It’s been a while since we’ve heard or seen anything from alternative rock band They Might Be Giants, but like everything in life, good things come to those who wait.
Their latest track Can’t Keep Johnny Down has a music video featuring a street fighting 80 year-old Rip Torn, (Men In Black, Dodgeball), who indulges in a bout of bar knuckle boxing in a derelict warehouse. Which inadvertently reminded us of the reason we harbour a love for the actor, that infamous, insane brawl he had with writer/director Norman Mailer on the set of the movie Maidstone back in 1970.
The abridged version of the encounter was that Torn, unhappy with Mailer’s direction on the set of the film, struck him on the head with a hammer and as the camera rolled Mailer in response sank his teeth into Torn’s ear. To this day no-one can say for certain if the fight was genuine or staged, you can watch the whole bizarre affair below:
The unpredictable behaviour and at times genuine madness which Torn seems to be either blessed or cursed with has always been the attraction for us. Here’s just another small reason why Rip Torn continues to fascinate. This report was taken from a news story first published on January 29th, 2010:
Rip Torn was so intoxicated when he broke into a Connecticut bank carrying a loaded gun that he thought he was home, taking off his hat and boots and leaving them by the door, according to court records.
He is expected to enter an alcohol rehabilitation center in New York as early as Tuesday, according to his attorney.
The “Men in Black” actor is accused of breaking into the Litchfield Bancorp branch through a window Friday night in Salisbury, where officers responding to an alarm found him wandering in the lobby and nearly incoherent.
According to court records, Torn was disoriented, reeked of alcohol and asked the state police troopers repeatedly why they were taking him out of his home.
“Obviously, he wasn’t there intending to commit a crime, in my estimation,” Waterfall said.
Officers found a loaded .22-caliber revolver in Torn’s pocket, according to court records, and a breath test showed his blood-alcohol content as 0.203 percent — more than twice the 0.08 legal limit for driving in Connecticut.