As I mentioned back on this post in 2010, I was a never a huge fan of Kid Creole of the Coconuts, but select tracks like "My Male Curiosity" on the soundtrack to "Against All Odds," and "Annie, I'm Not Your Daddy," totally captured my attention, despite being devoid of pugnacious power chords or angry white dudes with mohawks.
In any case, the moment that really tipped the balance in my fandom for the band was their cameo in in "Downtown `81," Glenn O'Brien's strange little docu-drama which received wide release in 2001. Featuring live performances shot at the fabled Rock Lounge on West Broadway just south of Canal Street, "Downtown `81" proved Kid Creole & the Coconuts to be a wildly versatile band. Despite including tracks by skronk-meisters like DNA and Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, the soundtrack's best moments remain the tracks by Kid Creole and company.
But a big part of what made those performances special were the contributions from Coati Mundi, who acted, I suppose, as August "Kid Creole" Darnell's hype man. Like a crazed Puerto Rican Flavor Flav, Coati Mundi leant a funky, bug-eyed mania to the tracks, acting the loon next to Kid Creole's smooth shtick.
Anyway, I stumbled upon a few videos by the man (the ones above were featured in "Downtown 81," actually). Above, see Coati Mundi improving a lip-synch to "Que Pasa" and "Me No Pop I" around a very busy Washington Square Park in 1981. It's bizarre to see our man bouncing around the very playground that my kids would regularly play in a couple of decades later. Washington Square Park hasn't seen this degree of joie de vivre in some time.
Below, meanwhile, is a clip of Coati's from a couple of years later. "Como Esta Usted" was filmed in the East Village in 1983, and directed by fabled Roxy deejay, Clash buddy, filmmaker and erstwhile B.A.D. member, Don Letts. Here's what Coati's own YouTube channel says about the clip:
Directed by Don Letts Choreographed by former Kid Creole vocalist Lori Eastside.
In This Video: - Lori's dance troupe called Rockercise - Members Coati's family including his parents Flora and Cruz - Couple of ex-wives of members from the The Clash - Suzi Sidewinder as the Black Doll - Marina Hernandez (Sister) - Chet Baker's son - Sharon D'Lugoff - Leila
The video was filmed in 1983 in NYC's East Village. A dance sequence was shot on the fire escape of the old Filmore East which was owned by the famed legendary promoter and manager Bill Graham.
Coati Mundi was a founding member of Kid Creole and The Coconuts.