Christmas Wrapping on "Solid Gold" (lost unreleased footage of The Waitresses live performance; 1982)

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"Christmas Wrapping" single cover.

Status: Lost

The Waitresses were an American new wave band based out of Akron, Ohio that were active from 1978 to 1984. The band were initially best known for their 1980 single "I Know What Boys Like", which (following a 1982 reissue) peaked at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] and became a frequent staple of MTV with its eye-catching music video during the early days of the channel.[2]

However, in recent years, the success of "I Know What Boys Like" has been thoroughly supplanted by that of the band's 1981 single "Christmas Wrapping", which was initially recorded for the ZE Records compilation album A Christmas Record. The song was fairly unsuccessful upon its initial release (peaking at #45 in the UK Singles Chart following a reissue,[3] but failing to chart altogether in America) but has since entered the pantheon of all-time iconic Christmas songs, being featured on numerous Christmas compilation albums, being covered by musicians such as the Spice Girls and Kylie Minogue among others, and recieving praise for outlets such as The Guardian (who described it as "fizzing, funky dance-around-the-Christmas-tree music for Brooklyn hipsters"[4]), and AllMusic (who called it "one of the best holiday pop tunes ever recorded.")[5]

In 1982, The Waitresses were invited to perform on Solid Gold, an American syndicated music TV series broadcast from 1980 to 1988. The band obliged, with performances of two of their songs being recorded for use in the program; "I Know What Boys Like" and "Christmas Wrapping" (with this recording serving as the only time the latter song would ever be performed for television). But while the performance of "I Know What Boys Like" would later go on to be broadcast as part of the July 3rd, 1982 episode of the show,[6] the performance of "Christmas Wrapping" would go unaired for unknown reasons, and would remain almost completely unknown about for decades afterwards.

The existence of the "Christmas Wrapping" performance wouldn't become public knowledge until 2020, when popular YouTuber Todd in the Shadows featured The Waitresses and "I Know What Boys Like" as an episode of his One Hit Wonderland video series. Following the upload of his "I Know What Boys Like" video, Todd was contacted by the Waitress' guitarist and songwriter Chris Butler about the Solid Gold footage.[7] Butler himself had been searching for the "Christmas Wrapping" performance for many years to no avail, and had mistaken Todd's use of footage from the "I Know What Boys Like" performance in his video as footage of the former song.[8] Todd later posted about this interaction on his Twitter account, and following an extensive search effort from several of Todd's fans, no trace of the performance could be found online, leading Todd and Butler to come to the conclusion that the footage had never been released at all.[9] If the footage of this performance does still exist, then it is likely present somewhere within the archives of CBS and/or Paramount (the current copyright holders of Solid Gold), and is unlikely to see a release.


The Waitresses' performance of "I Know What Boys Like" on Solid Gold.