Several months ago, I discussed a musician-related film project in my list of what I term to be the most "out-there" films. However, something cool to write for Moviepilot was immediately transmitted into my mind yesterday. It's all about what I define as a missing link between an American cartoon and a rock band. A cartoon that I remember watching a few times when I was a kid, and a rock band whom I have been a fan of for a very long time.
The cartoon in question is Tutenstein. It was a cartoon that ran on Discovery Kids back in the early 2000's. I thought it was a cool show, although I remember watching a few episodes. I rediscovered this at the public library over in my hometown of Glendale yesterday at the section with the kid's DVD's. However, I was focused on checking out the DVD copy that the library had of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (I hadn't watched that movie in quite a while). The character design of the title character of Tutenstein looked rather cool, which is why I as a child thought that the show was cool.
I would like to announce that Tutenstein is the Journey of kids' cartoons. If Tutenstein were to be a rock band, it would be Journey. And, I wished that one day Tutenstein should become Journey's lead vocalist. Then, he would kick butt! No, this is not another band named "Journey". It is the Journey that released some all-time classic hits throughout the 70's and 80's like "Don't Stop Believing", "Only the Young", "Wheel in the Sky", "Open Arms", "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)", "Faithfully", "Anyway You Want It", "Ask the Lonely", "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'", "Stone in Love", "Chain Reaction", "Girl Can't Help It", and even "Feeling That Way". I also mean the band that has Steve Perry, Neal Schon, Ross Valory, Jonathan Cain, and Steve Smith (alongside other members as Gregg Rolie, George Tickner, Aynsley Dunbar, Steve Augeri, Deen Castronovo, and new lead vocalist Arnel Pineda).
Well, guys, it sounds crazy and impossible, but I know you all are going to ask me why Tutenstein, albeit a cartoon character from a kids' show, would be Journey's lead vocalist.
Allow me to explain in a few paragraphs:
To me, the show Tutenstein, in levels of awesomeness and creativity, is the missing link between Journey and the classic 80's show Max Headroom. The character designs in the show, as well as that of the title character, look pretty darn awesome.
Journey was one of the most critically acclaimed arena rock bands in the history of American music. I first discovered Journey when my dad played their Journey's Greatest Hits CD when I was around 5 or 6 years old. When I listened to that band's CD for the first time at that period, the songs were so catchy, so awesome, and so entertaining that I couldn't stop listening to it from time to time. I have to admit, when I first listened to "Who's Crying Now", a song on that compilation album (and from Journey's 1981 mega-hit album Escape), the song was so catchy that it reminded me of a Cartoon Network show I used to watch called Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?, although the lyrics were irrelevant to my thoughts. So, for that reason, some of the songs, depending on how catchy they really were, reminds me of cartoon programs that I find to be awesome, and Tutenstein may have been one of them. My theory is that in people with autism, such as myself, a song, depending on how catchy it is, will remind them of a TV show or movie that he/she finds to be enjoyable and fun to watch. Look, I'm almost 18 years old, and I still find Journey to be my all-time favorite rock band!
When I started listening to my CD copy of Journey's 2011 compilation Greatest Hits 2 yesterday, the first six tracks were so catchy that I immediately thought of Tutenstein singing lead vocals to these songs during a Journey performance in front of a huge audience, like at a football stadium. That was yesterday, after the cartoon was brought back to my attention.
Sure, Filipino-born Arnel Pineda is Journey's current lead vocalist (after Steve Augeri left due to an illness), and that is good because he rose from rags to riches after he joined Journey. However, the bad news is that their recent release, 2011's Eclipse, had got mixed to negative reviews, making it not that critically successful. Keyboardist and occasional rhythm guitarist Jonathan Cain stated that Journey's fans are "getting older". I believe that if Journey wants to attract a newer audience, it's their choice.
As a side note, It would be cool if Tutenstein sang the song "In the Morning Day", the second track off of Journey's 1975 self-titled debut album. This was back when Journey was a straight-up progressive rock band, although that album was also jazz fusion-oriented. Here's the band performing the song in 1974, just to show you how catchy the song really is, even the grand opening! This was also back when Gregg Rolie was both keyboardist and lead vocalist, and when George Tickner was rhythm guitarist.
But what would be also cool is that if he were to sing the band's 1983 mega-hit classic "Faithfully".
If Journey seriously considers using Tutenstein, a cartoon character, as their lead vocalist, things could go in either one of these four directions:
(I would like to say for starters that if this happens, then Tutenstein has to be projected on a hologram in his animated form during concerts, just to add to the awesomeness!)
1. Journey would attract younger audiences, and become a family band (much like how KISS declared themselves under that title when they released their 1979 disco-rock classic Dynasty).
2. It would receive mixed reactions.
3. Journey would use the character in only one performance, due to monetary constraints.
4. Journey would break a world record for being the first band to use a cartoon character as a band member.