Video Review: Aretha Franklin “Rock-A-Lott”

A twentysomething man places his boombox on the steps of the stoop and ties his shoes. He choose Rock-A-Lott as the genre. It shows Aretha Franklin song. Within the speaker, a puppet Aretha Franklin sings. Two puppet hands play the piano.

He passes Rodney Dangerfield, who carries a boombox on his shoulder, on the sidewalk. Puppet Franklin peers through the speakers at the people in the park. Several twentysomething woman roller skate. He puts his boombox on the steps and bumps into a twentysomething woman. She glares at him and looks into the speaker. The puppet heads bounce on the wall. Three men serve food on a paper plate to the twentysomething man as he walks by their tent.

Tony Bennett sits in a carriage and shakes the twentysomething man’s hand. Three men play steel drums on the street. Back inside the speaker, several puppet heads stick to the wall. The puppet man, glued to coil, plays the saxophone. Mark Hamill, standing by a fence, brushes some of his hair away from his face. In black-and-white, on television, Whitney Houston turns around and says “rock!” A second twentysomething man plays the saxophone as he walks down the steps to the subway.

Against a black background, Franklin turns around and winks.

Rating: 5/5

Within the speaker, the Aretha Franklin puppet dances as the beat moves faster. She was the singing again. A puppet background singer lets out a screech. Franklin’s voice goes silent as the room darkens. She peeks through the speaker and sees the twentysomething man look inside. Waving her hands, she gestures to the back of the boombox.

Franklin opens her mouth and sees her breath. She hangs her head. The puppet man, glued to the coil, snores. She turns a gear and it sputters. The twentysomething man looks inside. She twists the rocker head, which spins on the floor. The twentysomething man curses as he holds the “rock” button in his hand.

She grips the wire of the speaker as the boombox gets flipped upside down. A “whoo!” comes out of her mouth. The puppet man, glued to the coil, jolts awake and starts to play again. Franklin dances around again, singing the same song with some extra flourishes. The puppet man, extends his solo and continues to play. She adds a riff to the beat.

Director: N/A Year: 1987

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her poetry has been published in the White Wall Review and 45 Magazine.