Patrick mentions ‘Munsters,’ ‘Monkees’ and music
Butch Patrick can add a new skill to his resume — pizza judge.
The former child star, who played Eddie Munster on the ’60s television series “The Munsters,” will be among the judges for the Sixth Slice of the Valley on Sunday at the Metroplex Expo Center.
He isn’t coming in with any preconceived ideas of what makes the perfect slice.
“I don’t know. I’ll find out when I get there,” Patrick said during a telephone interview this week.
“The Munsters” only ran for two seasons on CBS, but it’s remembered by generations thanks to its success in syndication. Patrick recently recorded a commentary track with musician / filmmaker Rob Zombie for the Blu-ray debut next month of “Munster, Go Home,” a 1966 film made immediately after the series was canceled.
“I’ve watched the movie a million times but I never sat there and did banter back and forth with someone,” Patrick said. “Rob, being a filmmaker, was looking at it from a different point of view. That was another reason for having him there, not only as a fan but as a filmmaker.”
The movie is set in England, but the cast only traveled as far as the Paramount back lot to make it.
“I used to tell people I went over to England on a cardboard boat,” he said.
Things often aren’t what they seem in show business, whether it’s the movies or music. Patrick’s brief career as a pop star is a perfect example.
“I was the original Munster Manilli,” Patrick said, a nod toward the Grammy-winning and lip syncing duo Milli Vanilli.
Metromedia Records was looking for a replacement after losing teen idol Bobby Sherman, and approached Patrick with a record deal.
“I said, ‘I don’t sing. I love music, I’m a big fan, but I don’t have any musical talent whatsoever.’ Doesn’t matter. We can fix that,” Patrick said. “Within six months I was on ‘American Bandstand,’ headlining over Loggins and Messina.”
He spent a year touring the country, but like other pop stars who couldn’t perform live, there were glitches — records that skipped, tapes that wouldn’t play.
“It’s hard to launch a music career when you don’t have any God-given talent and you can’t perform live,” Patrick said.
Patrick, 66, called it quits, but he returned to music a decade later with a song called “Whatever Happened to Eddie?” recorded under the name Eddie and the Monsters. Patrick wrote the new lyrics to “The Munsters” theme song, but even in the video he’s lip syncing to another band member’s vocals.
The low-budget video was the first clip by an unsigned band played on MTV, according to Patrick, and he believes it may have helped inspire “The Basement Tapes,” an MTV series that featured homemade videos by aspiring bands.
“I really consider it to be a good thing I pulled off,” he said. “A lot of acts got onto MTV and got some help with their careers because of that one song.”
“The Munsters” looms large on Patrick’s resume, but his IMDb page is filled with familiar titles to anyone who grew up watching television in the ’60s and ’70s — a year on the Saturday morning series “Lidsville” by the creators of “H.R. Pufnstuf,” nine episodes of “My Three Sons,” and guest spots on “Adam-12,” “Family Affair,” “Mister Ed,” “Bonanza” and “Gunsmoke.”
He doesn’t hesitate when asked which of those guest shots was the most memorable.
“The Monkees’ Christmas show. You’ve got to remember, The Monkees were as big as The Beatles at that particular time, in America, maybe bigger because of the TV show. I was usually very secretive at school about what I was doing, but I told everyone I did The Monkees.”