In November 1989, Paula Abdul released “Opposites Attract,” a pop song from her debut album, “Forever Your Girl.” The track — a duet, of sorts — hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the following February, and was No. 14 on the Hot 100 year-end singles chart for 1990, just behind Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam.”
The performances on “Opposites Attract” were credited to Abdul and the Wild Pair, also known as Bruce DeShazer and Marv Gunn, a Milwaukee-bred duo whose music career launched in Minneapolis with Paisley Park Records.
But most know the song as a collaboration between Abdul and MC Skat Kat, a fictional animated cat who traded lines — and complicated choreography — with Abdul in the music video for the hit.
MC Skat Kat was outgoing and wore sunglasses. He bragged about partying all night, smoking, and being fast. The sexual tension that radiated from Abdul and MC Skat Kat was not unlike what 1980s TV watchers had seen between Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis on “Moonlighting.”
I hadn’t thought about MC Skat Kat in years — until I saw that Abdul would be performing “Opposites Attract” as part of the “Total Package” tour with New Kids on the Block. The show, which also features Boyz II Men, makes a stop at Fenway Park on Saturday.
It was then that I found myself asking: Who was the man behind MC Skat Kat? What happened to him over the years?
A Google search led me to Gunn — the lead vocalist for Kat on “Opposites Attract” — who gave me some information about his history with the character.
1. MC Skat Kat was actually three people. Gunn provided lead vocals, DeShazer also sang, and the rap was performed by Derrick Stevens.
2. Gunn first recorded “Opposites Attract” by himself and figured it was a demo. His parts were later combined with Abdul’s.
3. Gunn had no idea that his vocals would be paired with an animated cat. “That’s something Paula worked out with her management team,” he said. But after he saw MC Skat Kat, he loved the idea. “When I saw it, I remembered Gene Kelly [dancing with an animated mouse in “Anchors Away ”]. I used to love all those old movies. . . . It was genius to me.”
4. Before performing with Abdul, the Wild Pair had a song on the “Bright Lights, Big City” soundtrack. The duo was performing as the Noise Club then, and the song was called “Obsessed.”
5. Gunn and Abdul have never performed “Opposites Attract” together live. “I’ve performed it, but not with Paula,” he said.
6. Gunn is still friends with Abdul, and recently saw her when the Total Package Tour stopped in the Phoenix area, where he lives now. “She is looking awesome, just jumping around,” Gunn said. “It was like a bunch of little kids who hadn’t seen each other since grade school.”
7. Gunn said Abdul attempted to reach out to him so that he could record new vocals for the tour, but she couldn’t find him. That means Fenway concertgoers will hear someone else voicing Kat this weekend. “I wasn’t into social media yet,” Gunn said. “All we can say is, ‘Hey, we’re connected now.’ ”
8. The Wild Pair disbanded after being dropped from Capitol Records on Christmas Eve in 1992. Gunn still makes music (as OneGunn), and recently released the album “Over & Under the Wire.”
9. Gunn and the Wild Pair did not have anything to do with Kat’s 1991 solo album, “The Adventures of MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob.” The record was not a hit. Gunn said, “I am not aware of that project.”
10. There could be another MC Skat Kat song in the works. Gunn said: “We have submitted a song to Paula to consider for the sequel to ‘Opposites Attract.’ Stay tuned.”