*Author’s note: Click on the bolded words below for links to related video clips and images. Click on the song title and band’s name at the end of this post to listen to this song in its entirety and visit a Web site dedicated to the band. 

 dawnofdead_1  atm   diet-pill_22 

 by Bob Langham

In the song Funplex, the B-52s offer their own satirical musical commentary on the artificial consumer mecca known as the mall.

Remember the shopping mall in its heyday? It was the poor man’s Disney World for the superficial, materialistic, hordes of consumers who were still dreaming the American dream of being able to buy all of the components of “true happiness” under one sprawling roof. 

Nowhere was this trance-like out of control consumerism for all things bright and shiny portrayed so truthfully, than in George Romero’s 1978 classic Dawn of the Dead. This film, on the surface is a zombie horror flick.  However, it is much more horrific if you look at the subtext to see the mirror of honesty held up to our empty consumer-based society.  This film reveals the awful truth about us in the form of roving mobs of zombies stumbling mindlessly through an American mall in the all too familiar habitat of piped in Muzak and inadequate fluorescent lighting, as they literally consume anything they can get their hands on in an effort to satisfy their insatiable appetite for more. 

The malls are still around today, but they have begun to die off and lose their once enticing luster as a result of an economy as empty as the dream on which it is based.  However, there will probably always be a significant segment of society that will still flock to the confines of their favorite mall. They will be the ones wandering in a trance toward what they believe will bring them happiness, oblivious to the piped in Muzak and the hypnotic humming of the fluorescent lights above.


I’m a pleasure seeker
Shoppin’ for a new distraction
I’m a pleasure seeker
Lookin’ for some platinum action
I’m a pleasure seeker
Movin’ to the muzak
I’m a pleasure seeker
Lookin’ for the real thing

Chandalabra’s in a wonder bra
Dress barn runway-a real draw
Faster Pussycat thrill thrill
I’m at the mall on a diet pill

Oh broke my heart
At the Funplex
Yes you did
Yes you did

The Taco Tiki Hut is where we’re all gonna meet
Underneath the chandelier at the ATM machine
Oh Honey –
Is it all about money?

Hey lady
What lady?
That lady?

Private property-hippie be quiet
Your peace sign t-shirt
Could cause a riot
Faster faster-can’t get enough
What the hell will I do with this stuff ?

I’m your daytime waitress
at the Taco Tiki Hut
I’m your daytime waitress
Here’s your stupid 7-Up
You kicked my heart
Goin’ up and down the escalator
You blew me off and
And now you’ve lost
The real thing

Oooh -broke my heart at the Funplex
Yes you did -yes you did
Oooh -broke my heart at the Funplex
Yes you did -yes you did

You know-fashion frenzy gets me higher and higher
No will power and my wallets on fire!
(Panic at the Funplex-Panic at the Funplex)

Oooh -broke my heart
Oooh -broke my heart
Panic at the Funplex

Faster faster thrill thrill
Too much to do
It’s time for a pill

Oooh -broke my heart
Panic at the Funplex

Misery at the Funplex!
And theres too much sex!
The world is goin’ to hell
And what is that horrible smell?

B-52s, Funplex