Monday, February 27, 2023

Hot Hero Sandwich Clip Job! Hot Hero Band Performances

by G. Jack Urso

Video clips of performances by the Hot Hero Band featured here give a good sampling of the band’s high-energy rock and the show's messaging to youth. The theme song, “Get Together, “Last Night,” “Promises,” and “Show Your Love,” feature the band, while they back Andy Breckman on “Tommy Two” and make an appearance at the Hot Hero Café. 

About the band itself, series producer Bruce Hart in a Nov. 24, 1979, Record World article, reported, “We're not using the band specifically to break them. We were looking for a good young music act whose material would fit thematically while serving as audience identification models.”

Hot Hero Band producer Felix Pappalardi (bassist for Mountain), in the same article, revealed that due to all the neon on stage a loud hum was created when the amplifiers were turned on; consequently, the performances were lip-synced, though it does appear that vocally the singers were still belting it out and the musicians hit their notes on target and on time.

Pappalardi, in the Record World article, also hinted at possible future Hot Hero Band projects, which, unfortunately, never came to pass. “Bruce, Carole and I have definitely talked about cast, theme or band albums for the future and I can't wait to do a Hot Hero record but there are no plans at the moment.

Sigh . . . what could have been. 

“Hot Hero Sandwich Theme Song”
Music by Stephen Lawrence and lyrics by Bruce Hart. The theme song frames just surviving the awkward and confusing teen years as a heroic effort in itself. A catchy earworm if ever there was one, memories of the theme song helped to sustain the show’s memory until the Internet came along.

“Get Together”
This is the Hot Hero Band’s cover of The Youngbloods hit song produced by Felix Pappalardi who also produced for the Hot Hero Band. This tune would turned up in their play lists in their later incarnation as 212.

“Last Night”

A power ballad, “Last Night” deals with the break-up between two young people, with the singer expressing feelings of betrayal, though recalling the good times they shared together. These contradictory feelings are a perennial adolescent theme, and the honesty in feeling hurt, but acknowledging not all of it was bad, promotes the healthy psychological coping mechanisms the show promoted.

Richie Annunziato takes the lead vocals and officially became a Rock God to fans for pulling out the twin-arm axe in this song. Mark Cunningham’s sweet burning solo keeps the pace going without taking it over, and the band’s vocal harmonies in the chorus are spot-on perfect.


Robert Brissette takes the lead vocals in this song about another young couple with the singer reflecting on his partner’s doubts about his “promises” to her, though his promises are all he can give. As with “Last Night” it is typical of the show's effort to connect themes to performances. Mark and Richie trade dueling leads towards the end.

“Show Your Love”

Along with “Last Night” and “Promises,” “Show You Love,” continues to explore teens dealing with the awkward feelings of love. Lamenting about learning lessons about love “a little bit too late after love has gone,” the song’s affirmation, “You got to show your love to the ones you love,” keeps the messaging positive and, like “Last Night,” promotes a healthy response to a problem of the heart. Nice bit here with Mark and Richie working the crowd to keep the energy and audience interaction going. 

Shooting schedule for August 14, 1979, from the Hot Hero Sandwich archives.

With Andy Breckman

The Hot Hero Band shift gears to back up writer and resident Puberty Fairy Andy Breckman in three featured songs, “My Friend Bernie,” “Tommy Two,” and the show finale “Here We Come and There We Go” (see links for separate articles). 

“My Friend Bernie”

“Tommy Two”

“Here We Come and There We Go.”

“Captain Hero Theme”

This fun little theme is one of my favorites on the show. A strong melody with a good rock hook and humorous lyrics, I wouldn’t mind getting a second verse after all these years!

“Hot Hero Café Sketch”
The Hot Hero band makes a stop at the Hot Hero café. 


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