Saturday, November 29, 2008

last ride

What is it about that man? AMC played The Shootist today. I watched it a few months ago - and watched it yet again this afternoon. I went to see it when it first played back in 1976. In the movie Wayne's character was dying of cancer - he was wrestling with it in real life as well. He passed away in 1979. When going to the movie - we knew it was The Duke's last ride - hanging up his white hat afterward.

The Shootist isn't a great movie. John made some good movies in his lifetime - but the best were under the direction of Howard Hawks, or his good friend John Ford. Even so, The Shootist has it's place in my heart because it was John Wayne's way of saying goodbye to his audience. I watched it today - a little choked - not the first time. It's a kind of feeling one would have about a lost uncle. I loved that old cowboy and what he stood for. Even though his movies later in life had become rather simple - the man had more dimension. He was a real good guy - a bona-fied straight talking man who stuck to his guns - stuck to his values - even without the hat.
Sometimes I watch him captured on celluloid - and sometimes a kid again - transported back to the day when he still roamed Monument Valley.

"I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them." - John Bernard Books (Wayne)
George C. Scott was originally offered the part, but it was Wayne that eventually got it. It seemed fitting. I've often thought it would have been nice if one of the old school directors like Ford or Hawks. But they were no longer behind the camera. Robert Altman might have been a better choice over Don Siegel. This isn't a slam against Siegel - he's made a bunch of great movies - but not on this one. James Stewart, Lauren Bacall, and Richard Boone were great in this movie. I remember when watching it for the first time - not being able to get Ron Howard's Richie Cunningham out of my head. Ron Howard was after all still churning candy coated episodes of Happy Days on TV. Watching the movie today - I do appreciate Ron's roll more now in this movie - but believe it would probably have been better to have had hired a lesser known actor for that particular part. The old shootist was dealing with his mortality - while a boy was coming of age. The movie was just as much about the boy's passage as it was the old mans. The casting of a different young actor might have made a difference for me. Someone other than Richie Cunningham - maybe Warren "Potsie" Weber.
Just kidding of course.

No use crying over spilt cowboys. The movie is what it is and still worth recommending. I couldn't help but sit there on the couch and watch the whole thing all over again - and saddened once again to see my hero dying on the bar room floor. Hollywood didn't give him the credit he was due as an actor - but the public down through the years still do.

I have to warn you - there's some folks that I will revisit here in Boomerville. John Wayne is among my favorites (I, your self proclaimed Boomerville Mayor). Just down Main Street - our little theater regularly has Duke's name up there all lit up on the marque. We have been making plans of erecting a statue of The Duke in the town square by early Fall of next year. We baby-boomers still have a great fondness for that dead cowboy. He's still our number one hero - a genuine good guy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

dun dun DUN dun DUN dun DUN dun - wah wah...

Peter Gunn. It was film noir for television which ran from 1958-61. The show began with - of course - The Peter Gunn theme by Henry Mancinni. You'll remember the theme from The Blues Brothers. Craig Stevens played the hip Gunn - a little more suave than Sam Spade or Philip Marlow. I was much too young to enjoy the show - seeing how I was born the year that it first aired. I've seen very little of it growing up. From what I've seen - it only makes me want to see more.

noir for hire

I'll have your car in just a minute Mr. Bass.

Say - that wasn't your car!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

a man barely alive

I admit it - I watched Six Million Dollar Man. If you have the 8 minutes to spare - watch the Six Million Dollar Man vs. Sasquatch (really lame). I enjoyed the show for about a year - then after a while you get tired of all that running in slow motion. Watching Steve's raised eyebrow got kind of old too. I will admit - for a period there - I was a fan of that bionic guy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

two greats...two guitars

Les Paul and Les Paul - in my humble opinion - transend all genres. As radios segregated their airwaves into Easy Listening, Rock, Gospel, and Country. These guys never really fit in to any music genre molds. These two men were simply the best - their music draws attention from almost everyone that has ever picked up a guitar.

going in hot

This is an eight minute doc regarding the LRRP in Vietnam.

Friday, November 21, 2008

he came with the place

Neil Young talking and singing about the old man.

This guy is another one of those reasons I picked up an acoustic those many years ago.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

i can't believe it

Keith Greene came along and really burned bright for that short while. It was during a time a lot of Christian artist were trying to be some kind of spiritual "pop star". Keith was a star - but he turned the attention to The Son.

Keith Green didn't just bring talent, witty lyrics to his audience - he brought a realness and passion - he came with The Word.

I remember getting to ride down as part of the sound crew for my first ever Keith Green concert. I had no idea who the guy was - I was just looking forward to get out with my Christian brothers and hear whoever this Green guy was playing down in Birmingham. The moment Keith's fingers hit keys - he had my attention from then on. He was very passionate about his walk - and the evening was fun and animated.

Back when I was first put over the Christian Brother's Coffeehouse (1976ish), Keith's music was almost always in the background before, between, and after sets. The energy, the Spirt, and the message, to me, was in sync with what was going on at our little coffee house at the time.

the network promo for Honey

a taste of honey

honey west

Anne Francis IS Honey West! She's a female private investigator. I don't really remember the story-line because I was only eight years old when the show aired. I do remember that this was my older sister Irene's favorite television show. Honey West was hot for even a little eight year old.

Back then, I liked a girl that could pack a gun and give a good Karate CHOP!!!! Come to think of it....I still do.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the burger has landed

This is a 1967 Grand Opening of a Jack's Hamburgers on Green Springs Hwy - Birmingham, AL. This clip is from the magical "Cousin" Cliff Hollman who passed away earlier this year. This clip is really interesting to watch because of the huge space capsule that they had fabricated for this grand event. Don't try to adjust your audio - there isn't any.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

last trip to Doodyville

This is the last Howdy Doody Show. There's no more show - it's time to go - goodbye from us to you.

faithless love

J.D. Souther with Matraca Berg (1991). Souther is simply among the best that ever was.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

it's intermission time!

