“Blown Away Guy”: Iconic music image

109 points8
post_break28 minutes ago

My favorite cosplay of this was when Ryan Dunn dressed up as him and they used a fighter jet to blast him with 200C air.

Terry_Roll5 hours ago

The Blown Away Guy campaign did boost Maxell's sales as did their Israelites advert ( and The Skids (, they were up against TDK at the time and to be honest the TDK audio cassettes probably just had it.

Sticking with an Audiophile theme, I was surprised to learn its 50yrs of the Technic's SL 1200!?!

In the UK in the early 90's you couldn't get these for love nor money, not A stock, not B stock, not C stock because of the Rave/Acid house culture taking off (along with the de'rigueur Stanton cartridge), which is why this ( will bring back some massive grins for some people! You know who you are! ;)

sakopov10 minutes ago

I remember buying 2 new SL-1200s for $400 a pop 15 years ago. I have 3 of them collecting dust in my parents basement. Shocked to find out that a pair of new ones will cost over $2k today.

TacticalCoder4 hours ago

> Sticking with an Audiophile theme, I was surprised to learn its 50yrs of the Technic's SL 1200!?!

I'm trying to fetch one. At 1099 EUR it's kinda a steal: only 100 EUR more than a non-anniversary / unlimited one. And the (non limited) used ones anyway can easily go for 800 EUR.

It's not as epic as the 1995 limited run of 5000 gold-plated units (which, I'm sure, are now worth a little fortune so I'll never have one of these), but at 12 000 units that 50th anniversary run looks like a real bargain and the closest I can get to that 1995 collectible one.

Are you getting one?

Terry_Roll3 hours ago

I think the MK4's were technically the best on paper but from what I've read they were only sold in Japan. Dont forget things like leaded solder is no longer used today.

Maybe one day but dont have the time for it.

fortran7749 minutes ago

And it boosted sales of LC2 chairs. We've got one in our foyer. A licensed "Cassina" one

thunderbong4 hours ago

Your last link is incorrect

Terry_Roll4 hours ago

I dont understand?

TacticalCoder4 hours ago

Bicep Glue is relatively recent. It's not from the early 90s: people may not realize they're showing images where insane rave parties took place.

FWIW I've got the original version of Bicep Glue in my car as well as a one hour non-stop repetitive loop. I sometimes listen to that when driving. I love it.

Terry_Roll3 hours ago

> Bicep Glue is relatively recent. It's not from the early 90s: people may not realize they're showing images where insane rave parties took place.

OIC, yeah, now whilst its not Helter Skelter, Fantazia or something like this I think The Prodigy discography perhaps best mirrors the evolution of the music scene & mood in the UK through this time.

What alot of people dont know is its probably MI5 we have to thank for Ecstasy and the US Army. So the US Army rediscovered it and the spooks flooded the country to stop the fighting on the football terraces (no seating back then) as depicted in films like Football factory, but MI5 will deny it as it also spawned the darker side like the film Essex Boys.

The intro is the interesting bit here:

jordemort4 hours ago

As a teenager, I had a modified version of this hanging on my room; someone had added a yawning cat on top of the speaker, and re-captioned it "Tuna Breath."

Back in my day we walked uphill to school both ways in the snow and bought our memes on paper at Spencer's Gifts.

drfuchs4 hours ago

Blown-Away Guy may be the most iconic still image, but I'd say the most iconic moving image with sound was the commercial for Memorex cassette tape with Ella Fitzgerald and the "Is it Live, or is it Memorex?" tagline: It was so popular, there were various sequels.

aasasd1 hour ago

Forget ‘blown away’, get a load of these three guys and Big Jay McNeely:

dylan6047 hours ago

Oh man, the embedded youtube clip of the spot is priceless in the fact that there is an hiss so dominate in the audio just as if I was listening to one of the discussed Maxell tapes! It had me looking for the NR button.

danachow7 hours ago

Even with a standard bias tape, with a halfway non shitty deck one could do a little bit better than that though. Linear VHS audio which this clearly is (on an aged tape) has especially bad SNR and response, much worse than a compact cassette. On the other hand, HiFi VHS audio for a time was basically practically the best at home recordable audio format (reel to reel was cool but quite a bit less common).

