books/Art/Culture,News Shawn Macomber
So if someone comes to town and asks,
“Doesn’t anything ever happen around here?”
You can refer ‘em to my favorite year:
That night in ’57 when the monster came to town…
At an Independence Day party back in 2008, Kris Yeaworth—a natural born storyteller if ever there was one—regaled his fellow revelers with tales of the summer fifty years past when his father Irvin “Shorty” Yeaworth brought Steve McQueen to the nearby, then-country hamlet of Chester Springs to make a little film that became cult legend, THE BLOB.
Later, a cinematographer pulled Yeaworth aside to suggest he write an autobiography about the production along the lines of BEN AND ME, a once-popular children’s book that recounts the life story of Benjamin Franklin from the point of view of “his good mouse Amos.” Only in place of the rodent, a nine year-old boy immersed in an extraordinary moment that in many ways was (and remains!) every kid’s dream: making a monster movie and roaring around town with Steve McQueen at speeds that would no doubt make Franklin’s skullet stand on end.
“I turned the idea over in my mind when I went home that night and thought, ‘I don’t think I have a book in me about Steve McQueen, but I might have a song,’” Yeaworth tells FANGORIA.
And—poof!—just like that Burt Bacharach wasn’t the only composer of an ode to a blob anymore.
By the very next morning the lyrics for smooth rocking jam “One Night in ’57”—cleverly intertwining references to characters, cast, and crew—were already half formed in Yeaworth’s head. Music and melodies quickly followed, and a couple days later the filmmaker/musician cut this big-hearted homage to THE BLOB, which eventually would serve as the title track on the excellent classic rock n’ roll cover album he released under the apt, tongue-firmly-in-cheek moniker Kris Yeaworth and the Molten McQueens.
Adding to the fun and authenticity of the musical romp, the record’s artwork is “the original hand colored picture of the Downington Diner from THE BLOB, which was behind the hand-painted cell of the blob covering the diner” from Yeaworth’s personal collection of blob artifacts.
On the weekend of Blobfest—the annual celebration of THE BLOB held in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania at the historic Colonial Theater wherein the murderous glob devoured many a teenager during its rampage—FANGORIA is pleased to offer up an exclusive stream of “One Night in ‘57” below.
This year’s Blobfest includes screenings of THE BLOB, MOTHRA, KING KONG VS GODZILLA, and THE GIANT SPIDER; the requisite reenactment of the “running out” scene from THE BLOB; an eclectic street fair; the Fire Extinguisher Parade (celebrating the one weapon the blob could not overwhelm); Wes Shank [http://theblobbook.com/ ] and the Original Blob; and, of course, Kris Yeaworth himself, who will be playing a free concert at he Steel City Coffee House Friday night and then holding court on the third floor of the Colonial Saturday, selling CDs, ultra rare blob memorabilia, and DVDs of some of his father’s other films.
If you ask nicely, he’ll even expand upon some of the “inside baseball” nuggets scattered throughout “One Night in ’57.”
Oh, and when in the song Yeaworth calls 1957 his “favorite year” that is actually a reference to his favorite Peter O’Toole movie rather than a statement of fact.
“My favorite year was actually 1958 ‘cause that was the year we made the 4D MAN and Patty Duke taught me how to French kiss,” he says. “Much as I enjoyed driving around fast with Steve McQueen kissing Patty Duke was much more personally exciting.”