This is the type of animation folks would see during intermission at the drive-in. Yes, it was even cheesy back in those days.

Drive-in rules

I didn't get to go to the drive-in much because of school. I need to make up for it when warmer times return.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Anyone out there remember a guy named Broderick Crawford who starred in Highway Patrol? There are so many old shows out there that will probably never see the light of day again. The last time I saw Broderick Crawford was on Saturday Night Live years and years ago. They had him spoof his old Highway Patrol character. I believe it was the original SNL cast that had him on.

regarding politics

Pat Paulsen for President - 1968

Thursday, November 13, 2008

early morning rain

a little more peter, paul, @ mary
for a chilly rainy morning

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

it's whats for dinner

I still can't get the taste out of my mouth. Everything in an old Swanson TV dinner taste the same - and I can't describe the taste other than BLAND!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

it's a mad mad mad mad world

There have been variations of this plot remade, the most recent being RAT RACE. None of them compare to United Artist's release IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD. Brook and I went to see this extravaganza at the Pitman Theater years ago. The movie was chock full of the day's comedians. It was nice seeing a quick cameo of The Three Stooges.

Vinyl Asbestos Floors

for the active room
asbestos is hip and swinging
asbestos is beautiful baby

i wonder what's being hyped to us today
that will kill us tomorrow

Monday, November 10, 2008

folk music

There was a moment in time when I was just a kid, that folk music ruled. That was before a kid named Bobby Dylan put down his acoustic and picked up an electric. It was during that time that I fell in love with sweet harmonies and acoustic instruments.

A MIGHTY WIND is sleeper comedy that was released a few years ago that spoofed the folk music era. It's a hilarious film - but the music in the movie is quite good.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Jack Webb

This is the late Jack Webb on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Jack Webb is famous for his role as Dragnet's Joe Friday. He played a no-nonsense detective who had a knack of getting to the bottom of things. He're Jack playing Joe - being a little nonsensical.

I like Jack.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lionel Electric Trains

I never got a Lionel train set. I'd never seen this set before - the one loaded to the teeth with missles. I remember asking my parents for a train set and all I got was a little plastic train that you had to manually push around the track. I won't hold it against mom and dad - our house was full of all kinds of toys. So I didn't get a Lionel train set. This particular set though is cool as all get out. I'd love a train set with a rocket launcher. Gee whiz!

If I had a rocket launcher - I'd make somebody pay.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

juke at the lake

Paul Revere and The Raiders and Indian Reservation. Every time I hear that song, it takes me back to a specific place and time - Chunn's Lake in Hokes Bluff - late sixties / early seventies. The lake was owned by my Uncle G.W.& Aunt Ina Chunn. That song used to echo from their dance hall at the lake.  Music from my little pocket transistor couldn't match the big sound in that room - because that place seemed to do something special for every song that emitted from that old jukebox. I loved listening to the music in that place. Indian Reservation was my favorite song to play in there. I don't know why. The room had perfect acoustics for the music - as if that jukebox were always meant to be there. I pass that old building from time to time - I wonder if it's still in there - if that old music machine sits silently waiting for a kid with a quarter - to warm the tubes - shuffle the 45's - bring the old place back to life again - rattle the windows and roll the music across the planked floor like a bowling balls.

Chunn's Lake back in the day.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Steve McQueen Rules!

Yes, Hollywood today has all the special effects and the like - but I have yet to see anyone produce such a heart-in-your-throat chase scene than the action in delivered BULLIT. Steve McQueen behind the wheel of a 1968 Mustang. Flying up and over the hilly streets of San Fransico - being pursued and then pursueing hired gunmen. The cars hung around traffic and sharp turns. The sounds of that Mustang in action - shifting and tires clinging. Watching this 10:37 minute clip on YouTube is still thrilling to watch.

I believe it was THE ROCK that had Sean Connery tackling the San Fransico hills in a Hummer - with more crunching and crashing - but it can't out-draw McQueen's BULLIT. RONIN had another great chase sceen - but again - McQueen rules the road.

Good stuff! I didn't see this show until the late seventies. I saw it on television one night and remember calling Brook about this Steve McQueen chase scene I had just watched. Yes, he'd seen it before - yes - it was pretty cool. (DUH!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Searchers

if you haven't seen The Searchers - you've missed one of John Waynes finest. It's one of The Dukes finest Westerns. To me, it has one of the best endings a movie ever had. John Wayne standing on the porch and then walking slowly away from the camera. The lost daughter was rescued and returned home - the music just brought the story to a nice ending. The setting is larger than life - and John Wayne is larger than life - the good guys win in the end. Great stuff.

Oh yeah - that is Dan Noojin sitting on the rocker at the end of the picture.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

the colonel

Colonal Sanders was a real guy. He was known for going from KFC to KFC location and inspect his stores. If perchance he found a franchise doing something wrong - he'd toss out all the pressure cookers into the restaurant parking lot and bust them up. You see the Colonel carried a big hammer in his trunk for such occasions. He was serious about quality control.

Here's something you didn't know - that my mom had an uncle that looked so much like Colonal Sanders that he was hired to be a Sander's clone? That's right - mom can tell you about it. My great uncle would travel from franchise to franchise playing the roll of the late great Colonal Sanders himself - and no one was the wiser. He was paid to make public appearances as the Colonal - only without the big hammer.