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Roadie (1980)

Travis W Redfish (Meat Loaf) is a backward country boy from Texas who drives a beer truck, has never heard of Alice Cooper, talks about “John Travolto” and has a knack of being able to fix almost anything.

He puts this talent to use in mending a stalled van belonging to a rock group. Along the way, he demonstrates his talents as a roadie and, after rock promoter Mohammed Johnson (Don Cornelius) calls him “the best roadie in the world”, becomes a superstar in his own right.

He also falls for Lola (Kaki Hunter), a 16-year-old groupie (“That’s right, honey – jailbait,” she tells him) whose big aim in life is to surrender her virginity to Alice Cooper. She, in turn, has a thing going for Travis.

But deep down, Travis is just a good old Texas boy, and you know how patriotic those Texans are. They’d rather stay in the Lone Star State than be the world’s greatest roadie.

Roadie features a number of musical acts. Some of them (Alice Cooper and Deborah Harry of Blondie) even get to speak a few lines.

The jokes are stale: Travis and Lola accidentally trade a Tide box full of cocaine for the real thing (that one came from Up In Smoke), an earthquake shakes up a rock concert in Los Angeles (which is no laughing matter in California, friends) and Mohammed keeps mispronouncing Redfish’s name.

Some of the musical numbers, though, are rather good. Hank Williams Jr. shines in an early scene, and Roy Orbison breaks up a honky-tonk fight by singing The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You. Blondie perform a spirited New Wave version of the Johnny Cash classic Ring of Fire.

Despite his gelatinous appearance, Meat Loaf displays charm, if not legitimate acting talent, as Travis. Art Carney – who apparently believed any kind of movie work was better than none at all – goes through the paces as Travis’ gadget-crazy father.

Kaki Andrews does the most credible job of all while Alice Cooper demonstrates that acting is definitely not his forte.

Travis W. Redfish
Meat Loaf
Lola Bouilliabase
Kaki Hunter
Corpus C. Redfish
Art Carney
B.B. Muldoon
Gailard Sartain
Mohammed Johnson
Don Cornelius
Alice Poo
Rhonda Bates
Joe Spano
Richard Marion
Sonny Carl Davis
Weather Girl
Ginger Varney
Mohammed’s Bodyguard
Al Mays
Prom Queen
Cindy Wills
Allan Graf
Merle Kilgore
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
Roy Orbison
Hank Williams Jr.
Hector Britt
Larry Lindsey
Peter Frampton
Alice Cooper
Sheryl Cooper
Alice Cooper Band
Asleep At The Wheel
The Pleasant Valley Boys
The Bama Band
Standing Waves

Alan Rudolph