Mr. Barnes of Barnes and Barnes, dressed in tin foil rather than a garbage bag.
Mr. Barnes of Barnes and Barnes, dressed in tin foil rather than a garbage bag.

Fish Heads, could be the most ground breaking song ever written. It probably isn’t, but it could be. Here’s what you don’t know:

The song is by Barnes and Barnes, a pair of brother named Art Barnes and Arty Barnes, from Lumania. Or that’s their version of it anyway. The truth is the group is actually made up of childhood pals Robert Haimer and Bill Mumy, who is better known as playing Will Robinson in Lost in Space and that kid that wishes things into the corn field on The Twilight Zone.

After Mr. Mumy’s run on Lost in Space ended he began making short Super 8 films with Mr. Haimer. They jokingly referred to them as “Art” films, which lead to them calling each other Art. They eventually also adopted the last name Barnes from a comedy routine by Bill Cosby about a kid named Junior Barnes who threw snowballs. Eventually Mr. Haimer started calling himself Artie instead, so people could tell the difference between the two of them.

They officially formed as a music group in 1970, but wouldn’t find real airplay until Dr. Demento began playing their song Fish Heads on his radio show in 1978. Three years later MTV would play their iconic music video, because frankly they had 24 hours to fill and their were only so many music videos out there. Of course MTV now has more than enough videos to play, but opts instead to show reality shows about spoiled teenage girls.

Mr. Paxton, in the role that launched his career.
Mr. Paxton, in the role that launched his career.

The Fish Heads video was directed by and starred Bill Paxton, who was relatively unknown at the time. It would be quite a while until we would know Mr. Paxton better for his roles in Titanic, Twister, Big Love and A Simple Plan (a personal favorite of mine).

The video actually premiered on Saturday Night Live in 1980, making Barnes and Barnes predate The Lonely Island by 25 years.

In the years since, Mr. Mumy kept himself busy doing voice work for cartoons such as Batman: The Animated Series and Ren & Stimpy. Mr. Haimer occasionally comments on youtube videos, including Fish Heads.

Without further wait, here is Fish Heads, starring Mr. Bill Paxton:

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