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A Super Seventies RockSite! EXTRA!

 The Worst Spidey Ever Made?

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By Adam Markovitz in Entertainment Weekly

The Amazing Spider-Manhe worst Spider-Man movie ever made isn't the new one swinging into theaters on May 2. The prize goes to 1977's The Amazing Spider-Man, a flick shot as a TV pilot that is so awful, even Stan Lee disowned it. So would we...

Nicholas Hammond
Forget teen pathos. This Peter Parker is played by Nicholas Hammond (The Sound of Music's Friederich!) as a grad student who adapts to his new powers with a shrug and a smile. When a New Age guru uses a mind-control device to turn citizens into criminals, Spidey swings (sloooowly, on what appears to be a white rope) into action.

These days, you can eBay a better Spidey getup than this saggy body stocking. The street clothes are worse: Is Peter going to save the day or head to Studio 54?

Thayer David3. THE VILLAIN
Thayer David (Dark Shadows) plays the campy guru. He attacks by typing "Peter Parker -- DESTROY!" into a computer.

[Imagined conversation] F/X guy: 'What if we shoot him crawling on the ground and then put a photo of a house behind him so it looks like he's climbing up it?" Director: "Sounds great!"

David White (Bewitched's Larry Tate) is a charmingly gruff J. Jonah Jameson, but Hammond would've needed superhuman acting chops to make the cheesy dialogue work. To a gang of deprogrammed lackeys: "I've reversed the microwaves. So let's be buddies, all right?" No thanks.

[Inset above right] To defeat the bad guy, Spider-Man spritzes some sad-looking webbing at the mind-control antenna and...yeah, that's about it. No breakneck hand-to-hand combat. No mega-explosions. And those martial-arts henchmen? They just give up and walk away.  

 Sly Stone's Grand Funk Odyssey

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A new definitive, four-disc anthology showcases a groove-obsessed innovator in all of his mad brilliance.

By Will Hermes in Rolling Stone

Sly and the Family Stone
ROCK (Epic/Legacy)

'Higher!' - Sly and the Family StoneSly and Freddie Stone in 1968 fusionist from the get-go, with an outsize, mixed-race-and-gender band, Sly Stone was less interested in genre-blurring than in the hot glory of multiple styles played simultaneously. Check his 1964 solo jam "Scat Swim," a surf-pop instrumental with raw blues licks and jazzbo vocalese. It's a highlight of the new four-CD box Higher!, the richest overview yet of maybe the most visionary funk operation in pop history. Though Sly could write and play almost anything, Higher! shows how crucial his band was: the firecracker soul-shouting of sister Rose Stewart, the radical percussive technique of bassist Larry Graham (developed playing sans drummer with his mom), the sweet tenor of brother Freddie. When these voices fused -- "Everyday People," the wild soul-rock outtake "Pressure" -- it was as good as music gets. And though drugs and other problems would sideline Sly, his influence remained: in Stevie Wonder and Miles Davis, P-Funk and Prince, generations of rappers and dance-rock bands. Even today, the Family tradition thrives.  

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