I’m not sure what speed that tape is running at but I’m going to guess LP, + the effects of age +/- dirty tape heads — someone with too much time on their hands could analyze it and figure it out. It looks like the original ad was shot on 16mm film.

dylan6046 hours ago

I'm aware the sound wasn't from a cassette, but it's strikingly ironic to me. Very fitting.

Coincidentally, I used to record a weekend radio show that was on for 6 hours straight on to VHS tape HiFi tracks for playback later without having to flip the cassette.

danachow6 hours ago

Indeed, was not ragging on your comment. The opposite… now that cassettes are hipster Hi-Fi these days for some dumb reason. Compact cassettes were a fantastic design and set of engineering compromises for their time - a time that has long passed.

Maursault6 hours ago

> now that cassettes are hipster Hi-Fi these days for some dumb reason

That's really ridiculous. But when tracking, I like to give artists the choice of various R2R tape formats, as the technology got really very good before it was abandoned[1], and with it comes one of what are really non-linear effects, tape compression or tape saturation, which happen to sound pretty good when properly executed. Some people really love The Beatles production quality and want even thinner, slower tape.

But I know that's not what you were talking about. Analog tape cassettes iirc had 1/8" width of tape for 2 stereo tracks in opposite directions, basically a half-track stereo tape at 1+7/8ips, so effectively 4 slow mono tracks each 1/32" wide. The wider and faster the tape the better fidelity, so even metal cassettes were very poor quality, even compared to most consumer 1/4" R2R, and especially compared to 16-bit CD audio.

[1] Actually, tape was never completely abandoned, as tape formats are still produced and available, and there are even boutique R2R manufacturers, and even the ridiculously expensive profusely audiophile selections are still somehow compelling.[1a][1b]



KerrAvon3 hours ago
omginternets6 hours ago

What’s NR and SNR?

danachow6 hours ago

NR is noise reduction. It’s the thing that made Dolby a household name:

SNR is signal to noise ratio.

newsclues6 hours ago
aaronbrethorst6 hours ago

noise reduction and signal to noise ratio, presumably.

WalterGR5 hours ago

NR = Noise Reduction

rogual6 hours ago
zh37 hours ago

As a Bauhaus fan, reading the article was "Eh? It was Peter Murphy" - and then I found it was a different ad in the UK.

rufus_foreman6 hours ago
smegsicle6 hours ago

nice save at :25

pfarrell3 hours ago

Another contemporary parody I remember is from the comic Bloom County.

(Don’t be fooled by the url date, that’s just the date gocomics reran it)

numbers5 hours ago

I've been looking for this for a long time but couldn't put a good description to it since I saw it as a kid.

martyvis3 hours ago

Maxwell may have won the tape print ad war, but TDK definitely buried this TV ad in my brain in the 80's. (I think the singer is Aussie, so I wonder if this was also a global commercial).

JohnJamesRambo5 hours ago

My memories are very fuzzy but I feel like Maxell tapes lived up to the hype and they were better than the usual dreck I had. I’d put my “good stuff” on any Maxell I could find.

hedora1 hour ago

So, did the makeup guy get paid?

Kaibeezy3 hours ago

The speaker has to be a JBL L100, right?

KennyBlanken1 hour ago

So we're doing random blogspam now?

tomcam58 minutes ago

How is that random blogspam?

Gunax5 hours ago

I had not seen this before, but I have seen many parodies of it which retrospectively make sense.

I found this collection of some of them:

When i was a kid, we used to call these 'Simpsons moments' referring to the feeling of seeing the parody before the original. As the Simpsons has many cultural references, but is also popular with kids, many of us who grew up watching it had various 'now I get it' moments.

What's interesting is that's it's not obvious that there is a parody or reference at all if one is not familiar. I remember the Simpsons having terminator, 2001, and many other film references that I would have an aha moment years later when i finally understood it.

omginternets6 hours ago

All these years I thought the company name was Maxwell, not Maxell. I can’t be the only one…

yboris6 hours ago

Internet Comment Etiquette - 'Mandela Effect' ;)

ohyoutravel6 hours ago

Wow no joke I used their cassette and vhs tapes extensively as a child and this is the first moment I realized it was not “Maxwell.”

glouwbug5 hours ago

Berenstain Bears

omginternets5 hours ago


dqpb6 hours ago

Other timeline