Rare footage of our favorite time-traveling teenager, Marty McFly preparing to wow the judges with his sweet licks has just surfaced, and it is a treat! Take a look at Michael J. Fox shredding for Huey Lewis seconds before Robert Zemeckis calls action. Even though we know they are going to be “just too darn loud,” you’re still rooting for them!
Now, this clip is a minute and 29 seconds long, but there is so much to dissect! First, we have Paul Hanson, famed guitar coach, (smoking a ciggie on set! Oh, the ’80s…) giving last-minute shredding tweaks to Back to The Future star Michael J. Fox. Hanson would also be on hand for Light of Day, that movie where Joan Jett and Fox are siblings in a band, and they have to make the choice to either tour or support the family, and Trent Reznor is in his fictional band The Problems in the bar scene with a drunk and smoking (!) Michael J. Fox. Focus! Here it is, if you want to see.
Ok, next we have Huey Lewis looking on and grooving as Michael is shredding on The Power of Love, saying, “Perfect,” and “That’s great, Michael.” It’s so adorable! Then Zemeckis gives Huey directions on how to be the judgey judge right before he calls action. As The Pinheads begin to play, off-camera Huey is decidedly not in character as he starts getting down and bopping his head. He can’t help himself! It’s literally his jam!
Next, the camera cuts to Huey, and we all know his decision. Better luck next year. The square clothes, the goober glasses and megaphone, and he delivers his lines. He’s so nervous, he laughs as soon as the lines are out of his mouth. A. Dorable. The cameo he almost turned down adds so many layers to the scene. So glad you decided to join us, Huey!
It’s difficult to adequately describe the impact Back to the Future had on filmmaking and its viewers at the time. I have a brother twenty years my junior who is a perfect test sample to see if the movies of my youth still have legs. He’s a cinephile, open to all genres, and he’s also in his twenties. Some films I consider required watching baffle him. Back to the Future was not one of them. As a kid, he had so many questions and was thrilled to hear of the sequels. I will admit, I regretted showing him Wayne’s World when he was 10, or as I call it, the summer of Schwing! Ugh.
Adding to the lore of Back to the Future, even in a tiny clip like this transports the viewer back to an extraordinary time in film. The variety served up in the 1980s gave everyone a favorite movie year after year. We were introduced to stories, characters and actors that Hollywood still leans on today. Just yesterday it was announced that they are remaking The Lost Boys at Warner Bros. My fingers would cramp up if I listed the 80s remakes announced just this year. I’ve been on a quest to pinpoint why we are excited about some remakes like Fletch, but would plot revenge if they remade Back to the Future. Any theories?
I know you’ve seen the finished product, but for old times sake, here you go.